Sunday, March 14, 2010

Gideon Levy: Israel’s Arabs have been misbehaving lately

"Copti made an impressive movie about the depressing reality of Jaffa. He has no reason to feel that he represents our Israel, which does not give him the feeling that he belongs. The film funding he received for good behavior recalls regimes that give money to artists according to the messages they send.

Tibi doesn’t owe the state anything either. But when he dared ask if the Olei Hagardom were heroes or terrorists, the Knesset speaker hurried out of the hall. Does the question lack legitimacy? Doesn’t Tibi have not only the right but also the obligation to raise it? Aren’t we obliged to answer? A devilish act took place the same day the Knesset remembered the Olei Hagardom, one of whom fired on a bus and killed several passengers: the Palestinian Authority sought to name a square in Ramallah after Dalal Mughrabi, who took part in an attack on an Israeli bus on the coastal road in 1978. Israel railed against this. “Each nation has its own truth,” Tibi said before he was removed from the hall.
"The ultimate Israeli dream is that the Coptis and Tibis will disappear from sight. If the so-called demographic problem can’t be solved by driving Arabs out, we’ll try to get rid of them another way: destroy their identity, cloud their national memory and turn them into Israelis, not to mention Zionists. It won’t work. We are not only talking about economic discrimination, but about trampling on national heritage. This won’t work either. The third generation after the Nakba is informed. It’s true that some of them are being Israel-ized, the way we like to see, but Arabs lacking identity will also pose a pressing social problem. The Jews’ situation in the world is much better than theirs."

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