October 06, 2010

Bill Clinton tells truth shock!

Gabriel has written about the unconcealed racism of the newer arrivals to Israel and how various apologists try to explain it away. I actually hadn't noticed that Bill Clinton (the American Secretary of State's husband) has come out and spoken of pretty much the same thing.
The former US president claimed that the million-strong community of Jews who emigrated from former Soviet states after the collapse of Communism was generally more opposed to the creation of a Palestinian state than other Israelis.

Portraying Russian youngsters as one of "the hardest core" groups against the division of the Holy Land, Mr Clinton said: "This presents a staggering problem. It's a different Israel. Sixteen per cent of Israelis speak Russian. They've just got here," he told reporters in New York.

What drew my attention is the Israeli department responsible for the settlement of new settlers, Aliyah (here), Absorption (there) and Diaspora (and everywhere) Committee, has called on Bill Clinton to apologise.
Committee chairwoman Knesset Member Lia Shemtov (Israel Our Home) said, “Clinton should apologize, especially after the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv refused even to send a written reaction to the committee's session.” The committee had invited U.S. Ambassador in Israel James Cunningham to participate in the hearing, but he stayed away and did not send anyone to represent him.

The U.S. Embassy stated in response, “The administration is not responsible for comments made by a private citizen who has a right to speak his mind, as is customary in Israel as well.”

Sources in the Knesset noted that the American claim that Clinton is a private citizen is belied by the fact that the American government still pays him a pension and supplies him with an entourage of assistants, and noted that Clinton still represents the United States in various world forums.

"The Olim {immigrants] from the former Soviet Union are Zionists who love their country and want to live their lives in security and peace, like any other citizen,” MK Shemtov said. “Some of them have been killed by bullets fired from guns that Clinton gave the terrorists.”

I've got to say that old Bill does like his stereotypes. Remember his "Irish drunks from a bar" gaffe? Anyway, let's see if he apologises...

Here's a comment from Gabriel that deserves more prominence since I refer to his post in this one:
the point I made is that the idea Clinton shares with the Israeli Ashkenazi mainstream which consists of his neoliberal friends, the idea that Russian racism is part the cultural baggage brought by the Russian immigrants from abroad, is itself racist. In Israel, the racism of the Russian immigrants is not explained away, rather, the mainstream uses it to rally the votes of the ashkenazis for the just as racist, if more sophisticated, parties of the center "left."

The Russians are more racist than average because they are insecure as Israelis and need to prove themselves in order to climb the social ladder. And in Israel, that's how you prove your belonging.
Meanwhile Israeli MKs are still seeking an apology from Bill.


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