This week I traveled to Jerusalem to participate in a convention on the topic of "Racism - the National Curse - What Can be Done?" The convention took place in the Knesset, with its 120 men and women who are supposed to look after us and our welfare, and many other clichés which the majority take care to leave at the inspection stations at the entrance.
The convention was held ahead of the Combat Racism Day which occurs on March 21, 2010, and also marked the establishment of the lobby for the fight against racism headed by MK Shlomo Mulla and MK Afu Agbariya. I participated as a member of the Combat Racism HQ established in 2009, whose members come from the Mizrahi Democratic Rainbow Coalition, Massawa Center, Temura Center for the Prevention of Discrimination, Sister, Center for Jewish Pluralism, and more.
Surprisingly, perhaps in response to the issue we raised at the convention, the "softened" Nakba Law was presented for a first reading at the Knesset plenum. It could have been thought that one minute before raising their hands to dramatically forbid words already in the Hebrew lexicon, it might have been worthwhile for a few more of them to come [to the convention] to hear something about the endeavors of social organizations who have been fighting for years against racism in Israeli society. But only four MKs took the trouble to come besides the leaders of the lobby: Dov Hanin, Orit Zuarertz, Dr. Hanna Swed and Nitzan Horowitz.
We reached the predictable conclusion that the weakened residents of the State of Israel are exposed to many dangers, and they dont stop only at the deadly combination of Bibi / Lets eradicate the poor and not poverty / Steinetz. One more danger is wandering around the Knesset corridors constituting a serious competitor to the hot couple, and that is the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the man who is supposed to be Diplomat No. 1 in Israel, Mr. Avigdor Liberman. That mans every utterance seems to be a kind of competition with the writers of [the TV show] "Wonderful Country", while it is clear that he easily overtakes them at a walking pace, with apologies to Assi. This week, before the Nakba, he decided to boycott Brazil. Fascinating man.
When I returned home I read that the "softened" law had been passed after the first reading. Now one must think twice before using the word Nakba,before writing about it. Maybe later on they will also decide to direct the Academy for the Hebrew Language to cancel the root N-K-B in the future plural form. That is also dangerous. It must be admitted that this is an achievement by Liberman, and that, in fact, he is here taking the first step towards realizing his ambitious vision of the great Israeli loyalty questionnaire. You dont have to live in Israel - just mark the correct answer.
Loaded Question No. 1:
What is your opinion of the Nakba
A. What is the Nakba? (Correct answer. Go on to the next question.)
B. A word used by Arabs and traitorous leftists. (Excellent answer. You have completed the test. There is a sale of "caravillas" in a new settlement now being built - registration at the office next door, say that Poptitch sent you).
C. Nakba is the word by which the Palestinian inhabitants of Israel indicate the tragedy they underwent in 1948 (if you marked this answer then - Congratulations, you have also completed the test. Now my man, go and collect your blue identity card, a bus awaits you outside for a dream journey from which you will not want to return - God be with you).
At the end of the convention, one of the participants told me that he thinks we deserve a Foreign Minister like Liberman because, contrary to attempts to present Israel as a democratic, egalitarian and non-racist, and certainly non-Fascist state, Liberman is doing a wonderful job. He is most genuine, and does not conceal what seasoned diplomats, accompanied by excellent spokesmen speaking Oxford English, succeed in covering up. This is our true face.
* Member of the Tel Aviv - Yaffo City Council on behalf of "The City is for All of Us" faction and Director General of the Mizrahi Democratic Rainbow Coalition