Thursday, July 2, 2009

Red Alert: The Arabs Are Spreading. STOP the Arabs!!!

Proper vote-counting is essential for democracy, but NOT sufficient.

Considering the current focus on Iran and the election fraud that may have altered the outcome of its presidential race, the issue of democracy in the Middle East is on the front burner among the talking heads in the media probably only until another disaster, 'existential threat' or a celebrity death fills the air waves.

Democracy is the best system we have for governance, but counting votes does not guarantee that you will get even half-brained people to be in power, nor does it say anything about morality, aptitude, fairness or even plain civility.

In the US, we had our share of disasters brought to the highest office. Eight years of the puppet and puppeteer team are a testimony to that. And it took us 2 or 3 failed of barely successful wars, thousands of dead US soldiers, and a nose-diving economy to get a meager 2-3 % of our voters to finally switch teams and try something different.

But voting outcome reflects the people voting, and that is was it is supposed to do - no guarantees that the outcome will be worth even 2-cents.

That is why the last Israeli parliamentary elections produced the likes of Netanyahu, the fascist Avigdor Lieberman, and a slew of minsters of the religious fanatic Shas and secular nationalistic fanatic Yisrael Beiteinu parties that are, to put it mildly, ...... ! (Well, there is no way to say it nicely, so I will leave it blank. Use your imagination.)

The latest from Haaretz are statements from the joke of a human, Ariel Atias (photo below), the housing minister representing the fanatic ultra orthodox religious party, Shas.

The article excerpts speak for themselves.

Housing Minister: Spread of Arab population must be stopped

Housing Minister Ariel Atias on Thursday warned against the spread of Arab population into various parts of Israel, saying that preventing this phenomenon was no less than a national responsibility.

"I see [it] as a national duty to prevent the spread of a population that, to say the least, does not love the state of Israel," Atias told a conference of the Israel Bar Association, which focused on a reforming Israel's Land Administration.
Atias went on to address the issue of the Galilee, saying that "if we go on like we have until now, we will lose the Galilee. Populations that should not mix are spreading there. I don't think that it is appropriate [for them] to live together."
"The mayor of Acre visited me yesterday for three hours and asked me how his town could be saved," Atias said. "He told me 'bring a bunch of Haredis [Ultra Orthodox Jews that reject modern secular culture] and we'll save the city, even if I lose my political standing.' He told me that Arabs are living in Jewish buildings and running them out."
Atias argued that lands should be marketed to each sector separately, in order to create segregation, not just between Jews and Arabs but also between other sectors, such as ultra-Orthodox and secular Jews. "There is a severe housing crisis among the young ultra-Orthodox couples, and in the general population. I, as an ultra-Orthodox Jew, don't think that religious Jews should have to live in the same neighborhood as secular couples, so as to avoid unnecessary friction."

Of course there are dozens of readers' comments following that collection of weird 'Israeli government official' statements. Check the Haaretz article here and enjoy the comments.

On comment (from Tom B, Sarasota, Florida) that is worth noting was this:
I suppose what is shocking is that this conversation is happening in public, therefore it`s not a stretch to imagine their planning more ethnic cleansing in private. As an American, this is not "shared values," this is disgusting example of hate. How could we support this country at the UN or anywhere else, and still have any claim to morality?


  1. I just wonder, how much of the Israeli public, and those who support the Israeli policy -Jews or non jews- share the same opinion. And will there be a public or international debate about it, as what -rightfully- happened when a wacky opinion came from other -so caleed- political figures?

  2. The Shas religious leader is even crazier. As a positive, Shas doesn't get along very well with Avigdor Lieberman.

  3. Ugh, yet another example of why mixing religion and politics is NOT a good idea.

    I disagree with commenter Tom B, though. Ha'Aretz has publicly exposed what might have otherwise been a private planning session. The press in Israel is much too free and anti-authoritarian for any actual "ethnic cleansing" to be planned in secret.

    The morality we in the US need to support is the morality of the staff of Ha'Aretz and several other Israeli newspapers, not that of a representative of a minority religious party that dreams of a theocracy....

  4. Khaled, I truly think that Israeli Arabs are going to be key to solving the Israel/Palestinian problem. I'd be interested in your thoughts on articles in Ha'Aretz like this recent one, about a high-profile Arab-Israeli newscaster:

  5. Hi Becky: I skimmed quickly through the article late last night and did not finish it, so it is in my 'to read' folder. I found the parts I read very interesting and it is showing an aspect of Israeli Arabs that is new to me and probably to most people outside Israel. I was planning on presenting it in a posting, but that will have to wait till the 4th of July festivities and eating are over. If you plan to comment on it on your blog, I will be happy just to forward to your post.

  6. At first commenter,

    This issue is already in the Israeli press as you see in this post which brought us here. I don't see the purpose of an International debate about this. It is rather trivial. Will the minister's comment make the US administration and Israeli supporters abroad to question their relationship with Israel? Obviously no, it will take something much concrete.

    The "Who is a Jew?" debate flares up every once in a while among Diaspora Jewry and Israeli Jews, but an "International debate" about a minister's racist comments is the last thing the world needs ponder.