The call for international public opinion to raise its voice completes the struggle of the democratic forces here. This will make it clear to all that the right-wing establishment in Israel has crossed a line in the direction of apartheid.By Oudeh Basharat
It is difficult to compare the democratic State of Israel to a dark dictatorship. Nevertheless, they have one thing in common: People don't sleep well at night under either regime.
In dictatorships, they fear a revolution on the part of the majority, and in Israeli democracy they do not stop studying the graphs of the birth rate among Arabs, in case the demographic balance is upset.
And there is another commonality: Both groups of the population are oppressed. In a dark dictatorship, the minority oppresses the majority while in Israel, the regime which is supported by an ethnic majority that oppresses the minority.
For 63 years, Israel has not stopped abusing its perfectly pleasant minority, and all of this is completely legal. Every dunam that has been expropriated was approved in the Knesset, every house that was destroyed was sanctified by a court. Local governments in Arab areas are discriminated against in their budgets on the basis of ministerial procedure. All of this is able to take place because the representatives of the ethnic majority are in control in the Knesset, the government offices, the economic institutions and the legal system.
Thus, and also as a result of the demographic phobia, another chapter was written this month in the attempt to harass the minority. The Citizenship Law prohibits Palestinians from living with their Israeli spouses within Israel proper. So, in the guise of an innocent "regulation," women are separated from their husbands and children from their parents, and their lives are turned into an ongoing nightmare.
In the enlightened world, a regulation of this sort would have been thrown out immediately. In Israel it gets the blessing of the Supreme Court of the ethnic majority. The Supreme Court, which is supposed to be the court of last resort for the downtrodden, has left the Arabs without succor. And the Arabs who have learned from their long years of suffering, say: "If your judges deprive you, then to whom can you complain?"
To whom will the Arab citizens complain when the liberal flank - Yair Lapid, Tzipi Livni and Shelly Yachimovich - do not say a word in the face of this injustice, while the right-wing jumps for joy at the suffering of the Arabs?
Meanwhile, the children want to grow up. They cannot wait until the weather is fair. And with the intoxicating smell of the Arab Spring, another arena for struggle is growing - the international arena, with all its institutions. But a hypocritical cry will issue forth from the majority, as if the Arabs are undermining the country's right to existence. No, the Arabs are merely complaining about the right of the majority to abuse them.
No regime has the right to oppress part of its residents, whether it is a corrupt dictatorship or a blooming democracy. But like an abusive husband who forbids his wife to go to the police because one does not air dirty laundry in public, so Israel would like its Arab citizens to behave. Let the laundry smell inside.
And there are people who hope that the minority will move to another apartment because of the smell. The ones who are invited to move to another apartment are those who are disturbed by the crying of a newborn baby, whether it is Arab or Jewish. An Arab baby that is born is not the product of a conspiracy. An Arab baby, like a Jewish baby, is a blessing.
It is important to note that the expression "ethnic majority" is a rough generalization, since many Jews are courageous partners to the struggle against racism. The call for international public opinion to raise its voice completes the struggle of the democratic forces here. This will make it clear to all that the right-wing establishment in Israel has crossed a line in the direction of apartheid.
When Menachem Begin was prime minister, there were intellectuals who pinned their hopes, in vain, on the American administration restraining him. Like then, we cannot wait for salvation to come from the White House. Only the enlightened public opinion of the world can help. And that is for the benefit of the entire family, including those members who on the face of it are not deprived.
Karl Marx said that a people which oppresses another people cannot be free. This is also for the benefit of the ethnic majority which is entitled once and for all to sleep well, without nightmares about demography, and which is entitled to be a people that is free from abusing Arabs.