Opinion 

Why Are We Israelis So Cruel to So Many? 

With the African refugees, just as with the Palestinians, we are doing the opposite of ‘what is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor.’

An asylum seeker with hands in chains at the protest in Herzliya, January 22, 2018.
An asylum seeker with hands in chains at the protest in Herzliya, January 22, 2018.Meged Gozani

The disabled will receive a ridiculously small and humiliating increase in their allowances, after long months of a heroic struggle to raise public awareness of their plight. The bureaucrats are advancing their plans for deporting African refugees to a fate of life or death by tribulations.

To know and be horrified: From where has this Jewish cruelty sprung? It contradicts so much of what we thought about ourselves for generations. What is hateful to you do not do to your neighbor (Hillel the Elder); and love thy neighbor as thyself (Leviticus). Whoever saves one life it is as if they saved an entire world (The popular version of the original from the Talmudic tractate Sanhedrin, in its universalistic phrasing: Anyone who sustains one life is praised as if they sustained an entire world).

In the self-image that we have woven for ourselves, these were our inalienable assets, and our teachers told us with pride that this was the entire Torah while standing on one foot – and this is who we are. Moral, good, caring, humane. In short: Jews.

We have sympathy for the disabled and their struggle. At long last, the people we see on television waging a battle are Jews. But if the officials from the treasury and our government feel comfortable continuing to abuse and humiliate them, it is because they know that in the end this human mass that is called the public is apathetic. Or it has adopted the Republican slogans of reducing the role of the state (as opposed to expanding its role beyond the Green Line), or it hopes that it will be spared this fate.

Opinion polls show that most Israeli Jews support deporting African refugees. This means that they happily buy the official justifications, that they are only seeking work and all the reports on the horrors they can expect when they land in Rwanda are lies spread by opponents of the deportation, who have an “agenda” (compared to the bureaucrats who represent scientific objectivism).



© Norman G. Finkelstein 2018 - Designed by abdolsa.com