Jonathan Hoffman Defends the 42% of Israelis Who Don't Want Arab Children in the same Nursery as Jewish Children
|The Ha'aretz Article that had Hoffman & co. screaming|
|The Article that Drove the Racists Made|
|Gideon Levy - one of the few brave anti-racist Israeli journalists|
We saw that in the number of comments on the article, in particular by someone who called himself 'A Jewish Guy' who tried to defend the bigotry of Israeli Jews by pretending that it was all the fault of Hamas! And no doubt anti-Semitism among (far fewer) Germans in the 1930's was all because of the Jewish 'stab in the back' in 1918!
My own article was headed ‘Survey: Most Israeli Jews would support apartheid regime in Israel’ and subtitled ‘Survey, conducted by Dialog on the eve of Rosh Hashanah, exposes anti-Arab, ultra-nationalist views espoused by a majority of Israeli Jews’
I referred to an article in the Israeli paper Ha'aretz. I didn’t even feel the need to comment, so obviously racist were the views that the opinion poll told. Nor were they any different from those in similar opinion polls taken over the years.
On 27.3.07. another Israeli daily newspaper, Yediot Aharanot carried an article by Roee Nahmias ‘Marriage to an Arab is national treason’ It showed how 75 percent of Israeli Jews didn’t approve of shared apartment buildings, over half of the Jewish population in Israel believes the marriage of a Jewish woman to an Arab man is equal to national treason, over 75 percent did not approve of apartment buildings being shared between Arabs and Jews and 60% said they would not allow an Arab to visit their home.
40 percent of participants agreed that “Arabs should have their right to vote for Knesset revoked” and over half of the participants agreed that Israel should encourage its Arab citizens to emigrate from the country. Over half of the participants said they would not want to work under the direct management of an Arab, and 55 percent said “Arabs and Jews should be separated at entertainment sites”.
Thirty-one percent said they felt hatred, while 50 percent said they felt fear of Arabs. Over 56 percent of participants said they believed that Israel’s Arab citizens posed both a security and a demographic threat to the country. When asked what they thought of Arab culture, over 37 percent replied, “The Arab culture is inferior.” This survey was carried out on behalf of the Geocartography Institute.
As Gideon Levy wrote, ‘Most of the Jewish public in Israel supports the establishment of an apartheid regime in Israel if it formally annexes the West Bank. Just change 'Arabs' to 'Jews' and go back 70 years’. 59% of Israeli Jews want preference for Jews over Arabs in admission to government jobs, 49 percent, want the state to treat Jewish citizens better than Arab ones; 42 percent didn’t want to live in the same building with Arabs and 42 percent don't want their children in the same class with Arab children.
A third of Israeli Jews wanted a law barring Israeli Arabs from voting for the Knesset and no less than 69 percent objected to giving Palestinians the right to vote if Israel annexes the West Bank. And if that wasn’t enough then 74 percent were in favour of separate roads for Jews and Palestinians in the West Bank. And nearly half, 47 %, wanted part of Israel's Arab population transferred into the Palestinian Authority and 36 percent supported transferring some of Arab towns from Israel to the PA, in exchange for keeping some of the West Bank settlements.
And despite screaming against any notion that Israel is an Apartheid state, 58% already believes Israel practices apartheid against Arabs. Only 31 percent think such a system is not in force. Over a third (38 percent ) of the Jewish public wants Israel to annex the territories with settlements on them, while 48 percent object.
You might therefore think that all but the nuttiest, hard-line Zionists would condemn these findings as reminiscent of the Nazi era. What would one say if 42% of British people (in fact 75% in the Yediot poll) said they didn’t want to live in the same building as a Jew or didn’t want their child in a nursery that has Jewish children or if a majority wanted non-Jews to be treated better than Jews or if nearly 60% wanted non-Jews to be given preferential treatment in terms of government jobs?
Anti-Semitism would be the least of it, but Zionism's hacks and scoundrels, the propagandists who would put Goebbels himself to shame, weren’t to be put down. According to a man who would put Goebbels to shame, one Jonathan Hoffman, this was ‘a “ ‘push poll’ - in other words one where the questions are framed to get the answers that those who commission the poll seek.” You see it was all the fault of those who asked the uncomfortable questions in the first place! But even Hoffman knew that this was hardly the most convincing argument and so, he tried another couple of attempts to justify the unjustifiable.
Apparently it wasn’t true that 59% didn’t want Arabs to have the same chances in the jobs marked. Good gracious no. ‘The fact that 59% want preference for Jews when it comes to jobs says it all." Like Gideon Levy he's twisting the poll. (No surprise). It said that 59% approve of hiring only Jews for GOVERNMENT jobs. Given the security issues surrounding a small minority of Israeli Arabs, that is really hardly surprising.’
Nice phrase that 'security issues surrounding a small minority of Israeli Arabs'. In other words Israeli Arabs are a fifth column! No matter how hard Hoffman tries he resorts to the same arguments the Nazis used against Jews. So you see, it was only government jobs, such as working for Israel Rail, which was affected. But surely if it is just a question of security issues then all one needs is, as in Britain, a system of individual vetting. But Hoffman is defending a general prohibition against the employment of all Arabs in particular jobs.
Israel Rail, some years ago, tried to bar those who hadn’t served in the army from working for them. Security? Well I’ve no doubt that a security argument could be found for any job but that wasn’t the real motivation. The policy of Jewish Labour dates back to the 1920’s when the main reason for its existence was the need to provide employment for Jews, not Arabs. No doubt the reason why 42% of Israeli Jews don’t want Arab children in the same class is also for ‘security; reasons. Or maybe it’s because they’re not Jewish and this is a Jewish state. Hoffman as usual is dishonest, but who can blame him when the truth is so self-evident?
However the Zionist propagandists picked up on a small mistake, namely that 69% of Israelis only support apartheid in the Occupied Territories if they are formally annexed. Indeed it is arguable that this was not a mistake since the situation at present is clearly an apartheid one, and 59% recognise this fact. That is why most Israeli prefer the present situation, where the West Bank is de facto annexed but not de jure annexed because that way the apartheid nature of Israel’s rule doesn’t have to be formalised in law.
How right was Sir Walter Scott when he wrote about the Hoffmans of his day: 'What a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive'.
The headline of a news article last week was misleading. Most Israelis do support an apartheid regime, but only if the occupied territories are annexed; however, most Israelis oppose such annexation.
This article is meant to fix a few mistakes. They shouldn’t have happened; we must acknowledge them, apologize for them and fix them. They were not made intentionally, but as a result of neglect due to time pressure. Now is the time to make things right.
The Dialog poll commissioned by the Yisraela Goldblum Fund, whose results were published in Haaretz last week, unearthed extremely serious and disturbing findings. It sketched a troubling portrait of a nationalistic and racist Israeli society. This isn’t the first survey to demonstrate such a trend and, unfortunately, it won’t be the last. The Hebrew headline of the news article describing the survey results (“Most Israelis support an apartheid regime in Israel”) was misleading. Most Israelis do support apartheid, but only if the occupied territories are annexed; and most Israelis oppose such annexation. Haaretz explained this in a clarification published in the Hebrew edition on Sunday.
The article itself, which I wrote, did not contain any mistakes. It provided a precise and detailed description of the survey results. In my analysis of the survey, which appeared as a separate article, there was a single sentence that did not accurately represent the poll results and contradicted what I had written in the news piece a short time beforehand. My sin was to write: “The majority doesn’t want Arabs to vote for the Knesset, Arab neighbors at home or Arab students at school.”
The truth, as I wrote in the news piece, is different: “Just” 33 percent of the respondents said they don’t want Arabs to vote in parliamentary elections, “just” 42 percent wouldn’t want an Arab neighbor, and about the same proportion said it would bother them if there were an Arab student in their child’s class. Not a majority – just a (large ) portion of Israelis espouse these frightening views. Cold comfort.
Imagine a similar survey in France: A third of the French don’t want Jews to be eligible to vote and nearly half don’t want a Jewish neighbor or a Jewish student in their child’s class. The right-wing propagandists who are currently causing a ruckus about my mistake would be among the first to shout “anti-Semitism.” But for us, the Jews, it’s allowed.
The routine excoriation took off. The mirror reflects an unsightly image? Let’s smash it. The messenger stumbles? Let’s slander him, and to hell with everything else described in his article, even discounting the mistake. This is what propagandists always do. One particularly pathetic one has built an entire career out of ridiculously rummaging through negligible errors. Instead of anger being directed toward the findings of the survey – which is what should have caused a scandal – many readers and commentators focused on the unfortunate mistakes that were made. Those errors did not change the survey results even one iota, but they did divert the public’s attention from the important to the trivial.
This deviation from the important issue, this incitement against the mistakes, was done deliberately. It was intended to obscure the truth revealed by the survey, which justifiably has garnered harsh responses around the world. It was the final means of propaganda available to those who seek to blur the true image of Israeli society and paint an unrealistic, imaginary portrait instead.
The most important thing was, and remains, that a significant portion of Israel's Jewish society advocates positions that can only be described as nationalistic and racist. Nearly half of the respondents don't want an Arab neighbor or an Arab student in their child's class; a third don't want Arabs to vote; nearly half want to discriminate against Arabs living in the country. Isn't that enough to scare anyone who fears for the future of this country?
But the right wing and its mouthpieces aren't interested in any of that. They are interested solely in an unfortunate mistake that barely changed anything. Herein lies a challenge for those who are not bothered by the results of the survey but are horrified by the errors made in reporting it: Bring us another reliable poll that proves Israeli society is not as racist and nationalistic as depicted in this survey. That would really make things right.