Imagine if an Arab was prevented from buying a house from a Jew in Tel Aviv. The human rights NGOs would be all over the case like a rash, brimming with indignation. But when the reverse happens, nobody raises a peep. Whatever the facts of this particular case in Hebron, Giulio Meotti, writing in Ynet News, is right – the racist view that Jews cannot live among Arabs is the real obstacle to peace in the region.
While Israel is not “Arabrein” (Jewish citizens live with their fellow Arab citizens and neither they nor anyone else suggests they are “an obstacle to peace”), a Nazi-like ideology sees the entire State of Israel as an alien presence among Islamic nations, an undesirable island in an Arab sea that must ultimately be submerged.
This is the real apartheid, which is supported by the West and which emerges from President Barack Obama’s de-legitimization of Jerusalem’s post-1967 neighborhoods. The concept of removing a religious or ethnic community from a certain region brings back the worst memories of World War II, yet has become mainstream when it is applied to a part of the land of Israel. The scandal is epitomized by the fate of the Arabs who sold houses and land to the Jews. By now, dozens of Arabs have been murdered for selling their homes to Jews. In 1995, the Palestinian Legislative council voted unanimously in favor of the death sentence. The law was endorsed by the PA on the basis of a Jordanian law that had been in effect until the eve of the Six-Day War in 1967. The PA’s mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Ikremah Sabri, and the Palestinian chief Islamic judge, Sheikh Tayseer Tamimi, issued religious decrees authorizing the killing of Arabs who sell property to Jews and forbidding Muslims from burying them in Islamic cemeteries. Not even Nazi Germany in the 1930s knew this level of anti-Jewish pathology.
In that sense, Hebron is a test: The only Palestinian city with a Jewish presence in its midst. It is a safe bet that the ordinary Israeli population will say that given a choice between a Jewish presence in Hebron and peace, they would, with little hesitation, choose the latter. But all the news from Hebron provide proof that no such choice exists. It’s an illusion.
The simple fact is that the Arabs consider everything in and around Hebron, as indeed they do everything in the land of Israel, to be sacred Muslim land. Jews had lived in Hebron as “dhimmis,” second-class residents, forbidden to pray in the Cave and humiliatingly confined to the seventh step leading into the building. In December 2010, PA President Mahmoud Abbas said that “I will never allow a single Israeli to live among us on Palestinian land.” Such a state would be the first to prohibit Jews or any other faith since Nazi Germany. This obsessive logic just drew Abbas to honor with a medal veteran White House Correspondent Helen Thomas, who has provoked a storm in the US after saying the Jews must “get the hell out of Palestine” and “go home” to Germany or Poland. However, this is racism that goes well beyond the Palestinians.
Laws hampering Jewish life in Arab countries are the customary condition, not the exception. Saudi Arabia doesn’t even permit Jewish visitors, let alone Jewish foreign employees. As a matter of policy, the Jordanians do not permit Jews to be domiciled in their country. This racist view, found Arab textbooks and taught in the schools of all Arab nations, is the ultimate bar to real peace in the area, not the Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria.