The Race for Racism

It’s my third time in Costa Rica, but the first time i’ve got here single. The last two times i was in (somekind of) a relationship. I think that being in a relationship was what held my sanity up, I had people to talk to, things to do, and a reason to miss home.

Now i don’t have any of these. I’m here on business, working on something i cannot really disclose. And in the meantime Israel is moving along without me, at least for this week.

The Israeli Blogoshpere was shocked yesterday (and the day before) because of a post by Zroobavela, which stated she dislikes Arabs (of all kind). That small racist remark caused a shockwave in the Israeli Blogosphere, where Aviad Kidron, the moderator and administrator of Grapes, an Israeli blog aggregator, decided to withdraw Zrubavella’s posts from Grapes. Other people expressed their opinions in other matters. (A full list could be found here, in hebrew).

Zroobavela’s racist remarks show her ignorance, where she does not differ from Christian, Muslim or Just between Israeli citizens and Palestinians. She tries to persuade that all Arabs are terrorists and I think that this kind of racism is ignorance in its worst form.

However, Zroobavela’s actions are only a symptom of Israel’s society. We are in a situation where racist remarks are so common, they act as regular adjectives and adverbs in the our language. For example, the use of the phrase “Arab Work” to mean something done without care or planning, is so common that some of my Arab friends even use it.

On the other hand, Zroobavela is one of the most popular Israeli bloggers, participating in “Myblog”, an Israeli TV reality show about bloggers, and holding one of the most popular blogs in IsraBlog, Israel’s leading blog portal.

In the Race for peace and tolerance, it is hard to accept what she said. It is hard since it is a criminal act to say so, It is also hard since i believe that freedom of expression should be allowed as long as no one is hurt.

I want to believe that someone would go to the police and file a complaint for racial slander and to contact Israblog and request them to remove the post for Racial expressions, which infringe their terms of service. however, this will seem quite malicious, since it does interfere with one’s freedom of expression.

So what to do with her? The Blogosphere has already used its social sanctions against her, i believe; the question is whether the law should come to effect here or not.

Jonathan.

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11 thoughts on “The Race for Racism

  1. So did I was shocked by Israeli Dog Eat Dog version of racism (which is: Jew hates Jew), after reading this article in NRG, which is a big, well established news site, owned run by the second largest Israeli newspaper (MaAriv):
    http://www.nrg.co.il/online/11/ART1/504/374.html

    In this opinionated article, the writer, a well known public figure, said that she hates Heredim (religious jews), because, among many things, the are wearing stinky closes:

    What do they hide under there filthy closes and garbage cans in the streets?

    (my translation).

    But unlike this minor incident with a 20 years old young blogger writing this staff in her personal, private web blog, I don’t think Jonathan (the writer of this post) has suggested that some one will go to the police so it can press charges against NRG or the article writer.

    It seems that in today’s Israel, you can say anything you want, as long as it align with what the “Lefties” in power thinks and want (which is especially to like Arabs, because they have nothing else to do with political Left. There is not real Left in Israel)

    BTW, I dislike Arabs to. I think I have the right to dislike anyone I want, Arabs included. I don’t know of a law that prohibit it from me.

  2. I have some spelling mistakes in my message:

    Heredim –> Haredim

    stinky closes –> stinky clothes

    there filthy closes -> their filthy clothes

  3. Unlike Yael Mishaly (which is not that known and not that public, by the way), Alizarin (Zroobavela) is one of us (Bloggers). I think that what Mishaly wrote was terrible, but i never got to read her post until you linked to it, mostly because she’s none of my interest.

    And as i will not go to the police against Zroob, just say that someone might, he might as well go and press charges against Mishaly at the same time.

  4. Fine, but you ignored the main issue:

    One of us? What do you mean “one of us”? not all bloggers are friends. Are Nazi bloggers are one of us? What are you talking about?

    The main issue is this:
    Don’t you think that the Yael Mishaly/NRG racist story is much, much, much more severe than the Zru/Isra issue?

    After all, her opinion was published by (probably) better known person, in a national newspaper’s non-personal website, while the second is a girl who wrote her personal opinions in her personal blog.

    The speaker/medium is the message, so the NRG story should have raised wave after wave of criticism:
    Think for a moment, that Yael Mishali was the writer and not Zru, and the article was published in NRG. What do you think would have happened in the Blogoshpere then? One can only imagine.

    My point, which your response just helped me prove, is this:
    The Lefties in this country are the real racists, and they are worse then any other racist in the world:
    They hate their own people. Dog Eat Dog racism. Disgusting!

  5. Not all bloggers are friends, however Zroob is one of the mainstream bloggers in Israel and i think that i can identify with her more than i can with Mishaly. And i think that more people read her blog than they read Mishaly’s article in NRG.

    Moreover, i do think that if someone would state the same thing in NRG, and it would get the front page cover (which i don’t think Mishaly’s post did get), it would get the same echo both in the blogosphere and the mainstream media.

  6. Well, I absolutely do not agree with both of the things you said:

    I do not know how many people read NRG and how many read Zroob’s, but if I remember correctly (and I do), preview for Mishaly’s post was displayed in the front page. This is why I saw it in the first place. So probably more, much more people saw it, at least the preview, including many Lefties in the Blogoshpere and the media. I even think that the counter-response opinion article was displayed in the front page.

    So my answer is this:
    If what you are saying is honest, and I believe it is, than you are just deluding yourself:
    Nobody cares when Lefties are being anti-Semitic agains Haredim. But when a word is being said against Arabs, all of them are jumping up.
    If this Mishaly was publishing Zru’s article in NRG, I can assure you that this story would have staid in the main media headlines for a few days, including jumping Arab MOCs, Meretz Lefites, television coverage, weekend newspapers Musafim, etc’.

    If you want to see a minor reenforcement to my claim, you can look here:
    http://www.popup.co.il/?p=2080
    Youval, which probably sees himself as a “liberal” Leftie, chose not to relate to the article I pointed to, even though I consider it a main issue there. One the commenter (?),which I know is 19 yeas old, even explained that this is OK to hate Haredim, because they are from our people, so there is a little chance that someone will take a gun and kill them, while the poor Israeli Arabs need our protection (you can find his enlightening explanation in the post’s comments).

  7. Alon, you’re still incorrect with your translation.
    Your interpretation was “their filthy clothes” while the actual translation should be.
    “What do they hide behind the filthy cloths and garbage cans in the streets?”

    This sentence, if not setting lost in translation, implies something completely different. You falsely acuse her of claiming that Haredim wear stinky cloths, while if we look at the correct translation we see that her claim is that there are filthy cloths thrown in the street. That’s an entirely different story from hating someone “because they wear stinky cloths”.

  8. Guy, I don’t think that this what she meant. I do think that she meant the clothes they wear. Why should they put filthy clothes on the streets?

  9. why should they put filthy clothes on the street? That is the exact same question I’m asking myself. Her artice was published on Nov. 13th – at around the same date as the planned “pride parade” when the haredim near Bar Ilan street started throwing trash cans in the street, rolled them towards policemen and drivers, and burnt old cloths and litter in street cornets.
    I take the bus to work and pass through that area on a daily basis and I’ve seen the cloths and trash cans being burnt. I smelt the air, which was saturated with fumes of burnt rubber.
    Why should they put filthy cloths on the street? Why should they burn them instead of giving them to charity (Tzdaka)? I believe that perhaps you should address them, and not me, with this question.
    From what i’ve seen it seems that they prefer riots againt other peoples rights (the gay community in this case) and burn cloths to justify the cause, then giving it to the poor.
    do not mistake, the Haredim community probablly the most genrous segment when it comes to charity – it’s a “mitzva” after all. But is seems that at least for some of the population, there are things that come before that.

  10. Maybe you are right, I don’t know. Maybe that what she meant.

    I does not change my point of view, but it does mean that I won’t use this quote.

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