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How does this brand of anti-Semitic racism go unnoticed?

by Stephen Gowans

Jews are a minority. They are poorer than the majority population. The governments limits what land they can own. Theyíre not permitted to buy or rent in some communities.

Jewish schools are government run, and are separate from the government run schools for the majority population. The government spends less per capita on Jewish students than it does on majority students and Jewish classes are 20 percent larger than majority classes.

This isnít separate and equal, the deception southern state governments used to justify the segregation of blacks into inferior schools. This is separate and unequal, and the government freely admits it.

Jewish schools are run down. The majorityís schools are well maintained. Jews need more enrichment programs (to overcome the deficits of poverty and inadequate school spending) but receive fewer.

Majority communities have kindergartens for three and four year olds, but many Jewish communities go without.

The government has made the teaching of the majority cultureís religious texts mandatory in Jewish schools. Jews would never stand for the government mandating the teaching of Christian religious texts in North American schools, and for good reason. But here it happens, un-remarked on by North Americans.

Religious leaders have called Jews "poisonous vipers." Some say they should be "annihilated." A cabinet minister calls them "lice." Crowds have been known to shout, "death to Jews!" In some places, thatís called hate language and is never tolerated, no matter what the circumstances. Here, itís called understandable and is overlooked.

Jews who once lived in the country are not permitted to return, but members of the majority culture can immigrate from any part of the world. The country exists, its leaders say, for the majority population, not for the Jews who live there, not for the Jews who used to live there.

The leader of the country was once involved in driving Jews from their homes. Later, as a military commander, he allowed a massacre to go ahead in a refugee camp for Jews. He says Jews are murderers and pathological liars.

Countless numbers of Jews live in refugee camps, former occupants of homes and land now usurped by the majority population. Under international law, the refugees are to be allowed to return to their homes, but the countryís supporters say that would change the countryís ethnic character. There would be too many Jews. They say this isnít racism, and react with great indignation to anyone who say it is.

The majority population itself has for centuries been the object of vicious and violent racist attacks. But it has turned the racism of others into a shield from criticism. Because we were the victims of cruel racism, we, ourselves, cannot be accused of racism, they say.

A nasty, racist, anti-Jewish state? Yes, without question.

But itís a fantasy. It doesnít exist.

Except it does exist, in every detail, but one.

Itís not Jews who are the minority. Itís Arabs. And the country is Israel.

Mr. Steve Gowans is a writer and political activist who lives in Ottawa, Canada.


by courtesy & © 2001 Steve Gowans

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