By Yossi Schwartz, Internationalist Socialist League (Israel/Occupied Palestine), 5.3.2013
The racist Israeli state has launched two Palestinians-only bus lines in the 1967 occupied West Bank. Haaretz daily reported that the Zionist Transport Ministry opened the lines on Monday, to be used by Palestinian super exploited workers travelling between the West Bank and Israel, after the far right settlers complained that Palestinians on mixed buses were a security risk.
Even Jessica Montell, director of the liberal B’Tselem human right organization, stated on the army radio today: “Creating separate bus lines for Israeli Jews and Palestinians is a revolting plan. This is simply racism. Such a plan cannot be justified with claims of security needs or overcrowding.” (Israel launches segregated bus service, 4.3,2013)
This policy is implemented under the pressure of the Jewish settler’s in the West Bank. The Zionist Transport Ministry calls this racist policy: “An improvement in service”. The Ministry said that the two new lines would “improve public transport services for Palestinian workers entering Israel” and replace pirate buses charging them “exorbitant prices”. The Ministry also said that “Furthermore, the Ministry of Transport is not authorized to prevent any passenger from using public transport services.” In support of this open racist policy, police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld said all Palestinians returning to the West Bank would be searched for stolen property, describing this as a routine Israeli precaution.
This outrageous separation of the buses demonstrates again that the Zionists invented their own special language, the kind that George Orwell already described in his famous book 1984.
“War is peace.
Freedom is slavery.
Ignorance is strength.”
Like the US racist “Jim Crow” system
If Israel reminds some Americans the racist policies in the US known as “Jim Crow”, they are not mistaken. The Jim Crow laws were state and local laws in the United States enacted between 1876 and 1965. They mandated racial segregation in all public facilities in Southern states of the former Confederacy, with, starting in 1890, a “separate but equal” status for African Americans. The racist policy systematized economic, educational and social discrimination. However this did not happen only in the Southern states. In the Northern states segregation existed in housing enforced by covenants, bank lending practices, and job discrimination, including discriminatory policies of the trade union bureaucracy.
The US is still a racist state which is clear for anyone who study the discrimination of black men and even more so against black women in places of work, health or the number of blacks in prisons. In addition there is the enormous super exploitation of migrant workers as well as the abuses of them by the police. However, even in the US, the Ministry of Transport will not dare to declare that blacks have to travel in separate buses because of security reasons. State-sponsored school segregation was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of the United States in 1954 in Brown v. Board of Education.
However this equality can be found only in the constitution and not in everyday life and even this reform was achieved in hard struggles of a mass movement known as the civil right movement. This is because of its middle class leadership which limited the movement to a reform while the capitalist foundation that generates racism has remained. How deep is the racism of American ruling class we can learn by observing both capitalist parties the Democrats and the Republican that during the presidential elections accused each other for not supporting the Israeli Apartheid enough. Only the working class in the US fighting alongside with the immigrant workers for equal rights for the immigrant workers as part of the struggle for the socialist revolution will end the racism of American imperialism. For this to happen a revolutionary socialist leadership of the most advance workers must be formed in the fire of the class struggle.
Fascist tradition of Zionist racism
The statement of the Israeli Transport Ministry is not different from the racist supporter of the Beitar Jerusalem football team, the same team Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu supports, that at the end of last month chanted during a game against Umm al-Fahm, a Palestinian town in the lands Israel stolen in 1947-48: “The Temple Mount (occupied in 1967) is in our hands” The fans of the team from Umm al-Fahm properly replied to them in Hebrew:” “With blood and fire, we will liberate Palestine”. The New York time (January 30) that reported this event, told its readers:
“The angry, defiant exchanges that punctuated Tuesday night’s unusually tense game here came amid intense protests by Beitar Jerusalem supporters over the team owner’s plans to recruit two Muslim players from Chechnya (Zaur Sadayev and Dzhabrail Kadiyev). Some young men had unfurled a banner at the previous game declaring “Beitar pure forever,” which reminded many here of Nazi Germany’s purging of Jews from athletics in 1933 and prompted statewide discussion about racism on and off the field”.
Beitar was founded in 1936 as a sport team of the political “Revisionists” movement Beitar that was modeled after the “Black Shirts” of Mussolini. Many of the players belonged to the right wing terrorist organizations before 1948.
Lenny Brenner who documented the history of the “revisionists” in his book the “Iron Wall” wrote:
“Up to 1933, a number of members from the national-messianist wing of Revisionism were inspired by the fascist movement of Benito Mussolini. Abba Ahimeir was attracted to fascism for its staunch anti-communism and its focus on rebuilding the glory of the past, which national-messianists such as Uri Zvi Greenberg felt had much connection to their view of what the Revisionist movement should be.
Abba Ahimeir’s ideology was based in Oswald Spengler’s monumental study on the decline of the West, but his Zionist orientation caused him to adapt its ultimate conclusions. Achimeir’s basic assumption was that liberal bourgeois European culture was degenerate, and deeply eroded from within by an excess of liberalism and individualism. Socialism and communism were portrayed as “over civilized” ideologies. Fascism on the other hand, like Zionism, was a return to the roots of the national culture and the historical past. According to Achimeir, Italian Fascism was not anti-Semitic or anti-Zionist, whereas communist ideology and praxis were intrinsically so.”
It is very common for the fans of Beitar Jerusalem to chant “Death to the Arabs”, “Death to Mohammed” and “I hate all the Arabs” at Palestinian players. They are inspired by the Knesset’s racist laws and rhetoric. Some liberal Journalists refer to Benito Netanyahu because of the history of the “Revisionists” that the Likud party is its continuation, and for using similar rhetoric as Benito Mussolini.
Netanyahu would be remembered among other things for his speech in the UN on September 23, 2011 when in his speech calling the other imperialist states to act against Iran, among other things he said: “In my office in Jerusalem, there’s an ancient seal. It’s a signet ring of a Jewish official from the time of the Bible. The seal was found right next to the Western Wall, and it dates back 2,700 years, to the time of King Hezekiah. Now, there’s a name of the Jewish official inscribed on the ring in Hebrew. His name was Netanyahu”. No one doubt of course that Jews lived in Palestine 2,700 years ago but the connection between the Jews of today and the ancient kingdoms Judah and Israel based on slavery, that was common mode of production at that age, has to do with the Zionist settler colonialist movement that established capitalist Israel, by the ethnic cleansing of 1947-48, the Nakba, as much as the modern Italian nation has to do with the ancient Romans that Mussolini claimed they were the same. There is a strong connection between Netanyahu’s statement in the UN and the overt racism of the fans of Beitar.
Following the racist outburst against Zaur Sadayev and Dzhabrail Kadiyev, the manger of the football team Eli Cohen, stated: “There is a difference and it makes a difference between an Arab Muslim and a European Muslim.” (American Peace Now: News Nosh 01.27.13)
What a twisted racist logic so common in Israel, that leads to an absurd hierarchy of acceptability for races and religions! The idea of distinguishing between these two groups only placates the racist fans and only amplifies the racist nature of the Israeli state.
The last time Beitar Jerusalem signed a Muslim player was in 2005. Nigerian-born defender Ibrahim Nadallah could not finish an entire season on the Beitar roster. He found the constant stream of racism, prejudice, and incitement intolerable and he left.
In a response to the signing of Zaur Sadayev and Dzhabrail Kadiyev, Beitar’s fans showed up to Teddy’s Field on for their game against Bnei Yehuda to protest. One particularly large poster of the fans read, “Beitar will always be pure”.
Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon a former head of the Zionist army said: “I was shocked by the racism displayed in the Beitar Jerusalem stands yesterday against having Muslim or Arab players on the team”. Really? The government of which Yaalon is a member steals more and more land from the Palestinians in the West Bank and passed many discriminatory legislation targeted at the Palestinian citizens of Israel! The fans of Beitar see the relationship between legislation banning the commemoration of the Nakba or removing 70,000 Bedouin Arabs from their homes in the Naqab and they are encouraged. In the past few months alone, Palestinians citizens of Israel have been physically assaulted in the streets of Jerusalem, had their holiday decorations vandalized, have been subject to racial profiling on Tel Aviv’s beaches, and have been refused entry into Haifa nightclubs.
One year ago roughly 300 Beitar fans attacked Palestinian workers while chanting racist fight songs in the food court on the second floor. According to the mall’s CCTV footage and eyewitness accounts, the fans rioted for approximately 40 minutes chanting “Death to Arabs!” and “Muhammad is dead!” before police and mall security guards stopped them. None of these right wing Zionists has been brought to trial. The supporters of Beitar know that they are protected by the Zionist state. The Israeli governments’ actions through the entire history of Israel fuel the racism that it is rooted in the nature of the Israeli state as a capitalist-imperialist colonialist settler’s state. Needless to say even if these racists are arrested and are brought to trial and sent to jail they are freed after a short time.
P.T. Karolyi, from the Arab Association for Human Rights, reported recently in an article about the connection between the politicians and the football fans racism: “Ami Kaufman grappled with this comparison in +972 Magazine. He quotes a friend, ‘Is there really a difference between a politician who doesn’t want Arabs on his team, to fans who don’t want Muslims on theirs’”? (P.T. Karolyi, Arab Association for Human Rights, 30.1.2013)
The mass media in Israel is citing the recent election results and the ostensible victory of bourgeois “centrist” Yair Lapid as a proof that not all the Zionist politicians are racists. However Lapid has a similar racist perspective toward the Palestinians. He was quoted recently stating that he would never join a coalition with the “Zoabiz”. He invoked Haneen Zoabi’s name whom he called “the most hated woman in Israel” for participating in MV Mavi Marmara, that was attacked by the Israeli army for trying to break the siege on Gaza. He is a partner to a political block with the open racist party “The Jewish Home”. He was elected by many who participated in the protest movement against the decay of the living conditions of the Jewish citizens of Israel while ignoring the oppressed and discriminated Palestinians.
Racist Street attacks on Arabs
During Purim holiday this year, Hassan Ausruf, suffering severe injuries, was hospitalized at the Department of Ophthalmology at the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center. Ausruf required dozens of stitches, and surgery to save his eye, which suffered severe damage from the beating.
“Hassan was brutally attacked by a group of some 20 young Jewish racists on the city’s seafront promenade early Sunday morning for no other reason than being an Arab.” (Al Monitor)
Four youths were arrested Monday morning in Tiberias on suspicion that they were part of a group that last week attacked a Hassan Ausruf, municipal worker on a boardwalk in Tel Aviv.
Meanwhile Monday, police in Jerusalem said they had arrested two teenage girls in connection with last week’s apparent assault on an Arab woman at a station of the capital’s light rail, bringing the total number of arrests in the case to three. The girls were released on bail and ordered to stay away from Jerusalem for 45 days. During the deliberation, a police representative asserted that the attack was motivated by racist intent.
“The defendants asked the plaintiff if she was an Arab, and when she responded in the affirmative, they attacked her, spat on her and called her an Arab bitch,” (The Time of Israel, March 4, 2013). Their lawyer stated to the Israeli mass media that this one girl attacked the group that was forced to defend itself.
These attacks takes place on the background of the fascists in Israel led by Ben Ari that terrorize the Palestinian in Jaffa and other cities trying to force them to flee the city. The fascists are backed by the leadership of the settlers (Moezet Yesha) that is considered in Israel as the flowers of Zionism.
Michael Ben-Ari is a former member of the racist Knesset, who co-established the Otzma LeYisrael party. He is the first outspoken disciple of Rabbi Meir Kahane whose party was banned in Israel but it was allowed to run for the elections under a different name.
For self-defense and an antifascist united front!
For a Palestinian Workers State from the River to the Sea!
In Jaffa some brave Palestinians, who already understand that the Zionist state’s apparatus (army, police, courts, prisons) will not defend them from the fascist mob, are organizing self defense committee. The ISL supports the committee and is now trying to organize a wider united front to fight shoulder to shoulder with our Palestinians brothers and sisters in Jaffa, to stop the fascist attacks.
At the same time we explain that only by a socialist revolution based on the Palestinians workers, unemployed, poor and lower middle class with those Jews who are ready to fight the Zionist systematical oppression, we will end the fascist’s terror that acts in the service of the Israeli capitalist state and protected by the state apparatus. As long as Israel exists, the terrorizing of the Palestinian nation in Israel the West Bank, in Gaza and in the refugee camps will continue. Our revolutionary perspective against the reality of the Apartheid state from the river to the sea is a Palestinian Workers State from the River to the Sea as part of a Socialist Federation of the entire region. The Jewish workers who will join the revolutionary struggle will be part of the workers state and the Jewish masses that will stay and not act against the new workers state will be equal citizens.