thou shouldest receive him for ever; not now as a servant, but above a servant, a brother beloved—Philemon 1:15-16
by Roy Tov
Most people considerate racism negative. They fastidiously embed this understanding into their books of law. It is even forbidden by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Few have evolved enough to understand its sophistication, its worldliness and refinement, which allow the better to enjoy the best.
Few have evolved enough to understand that behind its falseness, speciousness, perversion, and adulteration, hide huge financial profits.
Please allow me a very short reminder on a related issue.
Israel’s Planned New “White Money” Notes
The Racial State
On April 28, 2013, the Israeli Administration approved a decision taken by a committee led by Justice (ret) Jacob Turkel to replace four existing banknotes, with the ones shown in the adjacent picture.
“White Money: Where did the Mizrahim disappear?” was the resulting headline of Yedioth Ahronot, Israel’s largest paid newspaper (see Israel to issue “White Money”).
The racist event was not a statistical fluke of quantum mechanical nature; it was not a creator operator followed by a destructor one in an infinite chain of beautiful randomness. On July 30, it was disclosed to be a systemic quality of Israeli banks. This time, Israel’s financial attack on the “cousins” was embarrassingly disclosed.
We are Cousins!
The adjacent comparative table shows the average monthly fees paid by bank customers. On the day of the publication, the lowest fee belonged to the Ya’av Bank and was roughly worth 1.7$.
The two banks with the highest fees are at the extreme left, shown with a red background. They are the Mercantil (highest fees) and the Israeli-Arab Bank.*
The two banks with the highest fees share another characteristic. They are the only ones with a majority of Palestinian-Israeli customers.
Oh! The majestic sophistication of fine-print racism!
The disclosure of the table and the subsequent events was the result of an embarrassing conversation between G, a Mizrahi Bank customer service agent and L, his supervisor. It was recorded and published with Hebrew subtitles here. Following is a partial transcript, I tried to keep the informal style of the original, but Hebrew slang doesn’t translate well.
L was aware that by law it is forbidden to refuse the opening of an account. In the conversation, she attempts to explain G how to refuse Palestinian requests bypassing the law.
L: “… so regarding cousins. You know what cousins are?”
G: “No. I don’t know. What does that mean?” Is G a Russian? “Cousin” is well-known Israeli slang. I have heard even Palestinian-Israelis using it with the same meaning.
L: “The…Arabs…Arabs, Druze, whatever you call them.” Yes, apparently G is Russian since L differentiates between herself and him. She continues, “We don’t give them credit immediately. Only after six months. Maybe four or five…”
G: “Let’s say a customer with the best economic situation arrives. What? By definition, because he is an Arab…in such a way?”
L: “New account! New account! You offer him all kind of staff. So don’t offer! Tell him, if you care a lot for him, that we don’t give credit immediately. Only after four or five months. I closed three of your accounts,” she indirectly reminds him that if he opens unwanted accounts he loses commissions.
G: “What is the trick? Another customer is cool, but Arabs not?”
L: “I don’t want…. It is forbidden to say this by phone, but I am saying you to read between the lines…”
L: “No! I will tell you again. No. No. It doesn’t go. If you want to work hard, don’t work hard on cousins. OK? I am telling you simple, so you understand. It would be a pity if I will sign negative on your applications…”
The talk continues like this for many screens.
The day after, the issue reached the Knesset’s Economic Affairs Committee, which ordered David Zaken—Israel’s Banks Supervisor—to stop discrimination against Palestinians in the banks.
Avishay Braverman—Labor, Head of the Committee—said, “I would like to think that this was a local clerk initiative, but the amount of cases reported (not everything presented in this article) makes me suspicious that this is a policy directive imposed from above.”
Reuven Rivlin—Likud Knesset Member—also condemned the event, despite he having been featured also in this website for insulting Christians. “There are neither justifications nor explanations to the fact that we have a deep social defect.” Mr. Rivlin, I am glad that you are finally reading me, despite me not being as sophisticated as you are. Just a redneck from The Valley pointing out at a naked king.
A simple Christian. Not very good with words. Fighting against prepositions; scared to death of nouns. Unable to differentiate between English and Spanish. Not as shiningly sophisticated as Jewish bankers. It is simpler to play soccer. That reminds me that last January, the fanatic fans of Beitar Jerusalem opposed the addition of Palestinian players to their team. “Beitar Pure Forever!” Read their signs.
Indeed Rivlin, you have a deep defect.
“Beitar Pure Forever” Teddy Kollek Stadium, Jerusalem, January 26, 2013
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* Over a million Israeli citizens are Palestinians. Together with other minorities (Druze, Bedouins, Circassians) they make over 20% of the population (much more if understanding that Isrtael cannot count settlers in the West Bank as its own).
Yet, the word Palestinian was taboo for many years. Israelis refer to these Palestinians as Israeli-Arabs.
Roi Tov is a graduate—among others—of Tel Aviv University and the Weizmann Institute of Science. In addition to his memoir, Tov is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Molecular Physics and other scientific journals. He won various travel writing and photography awards.
In his writings, he tries to reveal life in Israel as a Christian Israel Defense Force (IDF) officer—from human rights violations to the use of an extensive network of underground agents. He was recognized first as a refugee and subsequently as political prisoner of Bolivia.