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Friday, June 03, 2005

The MSM "Feel Good" Story of Israeli Discrimination

The USA Today covered a "Jackie Robinson" situation in World Cup soccer. The Israeli team, currently tied with France for the lead in Europe's Group 4, has 2 Arab Israeli stars, Abba Suan and Walid Badir.

While it was a nice story, the angle that these 2 Arab players face threats and pressures akin to a Jackie Robinson is ludicrous. As the report stated "there have been Arab players on the Israeli national soccer team since the mid-1970s." Writer Michele Chabin has her required discrimination angle firmly set and quotes other Arab-Israelis:

"There is systematic and continuous discrimination against the Palestinian minority in the realm of education, land allocation, infrastructure and budgets," asserts Ali Haider, the Arab co-executive director of Sikkuy, an Arab-Jewish organization that works for civic equality.
Jewish teams attract more corporate sponsorship and municipal funding than Arab teams.


Until now, Bnei Sakhnin has been unable to host games because it lacks a stadium or even a decent patch of grass on which to practice. The soccer field in relatively upscale Kfar Bara borders a grove of olive trees and the village's garbage dump. It has more dirt than grass, and razor-sharp thistles grow on its edges in the searing midday sun.

To give this tale of an oppressed minority the obligatory historical perspective writer Michele Chabin wrote:

Israel's Arab citizens descended from the small remnant of Palestinians who did not flee Israel during the 1948 and 1967 Middle East wars. Their status in a Jewish state has resulted in widespread social gaps between them and their Jewish neighbors.

My question for Ms. Chabin is what does she mean by "flee"? The local Arabs were advised to leave by their Egyptian and Saudi Arabian Arab brothers who expected they'd easily defeat the Jews and then the Arabs could move back to a Judenrein country. Some Arabs did not accept the propaganda and decided to stay and face the potential anti-Arab backlash that never occurred. I think using the term "flee" is very questionable.

Another question for Ms. Chabin is, how many Jews have ever played on any of the Arab country soccer teams. In the case of the Jews who inhabited Arab countries and moved to Israel in 1948, the term "flee" is appropriate.

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