It's been a mere four months since Ran HaCohen last graced us with an article, and I fear he might sprain a finger if he keeps up this breakneck pace. This time around he's talking about a few things, including the new Israeli law that outsources the censorship of Israeli boycott supporters to the companies benefiting from tax subsidies and cheap Palestinian labor:
[E]very Israeli producer based in the occupied territories can sue anyone calling for a boycott. If I call to boycott all settlements products — I am not saying I do, I say “if” — each and every Israeli firm based in the occupied territories can sue me, and there are hundreds of such firms. So not only do they operate on stolen Palestinian land, not only do they enjoy generous state benefits from my tax money (that’s why they moved to the territories in the first place) — now they can sue me and take my money too for calling for a boycott (if I ever do). What started as a dispossession of the Palestinians now moves to the dispossession of any Israeli who dares oppose that dispossession. What started as enslaving the Palestinians may end in enslaving their supporters within Israel.
(The best part: the suing companies don't actually have to prove they've sustained any damage from the boycott.)
And the casual racism that's become the norm in Israel, for some inexplicable reason:
I don’t think the taxi driver is a bad person. He is just a symptom. He has learned from experience that in the Israel of 2011 it’s legitimate to send a person to hell with a backpack full of dirty words just because he is Arab. Or better: that it’s legitimate to share with your passenger a backpack full of dirty words against an innocent Arab, provided your passenger looks Jewish. He didn’t want to be rude with me: on the contrary, it was his way of being friendly, of appealing to our common denominator: hatred toward Arabs.
Historians speak of anti-Semitism in pre-Nazi Germany as a common system of beliefs and utterances shared by the average (non-Jewish) person as normal, acceptable, respectable, even obvious facts of life. Everybody hated Jews, just like everybody hates cockroaches — what’s the big deal?
Regarding HaCohen's scandalous use of the N-word: I attended a protest a few months back at a "Brand Israel" cultural event, held just after Israel's homicidal assault on the Gaza flotilla. As people arrived for the event the flag-waving pro-Israel counterprotesters at the gates sneered, "Let the humans through"—apparently either unaware of or unconcerned about the irony of waving Star of David-festooned flags while invoking the notion that other people are somehow less than human beings (that would be "Untermenschen" in the original German, of course).
This mirrors what I heard from an Israeli security guard at Ben Gurion airport, who informed me that Palestinians were "animals". When I challenged her about it she replied, "Well, maybe not animals, but"...and then trailed off, apparently unable to come up with something a step above an animal but still lower than a human being.
(If you think this offers a clue as to why the Israeli "brand" is in such a sorry state around the world, you're wrong! It's actually because of Israel's "passivity and timidity"—for example, the fact that "Israel has been mute in the face of Arab anti-semitism." Isn't it surprising when reality doesn't match our expectations?)