Monday, November 13

Provocations by Ultra-nationalists in Jaffa

If it wasn't so sad it would be funny, but instead of laughing, i feel angry, frustrated.

The well-published Jaffa visit by some ultra right-wing politicians out to gain a few cheap political points, has led to a media craze talking about "the transfer of the Jews from Jaffa". Yes, that's what i heard today on the radio and quoted to me by worried friends who called me. "Was i in any danger", they asked.

Huh?

"What the hell are they talking about?", was my first reaction.

Yes there is violence in Jaffa, yes there are drugs, yes there is horrid, degrading poverty and yes there is hatred between some people and other people
But NOT "between Jews and Arabs" as quoted by those politicians, out to make cheap & quick gains,without really being aware of what is going on in Jaffa.

Palestinians & Jews live in Jaffa, peacefully. Neighbors.

Yet Jaffa is plagued by a variety of very difficult social problems. Many of those problems have their source in the naqbe (the Palestinian catastrophe of 1948) as well as the decennia long disregard of the Tel Aviv municipality of Jaffa's problems. The weak public education system, a lack of social spending, unemployment (often, but not always, with its base in discrimination) and poverty, an ever widening social gap, housing problems etc etc.
And yes there is also anger.

But trying to explain every discussion between neighbors by "hate" is a fantasy- based over simplification.
Ofcourse there are a few ultra-nationalist hotheads (on BOTH sides), making life a little unpleasant now and then for some people. And sometimes there are disagreements between neighbors which can lead to violence, however unjustified.
But "anti semitism", actions against Jews etc. I have NEVER ever encountered any of that in Jaffa.
There are social problems, there is tension between some of the extremely wealthy new residents living in the closed compounds and the old timers, living in poor shacks next door.

There are also thefts by some of the junkies and i am the last person to say that it is nice. But to turn poverty related social problems into "hate and transfer" is simply ridiculous as well as untrue.
Social problems can be solved. It is a matter of priorities in funding, policy decisions made by the municipality and the ministries of education and welfare. It is a matter of long term community oriented planning instead of running after the money to be made by wealthy real estate developers.

The solution is simple: education, good community development, employment programs and vocational training, opening up opportunities, investing in a viable community and once more EDUCATION.

By demanding more policing and law enforcement nothing has ever been solved, rather problems gave been worsened. Besides, there is FAR too much police in Jaffa already.

The hate exists in the heads of those politicians. They like to create a moral panic, to justify more spending on security, more limitations on civil liberties etc.

3 comments:

Nominally Challenged said...

The hate is also the way they push their "solution" to the "problem". It serves their political purpose to perpetuate it, and if they can't use real evidence, they will apparently stoop so low as to make some up. But the right-wingers who were in Jaffa hardly have a monopoly on abuse of truth in this country - that is, unfortunately, a disease that affects all Israeli parties.

It's a shame that these people felt that they should be making their point in Jaffa, but I believe that the Yafoim are stronger than that, and can withstand the stupid statements of a few misguided idiots.

yudit said...

i agree with you & thanks for giving hope

Sometimes it's difficult, when people are working so had to improve things in Jaffa, and then those politicos come along, with their bs....

ee said...

Poverty is a great equalizer. I'm not surprised that it's more Rich vs Poor than Jews vs Palestinians.