Sunday, December 05, 2010


"The Arab lads of Lod don’t want their houses demolished." (AFP)
Israel and Its Arabs: Pulled Apart
The Economist, October 14, 2010 [only just seen]
"[...] Cabinet members have proposed 'strengthening' [Lod's] population by bringing in more Jews and have approved a wider bill requiring new citizens to swear a loyalty oath accepting Israel as Jewish and democratic -- in that order. Other measures are aimed at Israel's Arabs, including a ban on teaching the Palestinian narrative that Israel expelled most of its Arabs in the war of independence. ... Adding to the psychological barriers, the Lod authorities have erected physical ones. This year they have finished building a wall three metres high to separate Lod's Jewish districts from its Arab ones. And where the Arab suburbs are cordoned off to prevent their spread, Israel's prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, encourages building for Jews to proceed with abandon. His foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, on the coalition's far right, champions building quarters for soldiers' families in the town. The equally chauvinistic interior minister, Eli Yishai, who heads an ultra-Orthodox party, Shas, grants building permits for religious Jews. A series of gated estates are sprouting across the city reserved for religious Zionists. ... By contrast, old Arab houses are under threat of demolition. Now and again, bulldozers demolish a couple, stressing Arab vulnerability. ... Many municipal services, such as street lighting and rubbish collection, stop at the boundaries of Arab suburbs. Sixteen kilometres (ten miles) from Tel Aviv, Israel's richest city, sewage flows through some of Lod's Arab streets. Once mixed districts are separating. ... The local community centre has been shut for the best part of a decade, says its last employee: the Jewish Agency, a welfare organisation, does not want it 'overrun with Arabs.' ... Lod's 120-strong police is Muslim-free."
[n.b. Choose your parallel. Blacks in apartheid-era South Africa? Jews in Nazi Germany?]

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