Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Clearly there is a right to vote, but not to dismantle the state - by Jonathan S. Tobin

In comparing Arab doctors to Joint List Knesset members, Israel’s critics are exploiting the coronavirus pandemic to promote the lie that Zionism is racism.

Jonathan S. Tobin..
17 March '20..

It seems like a devastating argument. If Israeli Jews are willing to accept life-saving treatment from Arab doctors, why won’t they give their representatives in the Knesset a seat in the country’s government?

That’s the point The New York Times’ Jerusalem bureau chief David Halbfinger made last week both on Twitter and in an article that made the same point. It’s been echoed elsewhere in features in the Israeli press.

But the premise is false. The idea that objections to giving anti-Zionist Arab parties a role in the government of Israel is racist is more than a cheap shot aimed at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his supporters. The attempt to use the coronavirus pandemic as a way of chipping away at the legitimacy of a Jewish state demonstrates that Israel’s critics consider the catastrophic spread of a deadly disease as merely just another opportunity to take pot shots at Zionism.

It’s important to separate two arguments being made here. One is about the yearlong standoff between Netanyahu and his political opponents as the two sides continue to battle over who will lead the country’s next government, and whether the votes of Knesset members who support Israel’s enemies should be the deciding factor. The other is a more fundamental question about whether Israel can be both a state devoted to protecting the national rights of the Jewish people while granting equal rights to non-Jewish citizens.

Of course, Jews gratefully accept treatment from Arab doctors and nurses working in the country’s hospitals. Arabs—both those who are citizens of Israel and residents of the territories—also accept the care they got from the far larger number of Jewish doctors and nurses that work in the same medical facilities. It should also be pointed out that even the families of hostile Palestinian terror groups based in Gaza or the West Bank have been admitted to Israeli hospitals, where they are treated with the same scrupulous devotion that any Jew gets.

So when Dr. Ahmad Tibi, a physician who also serves as a Knesset member of the Joint Arab List, which won 15 seats in the Knesset earlier this month, claims that Jews who would accept his services as a doctor, but don’t want him deciding who will be prime minister, are racists and hypocrites, he isn’t being honest.

(Continue to Full Column)

Updates throughout the day at If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work. 

No comments:

Post a Comment