There’s invariably a refreshing honesty to the views of the Israeli right, precisely because they have such little insight into the implications of what they say. There’s none of that clever dissembling and dishonesty you get with a Shimon Peres, for example.
The mayor of Upper Nazareth, Shimon Gapso, is a good example of the honest Israeli racist. He has been widely accused by Israeli liberals of racism for trying to block Palestinian citizens (chiefly from neighbouring Nazareth) from buying homes in his city. As he correctly points out, Upper Nazareth was built next to Nazareth to Judaise it. So why, he pleads in an oped in Haaretz, is he being called a racist?
He thinks his best line of defence is to point out that the great and the good of the Zionist movement should also be considered racists if he is to be deemed one. The irony, of course, is that his defence does not prove his innocence of the charge of racism; it only makes a convincing case that he, and those “great figures” on the Zionist left he names, are also racists.
I couldn’t have put it better than he does, so here are some highlights of what he says in an article headlined “If you think I’m a racist, then Israel is a racist state”:
Upper Nazareth is a Jewish city and it’s important that it remains so. If that makes me a racist, then I’m a proud offshoot of a glorious dynasty of “racists”…
The racist Theodor Herzl wrote “Der Judenstaat” (“The Jewish State,” not “The State of All Its Citizens”). Lord Balfour recommended the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people. David Ben-Gurion, Chaim Arlosoroff, Moshe Sharett and other racists established the Jewish Agency, and the racist UN decided to establish a Jewish state — in other words, a state for Jews. The racist Ben-Gurion announced the establishment of the Jewish State in the Land of Israel, and during the War of Independence [in 1948] even made sure to bring in hundreds of thousands of Jews and drive out hundreds of thousands of Arabs who had been living here — all to enable it to be founded with the desired racist character.
Since then, racially pure kibbutzim without a single Arab member and an army that protects a certain racial strain have been established… Even our racist national anthem ignores the existence of the Arab minority… If not for all that “racism,” it’s doubtful we could live here, and doubtful that we could live at all.
For more on Shimon Gapso and his racist campaign to stop Palestinian residents of Nazareth from moving to Upper Nazareth, read my recent report in Middle East Report.