...is a Member of the Knesset representing Yisrael Beitenu, and the Minister responsible for Public Security. Yesterday, he was taken on a tour of the old Central Bus Station in south Tel Aviv. These days, the derelict complex is the haunt of pimps, pushers and professionals - not a very nice place.
Aharonovitch was introduced to two undercover cops who had just carried out a bust. One apologised for his appearance - to fit in, he'd scruffed himself up a little.
Precisely what Aharonovitch said in reply depends on how you translate the word Araboush: Ha'aretz go for "Dirty Arab", whilst Jpost deescribe it as a "derogatory Hebrew term for Arabs": Ynet go a bit sensationalist, describing the the word as the "Hebrew equivalent of 'Sand Nigger' ".
In a sense, it doesn't mater how you translate it; no-one uses the word benignly, a point belated recognised by Aharonovitch when he issued a statement later, clarifying that the word was "uttered in a moment of jest", and "does not express (his) worldview".
One can't - shouldn't - try to control how people think: It's an exercise in futility. Perhaps Aharonovitch doesn't like the Arab population one little bit: there isn't very much that I can do about it. But as a citizen, he has a basic duty of common courtesy towards his fellow man, regardless of ethnicity. As a minister, as a representative of this country, as the minister responsible for public order, this duty heightens significantly. I do think that Aharonovitch's use of the term, whilst on official duties and in the presence of various radio and print journalists, is really worrying.
The argument about Yisrael Beitenu being full of out-and-out racists has been made many times before. Correct or not, the casual use of this ugly word - given the circumstances and his position - demonstrates, to my mind, the influence of their policies upon the broader public discourse concerning race relations in this country.
In case you think I'm being hysterical, consider this: Jpost point out that when a police officer used the same term, on internal police radio, to describe demonstrators in Umm el-Fahm, he was sacked by Avi Dichter - Public Security Minister at the time, oddly enough.
I don't think MK Aharonovitch is worried about his job this morning, skewered worldview or not. Do you?
¿Cómo se desarrolla la boca del bebé?
3 weeks ago