HANANIA: Hate drives much of Israel’s government policies, FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, July 30, 2008

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Hate of Arabs drives much of Israel’sgovernment policies
By Ray Hanania —
You can never meet an Israeli without hearing them say, either angrily or wistfully hoping for change, that the biggest problem in the Middle East conflict is the “refusal of Arabs to accept Israel’s existence.” The reality is just the opposite. Israelis and Jews as a people refuse to recognize the rights of Palestinians to exist in Palestine.

A good example of the racism that plagues much of Israel’s idealism is the recent story about a Palestinian family living in East Jerusalem who are being thrown out of their homes by armed Israeli civilians, called “settlers.”

The issue of civilians bearing arms is one part of this skewered hateful tale. When Arabs not in uniform carry weapons, they are called “terrorists,” or sometimes “militants.”
When Israelis not in uniform carry arms, they are called “civilians.”
These examples of hateful, anti-Arab hypocrisy are what confront Israel and its “fight” for recognition.The reality is that it is Israel that most often discriminates against non-Jews. It is armed Israelis who kill and injure Palestinian civilians and who are never charged by Israeli courts for their violent crimes. And it is Israel that refuses to recognize the rights of Palestinians to live as equals in Palestine and in the occupied territories.

The story of the Palestinian family ordered evicted from their long time home in East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah suburb is not a unique story. It is typical of many stories about Palestinians.

According to the newly launched Middle East newspaper, The National, Israel’s Supreme Court ruled that Jewish settlers who have forcibly taken control of a Palestinian home in East Jerusalem have the right to live there and the Palestinians, who have lived there endlessly, must leave.

There are more than 26 similar situations in Sheikh Jarrah alone where Palestinians are threatened by armed Israeli fanatics called “settlers.” And, there are more than 250,000 Jewish settlers living illegally in East Jerusalem in violation of fundamental laws of human rights.

But Israel doesn’t care. They care only that Jewish people are “supreme” and have an exclusive right to Jerusalem and all the lands surrounding the Holy City.

It is that racism that most Israelis pretend does not exist and allows everyday Israelis to shake their heads and ignore the injustice, raising their eyebrows and their phony morality only when a Palestinian attacks or kills and Israeli. Uniformed soldiers. Or ununiformed armed militants who parade around Israel with automatic weapons, belts of bullets and hate strung across their shoulders.

These settlers teach their children racist hatred, and they justify it by arguing that it is the Palestinians who “hate” Israelis and Jews.

But no Palestinians has stoeln a home from an Israeli or a Jew. In fact, it is quite the opposite.

What is really happening in East Jerusalem is what is happening throughout Israel and the Israeli occupied West Bank.

Israel is attempting, as it always does, to manipulate facts on the ground. That’s a diplomatic phrase to describe the theft of land by Israel.

Israel’s government steals land all the time from Palestinians. With the weight of the Western media on their side, and the backing of a naïve American government, the Israelis always counter Palestinian claims by insisting that the lands were purchased by Jews in the 19th Century, although they can never provide any documents to prove it.

But in contrast, the Palestinians in these properties, homes and lands, can demonstrate they have been living there uninterrupted for hundreds of years, only disturbed by Israel’s racist greed to confiscate lands from non-Jews so that they can expand their controls over the land.

It makes the possibility of peace even more remote as Israelis refuse to accept the truth that they, and not just Palestinian “terrorists” and “militants” are as responsible for continuing the conflict as is anyone.

That blindness to truth and honesty about the mistreatment of non-Jews by Israel’s government is a form of subtle racism and hatred that plagues most of Israeli society as a whole. They say they support and want peace, but their actions contradict their words.

These policies by Israel may or may not be different from similar policies in the Arab World against Jews. But all that means is that in the best case scenario for Israel, they are no worse than the “terrorists” and “militants” they denounce.

They are exactly the same.

(Ray Hanania is an award winning columnist and author. He is managing editor of the Arab American Writers Syndicate, 

 

 

 

www.ArabWritersGroup.com, and can be reached at rayhanania@comcast.net.)

This post has already been read 65 times!

Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and Columnist who began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He covered Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992 (Mayor Daley to Mayor Daley) and has expanded to writing for newspapers around the world focussed on Middle East and American politics.

Hanania loves to write about American Arabs in politics, and focuses on Arab life in America.

Currently, he writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com. He writes on American politics for the Des Plaines Valley News, Southwest News-Herald, The Regional News newspaper and the Reporter Newspapers. He also writes for the online websites TheArabDailyNews.com and NewsAmericaNetwork.com (Illinois News Network at IllinoisNewsNetwork.com).

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Hanania began in journalism as an activist publishing Chicago’s first English-language American Arab Newspaper “The Middle Eastern Voice” from 1975 through 1977. In 1976, he was hired by the Chicago community newspaper The Southtown Economist (Daily Southtown) and in 1985 was hired by the Chicago Sun-Times and covered Chicago City Hall for both. In 1993, he launched the “The Villager” Newspapers which covered 12 Southwest Chicagoland suburban regions. In 2004, he published “The National Arab American Times” monthly newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East ethnic food stores in 48 American States.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

Hanania’s writings have been published in newspapers around the world. Formerly syndicated by Creators Syndicate, Hanania also has written news, features and Opinion Columns for Al Jazeera English, the Jerusalem Post, YNetNews.com, Arab News, Saudi Gazette, Newsday in New York, the Orlando Sentinel, the Houston Chronicle, The Daily Star, the News of the World, the Daily Yomimuri in Tokyo, Chicago Magazine, the Arlington Heights Daily Herald, and Aramco Magazine. His political columns are published in the Southwest News-Herald and Des Plaines Valley News, Regional News and Palos Reporter newspapers in Chicagoland. Hanania is the President/CEO of Urban Strategies Group media and public affairs consulting which has clients in Illinois, Florida, Michigan and Washington D.C.

Hanania is Palestinian Christian from prominent Bethlehem and Jerusalem families. His wife and son are Jewish and he performs standup comedy lampooning Arab-Jewish relations, advocating for peace based on non-violence, mutual recognition and Two-States.

His Facebook Page is Facebook.com/rghanania

Email him at: RGHanania@gmail.com