On a recent Monday, more than 200 Jewish Israelis rallied in Bat Yam, a suburb of Tel Aviv under the banner 'Keep Bat Yam Jewish'. The demonstrators, most of whom were religious and young, were there to protest against romantic relationships between Arabs and Jews, particularly those between Arab men and Jewish women.
I did not go as a reporter. I went to bear witness. I had also volunteered to translate for a colleague, a Palestinian man, who does not speak Hebrew.
We stood to the side. Demonstrators, mistaking us for supporters, handed us leaflets containing shameless propaganda. I read them aloud to my colleague, even though I was ashamed to repeat the words I held in my hands. "The Arabs are taking control of Bat Yam, buying and renting apartments from Jews, taking and ruining girls from Bat Yam! Fifteen-thousand Jewish girls have been taken to Arab villages! Guard our city - we want a Jewish Bat Yam," the leaflets said.
The rally came in the wake of a religious edict forbidding Jews from leasing or selling homes or land to Arabs. The proclamation was signed by 50 rabbis, many of whom are state employees, before it was announced publicly several weeks ago. Another 250 have joined since then.
That was Monday.
On Tuesday, police announced that they had arrested seven teenagers and two adults, all Jewish, suspected of attacking Arab youths in Jerusalem. The group allegedly used a 14-year-old girl to lure the victims to isolated places. They then attacked the Arabs using pepper spray, glass bottles and stones. Several were beaten so badly that they needed to be hospitalised. According to police reports, the attacks were motivated by nationalism....
But the week was not over yet.
[url=http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2011/01/20111812130964689.h... week of racism in Israel[/url]