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Oct 24, 2010

David Ben-Gurion, the Racist

The use of irony takes a special talent. Rav David Meier Druckman, the Chief Rabbi of Kiryat Motzkin, seems to have mastered that talent in a recent article.

Rav Druckman suggests that the country change the name of "Ben-Gurion Airport" due to David Ben-Gurion having been a racist.

How was Ben-Gurion, one of the founders of the State, perhaps the most revered prime minister in Israel's history, a statesman and patriot, and founder of what would become the Labor party, a racist?

Druckman points to the history books that describe how Ben-Gurion fought, for tens of years in the area of Pades Chana, against farmers and orchard owners who would hire Arab labor to work the fields. Ben-Gurion insisted on farmers using only Jewish labor.

In addition, he points to Ben-Gurion's testimony to the Peel Commission. The Peel Commission, headed by Earl Peel, was appointed in 1936 to investigate the Arab uprising. The Peel Commission's report eventually led to the Partition Plan, which the Arabs rejected.

Ben-Gurion, in his testimony to the Peel Commission, tesified that The Tanakh is our mandate to Eretz Yisrael.

Druckman continues that it is obvious that according to today's standards of our society and government, David Ben-Gurion would be considered a racist and a dangerous extreme right-winger.

Rav Druckman says, invoking the trade of irony, how the "gates of the country" is named "Ben-Gurion" after such a dangerous racist can only be considered to be inciting to racism and extremism. As well, oru Ministry of Education and the government should stop educating us that Israel is a Jewish state, but it should be called a state of all its citizens.

While Rav Druckman uses the irony well to make his point, he is really not saying anything new. He is saying the exact same thing that the Palestinians say every time they get criticized for naming a traffic circle after a terrorist, a terrorist who they choose to call a founding father, a freedom fighter, and the like. They always respond that said terrorist is really to them just like Ben-Gurion is to the Israelis.

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