Op-Ed: Israel's Leading Literary Stalinist Discovers "Racism"
Prof. Steven PlautSteven Plaut teaches at the University of Haifa and is author of "The Scout" (available from Gefen Publishing House). More of his writings can be seen on the New Plaut Blog, as well as in numerous electronic and print newspapers.
The headlines spread quickly to every anti-Semitic web site on earth. Not only is Israel the most racist country on earth, they bellow, but one of Israel’s own leading literary figures says so.
The writer in question is the Iraqi-born Jew Sami Michael. He proclaimed Israel the most racist country on earth in the Haaretz daily.
‘Israeli culture is no less toxic than fanatic Islam, and the country's discriminatory attitude toward Mizrahi Jews and Arabs qualifies it for the title of "most racist state," prominent Israeli author Sami Michael said on Monday. Israel can claim the title of most racist state in the developed world.’
Two small problems with this. The first is that Israel is in fact probably the least racist country on earth. It is certainly less racist than the United States, Britain, France, and Japan. The main form of racism in Israel is the anti-Semitic bigotry among Israeli Arabs.
The second slight problem is that none of those citing the pontifical pronouncement by Sami Michael are bothering to mention that Michael is a life-long Stalinist. He grew up in the communist party in Iraq, which contained a significant Jewish contingent in the 1940s.
(It also contained a large Christian contingent. Michael is not the only Iraqi-Jewish Stalinist in Israel working against Israel, by the way.) And he has remained a hard-core communist his whole life. His above attempt to link the "struggles" of Sephardic Jews and Arabs is typical of this crowd. Amos Oz and A.B. Yehoshua are harmless innocents compared with communist Michael.So let us get this straight.
The same writer who insists that Israel is the most racist country on earth has never been much disturbed by, nor has he ever denounced, any of the acts of Stalin, including mass murders, ethnic cleansings, mass starvations approaching genocidal levels of death, the mass expulsions, the collaboration with Hitler, and so on. None of those things strike Michael as racist.
It is instructive because Michael has long served as the president of the so-called Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI). The ACRI is interested in many things, like supporting extremism, while civil rights is one of the things it is not interested in, at least not when it comes to the civil rights of Jews. The ACRI does not think Jews are deserving of any human rights.
Michael as president of ACRI has rejected any suggestion that the Hamas should be regarded as a terrorist organization. (/Articles/Article.aspx/7623) Here is a famous citation by Michael endorsing Arab terrorism:
"'Imagine the feeling if I woke up tomorrow and saw this neighborhood, which we inhabit, forcibly conquered by the Syrians, and they established settlements here, and in order to go to the bus station, I needed permission from the Syrian army. How would I feel?' the author from Haifa asked. 'If I fight them, I will be considered a terrorist
Why am I a terrorist? Why do we call Hizbullah or Hamasniks terrorists? Why? Because they fight for their own territory? Suddenly, aliens, occupiers, land on him and tell him: "Your house is ours."
It's his land, he and his forefathers were born here, and the settlers say: "We will never leave...." How would you respond to this?'"
The fact that Michael serves as head of one of the leading NGOs of Israel’s Left, funded naturally by the New Israel Fund illustrates the growing Stalinization of the radical Left in Israel. It also nicely illustrates the growing treason and self-hatred of Israel’s radical Left.
Michael is not the only leftist working for the victory of Israel’s enemies these days. Another one is Alon Liel, who has served as an Israeli diplomat, and is now calling on the world to boycott Israeli products if they were manufactured in "Palestine." Since the anti-Israel lobby sees all of Israel as Palestine, you can see where he is going with this. See this report about him:
The lesson here is that anti-Israel leftists are even managing to enter Israel’s diplomat corps these days!