Saturday, June 19, 2010

Madness at full gallop

In recent days, the name of Emmanuel came up prominently in news bulletins and banner headlines.

Not because Emmanuel is a settlement established in the midst of an occupied territory. Not because it is strictly forbidden for Palestinians from the nearby villages to live there - even to Palestinians on whose land and that of their families this settlement was established. These fact were hardly mentioned by any of the reporters. After all, there's nothing special or new about all this, and it is no different from the situation in dozens of other settlements throughout the Occupied Territories.

Emanuel made headlines because of a racial discrimination between Israelis and Israelis, between Jews and Jews, because a group of dominant settlers is systematically discriminating against their fellow settlers. Because in the middle of a school a high separation wall was established to separate Ashkenazi girls from Sephardi girls. Because the young Sephardi girls were repeatedly humiliated and told to their faces that they were "second class" and that they were "worth much less than Ashkenazis."

In violation of the Supreme Court ruling on the matter, the whole group of Ashkenazi parents embarked on tricks and evasions as not to let their daughters go to class together with their "second-class sisters" - until sent to jail for contempt of court.

"We'll go to jail with our head held high" declared Martin Luther King when struggling for the civil rights of Blacks in the US South. But in 2010 Israel it is the racists who are going to jail their head held high, boundlessly proud of their racism and declaring it the most sacred of religious principles. Tens of thousands of enthusiastic supporters followed the racists up to the prison gates, proclaiming them to be heroes and martyrs.

And what is left to a sane person to say? Perhaps no more than that we are in even deeper trouble than we knew.

Speaking about madness:
Dov Yirmiya's The end of Sicarii Zionism is a must read.