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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Condoleeza, The Black Bigot

It's not that I'm lazy today--I've been working hard since around 0300 this morning on a variety of projects that need my immediate attention. However, this caught my attention yesterday and I'm reprinting it because (a) not everyone reads the JPost and (b) I'm not sure the link will last longer than a week.

Contrary to what my friends and acquaintances on the Left has always maintained, this is proof that yes, people of color can also be bigots.

Fundamentally Freund: Condi hangs a 'No Jews Allowed' sign

Michael Freund 12-11-97

Condoleezza Rice has got some nerve. First, the US Secretary of State had the hutzpa to compare Israel's treatment of Palestinians to that meted out to US blacks during the bad old days of the segregationist South.

Speaking at a private session at the close of the Annapolis conference, America's top diplomat said that having grown up "as a black child in the South, being told she could not use certain water fountains or eat in certain restaurants, she also understood the feelings and emotions of the Palestinians."

Aliyah06 NB: The restaurants, coffee shops, water fountains, movie theatres, malls, libraries and schools in my neck of Jerusalem all have Arabs eating, drinking, shopping and studying in them. I sat next to two Arab Moslem women in hijab this morning in a local coffee shop; I ride the buses with Arab men and women who mingle freely with the Jewish passengers. I, too, lived in the segregationalist south and recall clearly that movies had separate seating for blacks, that libraries were invariably peopled only by whites, and that black citizens shopped on the 'black side' of town and whites on the 'white side' of town, and eating establishments were off limits to anyone of color. That is NOT the situation in Jerusalem, and her blithe association of white southern bigotry with security procedures put in place because of Arab bigotry, racism and genocidal intention either means she is the biggest idiot on the planet (unlikely) or she is pandering to the oil despots.

"I know what it is like to hear that you cannot go on a road or through a checkpoint because you are Palestinian," the Washington Post (November 29) quoted her as saying. "I understand the feeling of humiliation and powerlessness," she added.

Aliyah06NB: I live just north of the Bethlehem checkpoint, and have travelled through the northern checkpoints of Jerusalem. I have yet to see anyone stopped "because (they are) Palestinian." The checkpoint coming out of Efrat and Bethlehem is crowded in the mornings with hundreds of people, Jewish and Arab, pouring into Jerusalem for jobs, for hospital appointments. The checkpoints bottleneck during rush hours (as do all roads) as well as during security alerts when we receive information that two Palestinians with bombs are coming into the city to commit mass murder. So let's get this straight--people aren't barred from roads or held up at checkpoints 'because (they are) Palestinian' -- we are all inconvenienced, sometimes horribly, by the security necessities imposed on both populations by the murderers amongst us who happen to mostly be Palestinian.

You want humiliation and powerlessness, Condi? Trying going through a manned security gate every time you enter a mall, every time you go to the hospital and have some male guard open up your tampon case in front of the entire line to make sure it doesn't have explosives in it.

Needless to say, the fact that American blacks were victims of violence and hate, while Palestinians are its proficient practitioners, seems to have escaped the secretary of state's attention.

Moreover, Rice's comparison between Israeli security measures and America's Jim Crow laws is both intellectually dishonest and morally obscene.

There is no similarity whatsoever between Israel establishing a checkpoint aimed at catching Palestinian suicide bombers and the state of Georgia's 1960s era prohibition against serving blacks and whites in the same restaurant.

To suggest otherwise is insulting and offensive, and Rice should know better. After all, by her logic, would Hamas terrorist-in-chief Ismail Haniyeh qualify as a Palestinian Rosa Parks? And yet, for all of her ostensible sensitivity to questions of discrimination, Rice did not hesitate to engage in some bigotry of her own last week when it came to the issue of building new homes for Jews in Jerusalem.

After Israel announced the approval of tenders for the construction of 307 housing units in the capital's Har Homa neighborhood, Her Excellency went into what can only be described as a tizzy.

Speaking at NATO headquarters in Brussels on Friday, Rice told reporters that she had raised the issue of Har Homa with Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni - not once, but twice! "I did, in fact, bring up Har Homa, both earlier in a phone call and then today in our meeting," Rice said. "I've made very clear about seeking clarification on precisely what this means. I've made clear that we're in a time when the goal is to build maximum confidence between the parties and this doesn't help to build confidence," she proclaimed.

CONFIDENCE? Did she say "this doesn't help to build confidence?" And what, Madam Secretary, of the constant Palestinian rocket attacks against southern Israeli towns and cities? Do they "help to build confidence"? Or how about the daily incitement to violence on official Palestinian radio and television? Or the murder last month of 29-year old Ido Zoldan by members of Mahmoud Abbas' own Palestinian police force? Strangely enough, not one of these odious deeds merited a public comment from Rice about their impact on the "building of confidence" between the two sides.

And yet, when Israel decides to build some new apartments in an already-existing section of Jerusalem, Rice suddenly finds her voice? (Aliyah06 NB: A section of Jerusalem which belonged primarily to Jewish landowners prior to the Jordanian conquest of 1948.) Who does she think she is kidding? But what was still more troubling about her statement on Har Homa is that it lends credence to the discriminatory notion that certain places should be off-limits to Jews simply because they are Jews.

Rice herself was born in the city of Birmingham, Alabama. Ironically enough, just 105 miles north of her birthplace lies a town named Jerusalem, Alabama.

Were the Secretary of State to suggest that the right of Jews to live and build in Jerusalem, Alabama, should be restricted in any way, she would immediately be denounced as a racist and an anti-Semite, and rightly so.

Yet when she suggests that Jews should not be permitted to build freely in Jerusalem, Israel because they are Jews, it is inexplicably described as being a "confidence-building measure."

Call it what you will, Ms. Rice, but your opposition to Jewish housing construction in Jerusalem is nothing more than an archaic form of bigotry. You can't post a "No Jews Allowed" sign, and expect us to view it any differently.

To suggest that Jews or any other ethnic group should not be allowed to live and build freely in a certain area because of who they are is something that went out of fashion in the United States four decades ago, and I can't think of a good reason to begin applying it here in Jerusalem today.
The secretary of state knows full well that civil rights for Jews, like any universal human right, cannot be restricted in time or place. They must be applicable regardless of where a person chooses to live.

This is especially true when it comes to Jerusalem, the heart and soul of the Jewish people. Our connection to the Holy City stretches back more than three millennia. Indeed, over 1,500 years before the advent of Islam, Jews were living, working and praying in Jerusalem. Now, following in our ancestors' footsteps, we have returned to reclaim what is rightfully ours.

So step aside, Ms. Rice, and please do not try to interfere.

Like it or not, nothing can stop this historical process from unfolding.

Aliyah06 NB: Condi apparently has not seen fit to comment on the rampant building up of Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem. I drive around and look at Sur Bahir, Shuafat, Beit Safafa and Umm Tuba and marvel at the sudden spate of building. And we're not talking apartment-condos, like Har Homa -- in the Arab neighborhoods, entire villas and multi-family houses are popping up like mushrooms. Like the British before them, the State Department had apparently decided that US policy should be one of "Arab good, Jewish bad" whether it comes to building new homes or anything else....


Blogger Jill said...

It seems her perception is focused in a manner in which she wants to perceive the situation(s)that resonate with her 'victimization', whether it is ancestral or from her own personal experience. However, I can't help but think much of her ideology comes from some of her advisors, mixed with agenda driven rhetoric, in addition to her heritage and the baggage that comes with the injustice faced by the African Americans in the not so distant past. Just as I am stating my opinion (which holds no weight), she might consider looking at the whole picture because her opinion actually has clout and the impact has severe consequences.

Saturday, December 15, 2007 at 6:24:00 PM GMT+2  
Blogger aliyah06 said...

There seems to be this fad wherein the Carters and Rices of the world promote an anti-Israel agenda through false analogies to a racism that is peculiar to the segregationalist South or apartheid SA. It all sounds very lofty and idealistic, but ignores the facts of life in Israel.

My favorite recently was B'Tselem's demand that Gaza Arabs be allowed to enter Israel for medical treatment because their own hospitals are Third World cesspits....wholly ignoring the fact that the Gaza closure is because Gaza has launched unceasing missile attacks, suicide bombers and kidnappings across the border with Israel, and Gaza's hospitals are the wrecks they are in large part because the international donations meant to improve the facilities were embezzled by the Arabs themselves.

I don't recall the US offering medical treatment to Japanese citizens, or England offering the same to German citizenry, during WWII.

Does the world understand that the Arab agenda since the last century is unchanged? They do NOT want a Palestinian state apart from Israel--they want a Palestinian state that supplants Israel.

Saturday, December 15, 2007 at 7:41:00 PM GMT+2  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess that, for me, the irony of the current situation is the years I spent listening to people laud all Republicans, the current Bush administration in particular, for loving Israel, and 'getting' the terrorist situation, and cursing all Democrats for opposite reasons. Now the current administration has decided to give peace-making a try in their last months in office, and it's same old, same old.

The current situation is incredibly complicated, with a lot of nations involved, only a few of which are vulnerable to any kind of manipulation or reasoning by anyone outside the region. There's certainly no easy solution which Israel could implement tomorrow, short of national suicide, but no one wants to hear that.

Comparisons to the American South and South Africa are compelling because there was a clear concentration of power in one group's hands, and solutions that, while painful, were reasonably straightforward. The more you understand about Israel's past and present, the less the parallels apply. And that's scary, because if we don't have a parallel, we don't have a blueprint to follow.

I used to like Condi a lot more before she fell in with such a bad crowd. ;)

Saturday, December 15, 2007 at 8:49:00 PM GMT+2  
Blogger aliyah06 said...

The situation is, as you point out so well, replete with irony--here's the Administration which proclaimed the "War On Terror" and said, "we don't negotiate with terrorists" but now it seems that in a bid to stay in power next election, they want US to negotiate with terrorists.....this morning's news was the huge rally in Gaza wherein Hamas announced it would never recognize Israel. Not a good start to peace negotiations....

I used to tell the Husband that there is not much difference between the Democrats and the Repubicans -- the agenda of both is to stay in power. None of them can be trusted, none of them can be relied upon, and all of them break their promises.

Sunday, December 16, 2007 at 9:38:00 AM GMT+2  

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