You no doubt remember how a while back some rabbis wrote an awful letter against Israeli Arabs moving into Jewish parts of Safed. Someone, I think it was Jeffrey Goldberg, wrote at the time that the subsequent events were proving to him that Israel's immune system was working quite well against this pernicious virus, as almost everyone, from left to right, from the prime minster to most rabbis, united in condemning the racist letter and its few supporters.
That was then. Now the shoe is on the other foot, so to speak, as Arab activists in Jaffa demonstrate against Jews who are moving into their area. (Of course, Jews have been living in Jaffa, on and off, since before the days when Jonah shipped out on a whale). Last night about a thousand demonstrators, Arabs and Jews, marched in Jaffa against the racist Jews who wish to live there. They chanted their support for the Egyptians, and their detestation of Jews, or at any rate, religious Jews:
The demonstrators including Hadash Knesset Member Dov Khenin, who said: "We came to say no to racism and to settlement in a clear voice. Justice and equality will defeat racism and the settlers."If that isn't delicious enough for you, reflect on the predicament of Joseph Dana, one of the most extreme voices in the Israeli democracy, a man who routinely demonstrates with Palestinians against the troops of his own army. I haven't found anything he wrote directly about the Safed rabbi, though he did link approvingly to some colleagues of his who wrote back then about how awful and racist Israeli society is. Last night he participated in the demonstration, yet his report is uncharacteristically terse, made up mostly of pictures and this short text:
As Egypt continued its revolution on the streets, the citizens of Jaffa held a passionate march thorough the city against racism and settlements. About 800 Palestinian and Israeli residents of the city marched through the streets chanting in Arabic and Hebrew against the wave of racism taking over Israeli society. “Jews and Arabs Against the Hate and Terror of Settlers’ and ‘From Jaffa to Cairo all people power is revolutionary.” Some protesters carried Egyptian flags and many seemed energized by the events unfolding in Egypt. Despite a heavy police presence and even police helicopters, no incidents of violence were reported from the nonviolent protest.You see, Dana's got a problem: he's a Jew.... who lives in Jaffa.