The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) is a far leftist propaganda group that has just released a report allegedly documenting a skyrocketing rate of “racism” among Israeli Jews against Arabs, in addition to discovering that Israel is a generally oppressive society.
The first point to be made is that nothing coming from ACRI is credible and everything from it should be dismissed as misleading and skewed. ACRI is not a reliable source about anything. The second point is that the same survey supposedly collected for ACRI asked no questions about Arab racism against Jews. How curious. The third point is that none of the questions supposedly indicating growing Jewish “racism” have anything at all to do with racism or bigotry.
ACRI claims to discern an increase of 26% in anti-Arab “incidents” in Israel, although it offers no evidence that any of these “incidents” are really racist. It claims a 100% increase in anti-Arab “hatred” among Jews but does not say how it measures this “hatred.”
From the mediareports about the study, ACRI evidently measures this alleged racism based on the proportion of Jews who want to condition welfare benefits, social perks (like tuition vouchers), and income subsidies on army service. This is racist, insists the ACRI. Never mind that every other nation on earth gives its army vets such benefits, or that no one is stopping any Arabs from serving in the Israeli army and getting the same veteran benefits, or that in any case such a policy would “penalize” Orthodox yeshiva students no less than Arabs.
Many of the indicators of “oppression” used in the ACRI study are meaningless, political biased, and have even less to do with ethnic disparities. For example, the report bewails a drop in the number of hospital beds in Israel per 1,000 population (still among the world’s highest rates), a drop having nothing to do with racism and everything to do with fiscal cuts and budgetary constraints.
ACRI also finds evidence of “oppression” in the structural reforms that Israel’s minister of justice is pursuing. It would be “repressive,” believes ACRI, for an elected cabinet minister to prevent unelected judges from just making up laws and “rights” as they go along in court. The report cries crocodile tears about the hiring of workers via employment agencies rather than as direct employees of companies and business. But there is nothing at all “oppressive” in this; in fact, it’s downright beneficial, as thousands of unemployed people are able to find jobs through manpower agencies.
The ACRI study finds that fully half the Jewish public takes a negative view of exact equality between Jews and Arabs. This is amusing, of course, because the left opposes exact equality for Arabs when it comes to things like conscription or national service for Arabs.
In any case, the wording of the question could be interpreted to mean not legal equality or equal opportunity but equality of results (such as in income homogeneity), a cause beloved by the left and opposed by everyone else.
Fifty-five percent of Jews endorse subsidizing Arabs who want to emigrate from Israel, finds the ACRI report, which labels such sentiment racist. Except that 100% of the Israeli Labor Party and the left supports subsidizing Jews to move out of the West Bank, which evidently is not racist.
Here’s yet another example of Jewish anti-Arab racism in the ACRI report: It turns out Arabs are searched for weapons and explosives at airports more so than Jews. ACRI would prefer a “non-racist non-discriminator” set of security procedures.
In short, the ACRI report is a very useful tool for identifying what is not racism, though it will be picked up by every anti-Semitic organization and website on earth to prove that Israel is an “apartheid entity.”
Steven Plaut is a professor at Haifa University. His book “The Scout” is available at Amazon.com. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.