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Amira Hass Sees Vile, Racist, and Brutal Israelis

Posted By Michael Lumish On June 25, 2010 @ 8:00 am In NewsReal Blog | No Comments

One of the most common (and facile) accusations against Israel is that it is a racist country.  Another equally facile accusation is that Israel is a brutal country.  In a recent Ha’aretz article, columnist Amira Hass gives us two for the price of one.  Israel is racist and brutal, both!

Here’s how the propaganda works.  You find an obscure news story in which one, or more, Israelis behave badly and then use that story to suggest that it says something terribly negative about Israeli society as a whole.  The hostile glare of the world spotlight on Israel is so intense that I sometimes expect to find a headline somewhere in the international press that reads, “Israeli Woman Spanks Unruly Child in Parking Lot, World Condemns the Jewish State.”

The story in this case, unfortunately, is not nearly so benign as a spanking in public.  On Friday, June 11, a Palestinian Israeli ran down a couple of cops in the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Wadi Joz.  The police gave chase to the suspect, Ziad Jilani, and allegedly shot him dead in an alley.  Hass, therefore, contends that this was a case of Israeli cops acting as judges, juries, and executioners due to a supposedly common Israeli racial hatred of Palestinians.  Furthermore, Hass goes on to inform us, it is precisely because of such racial hatred that many Palestinian Jerusalemites live in poverty.

Israeli police, whatever they are called, are sent to the streets of East Jerusalem as enforcers of government and municipal policy. It is that same policy of intentional discrimination that has brought 65 percent of the 303,429 Palestinians living in East Jerusalem below the poverty line (double the number of poor Jews in the city ) and 74 percent of Palestinian children below that line.

Nowhere in the article, however, does Hass actually make a case that the poverty of Palestinian Jerusalemites is due to Israeli “intentional discrimination.”  She merely tosses it out there as a given without making anything that might resemble an argument.  There is no evidence offered.  We are simply enticed to make a fallacious leap from allegedly racist police violence to the conclusion that Palestinians are poor due to that racism.

{How’s that for a leap of faith?}

But, you know what?  She may very well be correct.  It might be that these officers chased down and killed the suspect illegally.  It might also be that they did so out of racial hatred.  And it might further be that Palestinian poverty in Jerusalem is due to that racial hatred.  Hass may be one hundred percent correct.  Of course, Hass may only be fifty percent correct.  Or, perhaps, only twelve and three-quarters percent correct.  There is no possible way to know from what Hass has written.

But who needs little things like arguments and facts when the purpose is to catapult the anti-Israel propaganda?  Not Amira Hass, that much is certain.

{Cross-Posted at Lord of the Karmafishes.}


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