Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Racism and Intolerance Going Mainstream

It is time for Abe Foxman to retire! Or to go to work for the newly appointed Israeli Deputy Prime Minister (and demogogic racist) Avigdor Leiberman.

In a statment that is both untrue and can only harm Jewish interests, the Anti-Defamation League’s national director commented last Friday at the group’s National Commission meeting in Atlanta that, "There are no moderate Muslims with whom to dialogue"

In response Seymour Reich, president of the Israel Policy Forum, and an ADL lay leader said: “There’s always someone to dialogue with,”

Foxman responded that since Muslim groups refuse to issue a blanket statement rejecting terrorism regardless of the cause, “I don’t know what there is to dialogue about.”

In response, Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said the group repeatedly had condemned terrorism.

Of course, Avigdor Leiberman's appointment as Israel's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Strategic Affairs, is even more worrying than Foxman's latest stupid statement. Together though, they seem to show that racism, intolerance, self fulfilling paranoia, and demagoguery are going mainstream in the Jewish world. In the past, some Israelis and some Jews no doubt would have wished to strip Israeli Arabs of their citizenship, but mostly they would have been embarrassed to say so publicly. And certainly no influential Israeli government leader would have said so. Now we have a Deputy Prime Minister who openly espouses this, as a primary plank in his party platform.

For more on Leiberman joining the Israeli cabinet see here, here, here, here, here and here.

And what of daily life for Palestinians living in the occupied territories? Labour's Defence Minister Amir Peretz promised to turn over a new leaf in the territories: to ensure that the rule of law was enforced, and to treat the Palestinian residence with a modicum of fairness and decency. Don't hold your breath! The lawlessness continues. Harassment by the army and the settlers continues. Illegal expansion of settlements continues. Read all about it! And all the while any overtures from the Arab world, whether by Syria, by Hamas, by Abbas, or by the Saudis, is discredited, or more likeley - just ignored

Since there are no Muslims (and certainly no Palestinians) to talk to, and since we can just get rid of all the Arabs anyway, why do any different?

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