Leftists made racism an R-word, but should it be such? A girl who specifically wants a Jewish husband—is she a racist in any meaningful sense? How about a girl who doesn’t want to marry an Arab, however nice and educated he is? But no mainstream newspaper would accept an announcement that read, “Looking for a husband. Arabs need not apply.” Similarly, if one is entitled to give charity to Jewish causes, why cannot he refuse charity to Arab causes? If one can legitimately dislike Arabs and avoid inviting his Arab neighbors to his house, what precludes a restaurant owner from refusing to let an Arab in? If racial (or ethnic, or religious) consciousness is acceptable in the private sector, what makes it unacceptable state policy? Governments are supposed to represent the sum of private interests.

There’s a fringe case of monopoly. If racism is allowed to the private sector only, some restaurants would exclude the Arabs, while others would welcome them. An Arab in Israel would always be able to find a restaurant. A government-level ban on Arabs in restaurants would be unacceptably absolute, precluding even those restaurant owners who want Arab customers from welcoming them, and unreasonably excluding the Arabs from a significant sphere of lifestyle activity. Such a policy would be wrong in normal societies, but in Israel it has a sense of retaliation and correcting other wrongs: in practice, Jews cannot enter Arab neighborhoods or buy land in Arab-controlled territories. There is nothing wrong with the retaliatory exclusion of Arabs from Jewish society. Banishing Arabs from Israel wouldn’t result in an unusual hardship for them, although it would end the stream of benefits paid at the Jews’ expense. Israeli Arabs only have to be moved thirty miles—less than the distance traversed by Americans evicted from their houses through the eminent domain doctrine.

Many accuse me of racism and remind me that Jews are not better than others. That’s only true from an outsiders’ perspective. For Jews too, French are no different from the British in terms of rights, and we would condemn either one infringing on the other. Nations, however, often pursue their interests at the cost of harm to others. The US had to bomb the Afghans to destroy the Taliban, and the Spaniards established their sovereignty over their land at the Basques’ expense. The Russians pursue imperial policies but tell us that Jews and Arabs should co-exist on equal terms. That’s an aberration, an observer’s error. People divide the world into “us” and “them.” For Jews, it is us and the Arabs; for Gentiles, it is them and “Jews and Arabs,” Jews and Arabs being considered similar. Come, step into our shoes. Imagine your ancestors persecuted throughout history. Imagine your parents fighting the Arabs for independence. Imagine Arab rockets showering you in Sderot. Then, in your newly distorted vision, Arab rights won’t equal Jewish rights.

view from here: Middle East analysis from Israel