Cutting through the bullshit.

Friday 26 January 2007

Welcome to the blood bank

The headline says, ‘Blood banks to accept donations from Ethiopian immigrants’. But it wasn’t true, as the very first sentence of the article makes abundantly clear.

The health ministry announced on Wednesday that blood donations would be accepted from anyone born in Israel, including Israeli-born Ethiopians.


Last November, young Ethiopian activists staged a demonstration across from the Prime Minister's Office protesting the policy that dictated the disposal of Ethiopian blood donations.

Until now, blood donated by Ethiopians was discarded …Health Minister Yaacov Ben Izri (Pensioners) [said] ‘As a minister, I am troubled by the negative and erroneous stigma with which Israel's Ethiopian Jews have been labeled, as a result of publications taken out of proportion and present a reality which does not reflect the truth’.

Like many realities in Israel that do not reflect the truth, there is apparently no retreat from racism. Even if you’re Jewish, if you’re black, only the blood of the Israeli born is good enough, in the words of Gadi Yavarkan, the chairman of the Ethiopian rights advocacy group, ‘to save a Jewish soul.’

According to the Meir Panim charity, 670,000 Israeli children go to bed hungry. So that’s how the safe haven for the world’s Jews treats its own Jewish minorities and its most vulnerable. You wouldn’t want to be a Goy!

The conference up in Herzliya had a session on Monday morning entitled, ‘Israeli Arabs and the Jewish State’. The website provides summaries of most of the papers in shall we say not entirely idiomatic English. According to the summary, Hagai Meirom, Treasurer, Jewish Agency for Israel, acknowledged discrimination against the Palestinain minority,

It is my view that we do not need to forgo the essence of the state of Israel; there is still a possibility to create joint lives. We need to provide them with the minimal conditions for them to be able to live here in equality. We discriminate the Arabs in terms of resources and investments…

Predictably, in the context of a Conference on the Balance of Israel’s National Security, he saw

This is another threat this state is facing. This threat is not the Arab minority itself, but rather the fragile relationship between Arabs and Jews in this land.

At the same session, Dr. Dan Schueftan, Deputy Director, National Security Studies Center, University of Haifa, asserted,

…in the short term we are facing a dead end. The source of the basic view of the Arab minority in Israel is that equality is not the main issue. As far as they are concerned, nothing short of the destruction of the Jewish enterprise will be enough…Therefore, even if Israel continues to close the gap between both social statuses, Israel will still be illegitimate. This is why equality is not the core issue.

As far as the Arabs are concerned we have reached a dead-end…That is why we are making a fundamental mistake when trying to create symmetry on the basis of justice…

As far as the Jews are concerned, they also consider this situation to be a dead-end because they have no intention of doing what the Arab minority demands.

There is even a structural problem in the socio-economic field. The per-capita income of the Muslim population is substantially smaller than the income of non-ultra religious Jewish families.

even when there is an attempt to have a dialog, the dialog fails.

Here is where I am supposed to reassure you and tell you that everything will work out, however I claim the opposite: it will not work out. There is a consensus on the Palestinian side that has adopted the Palestinian ethos while well aware of its price. On the Jewish side there is a belief that there is no solution for this problem and accepts that as reality.

On a national level the situation is getting worse. Both sides are not content, but when facing the alternative the status quo will remain.

Anyway, that’s some of what they’re saying in public.

As Jonathan Cook (this is the same article I linked to in the comment on ‘the page of time’ on 20 January) wrote recently, to nullify the threat of accusations of apartheid, Israel

…could say that all Palestinians who identified themselves as such -- whether in the occupied territories or inside Israel -- must now exercise their rights in the Palestinian state and renounce any claim on the Jewish state.

It could achieve this

*by redrawing borders, using the wall, so that an area densely populated with Palestinian citizens of Israel known as the "Little Triangle", which hugs the northern West Bank, would be sealed into the new pseudo-state;

* by continuing the process of corralling the Negev's Bedouin farmers into urban reservations and then treating them as guest workers;

* by forcing Palestinian citizens living in the Galilee to pledge an oath of loyalty to Israel as a "Jewish and democratic state" or have their citizenship revoked;

* and by stripping Arab Knesset members of their right to stand for election.

If Jonathan is right, and he’s taking justifiable pride in the accuracy of some of his predictions, ‘the status quo’ is a pretty rosy outlook.

For a Palestinian Israeli view, you can check out the two Dam video clips Mark posted on Jews sans frontieres today, and the Dam site, with three tracks you can play from the top page.

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