Tuesday, September 9, 2008

From Skokie to Um-el-Fahm

By Khalid Amayreh

"When members of the National Socialist Party of America (the Nazi Party) declared their intention to march through the predominantly-Jewish Chicago suburb of Skokie in 1977, Jewish groups vociferously denounced the “attempted re-enactment of the Nazi nightmare.”

And while the American Nazis claimed the right of free speech in accordance with the First Amendment, the Jews and their supporters claimed that their right to live without intimidation and harassment did override the Nazis’ right to freedom of speech and expression.....

The reason I am invoking this story, which took place 35 years ago, is because the government of Israel is finding itself today in the shoes of the American Nazi group, while the Arabs of Israel are forced to play the role of the people of Skokie.

Last week, the Israeli High Court decided to allow the followers of the infamous racist Rabbi Meir Kahana, to march through the Arab town of Um-el-Fahm in northern Israel. The Kahana disciples argued through their lawyer that they were only exercising their freedom of speech and expression.

The truth, however, is that freedom of speech and expression is the last thing these people would value, especially when their political opponents, Arab or Jewish, are involved. Indeed, these Judeo-Nazi thugs openly teach that basic human rights, including the right to life, don’t apply to non-Jews in general and Arabs in particular......."

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