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There is so little understanding of what happens in Israel \ Palestine by foreign media. As an Israeli, I just wanted to share a two examples that will never be reported by mainstream media. These facts are either known to all Israelis or are personal stories of some of my Arab Israeli friends.

“Jewish settlers”

This term is constructed to make the Apartheid claim . The truth? Israelis irrespective of creed live in the west bank: Christians (think Russian immigration, Arab Christians). Muslims (Arab Israelis living in east Jerusalem), Druze (mainly in east Jerusalem) and of course Jews. Based on the skewed rhetoric of the international media any Jew living beyond the 1949 armistice line is a settler… So if you are a Jewish French student living in the Hebrew university dorms, you are a settler. But your Arab Israeli flat mate isn’t. You’re illegitimate, and he isn’t. Apartheid anyone? Here is a reference for yee with no faith

Real story: I have a Palestinian friend who accepted Israeli citizenship. His wife is Israeli… being a life time resident of eastern Jerusalem, he decided to move back from west Jerusalem (aka “the Jewish part”) and is now… you guessed it. He’s a settler. He bought an apartment in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. This makes him, according to the current interpretation of resolution 242, an instrument of “the occupation”. Dumb, I know.

“The Israeli Right is Fascist”

Two weeks ago Supreme court judge Salim Jubran caught an irregular amount of attention. He was last in the headlights when he sentenced former Israeli president Moshe Katsav to prison for rape. This time however this Chrstian Arab Israeli had another issue to contend with. He was “caught” by the media as not singing the national anthem. The Israeli national anthem (Ha’Tikva, התקווה – meaning “the hope”) is a tricky one for non Jews, the words are:

As long as in the heart, within,

A Jewish soul still yearns,

And onward, towards the ends of the east,

An eye still gazes toward Zion;

 

Our hope is not yet lost,

The hope of two thousand years,

To be a free people in our land,

The land of Zion and Jerusalem.

I have often asked myself how I would feel, as a non Jew, if I had to sing that anthem. Simple answer: I couldn’t (the whole Jewish soul reference). And you know what Israeli prime minister Benyamin Netanyahu agrees with me… he conveyed this message to Supreme Court Judge Jubran.

As a matter of fact Arab Israeli fighter pilots, members of parliament, judges, policemen, officers, firefighters, social workers and doctors of Israel don’t need to sing the national anthem. They are expected to stand up in respect however. That is the civil thing to do, and that is exactly what Judge Jubran did.

Netanyahu’s Likkud party has always been a nationalist one, but also a liberal democratic party – hence his obvious and effortless response to this non issue. As usual the usual hysterics erupted from the extreme right and left. They both labeled Jubran as a traitor, from the far right it was seen as an act of subversion. From the left they accused the esteemed judge as being a “tokenistic” figure… as if a minority memeber can’t get ahead on merit (I think that’s called Apartheid).