Israeli extremists and racists must be condemned.  While the “right” is often blamed for being an obstacle to peace, dangers on the left are often shamefully ignored.  The definiton of extremism as “ideology or political act far outside the perceived political center of a society” surely defines many on the left.

This most recent column by Uri Avnery is dangerous racist dreck which must be rejected.  Categorizing an entire group of people – Russian-Israelis – in this hateful manner is unacceptable and should be condemned immediately – as it would be if it came from someone else.

His writing speaks for itself:

  • “The immigrants from the former Soviet Union – all bundled together as “the Russians” in common parlance – have not mingled at all. They are a separate community, living in a self-made ghetto. They continue to speak Russian. They read their own Russian newspapers, all of them rabidly nationalist and racist.” “They have practically no contact with other Israelis.”

This is completely untrue – Russian-Israelis are well integrated into Israeli society after only 20 years – and the children of these people are completely Israelis in every way. Have not mingled at all? All Russian newspapers are rabidly racist?  Clearly Avnery is the racist.

  • “The very large majority of them hate Arabs, reject peace, support the settlers and vote for right-wing governments.”
  • And here’s the crux of Uri Avnery’s problem:The organization to which I belong, Gush Shalom, once distributed 100,000 copies of our flagship publication (“Truth against Truth”, the history of the conflict) in Russian, but when we received only one sole answer, we were discouraged. Obviously, the Russians did not give a damn for the history of this country, about which they do not have the slightest idea.”

Avnery claims he was happy when the Russians arrived in Israel.  However, in reality he would have been happy if they shared his left-wing, extreme world view as he may have suspected of people who came from a communist country.  Their rejection of Gush Shalom (like nearly all other rational Israelis), means in Avnery’s mind “they don’t give a damn about Israel.” If they share a more traditional view of Israel and the Jewish people – then damn them.

Uri Avnery, supports dialogue with Hamas – and during the Lebanon war was accused by members of the cabinet of treason. These extreme racists should be condemned. Left-wing fringe players like Avnery should be condemned – rather than celebrated – by the media and the public.