Haaretz, Israel's most radical left-wing media outlet, has built its entire name (particularly that of its English publication) out of smearing the State of Israel - whether through distortions, half-truths or pure fabrications.
This time, however, the paper's editors appear to have forgotten themselves somewhat, publishing an article so racist I had to read it over twice to make sure I hadn't misread.
Ironically, the article in question is a rather crude attempt to portray Israeli airport security as "racist", and entitled "Israeli apartheid exposed at the airport". Yet far from revealing "Israeli racism", the author, one Salman Masalha, instead illustrates very well how deep-rooted anti-Semitism and anti-Black racism is within Arab society via a bizarre, racist outburst - which he apparently thinks nothing of even as he rails against "Israeli apartheid".
Describing an (apparently Sephardic-Jewish) airport security guard, Masalha informs us:
"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."
Where to begin? That somehow his black skin-colour looked "evil" to our anti-racism crusader? That any Jews who don't have white skin must be converts? Or that a relatively benign experience at an airport (I myself have been pulled aside at Ben Gurion for extra questioning by security - kippa, tzitzit and all) becomes "apartheid", "racist" and all the rest of it - if it's run by Jews?
Racism and anti-Semitism in the Arab world is nothing new - particularly for those of us (including, one would presume, Masalha's evil, black antagonist) whose families had to live with it for centuries before finally being ethnically-cleansed for good measure.
What is interesting though is that Haaretz is gradually dropping its veneer of respectability and publishing vitriolic attacks like this without blinking.
Well, I suppose the author of the article was right about one thing: "evil based on ideology will ultimately overflow, burst out and smash the mask covering the racists’ faces."
Yep, sounds about right.