Sigh

Sigh
: Don’t you just hate it when your allies do something stupid, offensive, and generally indefensible?

Israel’s parliament passed a measure Thursday that would force Palestinians who marry Israelis to live separate lives or move out of Israel. The government said the law was necessary to prevent terror attacks, but critics called it racist.

  • Mohammad Shahi

    I’m not and never have been anti-Israel. but this one is more than just “stupid.” This is inhumane. Racism is the only word than can define such an action. It’s such an irony that the parliament of a nation who has suffered the most from racism in its history is now passing this sort of laws.

  • Eric

    Though I’m quite supportive of Israel in certain respects, stuff like this is a big reason why many Europeans, among others, are anti-Israeli. While the European media is often biased against Israel, they do manage to cover a lot of important stuff about the Israeli government’s actions towards the average Palestinian that doesn’t get enough airtime over here. Once in a while something particularly egregious slips into the American newswires. Again, this isn’t to ignore the outrageous and quite often horrific behavior of the PA and the Islamist groups, but it does show that there are two sides to the story.

  • balbulican

    Two words.
    Nuremberg Laws.

  • http://www.rogerlsimon.com Roger L. Simon

    It makes me nuts. Besides all its other reprehensible qualities, it’s is monumentally stupid public relations. The Israelis are absolutely nitwits at that.

  • Yehudit

    “Racism is the only word than can define such an action.”
    No it’s not racism. This is aimed at Arabs who live in the territories who marry Israeli Arabs so they can move to Israel. Given how much terrorism is going on and how persistent and clandestine it is, I can understand why they are doing it. It will create more problems that it will solve, but like the wall, it is a desparate attempt to solve a problem, not just some “racist” behavior out of nowhere.
    “stuff like this is a big reason why many Europeans, among others, are anti-Israeli. While the European media is often biased against Israel, they do manage to cover a lot of important stuff about the Israeli government’s actions towards the average Palestinian that doesn’t get enough airtime over here.”
    Such as? No Europeans are anti-Israel for many reasons that have nothing to do with what Israel actually does. Because they are not anti all the nations which do far worse far more frequently. Israel is held to a standard they don’t even hold themselves to.

  • Eric

    Such as?
    Things like the economic and social effects of the security checkpoints that are all over the place. The way in which many Palestinian towns have effectively been fenced off. The effects of the bypass roads used for the settlements. The routine destruction of Palestinian private property, with no compensation for the owners. often The inability of ordinary Palestinians to find meaningful work due to the restrictions placed on their mobility. Things like that.
    I’m not naive about any of this. I fully realize that much of what Israel’s doing here is to prevent suicide bombers from murdering Israeli civillians, and that a lot of these actions are helpful towards that end. But it doesn’t change the fact that many innocent Palestinians wind up suffering as a result of these activities, and that a perpetual maintenance of the status quo would be a crime towards the average Palestinian just as it would to the average Israeli.
    No Europeans are anti-Israel for many reasons that have nothing to do with what Israel actually does. Because they are not anti all the nations which do far worse far more frequently.
    There is an ugly double standard used by many Europeans regarding this conflict, but the reason for it is that they view Israel as “one of their own”. That is, a Western country, one with European cultural origins. You and I know that’s only partly true, but that’s how they see it.
    What’s at work here is the old colonialist mentality inverted by guilt. Back then, the Europeans felt justified in doing almost anything to non-European peoples on account of their feelings of cultural superiority. Now the guilt feel about their past actions leaves them unwilling to make value judgements about the behavior of cultures they deem to be non-Western, while being extremely critical of actions carried out by Western nations against non-Western ones. Needless to say, the attitudes are equally contemptible, but it isn’t anything tied to Israel in particular.

  • http://www.eyeranian.net Pedram (the eyeranian)

    Do I just hate it? Absolutely.
    Although this is an “ally” that has committed more “stupid, offensive, and generally indefensible” acts than you could possibly count and as such I have learned to lower my expectations. Very very low, indeed.

  • Too Angry

    And yet, on the flip side, merely selling property to a Jew in the territories carries the death penalty among Palestinians. When our enemies do things that are stupid offensive and generally indefensible, we…
    (hint: do and say nothing)
    Are Palestinians in the territories allowed to marry Jews according to the PA? If not, why is this better/worse? (Note: I can’t find anything on this topic in google. I won’t repeat what I did find here because it’s inflammatory, but do a google search for palestinian israeli wedding and see what turns up)

  • Mike

    When you are fighting an ugly disgusting war and every single one of your neighbors actively or passively would rejoice at smiting the ground with your blood and is teaching their kids this things get ugly.
    Here’s the other side:
    Palestinian Arabs have been utilizing this act to marry Israeli Arabs frequently. Many times, I believe Ereket did it, they are married and have a family and then marry for a 3rd or 4th time to an Israeli Arab so they can gain citizenship and freedom of movement. Many Jordanians have been doing this as well. Don’t forget that from 48-67 there was no interplay between the 2 sides and Jews were not allowed in Jordan or the West Bank or East Jerusalem for that matter. Thus, the Israeli Arabs were isolated within Israel.
    If Israel allows the current abuse of the law as well as the approximately 500,000 illegally present Jordanian and Palestinian Arabs in the country then not in 40 years but in 15 years they will be in big demographic trouble. If Israel abolishes the law or does not renew it next year (it requires annual renewal) then the PLO will again take full purposeful advantage of it. This abuse means Israel will then have to repass it and innocent people who are not terrorists and might have many Israeli friends will lose as a result, that is a fact.
    Also please note here is a quote:
    http://www.haaretzdaily.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=323971&sw=marriage+law
    According to the new version, the interior
    minister may grant citizenship or a six-month
    residency permit in special cases. The previous
    version allowed the minister to grant
    citizenship or a three-month residency permit
    only to Palestinians who “identify with Israel
    and its goals” and have acted to defend Israeli
    security.

    Further, I believe that Britain has passed some stricter marriage laws regarding immigrants as well due to the massive influx of that is worrisome to them and other European countries.
    Roger, the bottom line is it is great that Israel’s supporters can also be critical of them here. This bill deserves criticism as well as understanding of why it was passed as well.
    There is an ugly ever going war that will never end to destroy Israel. So while I don’t like the law I understand why it was passed. The fact that a Jew even today by law can not become a citizen in Jordan, that 300,000 Palestinians were booted out of Kuwait, that 20,000 Gazans who lived in Jordan for 20 years were recently booted out, that Palestinians are now being booted out of Iraq, and that the Arabs are summarily prejudice against Christians in their countries does not excuse this act, however, it puts the overall disgusting mess for survival Israel lives in the middle of into perspective.
    Another words, it is reeeeeeeeeal easy for us in America to pass judgement that doesn’t mean we can’t or are wrong.
    Respectfully,
    Mike

  • Mike

    “stuff like this is a big reason why many Europeans, among others, are anti-Israeli. While the European media is often biased against Israel, they do manage to cover a lot of important stuff about the Israeli government’s actions towards the average Palestinian that doesn’t get enough airtime over here.”
    Such as? No Europeans are anti-Israel for many reasons that have nothing to do with what Israel actually does. Because they are not anti all the nations which do far worse far more frequently. Israel is held to a standard they don’t even hold themselves to.
    Posted by Yehudit at July 31, 2003 10:53 PM
    This is completely true of course. Muslim immigrants in France live at a worse poverty level and have higher infant mortality rates than Palestinians living in the West Bank.
    The entire hospital, electrical, sewer and most Universities were built under Israeli ‘occupation’ While living as Jordanians they had NONE of this.
    However, to be PC, that doesn’t exonerate Israel, but it certainly puts the hypocrites that Europe is, into better perspective.
    Also, how many Sudanes Christians were killed or are living in slavery today? that received no or 1/10 the coverage that Israel received in the EU press? Any guesses? By the way is Iran even covered anywhere? Its barely covered in the US, and wey’re actively rooting/supporting under the table the Revolution.
    Mike

  • Mike

    Eric you make some great comments on what’s at work in part of the European mindset and it makes sense. However, there’s also some malevolence involved often as well. I wouldn’t have believed it 2 years ago, but I’ve spoken to people that have been there and the sentiment is there sadly.
    I don’t think anyone can debate that Israel is judged more harshly and closely than any country on the planet. I don’t always care why that is, but it definitely is.
    Mike

  • Mitch H.

    No, it isn’t racist. The differences between Israeli “Arabs” and Jews of Arabic origin can’t really be defined as racial, and the distinctions made between Israeli “Arabs” and Palistinians are entirely political in nature.
    It’s a form of religious discrimination, and it’s definitely bigotry. It sucks on many levels, and it fucks the Israeli case sideways, but it isn’t racist.
    One can only hope that their supreme court will show some sense. PR damage is done, though.

  • http://gotham.madhoo.com Diana

    The real scandal underlying all this is that there is no civil marriage in Israel, and that the (Orthodox) rabbinate controls the whole racket, and a racket it is.
    And Yehudit, it won’t solve any problems at all.

  • http://gotham.madhoo.com Diana

    I just noticed this:
    No it’s not racism. This is aimed at Arabs who live in the territories who marry Israeli Arabs so they can move to Israel.
    Um, in the real world, this is called racism.
    If the law were directed against any foreign spouse, it would be objectionable and xenophobic, but it wouldn’t be racist.
    That it is directed against one group is racist.
    The legislation had nothing to do with terrorism. It won’t prevent one terrorist act. It had to do with demography, ie., the reason was race.
    If you wanna defend that (because Israel does have legit demographic concerns) then go ahead, but be honest about the issues.

  • Mike

    He meant its not racist because its aimed at religion not race, and he explained the difference.
    If you are using racist to denote general prejudice than ok, but its religious because “Arab Jews” are fine under the law.
    My question is this. Let’s say the PLO utilized this law to add another 400,000 Palestinians to the citizenry in the next 5 years what should Israel do? Should they allow this to happen?
    While Jews are not allowed on the West Bank nor Jordan by law, but Palestinians are allowed into Israel, work there, stay there, etc.. and the PLO utilizes this “peaceful” strategy to destroy Israel. What should it do?
    Any takers.
    Sure there are nice people with friends who now get screwed. But long term what happens to the Jews in Israel when the Arabs vote a majority in the Knesset or even a 40% minority?
    Can anyone imagine that horror show beginning?
    These are the facts. So tell me the law sucks, fine, but tell me what your call is in the situation besides criticizing it from afar? Make a practical suggestion to the problem.
    ANYONE

  • http://gotham.madhoo.com Diana

    Mike/Yehudit, I’ve been thinking and you have a point (narrowly); the law is not technically racist as it is aimed strictly at Palestinians and Pals are not a race, but a nationality, or proto-nationality. That said the issue is demography, not terrorism, as Mike pretty much admits.

  • Mike

    Its both Diane but mainly demographic. Plus, in Islam you can have 5 wives, so you see people marrying Israelis as a 6th wife just to gain citizenship, like Ereket.
    To create an efficient bureaucracy to manage 100,000 applications a year or even 30,000 applications a year with everything else Israel has going on is virtually impossible.
    So its prejudice and its also survival. It is fair to more harshly judge Israel for this than say Jordan, however, when al-Jubeir or the PLO rep points this out just keep in mind whose pointing it out and what they represent next time Larry King has them on to chat.

  • Mike

    Here is a great comment from lgf –
    http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=7731#c0038
    I know I’m preaching to the choir here but this to me is one of many thousands of examples of how disingenuous anti-Israeli activists are when they claim that they are not anti-Semitic. What I mean by such a claim is this: People like myself have never claimed that criticism of Israel, even vehement criticism, is automatically anti-Semitic. We have claimed, however, that it is anti-Semitic when Israel is held to a much higher standard than other countries. That is, when reasonable or mildly unreasonable Israeli policies are held out for censure while much more flagrant abuses by other countries are ignored. That being said, let’s look at two examples from the past week:
    1. The Israeli parliament on Thursday passed a law that prevents those Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza who marry Israelis from obtaining residency permits to live in Israel. This was not a racist policy (after all, Arabs within Israel are free to marry other Israelis). Nor was it unreasonable, as the residency permits have been used to execute a number of terrorist attacks within Israel proper, and, with the right of return being relentlessly sought by the Arabs, it prevented Palestinians from achieving their aim of swamping the Jewish state through back channels.
    Many other countries, the U.S. and many in Europe do not automatically grant permits when someone from another country marries an American.
    http://www.townhall.com/columnists/joelmowbray/printjm20030804.shtml
    Moreover, the law is only temporary, lasting for a year, so that if peace is reached with the Palestinians, the law can be reapproached. Nonetheless, the reaction of international human rights groups and other elements has been deafening, with cries of ‘racist’ swamping out any reasonable discussion.
    2. In Jordan, as Charles recounts here, laws that would have given women the right to divorce, and laws that would punish honor killings were rejected. Unlike in Israel, there was no practical reason given for the rejection- just an appeal to religious authority. In doing so, Jordan has violated the ideals of so called “progressives” in two ways: 1. By making religious law higher than secular law and 2. By not protecting the rights of women. Yet no major newspapers will report this and not one in a thousand westerners will hear of it. Objection to it will be muted if it is offered at all.
    What do I take from this? Maybe the charge of anti-Semitism is hurled too easily by some people who post here (although I don’t particularly see it)? But I’d like to see someone who protests Israel seriously confront the way they and members of their movement treat Israeli violations out of proportion with how they treat everyone elses.
    BINGO!
    Is Roger or Jeff going to give an intelligent feedback here or what? I’d be interested in getting some intelligent give and take here.
    Mike

  • http://headheeb.blogspot.com Jonathan Edelstein

    OK, Mike, here’s my practical suggestion – freeze the family unification program for a few months, analyze what the Interior Ministry missed when it let in the few people who participated in terror attacks, and improve the security checks.
    The demographic consequences of family reunification are, in my opinion, completely overblown. The new law is actually a continuation of a prior Interior Ministry freeze that began in May 2002 and was challenged in court. In its court papers, the Israeli government stated that 16,007 Palestinians had obtained Israeli citizenship or residency through family unification, and the number may be even lower than that because people who got both residency and citizenship may have been counted twice. The 100,000 figure that’s been thrown around recently doesn’t match the statistics that were provided in court. 16,000 Palestinians marrying Israeli Arabs isn’t a “demographic threat” – it’s a drop in the ocean.
    The bottom line is that the Knesset succumbed to September 11 syndrome and responded to a security threat in a highly disproportionate way. It’s time for them to take a deep breath, calm down and consider something more reasonable.

  • Joseph

    I don’t know if you are correct or if what I read elsewhere is correct?
    From what I read the estimates of Arabs from the West Bank or Jordan living illegally in Israel is several hundred thousand. How many of them later have kids and marry Israeli Arabs I don’t know? However, even if they don’t obtain citizenship if they live there for 20 years and have kids what’s the difference? If in 25 years there are 500-600,000 Arabs who are not citizens living in Israel that is still not a demographic problem? The PLO is not going to purposely utilize this now or in the future?
    Again, I don’t know which statistics are correct and if they are totallly encompassing the actual problem or not? However, something tells me that your figures have got to be way on the low side?
    If you’re living in the West Bank and you could obtain a residency card or citizenship in Israel you are apt to do it, for the chance to make a living at the least. Thus, I would find your figures hard to believe?
    Joseph

  • http://headheeb.blogspot.com Jonathan Edelstein

    From what I read the estimates of Arabs from the West Bank or Jordan living illegally in Israel is several hundred thousand.
    OK, but what does any of this have to do with the new marriage law? You just said it yourself – the people who go to the trouble of filling out the forms and undergoing security checks after marrying Israeli Arabs aren’t the problem. The illegals are the problem, and they’ll be there no matter whether they can become Israeli citizens or not. So the solution isn’t breaking up marriages – it’s finding the illegals and deporting them.
    I would find your figures hard to believe?
    My figures are the ones produced by the Israeli government in court, during a proceeding where they had every incentive to inflate the numbers and no incentive to minimize them. As such, I tend to think those figures are credible.

  • Jim

    Interesting…. This is exactly the same problem we are having with illegal Mexican imigrants…