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Fri Apr 4, 2014, 04:53 PM

 

Are Arabs Human Beings?

Blindness enables Israelis to see themselves as living in a democracy, while it is in fact an apartheid regime.

By Carolina Landsmann | Apr. 4, 2014

Two weeks ago former Kadima MK Yohanan Plesner was elected president of the Israel Democracy Institute. The institute is an independent institution, nonpolitical and nonpartisan, which is located, according to their website, “on the seam line between politics and academia.” Surfing on the site reveals that like Israeli democracy, the institute is preoccupied only with what is happening inside the Green Line.

As Jews living at this time in history, had we not found a distinction that allows us to grasp ourselves as democrats, we would not be continuing to dominate a foreign population for 47 years. The distinction between what is happening within the Green Line and what is happening beyond it is what enables us to accept the existing situation (which is dubbed the “status quo”) and at the same time to look ourselves in the mirror and see a democratic state. We confess that we are unable to define the meaning of the state’s Jewishness, but are confident in our understanding of what is a democratic state.

Only this split in consciousness can enable the Israeli to see himself as a democrat who is living in the only democracy in the Middle East, despite its apartheid regime. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu admitted that the Knesset is Jewish, and similarly our democracy is also Jewish. But if Arabs are human beings, Israel cannot call itself “democratic.” (Netanyahu uses the same logic in economics: If we subtract the ultra-Orthodox and the Arabs, there is no poverty.) The fact that Israelis have internalized the status quo into the narrative of normalcy, and have bought the lie they sold themselves, is a crime. As are the words of Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon to the effect that this is “an unsolvable problem,” ignoring the fact that the “problem” is very much alive and breathing.

This split is made possible by the Israeli Institute for Democracy. Were the institute committed to democracy, the only place it would find for its residence would be in the underground. If the president of the institute were a fighter for democracy, he would expose himself to exclusion and delegitimization. For quite a while we have been witnessing attempts to pass laws against the real opponents of the country’s regime, including the initiative to condition citizenship on a demonstration of loyalty to the state (and of course they will decide exactly what loyalty is), the Nakba Law and the NGOs Law, which threaten to dry up budgets, and other restrictions.

http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.583766

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Fri Apr 4, 2014, 05:02 PM

1. 5 whole paragraphs ?

Doesn't protect DU too much against copyright infringement .

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Fri Apr 4, 2014, 06:05 PM

2. Todos Somos Gente

We are all people.

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