NileMedia commentary: Like Ali Abunimah, we also took notice of Burg's
racist commentary on ABC. What really puzzled us was why Chris Bury, the
Nightline anchor. didn't react to the obviously racist remarks and let them
go unchallenged. This 'Scandinavian vs Barbarians' theme was also used by
Barak recently. we won't pretend that we are shocked that major Israeli
political figures are blatantly racist; it is part of being an Israeli. The
'Segregation now, Segregation forever' crowd is alive and nasty as ever in
Tel Aviv. This overt bigotry, which is standard fare in the Israeli press,
translates into day-to-day brutal repression against the Palestinians. It is
something the government of Israel encourages to create the requisite
cultural environment for their occupation troops and to assure that
segregationist and elitist sentiments prevail. So, what exactly is the
problem with people who don't want to debate the racist values inherent in
being a Zionist? If such overt racism goes unchallenged, it is safe to
assume that those who fail to challenge it are bigots themselves.
From Ali AbuNimah
Avraham Burg, the speaker of Israel's parliament, tipped to be the
next leader of the Israeli Labor Party, and a man who has long posed as a
"dove" has called Palestinians "unhuman" and "people you would not
want your daughter to get married to."
Mr. Burg made the comments on ABC television's news program "Nightline,"
on August 2, in a discussion in which he was vigorously defending Israel's
policy of extrajudicial executions of Palestinians.
Burg made a number of blatantly racist and inciteful statements which
dehumanize Palestinians and legitimize Israel's brutality against them
because, according to Burg, Israelis and Americans live in the
'civilized' 'Western' world, while Palestinians are barbarous savages who
should not be related to as human beings.
Nightline host Chris Bury asked Burg: "...Israel prides itself on
being a democratic nation based on the rule of law, and so how--how
does one justify assassination when the security forces in--in these
cases are jury, judge and executioner?"
Burg's response: "No doubt that in the Western world and the Western
value system that we both live in, the lamb is usually having a fair
chance before the wolf is biting it. In the Middle East, you have some
different rules. Unfortunately, the relationship between us and the
Palestinians are not exactly like the relationship between the US and
Canada. You know why? Not because we're not Americans, because I'm not
at all sure they're Canadians. We're living in a different hemisphere,
of Islamic fundamentalists, of human bombs, of suiciders--suic--suicide
people, of killers, of kidnappers, of people you do not want your daughter
to get married to. Don't try to ask me to relate to my unhuman neighbor
the way the Scandinavians are treating the Swedes."
Avraham Burg's comments provide further evidence, if it were needed,
that Israel's Labor Party is little different from Ariel Sharon's
Likud as regards its prevailing racist and supremacist attitude towards
The writer is an analyst based in the United States.