I have just been to a talk by Israeli journalist David Sheen on the racism and hate crimes that African refugees experience in Israel and during this presentation, he courageously and unabashedly made some poignant comparisons between the Israeli government’s discriminatory laws and those infamous laws of Nazi Germany. I myself have been wanting to point out these similarities publicly (as it relates to Arab discrimination), but have never found the bravery to do so. David has inspired me to speak the full extent of my mind and not be afraid of the backlash from my own community. When I thanked him afterward, he actually thanked ME for encouraging him. This is just proof that we don’t need to silence ourselves just because we are Jews. I am sure that I will receive backlash for this post, but I encourage you to continue reading and watch the video first. And try to swallow the hard truth before taking it out on others.
As David pointed out during his speech, Jews feel as if they are immune to being racist; as if something in our history dictates that no one can ever accuse of such crimes. But it’s real and it’s happening on a mass scale throughout Israel. David reported that it is not uncommon to hear racism. Solidarity activists for Africans are sadly the ostracized one’s in Israeli society. This is how the government justifies the laws they put in place. Public officials in the government have called Africans “a cancer,” and called for their deportation and enact laws calling for the “concentration” of Africans to the Negev desert to a detention center. The sign on the entrance of this detention center says “Office of Employment.” Sound familiar? Work makes you free? This detention center provides no medical treatment, malnutritious meals, and extremely cramped living quarters. And the worst part is that a police officer need only accuse an African of crime before arresting them. I’ll leave you with this: