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Monday, April 16, 2012

Some Israelis are more equal than others

For approximately the last three years of Gilad Shalit's captivity, his family lived in a protest tent outside the Prime Minister's residence in Jerusalem. No one ever suggested forcing them out.

Shortly after the terrorists for Gilad trade, a group of Ethiopians took over the site to protest against racism. Now, the City of Jerusalem wants to expel them. The Jerusalem district court has ordered the protesters to leave, and the Supreme Court is due to rule on an appeal within a few days. The protesters have rejected a 'compromise' that would require them to be out by Sunday - before next week's Independence Day.

Aspiring Knesset member Noam Shalit realizes it would be political poison (not to mention hypocritical) for him not to oppose the evacuation, so he showed up at last week's court hearing and said that the Ethiopians should be allowed to stay.

But it should be clear to everyone why the Shalits were allowed to stay and make a public scene for three years while the Ethiopians are being forced to leave. It's not that Gilad Shalit was an IDF soldier - the Ethiopians serve in the army too. It's that in Orwellian Israel, some Jewish citizens are more equal than others. The Shalits are part of the branja. The Ethiopians, who just started to arrive here in the mid-'80's , are not.

I'm not arguing substantively that the Ethiopians are right or wrong. Only that the way that they are being treated is certainly validating their claims.

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