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.’
Following up on Jeff Halper’s similar query, the brave Israeli writer Amira Hass, the daughter of a survivor of Bergen-Belsen asked a similar question on Feb.5, 2018.
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.
Hass cannot fathom the change in Israel as it moved to a neoliberal economic culture.
She asks,”Does 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.
Israeli Jews are no different than anybody else. Turbocapitalism marginalizes too many people. Indifference is a byproduct.
Hass a few years ago wrote a searing indictment about the so-called blindness of Israelis
Could it be that you do not know what is happening 15 minutes from your faculties and offices?
We imprisoned two million Palestinians in Gaza? We have grown accustomed to it and also asked the Europeans to provide money to improve the prison conditions. Palestinian residents of Jerusalem are thrown out of the houses they have lived in for 70 years for the benefit of settlers, and by order of the court?
We have practiced it, got accustomed to it and enjoyed it. We have sentenced tens of thousands of people in the West Bank to live without a supply of running water, electricity and building rights? We have done so with fervor and diligence. We have confiscated land from the Palestinians who are citizens of Israel, and are not allocating them other land to build towns? With special joy did we did so and continue to do so.
The truth is that most Jewish Israelis do not care about cruelty against disabled Jews and African refugees, and there is no pressing reason anymore to wrap that truth in quotes from our sources.
As Jews we all enjoy the privilege Israel gives us, what makes us all collaborators.