plus ça change (על אחת כמה וכמה, קל וחומר)

by wechslerh66

The usual Jewish attitude towards the Arabs is one of contemptuous superiority. Our driver northward was a Jew who had fled from the Nazi advance into Hungary but that did not save him from racist habits. When I suggested that we give a boy a lift, he refused, saying the boy was an Arab. When I asked what was the difference, he said Arabs smelled bad. I said that is what anti-Semites said of us Jews in the outside world but this made no impression. His attitude, it is painful to report, is typical…Thousands of Arabs do the menial tasks of Tel Aviv. They find it as hard to obtain decent lodgings as Negroes do in America and for the same reasons; many “pass” as Jews to circumvent prejudice. In Haifa I visited the only secondary school attended by both Jews and Arabs but even there the classes turned out to be separate. The State of Israel has done much in a material way for the Arabs but the sense of humiliation outweighs any improvement. The spectacle fills one with despair. For if Jews, after all their experience of suffering, prove no better once in the majority than the rest of mankind, what hope for a world as torn apart as ours is by tribalism and hate?
–I.F. Stone, “The Racist Challenge in Israel,” June 1, 1964, from In a Time of Torment (Vintage Books, 1968)

Advertisements