No place for non-Jews in Fortress Israel

Marriage ban closes the gates to Palestinians

In approving an effective ban on marriages between Israelis and Palestinians this week, Israel’s Supreme Court has shut tighter the gates of the Jewish fortress the state of Israel is rapidly becoming. The judges’ decision, in the words of the country’s normally restrained Haaretz daily, was “shameful”.

Other non-Jewish spouses (read mainly Europeans and Americans) will face age and income requirements and be expected to affirm a loyalty oath — not to Israel, but to Israel as a Jewish and democratic state. In keeping with current policy, non-Jews are unlikely to receive citizenship but may be eligible for residency rights.

Israel is a religious state. Non-Jews can’t be full citizens. Israel’s treatment of Palestinians echoes the apartheid of South Africa. Israel as a state would not exist with the financial backing of the U.S. Israel gets more foreign aid from the U.S. – something like 5-6 billion a year – than any other country does.

The U.S. and Israel screamed at Palestinians to be a “democracy” and have a election. They did so, electing Hamas. Now members of Congress are tripping over themselves to block aid to them, saying they must renounce violence towards Israel first. Yet they never ever mention the violence done by Israel against Palestinians. Assault helicopters and missiles vs. suicide bombers . Hardly an even match, now is it? Yet public opinion is now shifting towards Palestine.

The U.S. and Israel are also blocking Palestinians from receiving their own tax money by refusing to disburse it.

The fact that Israel collects Palestinian taxes and has the power to decide whether or not to turn them over to the PNA makes the colonial nature of the relationship between the two entities crystal clear.

Instead they want to, quite literally, starve Palestinians instead.

“It’s like an appointment with a dietician. The Palestinians will get a lot thinner but won’t die,” the Israeli prime minister’s top advisor told several leading Israeli officials following the Palestinian elections in January. Among those who reportedly “rolled with laughter” at this grotesque “joke” were Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, the army chief of staff and the head of the secret police. (Ha’aretz, Feb. 14, 2006)

The use of food as a weapon demolishes any pretense of Israeli or U.S. “democracy,” and illuminates the real and vicious character of imperialism.

Yet Palestinians persist. You see the Palestinian flag at demonstrations worldwide now. It’s like Che, a symbol of resistance. The tide is turning too, as word of what really happened seeps through the walls of lies and propaganda. The Palestinians were driven off their land at gunpoint, with some being put on forced death marches. Many have now lived in refugee camps for decades.

Palestinians have, under international law, the Right of Return. Seems only fair, doesn’t it, to be able to return to the land you were forced from?

  • Joe Hartley

    I confess to being baffled by these comments.

    Polizeros has roundly criticized the Bush administration for being concerned about the internal structure of other countries.

    The question of Israeli citizenship similarly strikes me as a purely internal matter. It may be bad policy from some abstract standpoint, but not in and of itself something we ought to be concerned about changing….unless we want to adopt the methodology of the Bushies.

    So, Bob, are you now a Bushie?

    The issue of Israel withholding Palestinian monies is a completely different issue, and one of proper international concern. Also, the Israelis are behaving foolishly. Release the monies and Hammas may well self-destruct. (Revolutionary movements rarely are good at governming.) But this way, they simply make martyrs, a quality already in over-abundant supply in that part of the world.

  • Bob

    Then I guess you’d have said apartheid was an internal issue and therefore no one outside of South Africa should have protested it. Happily others didn’t do that and instead actually did stuff and thus helped end that noxious system. Of course, sitting home pontificating while doing nothing is easier – but way less satisfying too.

    Nelson Mandela was excellent at governing, so are Castro and Chavez, so that point isn’t valid either.

  • Joe Hartley

    That’s fine if you want to take that stand, but then you have to acknowledge that the only difference between you and the Bushies is method; both of you are in favor of intervening in foreign countries’ internal affairs. And, of course, that other foreign countries are therefore equally justified in intervening in American’s domestic and foreign affairs. Like, oh, say, the Israelis?

    Standing up for truth and righteousness and mom makes everybody feel better, but it simply isn’t workable in international affairs without extremely deliterious side effects. If you stay the hell out, you avoid most of the problems caused in the past 60 years by Republican interventionism throughout the world. While a few South Africas slip through, you avoid Irans, Iraqs, and Vietnams.

    Castro and Chavez excellent at governing? You HAVE to be kidding. Castro has established universal health care and education, but at a tremendous cost of personal freedom. Chavez is a typical South American populist who wouldn’t even be noticed if oil prices weren’t on the rise; he hasn’t done much to address the income inequities in his country, but then populists rarely do. To compare Mandela to Castro is really demeaning to Mandela who managed to move South Africa through difficult times without repression. I’m no fan of the anti-fidelistas in Miami at all, but you can hardly deny that Castro is a tyrant in every sense of the word. I sure wouldn’t like living under him, and, I suspect, neither would you. For sure this blog wouldn’t be there!

  • Bob

    Of course, now I understand. Thanks for enlightening me. “Standing up” for any cause is dumb and stupid. Those who try are fools or worse. And heck, let’s let a few South Africas “slip though,” I mean, who cares if several million people suffer? Solidarity is an empty meaningless concept, thanks for pointing that out.

    The best approach of course, is the one followed by you. Stay home, do nothing, attack anyone who does, and pontificate about how complicated and hopeless everything is. Right.

    “The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis.”
    — Dante Alighieri

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