Here is the hatred that infects Israeli society. An American-Jew volunteering in Israel through the Zionist organization Otzma writes about Israelis who casually came to him and started speaking about the Arabs:
It is my first day at the youth cafe in Ofakim. I pick up a ping-pong paddle and start whacking the ball back and forth with an Israeli teenager. Others hear of my arrival and gather around the table. “Eh, you speak Hebrew?”
I say I speak a little.
“Eh, from where are you?”
I say New Jersey.
“Eh, you like Arabs?”
I tell the kids I do not know many.
“I hate them,” they yell in unison.
I saw this enmity at the youth cafe and I see it also among the children at various schools at which I teach English here. The kids wear this bigotry with pride, as if it were a source of patriotism – the collective aversion toward Arabs.
[Israeli school girls write messages on bombs that are then used to kill Lebanese children.]
What kind of person would approach another person and bring up their bigotry? This is the hatred that is pervasive in Israeli society as Brian Freedman writes:
WHILE ANTI-ARAB bigotry is not promulgated by the media or in Israeli schools, it is still prevalent in society and grows with every missile that falls on Israeli soil. Just recently, Israeli soldiers scribbled graffiti on the rubble of collapsed buildings in Gaza that read: “1 is down, 999,000 to go,” and “Arabs needs 2 die,” among other diatribes. A few weeks ago, Israeli youths were arrested for beating up an Arab in Tiberias. In the West Bank, religious, fanatical Jews have repeatedly hurled stones at Arabs and torched their homes. It is extremists, not representatives of the collective conscious, who usually carry out such despicable acts. But this anti-Arab sentiment, not necessarily the will to act on such feelings, is unequivocally present in the subconscious of many Israelis.
To see this endless cycle – war causing hatred and hatred causing war – the public need only look at the elections. Avigdor Lieberman’s successful campaign slogan, “No Loyalty, No Citizenship,” is aimed at initiating a McCarthy-like litmus test to suppress the nagging, caustic voice of a frustrated Israeli Arab population. Lieberman had also pushed to ban the leaders of two Arab parties from participating in the elections because of remarks he considered seditious. Fortunately for the sake of democracy, the Supreme Court intervened.
I disagree with his point about Israeli schools and the media, which do promote hate. Particularly the media where one can easily find op-eds calling for mass killings of Arabs, even millions of them. But everything else he writes is spot-on. It is nice to know that when some American-Jews visit Israel they can see beyond the travel brochure put out by the Israeli embassy and contrary to the talking-points, Israel is a hateful society.