From the start of an OpEd in Ha’aretz:
Many would agree with the principle that a state, whatever its name is, that practices racial segregation has no right to exist in the world with pretenses of being moral.
I can back that statement entirely! I don’t believe Saudi Arabia has a right to exist with pretences to being moral.
Or a state of Palestine either as envisioned by the current Palestinian Authority. See the sign from our very own apartheid creation: the Palestinian Authority controlled Area A.
Unfortunately the rest of the Ha’aretz piece goes on to bewail the author’s treatment as an Arab at Ben Gurion airport. At first it appears like he was going to get an easy ride through but not quite.
The following story isn’t a figment of my feverish brain. The young man who received me at Ben-Gurion Airport apparently forgot for a moment his superiors’ secret orders and acted like a human being. He looked at my Israeli passport, the only one I have, asked the usual dumb-ass questions — Where do you live? Did you pack for yourself? Did anyone give you anything? etc. I too gave for the umpteenth time the usual answers.
He tied a sticker to my suitcase and said, “Pleasant flight.” I thought, Something has indeed shifted in the rotten in the state of Israel. But that thought didn’t last long.
However, he must have said something or done something that raised an eyebrow. It is also true, unfortunately, that most of the security threat to life in Israel comes from Arabs. I’m sorry: it’s a numbers game, the vast majority of terrorists and deaths due to terror have come from Arab hands. So we’re a bit suspicious at this point.
Ten minutes later, while I stood at the airline’s check-in line, a man and woman approached me with another question: “Is the home address you gave on French Hill?” “No,” I said, explaining to them that it’s another Jerusalem neighborhood. They nodded their little heads and disappeared. Soon, they reappeared, this time with the reinforcement of a muscular man who carried himself like a senior security figure.
The muscle, named Ophir, must have thought that the leader of some terror organization had fallen into his hands and that maybe he’d get to expose him and rise in the ranks of nagging and hassling, the sacred “Jewish-democratic” work from the school of Zionism’s racists.
How long have you been living in Jerusalem? Where did you live before that? and Where are you from originally?” he asked, along with other questions.
Ophir was a young, darkish security man, perhaps a descendant of converts from the Arabian Peninsula, perhaps from the Atlas Mountains. But one thing was clear, his black color looked very shabby, tattered and stained with evil.
Bottom line, he answered questions and was allowed through. I sometimes get a ton of questions about where I grew up and how I came to be in Israel. I have to start naming the 9 children of my cousin in Safed (I must learn those damn names!). Honest Reporting is even calling this line “hate speech”.
So why is the colour of the skin of the security person of any relevance? I don’t know. I honestly wouldn’t have noticed.
Update: for some reason I thought the author was female when I first wrote this piece! I have no idea why, perhaps it’s because his complaint sounds like a whiny school girl (with apologies to all sensible school girls).
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