A Postscript on Democracy and Ethnic Culture
Published on: September 17, 2010
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  • Haim

    I am sorry, but you’re bollocking the truth to death here. Nobody denies Israeli Arab’s “claims of home”. In the democracy governed by law that Jews had built around him, he is in no danger of dispossession, forced assimilation or deportation. Moreover, his language is recognized as official, his schools have Arab-oriented curriculum and his faith enjoys state support just like Judaism. What is being denied to him are the COLLECTIVE right of self-determination – e.g., the right NOT to see a Jewish symbol stamped on his passport. To acknowledge this right is suicidal.
    And another thing. Israel’s independence didn’t “cause” Nakba – this is a favorite anti-Zionist fairytale. What caused Nakba was Arab refusal to accept the said independence and their decision to wage war to wipe the Jews out. The Jewish pain comes from the fact that Palestinian refusal to make move for Jews caused the death of millions of Jews in Europe. Palestinian pain comes from the fact that they failed to reproduce Holocaust in Palestine. I can’t see any room for compromise.

  • I think a democracy that is governed by law and strict adherence to its cultural-political right make Israel stand as it is today. The nature of the conflict between Israel and Palestine cannot just be undermined. It is already rooted in history that a Palestinian or an Israeli is aware of. Political and legal institutions are already taken to be a means to settle the conflict but the movement is turtle-slow. A middle ground has to be created for them to meet half-way and create a pact among themselves that is beneficial for every country involved. I still believe that education and openness to noble ideas can drive to start the settlement issue.

  • Correction

    Small point. “Sephardic” generally refers to Jews of Spanish origin as a group. Sometimes the Jews from Arab lands are also called Sephardic, but that is not correct — it’s just the legacy of Ashkenazic-centric view that lumped all non-Ashkenaz together and called them Sephardic. But in any event, “Sephardic” is the name for the people, not the language. Their language, a fusion of Spanish and Hebrew, is called Ladino. Kind of the Sephardic version equivalent of what Yiddish is for the Ashkenazim (fusion of German and Hebrew).

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