Infiltrated by History

My latest post is up at Open Zion:

Israeli right-wingers have it rough. After last week’s Tel Aviv riot against African immigrants, likudniks like MKs Danny Danon (who said, “The infiltrators are a national plague”) and Miri Regev (who called immigrants “a cancer” and then backed off… sort of) came under fire for their inflammatory rhetoric.As well they should—but they’re hardly the only ones guilty. The same Jerusalem Post article that contains Danon’s “national plague” remark itself refers to the Africans, repeatedly and casually, as “infiltrators.” Nor it just the Post—”infiltrator” is also used by the Israeli news site Ynet and by the Religious Zionist Arutz Sheva.

The term, of course, is highly prejudicial. The first use of “infiltrator” to describe people was in World War II, in reference to military enemies; after the war, it was often accompanied by the adjective “Communist.”  It suggests concealed hostile intent and the attempt to destroy from within. So why is it now mainstream among Israeli politicians and media outlets?

To find out, read the rest.

2 thoughts on “Infiltrated by History

  1. I recently edited a documentary film called Refuge Among Refugees for an organization called the Right Now Coalition. The film attempts to bring international attention on the plight of African refugees living in and being deported from Israel, and to put international pressure on the Israeli government to implement a fair refugee determination process. I thought that Inter Agency Task Force might be interested in viewing the film, promoting it, and joining our coalition. Here is a link to the documentary in its current form (although we’d like to update it soon):

    Below are a two petitions the Right Now Coalition has started, one for Jewish Americans and one for Rabbi.

    Petition for American Jews and others who support African asylum seekers:

    Petition especially for Rabbis:

    Please sign either of the petitions if you are so inclined, and we would be delighted if you would write more about the issue (contact me for bullet points) and ask your readers to sign the petition as well. We only have a few more days to get 500 more signatures on the main petition!

    To join the coalition, e-mail (or e-mail me at, and become a member of the Facebook group to keep up with the most recent news:

    The Right Now Coalition is inspired by the following quotes:

    You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him,
for you were strangers in the land of Egypt – Exodus 22:21

    The highest patriotism is not a blind acceptance of official policy,
     but a love of one’s country deep enough to call her to a higher standard. 
    -George McGovern 

    We hope to hear from you soon.

    Best regards,

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