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Denial, self-hatred evidenced in Israel's xenophobic irruption

A new law granting Israeli authorities the power to detain "illegal migrants" for up to three years took effect June 3, following a wave of Tel Aviv protests over the influx of African migrants who cross into Israel along its border with Egypt. The law even makes asylum seekers liable to imprisonment—without trial or deportation—if caught staying in Israel for long periods. Additionally, anyone found to be aiding migrants or providing them with shelter could face up to 15 years in prison. The law amended the Prevention of Infiltration Law, passed in 1954 to prevent the entry of Palestinians.

Also June 3, Israeli daily Maariv published an interview with Interior Minister Eli Yishai, in which he complained that most of the "Muslims that arrive here do not even believe that this country belongs to us, to the white man." Yishai is a Mizrahi Jew of Tunisian origin.

"I will continue the struggle until the end of my term, with no compramises [sic]," Yishai was quoted in a translation by Haaretz, stating that he would use "all the tools to expel the foreigners, until not one infiltrator remains." Seemingly in a holdover from the origins of the law in 1954, the African migrants care called "infiltrators" with the same sneering connotation as the term "illegals" in the US.

Now, we have argued before that even Ashkenazi Jews are not really white. But a Tunisian Jew? Who does Yishai think he is fooling, other than (maybe) himself? This amazing statement actually reveals much about the element of self-hatred that underlies Zionism, and especially the extremist version espoused by Yishai (and being mainstreamed in Israel with terrifying rapidity). The eagerness to identify with European colonialism—and here, explicitly, white supremacy—smacks more than a little of the need to suck up to The Man, despite Zionism's supposed founding assumption of the unassimilability of the Jew in Europe. Note that Yishai is also a key supporter of Israel's new "apartheid" citizenship law. He demands Palestinian recognition of Israel as a "Jewish state" as a condition for peace, but excludes the possibility of a settlement freeze.

The journal of Yishai's Shas party, Yom LeYom, recently published a public letter to the "infiltrators." Writer Rabbi Moshe Shafir states at the top that his appeal is made in a spirit of "love and decency." But the bottom line, as translated by YNet June 3: "You're ruining our dream; it's best if we go our separate ways... It's best if we part as friends." The tone of false sincerity continues: "We love you dear Sudanese. The worst a Jew will ever do to you will be better than the live bullets fired at you at the Egyptian border." Indeed Egypt is using a shoot-to-kill policy on Israeli border, but we have not heard that Israel has protested this—being itself busy building a wall (of course) to keep the Africans out.

"This is not about racism or any racial doctrine but a question of leadership, and social principles of decent human beings," writes Shafir (as his comrade Yishai proudly invokes white supremacy). He next veers into the realm of the simply surreal: "Listen up, dear and kind Sudanese people. In the United States, Martin Luther King's dream came true. Giuliani will tell you how he made it happen. Go forth and implement this in Sudan and Eritrea. We promise to help you, we'll even be delighted to help, as always."

Rudolph Giuliani...? Oy vey...

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