Internet has a problem. The world has a problem. Israel is affected by it. This is how you divide a country to the point we start hating each other instead of using our different strengths.
This text applies to any country in various forms, but I choose to put in an Israeli context since I’m blogging here. Pure logic. Ok?
The Sudanese infiltrators. What is an infiltrator? I question myself. An infiltrator is a singular or plurality of a group moving into an organization, a territory or crossing a land border in order to cause harm. That is the very definition of infiltrating something. Are the Sudanese infiltrators doing any harm? No, since they come as refugees. Fleeing for their life or from hardships in order to find a better life – which we all knows means both having rights and be obliged to contribute to society.
The Palestinians with Israeli citizenship. You might say “Oh but they call themselves Palestinians and they live such good lives here and are unthankful” – which is a direct quote from a study conducted on international relations. One Israeli citizen out of five today is an Arab. With citizenship. Therefore using that kind of terminology alienates 20% of Israel’s population. People may call themselves whatever they want – but in the end we are all humans after all and therefore just calling them Israelis is easier, since more than 80% of that population group want just that. Or just read here about some MK’s of Knesset bluntly takes racism to a whole new level.
Racist slurs and Holocaust denial. Some of our fellow Israelis with Arab origins while rallying or protesting are singing songs like “From the river to the sea, Al-Aqsa will be free!” and “Hitler, Hitler where are you? Come finish the job!”. Unfortunately this kind of despicable language only further cements the majority’s belief that they aren’t true citizens as some like to say. There is no excuse for this – in several countries scoring lower than Israel on the democracy index it’s illegal to instigate hate like this. Israel has a similar law – but it needs a thorough revision. And while I have no numbers, a tool of weapons for those pursuing more polarization is to deny the Holocaust. My deep down suggestion is to have one school curriculum – where all can go and see Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Avudah Aravit. In Hebrew meaning Arab-work and applied upon jobs with less pay and lower status. Once upon a time it was completely acceptable in countries I’ve lived in to call some jobs for Nigger-work. Negerjobb, Negerarbeit, Trabajo Negrito, Nigger-work. It’s just not acceptable in the year of 2020 to call people struggling on low-wage hard labour jobs to apply that kind of terminology. It’s time to move on. How would you feel being forced to accept an Avudah Aravit job?
Beitar Yerushalaim football fans. Another prime example of where racial slurs hinders the progress of sport, something that should be totally detached from racism and politics. Yet they thrive and the two Russo-Chechen players who joined the team briefly a couple of years ago didn’t make it. They can hold up signs or scream “You will never be one of us” or actually attacking people with different origin than what they define as their own.
Hindering intra-religious marriage. To tell the truth – even in the epicenter of three major world religions, there are so many people who are not religious, agnostic or atheists. There are people who have different religious beliefs but still want to devote themselves to each other. Why is this a problem? Why do they have to fly abroad in order to get married properly on paper? Why does intra-religious marriage make headline news because of the racist organization Lehava rioting beside what should be considered a sign of love and devotion?
Recognizing, respecting but also contributing to society. Israel is an unequal country today. The normative Israeli tend to look at Orthodox and Beta Jews as well-fare receivers. Orthodox Jews, Mizrahim, Muslim Arabs, Christian Arabs, Bedouins, Druze and other minorities lives completely segregated in their own neighbourhoods. So does the common masse of the normal Israelis. Israeli law has paved way for this to happen – by establishing village committees deciding who can move into the village and not. By not forcing every single citizen to either serve in the IDF or do Civil Service. By allowing Yeshiva-students a laissez-passer when it comes to the point of doing their duty. While it might be called forced assimilation, the law should apply to every citizen in every aspect of life. Irregardless of their name, religion, sexual preference or origin. In the same time – it is of utmost importance to respect minorities, just as the minorities respect the majority. It’s a scale of give and take, right now the scale is uneven.
So is there a solution to these social issues? Racism and discrimination has always existed in the modernistic and post-modernistic world. It will not go away. But we can all fight it together, because at the end of the day no one benefits from it. Neither the majority or the minority. This was just some prime examples of what is going on in Israel. Other countries have similar, more or different problems they also need to fix. But as I’ve pointed out earlier – Israel can lead the way in Social Welfare and Equality. It definitely has the opportunity to do the right thing for the citizens of Israel.
What can you do as an individual? Think twice about what you comment and how you do it online. We live in cyber-space nowadays, not in the real world. What’s been projected on the internet deeply affects the real world. Furthermore when you see tendencies of racism or someone feeling sad – stand up for that person! Dare to say No. Be the person who marks that this is not alright. Finally – interact with someone from a different culture. Invite them for dinner. Or help them cleaning a car. Or just sit down and have a coffee and learn something new.