Essay:anti-Israel bigotry: the Apartheid slur part4
- 1 REALITY VS "APARTHEID" SLUR / LIE / PROPAGANDA
- 1.1 Anti-Israel ardent critic R. Goldstone: "Apartheid" is a lie, a slander!
- 1.2 'Discriminations' in perspective
- 1.3 Worldwide preferences for one group over another and singling out Israel who does not discriminate on the basis of "race"
- 1.4 The [unlimited] rights of Arabs VS the [limited] rights of Jews to reside in the region
- 1.5 The anti-Terror fence
- 1.6 The Law of Return - designed to be a refuge for Jews [of any color], who have a past/present history of persecution
- 1.7 Democracy & equality
- 1.8 Israel's harassement of the Jewish right shows again that only security concerns dictate its policies
- 1.9 General facts VS myths/distortions deliberately spread around - 'apartheid lies'
- 1.10 A few simple historic & present facts about wonderful Israel VS Arab nations/Arab-Palestinians
- 1.11 From a critic of Israel on the falsehood of "apartheid"
- 1.12 Issue: "land" or mass murder?
- 2 Notes
REALITY VS "APARTHEID" SLUR / LIE / PROPAGANDA
Israel's open and democratic character, and its scrupulous protection of the religious and political rights of Christians and Muslims, rebut the charge of exclusivity. Moreover, anyone - Jew or non-Jew, Israeli, American, or Saudi, black, white, yellow or purple - can be a Zionist. Israel's population entails all colors, races equal under the law.
From the fighters against hatred on the 'apartheid lie': The truth is that unlike apartheid South Africa, Israel is a democratic state. Its 20% Arab minority enjoys all the political, economic and religious rights and freedoms of citizenship, including electing members of their choice to the Knesset (Parliament). Israeli Arabs and Palestinians have standing before Israel's Supreme Court. In contrast, no Jew may own property in Jordan, no Christian or Jew can visit Islam's holiest sites in Saudi Arabia.
Yoram Ettinger asks about the slanderous claim of so-called "apartheid" in Israel: "Did you know that Arabs prefer Israeli ID?"
Vic Alhadeff in JPost on March 22, 2012:
Three sisters of Hamas leader, Ismail Haniyeh, married Israeli Arabs and live in Israel's Negev city of Tel Sheva. Two are widows and the son of the third serves in the IDF...According to the January 2011 poll, which was conducted by Palestinians in Arab neighborhoods far from any Jewish presence, 40% of Jerusalem Arabs would relocate to an area inside Israel if their current neighborhood were to be transferred to the Palestinian Authority. Only 27% would prefer to remain in the neighborhood under Palestinian Authority.
J Sheikh Akrameh Sabri, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, who delivers anti-Semitic and pro-terrorist sermons, retains his Israeli ID card. Here are a few more: Hanan Ashrawi of the PLO, Muhammad Abu-Tir of Hamas and Jibril Rajoub's wife...
150,000 non-Israeli Arabs, mostly from Judea and Samaria, married Israeli Arabs and received Israeli ID cards between 1993 and 2003.
Israeli Arabs vehemently oppose any settlement which would exchange land between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. This would transform them into Palestinian subjects, denying them Israeli citizenship.
According to an opinion poll conducted by The Palestinian Center for Public Opinion headed by Nabil Kukali of Beit Sakhur, a sizeable number of Jerusalem Arabs prefer to remain under Israel's sovereignty.
Since 1967, Jerusalem Arabs within Israel's municipal lines have been permanent Israeli residents and are Israeli ID card holders. They freely work and travel throughout Israel and benefit from Israeli's health care system, retirement plans, social security, unemployment, disability and child allowances. They can vote in Jerusalem's municipal elections.
Comparing Israel to South African system insults victims of apartheid regime.
To brand Israel an apartheid state is not only baseless, it insults all who suffered under the apartheid regime. It falsifies history for expedient political gain. Yet so many fall for the lie.
University campuses around the world are in the throes of marking the so-called “Israel Apartheid Week.”
But just the briefest reflection on what apartheid really was will show why it is obscene that the apartheid descriptor has become the default position for the global delegitimization campaign against Israel.
I went to boarding school in apartheid Rhodesia (South Africa’s northern white-ruled neighbor) and edited newspapers and wrote books under the constraints of South Africa’s apartheid system.
From the age of nine, I had swastikas scrawled on my boarding school locker. The message was as much about my refusal to join a collective denigration of blacks as it was a reflection of my Jewish identity.
Under South Africa’s apartheid system people classified as black were randomly stopped in the street by police and ordered to produce an identity card. If they could not do so immediately, they were invariably thrown into a police wagon and incarcerated.
People classified as non-white had no right to vote, run for political office or use “whites only” park benches, post-office doors, toilets, public swimming pools, cinemas or even beaches. If critically injured in an accident, they were left to die if no non-white ambulances were available to transport them to a non-white hospital. White hospitals were prohibited from treating non-white patients.
In Soweto, a sprawling black city on the edge of Johannesburg, hundreds of thousands of men were prohibited from bringing their families to live with them under a clause known as Influx Control.
If caught doing so, the charge under which they were hauled before the courts was “harboring their wife and children.”
Under the banner of “Israel Apartheid Week,” university campuses in the US, UK, Australia and elsewhere are engaging in activities, which include erecting simulated checkpoints at which role-playing students will be “shot” by “Israeli soldiers.” These scenarios are buttressed by speakers, posters, displays and movies depicting Israel as an apartheid state, with organizations such as Socialist Alternative, Students for Palestine and Action for Palestine actively involved.
Granted Israeli society is a work in progress and Arab Israelis suffer disadvantage in various spheres. The difference is the Israeli government has set up a ministry with the express purpose of tackling these inequities.
It is also a given that the condition of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza is a serious issue, albeit inextricably bound up with the root cause of the conflict, which is the fundamental refusal to accept Israel’s existence. The key point though is that every Israeli citizen, of whatever faith and ethnic background, enjoys the right to vote and to speak out – even against Israel’s existence.
The country has a free press, an independent judiciary – an Arab judge recently passed sentence on a former president of the country on sexual misconduct charges – and Arabs have served as government ministers, ambassadors, high-ranking army officers and heads of the border police.
There have been Arab Members of the Knesset in every Israeli parliament since the first one sat in 1949, holding as many as 12 out of 120 seats in some sessions, while every Israeli university has Arab students and lecturers, with 20 percent of Haifa University’s students and 10 percent of its faculty Israeli Arabs, and Arab and Jewish surgeons operate side by side on Arab and Jewish patients in Israel’s hospitals. The list is virtually endless.
An author gets a good laugh, albeit a somewhat bitter one at "Israeli Apartheid Week" [as he dubbs it "Israeli Pogrom Week"].
...the reason I'm laughing these days is not because it's Purim season, but because the enemies of Israel and the Jewish people around the world are hosting, as they have for the past seven years, something called "Israel Apartheid Week." This international phenomenon consists of a series of events held in cities and campuses across the globe. The aim of International apartheid Week, according to the group's website, is "to educate people about the nature of Israel as an apartheid system and to build Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns as part of a growing global BDS movement."Why don't the Apartheid folks ask the Arab living in Israel if they would rather be living in Israel (with civil rights, healthcare and education benefits, insurance – and I could go on and on), or in Libya, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iran, or any other country whose name I'm sure will not be mentioned this week by these phony saints. The answers they receive might be surprising to them, but not to me.
So while in reality, this is no laughing matter, I can't help but to ridicule the absurdity of the claims that Israel is an Apartheid State on par with White South Africa. Anyone who has been to Israel, and I'm sure the majority of the group's organizers have not, would come to realize in a very short time how utterly preposterous those claims are.
Let's start by using the capital city of Jerusalem as the ultimate proof of this fallacy. I take my wife to the mall and Arabs are shopping in the same stores as Jews. I take my kids to the zoo and Arabs are there with their families as well. The movies – it's the same story. Restaurants, cafes, gas stations, public restrooms more and more Arabs are sighted. Wow! I'm amazed! There are Arabs everywhere I go.
In all of Jerusalem's hospitals Jewish and Arab doctors and nurses work side by side treating – you guessed it, Arab patients!! Not only Arabs from the area, but from all over Israel including Judea and Samaria (the so-called "West Bank"). In fact, even during Israel's military Operation in Gaza a few years back, Arabs who needed special treatment were given care in Israeli medical clinics near the border. True Hamas did everything in their power to prevent their fellow Arabs from accepting treatment, but "Apartheid" Israel was still on hand to treat our ENEMIES and their families nonetheless.
The most transparent example of why this myth is bogus can be found in the halls of government and military. There are currently 14 Arab (and Druze) members of Israel's Knesset or Parliament elected to represent their own constituency in all parts of the country. Within the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Beduin Arabs play a key role, often serving as trackers as part of the Desert Reconnaissance Brigade usually in Southern regions of the country.
Does this sound like Apartheid to you?
It doesn't to me, hence the sarcastic laughter. In reality the "Apartheid Week BDS" group is an organization of anti-Zionists whose goal is to first delegitimize and ultimately destroy the State of Israel. There is nothing noble, sincere, or factual in their critiques or actions when it comes to the events surrounding what should be really dubbed "Israel Pogrom Week," where Israel bashers and haters come to spew their Anti-Semitic rhetoric while they are disguised as pro-Arab left-wing humanitarians.
After simply [naturally] laughing the "apartheid" slur off, Danielle Kubes responded to the slanderous propaganda in order to clarify the facts to others:
The hypocrisy of Israel Apartheid WeekAnd what about the actions of Israel's neighbours? Why didn't people protest when Lebanon's army killed hundreds of Palestinians in 2007 while fighting militants in a refugee camp? And why don't people cry out when Syrian homosexuals have to flee into Israel to escape death? Perhaps Canadians don't care when Arabs kill other Arabs. We must take care not to apply a different standard to Israel, which possibly has the best human rights record in the region.
I laughed the first time I heard Israel called an apartheid state. The statement is so hyperbolic and absurd that it should not even require refutation. But since many students fail to grasp the full complexity of Middle Eastern issues and never bother to check the facts, I'm writing to clarify that Israel is not an apartheid state and saying it is only hinders constructive dialogue; people shut down when they hear emotive words bearing negative connotations. So calling Israel an apartheid state merely attracts attention and masks the real issues plaguing the Israel-Palestine conflict.
First off, most people don't realize that Israel is extremely multicultural. Downtown Tel-Aviv you'll find Black Christian Sudanese drinking coffee alongside Thai women shouting Hebrew, beside religious Jewish men wearing tall black hats who dart their eyes to the ground as scantily-clad young Israeli women saunter by with their Ethiopian boyfriends to buy soda from Arab-Israeli vendors. To assume Israel has a single ethnic identity, or that its goal is such, is a joke. True, Israel was founded primarily as a Jewish state - but not to the exclusion of others. The purpose was to ensure that Jews always have a safe place to go whenever they face persecution, certainly not because Israel seeks an entirely Jewish population run according to Biblical laws. Israel could not create a single identity even if it tried because Jews are too diverse in race, observance and opinion.
Moreover, every citizen of Israel's democracy has exactly the same rights. Arab Israelis - who make up roughly one fifth of the country's six million people - vote, worship whomever they want, volunteer for the army and even make up roughly one-tenth of parliament. Sure, prejudice and discrimination exists in Israel. And in Canada. And in every country in the world. To be an apartheid state, the discrimination must be sanctioned and enforced by the government on the basis of race. Israel's government often condemns prejudiced individuals and constantly denounces extremists. It cannot be held responsible for the actions of racist individuals.
But what about the checkpoints, fences and separate roads the government placed in the West Bank? Are they proof the government is inherently racist against Palestinians? Or did Israel create them to protect its citizens from a very real terrorism threat funded and encouraged by Iran and Syria? Security, not racism, is the motivation behind Israel's policies in the West Bank.
Separate roads for Israelis and Palestinians exist because tensions are so intense that an Israeli found on Palestinian property is likely to be assaulted or killed, and vice versa.
Racism didn't fuel the recent offensive in Gaza either; Israel's government was taking military action against the nearly 3,500 rockets it says have been launched against Israel from the Gaza Strip since Israeli forces withdrew from the region in August 2005. Feel free to criticize Israel's defence policies, but don't be fooled into thinking the core of the conflict is institutional racism. Not only is there little evidence for that, but it also oversimplifies the conflict thereby drawing attention away from the real issues at hand such as water rights, demographic issues and extremism.
Author D. Prager, in a piece based on raw facts, clearly lays out the 'lie' of apartheid and shows the 'genocide' goal of the lie (Aug. 2011):
Israel has nothing in common with an apartheid state, but few people know enough about Israel — or about apartheid South Africa — to refute the libel. So let's respond.
First, what is an apartheid state? And, does Israel fit that definition?
From 1948 to 1994, South Africa, the country that came up with this term, had an official policy that declared blacks second-class citizens in every aspect of that nation's life. Among many other prohibitions on the country's blacks, they could not vote; could not hold political office; were forced to reside in certain locations; could not marry whites; and couldn't even use the same public restrooms as whites.
Not one of those restrictions applies to Arabs living in Israel.
One and a half million Arabs live in Israel, constituting about 20 percent of the country's population. They have the same rights as all other Israeli citizens. They can vote, and they do. They can serve in the Israeli parliament, and they do. They can own property, businesses, and work in professions alongside other Israelis, and they do. They can be judges, and they are. Here's one telling example: It was an Arab judge on Israel's supreme court who sentenced the former president of Israel, a Jew, to jail on a rape charge.
Some other examples of Arabs in Israeli life: Reda Mansour was the youngest ambassador in Israel's history, and is now Consul General at Israel's Atlanta Consulate; Walid Badir is an international soccer star on Israel's national team, and captain of one of Tel Aviv's major teams; Rana Raslan is a former Miss Israel; Ishmael Khaldi was until recently the deputy consul of Israel in San Francisco; Khaled Abu Toameh is a major journalist with the Jerusalem Post; Ghaleb Majadele was until recently a minister in the Israeli Government. They are all Israeli Arabs. Not one is a Jew.
Arabs in Israel live freer lives than Arabs living anywhere in the Arab world. No Arab in any Arab country has the civil rights and personal liberty that Arabs in Israel have.
Now one might counter, “Yes, Palestinians who live inside Israel have all these rights, but what about the Palestinians who live in what are known as the occupied territories? Aren't they treated differently?”
Yes, of course, they are — they are not citizens of Israel. They are governed by either the Palestinian Authority (Fatah) or by Hamas. The control Israel has over these people's lives is largely manifested when they want to enter Israel. Then they are subjected to long lines and strict searches because Israel must weed out potential terrorists.
Otherwise, Israel has little control over the day-to-day life of Palestinians, and was prepared to have no control in 2000 when it agreed to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state to which it gave 97 percent of the land it had conquered in the 1967 War. The Palestinian response was to unleash an intifada of terror against Israeli civilians.
And what about the security wall that divides Israel and the West Bank? Is that an example of apartheid?
That this is even raised as an issue is remarkable. One might as well mention the security fence between the United States and Mexico an example of apartheid. There is no difference between the American wall at its southern border and the Israeli wall on its eastern border. Both barriers have been built to keep unwanted people from entering the country.
Israel built its security wall in order to keep terrorists from entering Israel and murdering its citizens. What appears to bother those who work to delegitimize Israel by calling it an apartheid state is that the barrier has worked. The wall separating Israel from the West Bank has probably been the most successful terrorism-prevention program ever enacted.
So, then, why is Israel called an apartheid state?
Beause by comparing the freest, most equitable country in the Middle East to the former South Africa, those who seek Israel's demise hope they can persuade uninformed people that Israel doesn't deserve to exist just as apartheid South Africa didn't deserve to exist.
Yet, the people who know better than anyone else what a lie the apartheid accusation is are Israel's Arabs - which is why they prefer to live in the Jewish state than in any Arab state.
There are lies, and then there are loathsome lies. “Israel is an apartheid state” is in the latter category. Its only aim is to hasten the extermination of Israel.
In April 2011, in a brave act, black student leaders slammed 'apartheid' characterization.
Letter says "decency, justice and hope compel us to demand immediate cessation to deliberate misappropriation of words.""The Students for Justice in Palestine's labeling of Israel, an extremely diverse and vibrant country, as an apartheid state is not only false, but offensive," Vanguard President Michael Hayes told The Jerusalem Post. "Additionally, this rhetoric does absolutely nothing to help Israel-Palestine negotiations or relations. We feel this type of action serves to hinder the peace process domestically and abroad, and have made it our priority to take a stand to shift the tide of understanding."
...African-American student leaders from a variety of historically black colleges and universities took out full page ads in numerous American college newspapers Thursday, displaying an "Open Letter to Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP)," to convey that they were offended by SJP's use of the term "apartheid" at recent Israel Apartheid Week events at campuses across the country...
The Letter also reads:
"Your organization's campaign against Israel is spreading misinformation about its policies, fostering bias in the media and jeopardizing prospects for a timely resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Such irresponsibility is a blemish on your efforts."
"Decency, justice, and the hope of peace and reconciliation in the Middle East compel us to demand an immediate cessation to the deliberate misappropriation of words and of the flagrant mischaracterizations of Israel," the letter concludes. "Your compliance with this request will be viewed as a responsible and appropriate first step toward raising the level of discourse."
The letter continues to state that "[p]laying the ‘apartheid card' is a calculated attempt to conjure up images associated with the racist South African regimes of the 20th century," and calls the strategy "as transparent as it is base."
"Beyond that, it is highly objectionable to those who know the truth about the Israelis' record on human rights and how it so clearly contrasts with South Africa's," the letter reads, noting that under apartheid, black South Africans had no rights in a country in which they were the majority of the population.
Saying that the analogy manipulates rather than informs, the letter requests SJP to "immediately stop referring to Israel as an apartheid society and to acknowledge that the Arab minority in Israel enjoys full citizenship with voting rights and representation in the government."
From Israeli Arab (Bedouin), Ishmael Khaldi, the deputy consul general of Israel for the Pacific Northwest:
Lost in the blur of slogansFrom CIFWatch:
If Israel were an apartheid state, I would not have been appointed here, nor would I have chosen to take upon myself this duty. There are many Arabs, both within Israel and in the Palestinian territories who have taken great courage to walk the path of peace. You should stand with us, rather than against us.
Last year, at UC Berkeley, I had the opportunity to "dialogue" with some of the organizers of these events. My perspective is unique, both as the vice consul for Israel in San Francisco, and as a Bedouin and the highest-ranking Muslim representing the Israel in the United States. I was born into a Bedouin tribe in Northern Israel, one of 11 children, and began life as shepherd living in our family tent. I went on to serve in the Israeli border police, and later earned a master's degree in political science from Tel Aviv University before joining the Israel Foreign Ministry.
I am a proud Israeli – along with many other non-Jewish Israelis such as Druze, Bahai, Bedouin, Christians and Muslims, who live in one of the most culturally diversified societies and the only true democracy in the Middle East. Like America, Israeli society is far from perfect, but let us deals honestly. By any yardstick you choose – educational opportunity, economic development, women and gay's rights, freedom of speech and assembly, legislative representation – Israel's minorities fare far better than any other country in the Middle East
So, I would like to share the following with organizers of Israel Apartheid week, for those of them who are open to dialogue and not blinded by a hateful ideology:
You are part of the problem, not part of the solution: If you are really idealistic and committed to a better world, stop with the false rhetoric. We need moderate people to come together in good faith to help find the path to relieve the human suffering on both sides of the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Vilification and false labeling is a blind alley that is unjust and takes us nowhere.
You deny Israel the fundamental right of every society to defend itself: You condemn Israel for building a security barrier to protect its citizens from suicide bombers and for striking at buildings from which missiles are launched at its cities – but you never offer an alternative. Aren't you practicing yourself a deep form of racism by denying an entire society the right to defend itself?
Your criticism is willfully hypocritical: Do Israel's Arab citizens suffer from disadvantage? You better believe it. Do African Americans 10 minutes from the Berkeley campus suffer from disadvantage – you better believe it, too. So should we launch a Berkeley Apartheid Week, or should we seek real ways to better our societies and make opportunity more available.
You are betraying the moderate Muslims and Jews who are working to achieve peace: Your radicalism is undermining the forces for peace in Israel and in the Palestinian territories. We are working hard to move toward a peace agreement that recognizes the legitimate rights of both Israel and the Palestinian people, and you are tearing down by falsely vilifying one side.
To the organizers of Israel Apartheid Week I would like to say:
On CiF Watch and the fight against anti-Semitism
Comparisons between Israel and Nazi Germany have been codified as anti-Semitic by the EU working definition of anti-Semitism.
The related charge that Israel "ethnically cleanses" its Palestinian/Arab/ethnic minority population are easily contradicted by population growth of every major religious/ethnic minority, both in Israel proper, and in the disputed territories.
When you compare Israel to Nazi Germany you're saying, in effect, that, like Nazi Germany, Israel is morally beyond the pale and therefore has no moral legitimacy and no right to exist. It's a way for those who seek her destruction to morally and politically justify their stance. Moreover, being asked to respond to such a hideous charge is not unlike asking the US to respond to charges by Iran that America is the great Satan.
In other words, such a charge against Israel is not a morally or intellectually serious argument, and it really shouldn't be dignified as if it's a serious charge. It's simply abuse. The fact is that, by any measure (such as the annual country reports which are published by the highly reputable human rights monitoring organization, Freedom House), Israel is, by far, the nation with the best human rights record in the Middle East.
As far as the Apartheid slur, again, the main point of such a charge is to morally delegitimize Israel. The fact is that Israel's Arab citizens enjoy full civil rights (in housing, education, voting, etc.) which South Africa's blacks were denied. There are Arab Israelis in every sector of Israeli societyand their rights are protected by an independent judiciary.
In fact there is a Christian Arab on the Supreme Court, and Arab parties in the Knesset. In South Africa under Apartheid, Blacks weren't permitted to live in White neighborhoods, go to White schools, or even date (or marry) Whites. There is no policy in Israel which even approaches such prohibitions.
Michael Weingberg wrote:
'Israel and the Apartheid Slur'
(and on IAW's uncredible accusations)...as a Jew, and an Israeli, I do not wish a return to apartheid, in practice, but rather to closer examine this loaded, grossly distorted, and extremely misunderstood term. Apartheid bears no resemblance to the reality of day-to-day life in Israel...
When Israel does not actively prevent or defend against provocation, murder and massacre people will die. This includes civilians within Israel and civilians within areas under PLO or Hamas auspices. The precedent above defies logic and justice and renders survival of Israel impossible...
These efforts to demonize a nation of survivors, from the biblical to modern era, are baffling and reckless. Israel assists in countless life-saving rescue missions and disaster relief operations locally and worldwide. We care for neighbors and strangers by saving lives of the injured or sick such as in recently devastated Haiti, refuge for thousands of African refugees fleeing horrific conflict. At the cost of precious lives, Israel's best intentions and expertise are often refused as did the Iranian government after a catastrophic 2003 earthquake or grossly manipulated via horrific and unsubstantiated slander such as accusations against Jewish surgeons of harvesting organs of dead or injured Haitians. Such baseless and libelous accusations are dangerous to Jewish and non-Jewish lives, alike...
I live amongst people of all nationalities, colors, creeds, religions, sexual preference, and political affiliation. On any given day a multitude of languages can be heard spoken on the streets: Farsi, English, Thai, French, German, Finnish, Russian, Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew. Together we share government offices, waiting rooms, hospitals, shops, eateries, holy sites, pharmacies, medical facilities, zoos, malls, grocery stores, post offices, universities, workplaces, and neighborhoods. We serve and share roles as varied as doctors, nurses, surgeons, mechanics, rail-workers, clerks, soldiers, elected officials, lawyers, journalists, and taxi drivers. We are an integrated society...
Mike Fegelman of HR wrote (July 2011): 'Vicious slur' demonizes Israel
Re: "Groups divided over Israeli apartheid"This farcical comparison should be unequivocally rebuked and condemned by the media..
Drawing an analogy between Israel and apartheid is not only ill-informed, inflammatory and without any factual or logical basis, it is also a vicious slur employed by those who seek to demonize and deligitimize the right of the Jewish state to exist.
In making this comparison, these activists seek to paint Israel, the paragon of openness, tolerance and human rights, as a racist and criminal pariah state that commits crimes against humanity.
Consider this if you will: An Arab (Salim Joubran) serves on the Israeli Supreme Court, the former Miss Israel (Rana Rasian) is Arab, the captain of Israeli soccer team Hapolel Tel Aviv (Walid Badir) is Arab, the former deputy speaker of the Israeli Knesset (Majalil Wahabi) is Druze.
Israel has accepted thousands of African refugees fleeing for their lives and welcomed thousands of Ethiopian immigrants. Jews and Arabs sing and dance together in Israel, swim in the Dead Sea, shop together and are educated at the same schools.
From a review on "Lettera a un amico antisionista" by Pierluigi Battista (Rizzoli, Jan 1 2011, 119 pages)
Letter to an Anti-Zionist Friend explores the fact that European and American élites are being contaminated by a bias against Israel regardless of logic or historical fact. The narrative of the intelligentsia, burdened down with studies and statistics, promotes the idea that it would be better if the State of Israel never existed. That it ought not to exist and that it will be destroyed. Demolishing this intellectual perversion of ant Zionist hatred in five blistering chapters, Battista reveals anti-Zionism for what it really is: Anti-Semitism.And this is the theme of Battista's work, presented in lucid arguments and with moral clarity: that the despicable questioning of Israel's right to exist derives from the mental virus of anti-Semitism.
In general, opinion shapers in the media, academia and the world of cinema are fostering a public opinion based upon silent agreement; a climate that delegitimizes Israel's right to exist, libels it with the 'apartheid' slur and accuses it of war crimes. In the words of a previous French ambassador to London: "that shitty little country." This warped mindset indulges in the most outrageous double standards that absolve the worst dictators while denying Israel's right to life.
Battista shows how the United Nations and the European Union operate in a fever swamp of lies and deception. These and other multinational organizations protect the violators of human rights while ignoring human rights abuses in places like China, Chechnya and Sudan. Yet they criticize Israeli checkpoints that deter terrorist attacks by using pornographic adjectives like "Nazi".
Battista assails this mindset on two fronts, (a) by pointing out the correspondences between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism and (b) by highlighting the maniacal obsession that Robert Wistrich calls the lethal obsession. Battista demonstrates so convincingly that this obsession is rooted in anti-Semitism.
But there's more to it, as the author explains. Israel is being judged by an ideological system that emerged during the Cold War, in which the poor are automatically "good" whilst westerners are automatically "evil colonialists." This system of judgment has a logical flaw at its core: the double standard. There are millions of displaced persons around the world whose plight is ignored. Just consider the Uighurs, Darfur, Tibet, Kirghizstan and the cruelty that characterized the so-called "Arab Spring."
Battista identifies the sources of the masked anti-Semitism by denouncing this double standard in a series of debates with prominent figures like Sergio Romano, Barbara Spinelli, Tom Segev and the late Edward Said. He makes it clear by analogy. Specific governments are criticized all the time but one seldom encounters blanket criticism of for example Italy or Sweden as a whole, whilst their right to exist is never questioned.
The reviewer also recommends the works of Robin Shepherd, Neill Lochery and Denis MacShane.
In an OpEd, Yonatan Silverman explains in simple show of facts the obvious: "Israel no apartheid state."
And that vis-a-vis the situation in the West Bank "apartheid comparisons are ludicrous!"
The difference between Israel and apartheid South Africa can be highlighted at a very human level: Jewish and Arab babies are born in the same delivery room, with the same facilities, attended by the same doctors and nurses, with the mothers recovering in adjoining beds in the same ward.' (Benjamin Pogrund)Until such time as a viable Palestinian government can rule the West Bank, following negotiations, Israel has no choice but to maintain its occupation in order to curb the terror threats against it. Yet Israel's presence in the West Bank is not premised on a hateful, pervasive racist model as the one previously employed by South Africa. Rather, it is an imperfect political and military arrangement that shall prevail until the Palestinians can govern themselves.
Global anti-Israel activists have adopted a baseless but malicious mantra for attacking Israel, claiming that the Jewish state is an apartheid state. The roots of this campaign go back to the racist Durban conference, an anti-racism event that turned into an unrestrained orgy of vicious anti-Semitism and anti-Israeli sentiment.
As long as occupation persists, democracy within Green Line won't make a difference
The people who call Israel an apartheid state seek to draw a parallel between the vile racism and injustice which apartheid represented in South Africa and the Israeli occupation of the West Bank since 1967. But this parallel does not exist in reality. It is a vicious canard and an exaggerated appeal to emotion aimed at producing a deeply flawed and distorted comparison.
The ultimate purpose of portraying Israel as an apartheid state is to set in motion a process whereby the Jewish state will be slapped with the same harsh sanctions as South Africa, which eventually forced the apartheid regime to surrender and abolish its racist social system. The idea is that similar sanctions will also bring Israel to its knees and force it to withdraw from the West Bank. Yet as noted, this campaign is premised on a groundless, malicious fallacy.
Apartheid (apart-ness) in South Africa featured legal racial segregation that deprived non-white residents of the country of rights, while enabling the white minority to maintain its rule and superiority in virtually every area of life.
Public services in apartheid South Africa were segregated, with white citizens enjoying highly developed facilities compared to vastly inferior services for non-whites. In fact, blatantly racist legislation classified South Africans into different racial groups based on their ethnicity and skin color.
Now let's turn our attention back to the Middle East. Indeed, Palestinian inhabitants of the West Bank want the occupation to end; moreover, we can concede that a situation whereby one nation occupies another is indeed a recipe for disaster, as inequality and injustice inevitably creep in on some occasions. However, such occasional inequality is not the same as apartheid.
Moreover, Israel's conduct and the acts it undertakes in the West Bank are largely motivated by security concerns, rather than racial bias. As such, these moves are not fixed or entrenched in legislation; they are mitigated when the security situation is calm. On a broader level, Israeli society is based on equality and freedom for all citizens, including Arabs, by law, further highlighting the non-racial basis for the Jewish state's actions in Judea and Samaria.
Jerusalem Watchman under "There's no apartheid here," listed a long detailed "prohibitions" and "limitations" in the "what if" scenario, if the 'apartheid propaganda' were to have had any shred of truth.
And starts off with vital clarifications:
(There's extensive information on early massive Arab immigration -contributing to the bulk of Arab-Palestinian population today- that unlike Jewish immigration, it has not been subject to limitaion, nor control by the British.)
The charge is that Israel's treatment of the Palestinian Arabs is similar to White South Africa's treatment of South African black citizens (which included full-blood "Africans," mixed-race "coloreds" and the descendants of immigrant Asian laborers).The whole argument collapses right there, because the Palestinian Arabs have never been Israeli citizens. Nor did/do they have any national history as "Palestinians" – neither in Israel nor anywhere else. They are Arabs – their country of origin is Arabia.
For starters, then, it is fallacious to compare Israel's relationship with the Palestinian Arabs in any area to the apartheid governments' relationships with their black South African citizens.- It would be illegal for an Arab man to even show romantic interest in a Jewish woman; or for a Jewish boy to indicate an interest in an Arab girl (Immorality Amendment Act).
Let us then turn to the Israel's Arab citizens. Most are also Palestinian Arabs, but unlike the majority of their people – who remain stateless – they were willing to take citizenship and be integrated into the country of Israel.
Israeli Arabs comprise a little over 1.5 million of Israel's 7.7 million citizens – approximately 20 percent of the population. They are, therefore, a minority.
They live in 15 towns and cities, mostly in and around the Galilee. They have full voting rights. Five Arab political parties are represented in the Knesset; there are 14 Arab members of Knesset, one has attained to a ministerial portfolio, one is a former and another is a current deputy Knesset Speaker.
Israeli Arabs enjoy complete freedom in their country. They can live, study, work and travel where they please. They have national health coverage and enjoy the same benefits as their fellow, Jewish, citizens.
What they do not have to do, is serve in the IDF (although some Druze and some Bedouin choose to do so and have served with distinction; even laying down their lives.)
The majority of Israel's Arabs identify their nationality as "Palestinian." Many, including some of the parliamentarians, openly support the PLO goal to destroy Jewish Israel and replace it with a Muslim Palestine.
Looking through a list of the above-mentioned "Apartheid Laws," we see how it could be for Israel's Arabs were the Jewish state an apartheid state:
- Arabs would be required to be classified and registered in accordance with a racial classification (Population Registration Act).
- Arabs would be forced by law to live in Arabs-only residential areas and work in Arabs-only business areas (Group Areas Act).
- Arabs would have their names systematically removed from the voters' roll until they were all deprived of their voting rights (Separate Representation of Voters Act).
- By law, Arabs would be deported from wherever they lived in Israel and forcefully settled in designated Arab-only areas (Bantu Authorities Act).
- Arabs would be evicted and have their homes destroyed if they tried to remain in "Jews-only" areas (Prevention of Illegal Squatters Act).
- Arabs-only areas would be transformed into fully-fledged independent Arab homelands (Promotion of Bantu Self-Government Act).
- A denaturalization law would change the status of the inhabitants of the Arabstans (Arab homelands) stripping them of their Israeli citizenship and all its privileges and benefits (Black Homeland Citizenship Act).
- Most developed urban areas in Israel (all the established and economically-thriving cities and towns) would be deemed "Jewish," and Arabs wanting to be in those areas would have to live in "compounds" and carry permits called "passes" on them at all times (Native Laws Amendment Act).
- The Arab population would be required to carry these pass books with them whenever outside their compounds or designated areas. Any Jew, even a child, could ask an Arab to produce his or her pass. Failure to produce a pass would result in the person being arrested (Pass Laws).
- Once Arabs-only areas are modernized and developed, Arabs would be moved out and the area declared a Jews-only area (Group Areas Development Act).
- Arabs would be deprived of the right to appeal to courts of law by means of an interdict or any legal process (Natives (Prohibition of Interdicts) Act).
- Arabs would be restricted to studying in Arab-only institutions. None of Israel's schools or universities would be allowed to enroll Arab students (Bantu Education Act). The ruling political party in Israel would declare, that it viewed education as a key element in its plan to create a completely segregated society. Emulating the words of South Africa's "father of apartheid Hendrik Verwoerd, an Israeli prime minister would declare: "There is no place for the Arab in the Israeli community above the level of certain forms of labor … What is the use of teaching the Arab child mathematics when it cannot use it in practice? That is quite absurd. Education must train people in accordance with their opportunities in life, according to the sphere in which they live."
- Arabs would be allowed training in skilled labor, but would be restricted as to where they were allowed to work (Bantu Building Workers Act).
- Public places and services like beaches, playing parks, national parks, buses and trains, restaurants and hotels, theaters and cinemas etc would be segregated, with Jews getting the best and most well-equipped places and Arabs banned from entering or using those facilities. (Reservation of Separate Amenities Act).
- Arabs could be labeled "communists" – a criminal offense – for doing anything that promoted disorder and disturbances or encouraged feelings of hostility between Arabs and Jews (Suppression of Communism Act).
- Any Arab suspected of involvement in terrorism-broadly defined as anything that might "endanger the maintenance of law and order"-could be detained for a 60-day period (which could be renewed) without trial and on the authority of a senior Jewish police officer. There would be no requirement to release information on who was being held, making it possible for people so detained to simply "disappear." (Terrorism Act)
- Jews and Arabs would be prohibited by law from intermarriage. – (Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act).
The writer adds that:
Irshad Manji asks:
- Also, to qualify as citizens of a state like the South African apartheid state, Israel's Arabs would have to comprise the vast majority of the population, and would be kept under the cruel and exploitative thumb of a minority Jewish population.Perhaps.
South Africa's blacks were mostly Christian and animist. Very, very few were Muslim. Except for a radical fringe group, they never called for the Whites to be driven into the sea. Israel's Arabs are 99 percent Muslim, and their avowed goal is to turn Israel into an Islamic country called Palestine.
They won't succeed, thank the Lord, but if they did, we can be sure there would be no "Truth and Reconciliation Commission" here; just Shari'a show trials and public executions.
I could go on and on about just how miserable daily life would be for Arabs if Israel was run by an apartheid regime. The truth is that these Arabs enjoy an incalculably higher standard of living than any of their fellow Arabs in the states around Israel.
To suggest that Arabs in Israel live lives in any way comparable to the miserable existence endured by black South Africans is to do a terrible injustice both to Israel and to apartheid's victims.
Apartheid week: a fiction enthusiastically embraced by those ignorant of history, and died-in-the-wool Hebraphobes. And concludes: They do not merit attention, just scorn and perhaps pity.
In a state practicing apartheid, would Arab Muslim legislators wield veto power over anything? At only 20 percent of the population, would Arabs even be eligible for election if they squirmed under the thumb of apartheid?In an article titled: "One Day in the Life of an Israeli Hospital" Prof. Plaut describes the beautiful rainbow variety of ethnicities and religions working harmoniously side by side. All in face of the "apartheid" propagandists who do not engage in debate but in defamation.
The Bash-Israel Lobby has now become a large choir of totalitarian chanting about supposed Israeli "apartheid." Western campuses are filled with the hate fests of "Israel Apartheid Week." Friends of Israel attempt to engage the bigots in debate, attempt to challenge their claims. Statistics are ladled out. Facts are cited, documentation is presented. But the libels about Israeli "Apartheid" are notoriously resistant to facts and truth, like mutant bacteria that resist antibiotics. Anyone who knows anything at all about the Middle East understands that Israel is the only country in the region that is not an apartheid regime...
M. Davison calls the attention on the emotionally-charged propaganda "buzzword" to find out what the term "Apartheid" actually means before they carry their protest signs to their demonstrations.
Apartheid IS: A deliberate government policy of social, political, economic, educational and physical separation and discrimination between the people of a single country based solely on race, such as existed in South Africa.IF you can believe these four points, you can believe any fallacy presented to you, as long as it suits your own prejudices. If that's the case, I have a bridge I'd like to sell you… cheap!
Apartheid IS NOT: A situation in which two people of the same race, for example two SEMITIC peoples, are at war.
Apartheid IS NOT: A situation in which one of these nations, having lost its own state in an attempt to destroy the state of the other, finds itself conquered by the nation it had tried to destroy.
Apartheid IS NOT: A situation in which this conquered nation, having been granted partial autonomy which they did nothing to earn, continues to attempt to kill members of the conquering nation, driving their own economy into ruin because they use their children as suicide bombers and human shields rather than sending them to schools built for them at foreign expense, and which they also use as military bases.
Apartheid IS NOT: A situation in which the conquering nation undertakes measures to separate its members from those of the other nation (a separation based entirely on ideology since no racial difference between the two nations exists at all) in order to keep the members of its nation safe while still continuing to assist the hostile nation economically.
And finally, it IS NOT Apartheid when the conquering nation undertakes this method of self-defense, which still leaves its citizens vulnerable to a large extent, only because they find the much more effective method of expelling the hostile nation from the conquered territory morally reprehensible.
Now, to believe that "Israel is an Apartheid state", you have to believe the following:
1) That Islam and Judaism are races, not religions.
2) That the entire area of Palestine as defined by the League of Nations, including Israel, the West Bank, Gaza Strip, the Golan Heights and Jordan is a single national entity.
3) That the self-declared Palestinians are legitimate citizens of the State of Israel (which, by their own admission, they are not and do not wish to be).
4) That the state of Israel, or indeed any state, does not have the right to defend and protect its citizens from belligerent actions by foreign entities.
And calls to remember these facts the next time one wishes to demonize Israel with the buzzword.
W. Reich points to a 'first' in global occurrences, Israel's 2005 eviction of its own Jewish citizens, to be given to Arabs... (for the sake of a chance of peace), as he writes about a boycott of Haifa's university:
In reality, there's simply no comparison between South Africa and Israel. During its apartheid era, South Africa was run by a small white minority that oppressed its black majority. Israel, on the other hand, is 80% Jewish and gives its Arab minority full civil rights, including the right to vote and to be members of the country's parliament. It also welcomes its Arab citizens into its universities. In fact, the student body of one of the universities being boycotted, Haifa, is 20% Arab - the same percentage as in the general Israeli population. Moreover, Israel is about to do something in Gaza that no country has ever done before: Totally and even forcibly extract and evict its citizens from homes and land in which they've lived for decades. And it's prepared, as it was at Camp David in 2000, to withdraw from nearly all of the West Bank.
TheRealJerusalemStreets posted (in 2011) photos from reality life in Israel, where Jews and Arabs have equal access anywhere, where Arab women have more rights than in Arab countries.
Saudi Arabia bans protests, Turkey locks up journalists, Iran and Libya kill their opponents. Egypt and Syria have also been killing protesters and the audacity, a new flotilla is being planned to protest against Israel's policies.Her actions would never be tolerated in any of the surrounding countries, but Zoabi's anti-government pieces are routinely published in main stream Jerusalem newspapers.
Haneen Zoabi, a 41-year old Arab woman is an elected member of the Israeli Knesset and has led anti-Israel protests.
JanSuzanne Krasner wrote (Oct, 2011): "Israeli Democracy vs. Arab Apartheid,"
It is a falsehood to say that Israel is an apartheid state. This indictment, made by Mahmoud Abbas repeatedly in his speeches, is an Orwellian distortion of the truth, but it has been extremely effective in the public relations war of words that plays out in the United Nations, on the international stage, in the media, and on college campuses every day.
This is a grave and toxic travesty that needs to be made right. In light of the "Arab Spring" spreading seeds of sharia law throughout the Middle East, Western civilization needs to see the truth. Americans are being hijacked by propaganda against Israel...and not defending Israel's right to be a Jewish state will lead to our own eventual downfall.
The analogy of Israel to South African apartheid commands a response. Because of its catchy, slick word combination and its connotations that evoke vivid images of human unfairness and suffering, it has became a fashionable narrative for the media and international community's discourse. But it is not factual, and it is very deceptive.
Labeling Israel "apartheid" is meant to provoke worldwide criticism and elicit human rights-based anger that sanctions demonstrations, boycotts, and the denigration of Jewish morals. This finger-pointing is an intentional attack on Israel. It condones terror in the guise of "freedom-fighters," encourages prosecution of Israeli officials in foreign courts, promotes laws against Israeli goods, and supports boycotts of stores selling Israeli products. It sees the advantage of kidnapping soldiers, allows the destruction of Jewish artifacts and religious sites, and tries to exclude Jews from their legitimate claim to their historic homeland.
Factually speaking, apartheid was the policy of the South African government as a way of dealing with the white and non-white social, political and economic issues up until 1992. It was the official policy that established and maintained racial segregation and racial discrimination. The South African non-whites could not vote, and they had to carry a "Pass Book," or they risked being jailed or deported. By contrast, all citizens of Israel have equal voting rights. Arabs have eleven representatives in Israel's Knesset, including an Arab on the Israeli Supreme Court. Every citizen must carry an identity card, along with all legal residents.
In addition, non-white South Africans were kept from a wide range of jobs. They had no free elementary through high school education; mixed sexual relationships were restricted and segregated; hospital and ambulance services were segregated; they could not use most public amenities; sports were segregated; and public facilities were labeled for correct racial usage. Non-whites could not enter a building through the main entrance, be a member of a union, or participate in a strike. That is apartheid, and Israel is not an apartheid state.
Although many pro-Palestinian organizations are aware that the Israel-apartheid analogy is inaccurate, this rhetoric is continually used to condemn and isolate Israel. Just visit Israel to see the truth...Israeli Arabs shopping at Jerusalem's Mamila Mall, enjoying Tel Aviv beaches, enrolled in the universities, getting hospital care, going on school trips to the zoos, and having free access to public places.
One of the more outspoken defenders of Israel is Benjamin Pogrund, a Jew born in Cape Town, now living in Israel. Pogrund lived under apartheid, and as an anti-apartheid activist, he took grave risks by reporting the injustices against blacks. He often comments that the comparison of Israel to South African apartheid "greatly minimizes the oppression and misery caused by apartheid and is debasing to its victims."
In his rebuttal, Pogrund argues that "Israel is not unique in declaring itself a state for a specific people."
Everyone knows that Egypt is for Egyptians, Ireland is for Irishmen, France for Frenchmen, Italy is for Italians, Serbia for Serbs, China for the Chinese, Iran for the Persians...and the list goes on.
"Apartheid"-supporters substantiate their stance by claiming that Israel discriminates against Israeli Arabs by barring them from buying land.
The facts regarding land ownership are clarified by Mitchell Bard, the executive director of the non-profit American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise (AICE) and a foreign policy analyst who frequently lectures on U.S.-ME policy:
In the early part of the century, the Jewish National Fund was established by the <a href="http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Zionism/wzo.html">World Zionist Congress</a> to purchase land in Palestine for Jewish settlement. This land, and that acquired after Israel's War of Independence, was taken over by the government. Of the total area of Israel, 92% belongs to the State and is managed by the Land Management Authority. It is not for sale to anyone, Jew or Arab. The remaining 8% of the territory is privately owned. The Arab Waqf (the Muslim charitable endowment), for example, owns land that is for the express use and benefit of Muslim Arabs. Government land can be leased by anyone, regardless of race, religion or sex. All Arab citizens of Israel are eligible to lease government land.
The reality is that both Arabs and Jews build homes illegally throughout Israel. And the fact is that the number of illegal Arab homes scheduled for demolition is miniscule compared to Jewish homes that must adhere scrupulously to the rules for fear of condemnation. (Please check Bard's point-by-point rebuttal.)
The problems in Israel's Arab communities are much like conditions others face in various places in the world, but Arabs don't point a finger at those places. Only Israel is labeled and attacked as "apartheid." Arabs need only to look at their neighboring countries in the Middle East to find real apartheid. Does anyone honestly believe that Muslim women do not suffer from apartheid in countries with sharia law? Or that Christians and Jews in some Arab nations are being attacked and killed purely because of their religion? More pointedly, both Jordan and Saudi Arabia do not allow Jews to live there, and Saudi Arabia doesn't even let Jews visit.
There are many "no-class" citizens in the world that Arabs don't care to talk about. One must believe that Abbas just doesn't recognize "apartheid" as he declares that the State of Palestine will be "Judenrein" -- a Jewish-free state. Instead, the label of "apartheid" is stuck on Israel, keeping eyes focused away from the intolerance and bigotry that the PLO and Hamas preach.
Recently, I took issue with "Students for Justice in Palestine" (SJP), an on-campus pro-Palestinian organization that orchestrated the first National Anti-Israel Conference at Columbia University to "educate" students for participation in "Israel Apartheid Week 2012" on university campuses.
The SJP supports the Apartheid Movement, the Gaza Freedom Movement that tried to break the Israeli-Egyptian blockade, the BDS movement against Israeli goods, and a One-State Solution with the "Right of Return." There can be no doubt that SJP, hiding behind the veil of human rights activism, supports the end of a Jewish state while "freedom-fighting" terrorists try to accomplish the same goal through violence.
One question needs to be asked of all those who accuse Israel of being an apartheid state: if Israel gave up all the land rights, forfeited all of the natural resources, and agreed to a One-State Solution with the "Right of Return," would the Jews be able to live in peaceful coexistence with their Arab neighbors? The answer to this question determines the fate of the Jewish people and whether peace is ever attainable.
One of those that denounced the lie of "apartheid," is the Arab Druze MK Majallie Whbee, who exposed its falshood. In fact, this Arab was an 'acting President' of the Jewish State. (In 2007, Majadele was the second Israeli Arab to serve in the Cabinet. Salah Tarif, a Druse leader, served nine months as a minister without portfolio before resigning in January 2002 because of a corruption investigation against him.) A simple historic fact, Which explodes right in the faces of the "apartheid" accusers. An article of note is: "Israel's Arab president" (2007):
Majallie Whbee Israel's first non-Jewish President has rubbished claims that the Jewish state is an apartheid country.Whbee will serve as ceremonial President until next Tuesday, while acting president Dalia Itzik is in America. Itzik took over the position from Moshe Katsav...
Speaking to TJ, Arab Kadima Knesset member Majallie Whbee said his ascent to the position proved that those who draw such a parallel with the former South African regime were ignoring the facts on the ground.
And saying he was proud of being an Israeli citizen, the Druze MK also spoke of his wish to show the world that Israel is a democratic country with equal rights.
And R. Sacks asks: "The anti-Israel campaign raises the question: Does academic freedom exist on campus?"
You have only to visit an Israeli hospital to see how people of all faiths and ethnicities are treated alike. All have the vote. All can attend universities. All can be elected to the Knesset. A Druse Arab, Majallie Whbee, briefly served as president after Moshe Katsav's resignation while acting head of state Dalia Itzik was out of the country. A Christian Arab, George Karra, headed the panel of judges that found Katsav guilty. Are any of these conceivable in an apartheid state?A blogger wrote:
Israel is one of the most religiously diverse societies in the world.
Only under Israeli rule have all three Abrahamic religions enjoyed unrestricted access to their holy sites in Jerusalem. It is the only place where an Arab Muslim can freely criticize the government on national television. Israel is not perfect, but its ethnic and religious minorities have greater rights – vigilantly defended in the courts – than anywhere else in the Middle East.
Meanwhile, in December 2010 Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas declared: "We have frankly said, and always will say: If there is an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, we won't agree to the presence of one Israeli in it.'
If this vision of a judenrein Palestine is not apartheid, what is? As soon as the anti-apartheid campaigners start working against Palestinian racism, the intimidation and murder of Christians throughout the Middle East, and the brutal denial of human rights that is leading to civil protests in Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain and Syria, then they will have earned the right to be taken seriously. Until then, they should be seen for what they are - political pawns in a very dangerous game.
The Little Known Story of Israel’s Arab President
“In Israel, the Arab minority makes up 20% of the country, and receives equal civil and political rights. About 12% of the Knesset (the Israeli Legislative Branch) is made up of non-Jewish Arabs, including Ayoob Kara (Likud) and Hamad Adar(Yisrael Beiteinu), both of which serve in right-wing nationalist parties. The Israeli-Arab minority has achieved what most perceive as the unachievable: Few people know this, but the Jewish majority in the State of Israel entrusted Majalli Wahabi, a non-Jewish Arab to temporarily lead the country as acting President in 2007.”
I didn’t know that there were non-Jewish Arabs in the right-wing parties. I mean, Yisrael Beiteinu? That’s about as right-wing and nationalist as you can get.
I also didn’t know that Israel once had a non-Jewish Arab temporarily serving as President. That’s really incredible.
Anti-Israel ardent critic R. Goldstone: "Apartheid" is a lie, a slander!
Richard J. Goldstone, is a former justice of the South African Constitutional Court, who led the United Nations fact-finding mission on the Gaza conflict of 2008-9. He was quick to "accuse" Israel of "war crimes" in its (2008-9) anti-Terror operation ('Cast Lead'). But retracted it after learning the facts. In 2011 (Oct.) he wrote an Op Ed in the New York Times: "Israel and the Apartheid Slander."
The need for reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians has never been greater. So it is important to separate legitimate criticism of Israel from assaults that aim to isolate, demonize and delegitimize it.
The mutual recognition and protection of the human dignity of all people is indispensable to bringing an end to hatred and anger. The charge that Israel is an apartheid state is a false and malicious one that precludes, rather than promotes, peace and harmony. 
One particularly pernicious and enduring canard that is surfacing again is that Israel pursues “apartheid” policies. In Cape Town starting on Saturday, a London-based nongovernmental organization called the Russell Tribunal on Palestine will hold a “hearing” on whether Israel is guilty of the crime of apartheid. It is not a “tribunal.” The “evidence” is going to be one-sided and the members of the “jury” are critics whose harsh views of Israel are well known.
While “apartheid” can have broader meaning, its use is meant to evoke the situation in pre-1994 South Africa. It is an unfair and inaccurate slander against Israel, calculated to retard rather than advance peace negotiations.
I know all too well the cruelty of South Africa’s abhorrent apartheid system, under which human beings characterized as black had no rights to vote, hold political office, use “white” toilets or beaches, marry whites, live in whites-only areas or even be there without a “pass.” Blacks critically injured in car accidents were left to bleed to death if there was no “black” ambulance to rush them to a “black” hospital. “White” hospitals were prohibited from saving their lives.
In assessing the accusation that Israel pursues apartheid policies, which are by definition primarily about race or ethnicity, it is important first to distinguish between the situations in Israel, where Arabs are citizens, and in West Bank areas that remain under Israeli control in the absence of a peace agreement.
In Israel, there is no apartheid. Nothing there comes close to the definition of apartheid under the 1998 Rome Statute: “Inhumane acts ... committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime.” Israeli Arabs — 20 percent of Israel’s population — vote, have political parties and representatives in the Knesset and occupy positions of acclaim, including on its Supreme Court. Arab patients lie alongside Jewish patients in Israeli hospitals, receiving identical treatment.
To be sure, there is more de facto separation between Jewish and Arab populations than Israelis should accept. Much of it is chosen by the communities themselves. Some results from discrimination. But it is not apartheid, which consciously enshrines separation as an ideal. In Israel, equal rights are the law, the aspiration and the ideal; inequities are often successfully challenged in court.
The situation in the West Bank is more complex. But here too there is no intent to maintain “an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group.” This is a critical distinction, even if Israel acts oppressively toward Palestinians there. South Africa’s enforced racial separation was intended to permanently benefit the white minority, to the detriment of other races. By contrast, Israel has agreed in concept to the existence of a Palestinian state in Gaza and almost all of the West Bank, and is calling for the Palestinians to negotiate the parameters.
But until there is a two-state peace, or at least as long as Israel’s citizens remain under threat of attacks from the West Bank and Gaza, Israel will see roadblocks and similar measures as necessary for self-defense, even as Palestinians feel oppressed. As things stand, attacks from one side are met by counterattacks from the other. And the deep disputes, claims and counterclaims are only hardened when the offensive analogy of “apartheid” is invoked.
Those seeking to promote the myth of Israeli apartheid often point to clashes between heavily armed Israeli soldiers and stone-throwing Palestinians in the West Bank, or the building of what they call an “apartheid wall” and disparate treatment on West Bank roads. While such images may appear to invite a superficial comparison, it is disingenuous to use them to distort the reality. The security barrier was built to stop unrelenting terrorist attacks; while it has inflicted great hardship in places, the Israeli Supreme Court has ordered the state in many cases to reroute it to minimize unreasonable hardship. Road restrictions get more intrusive after violent attacks and are ameliorated when the threat is reduced.
Of course, the Palestinian people have national aspirations and human rights that all must respect. But those who conflate the situations in Israel and the West Bank and liken both to the old South Africa do a disservice to all who hope for justice and peace.
Jewish-Arab relations in Israel and the West Bank cannot be simplified to a narrative of Jewish discrimination. There is hostility and suspicion on both sides. Israel, unique among democracies, has been in a state of war with many of its neighbors who refuse to accept its existence. Even some Israeli Arabs, because they are citizens of Israel, have at times come under suspicion from other Arabs as a result of that longstanding enmity.
J. B. Pollack explains the context and timely importance of the Op Ed article:
Goldstone’s article anticipates the forthcoming “Russell Tribunal on Palestine,” to be held in South Africa. Named after the hearings held in the 1960s by philosopher Bertrand Russell in the United Kingdom to protest the Vietnam War, the Russell Tribunal will bring the emotive symbolism of apartheid to a make-believe judicial process whose outcome is already predetermined.
The chair of the panel, anti-war activist Terry Crawford-Browne, has already called for international boycotts of Israel. One of the star witnesses is Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, who conducted a reign of terror in South Africa’s black townships in the 1980s. Another is former U.S. Representative Cynthia McKinney, who recently busied herself with propaganda for Muammar Gaddafi.Despite the panel’s obvious lack of credibility, it will no doubt be touted by western leftists and third world governments as the basis for a renewed push at the United Nations to isolate Israel and promote unilateral Palestinian statehood. Goldstone’s op-ed is a timely rejoinder and the beginning of what appears to be sincere penance for the damage done by his slanderous report on the Gaza conflict of 2008-9.
'Discriminations' in perspective
Ben Dror Yemini in "Take A Look in the Mirror" wrote about apartheid in the entire Arab world and about vast discrimination in Europe that surpasses by far any discrimination in Israel.
First, it should be stated that all Arab countries conduct an official apartheid regime. The Kurds in Syria are under a violent military regime. Not that anyone in Syria actually has rights, but the Kurds have much less. The Coptic worshippers in Egypt suffer from incitement, protests, hateful sermons and terror attacks.But they sure know how to preach. Thus, Apartheid Week should be called by its true name. Not merely impudence and hypocrisy week, but also the week of apartheid against Israel.
In Lebanon, discrimination against Palestinians is official. Apartheid there is just a matter of fact. They are not allowed to open their own businesses, certain professions are forbidden to them according to law, and they can only dream about voting rights. They've been there for sixty years, and under the pretense that they are "refugees," apartheid there is rendered official.
Has anyone ever heard of Apartheid Week against Lebanon or Syria? Don't make them laugh. Regimes of atrocity get an exemption. It is the supporters of these benighted regimes that are the financers and activists in Apartheid Week against Israel. There are truly no limits.
And in Israel, only in Israel, as the demonization campaign is gearing up, an Arab judge heads the panel that convicted the president of the Jewish state. Not that there are no problems in Israel. Not that everything is perfect. Not that the attempt to reconcile between a Jewish and democratic state is free of contradictions. But all these problems pale when compared to what transpires in Arab and Muslim states, and also when compared to what transpires in Europe itself. Yes, Europe.
All comparative research indicates that the condition of the Muslim minority in Europe is worse than that of the Muslim minority in Israel. In Great Britain, for example, three of four children of Pakistani or Bangladeshi descent are below the poverty line. In Belgium, the majority of Turks and Moroccans are below the poverty line. The employment level of Muslim women in all these countries is extremely low.
...But there is no country clean of discrimination, just as there is no perfect democracy.
Apartheid essentially means a different law for different groups. This is the precise story of the free world, of the media, academia and "human rights" organizations such as the Human Rights Council. In Israel there is indeed an infringement of human and minority rights, but this is a minor infringement, not only in compassion to Muslim or Arab state, but even in comparison to Europe... Israel provides the Bedouins with far more rights than Europe does to the Gypsies.
Worldwide preferences for one group over another and singling out Israel who does not discriminate on the basis of "race"
Many already spoke against the racist labeling of racism upon the Multi-racial, multi-religious state of Israel, a truly melting pot of all races. This unjust of singling out Israel, when practically every nation in the world has some kind of similar favoritism in its immigration policy: ethnic Germans, for example who have lived, even for generations outside Germany, have a "right of return" to Germany; English-speaking people are favored to enter England, and in the Netherlands, only those ethnically Dutch are able to become Dutch citizens, etc. As for the representation of Judaism in the public square: one glance at the flags of Norway, Sweden, or Denmark demonstrates that many liberal countries proclaim themselves officially and openly as "Christian." Britain has crosses in its flag. Saudi Arabia has a crescent on its flag, (many Arab nations are called Arab Republic) and is very (totalitarian) Islamic; so is the Islamic Republic of Iran. Pakistan was born out of the idea to be a home specifically for (Indian) Muslims, just as Israel came about to be a home for Jews (and saving from persecution). Many countries, do even greater promotion of some kind of religion: Christianity, Islam or Buddhism, like in: Burma, Thailand.
It's completely false to state that Israel is the only country "based on" religion or ethnicity. Christmas is on the official calendar of most Christian countries, and in Poland & in Ireland on many subjects, the Church has the final word. If Israel is racist, so are the above (and other) nations mentioned. Moreover, given this widespread preference for ethnicities and religions other than Judaism around the globe, it is hard for many Jews to find a home outside of Israel. And concludes: Someone who proclaims Israel to be basically racist is essentially just saying that they think the ethnic and religious identity of Jews doesn't matter - while the ethnic and religious identity of Germans, Anglicans, Indian Muslims, etc. all do matter. And that is anti-Semitism: the racist hatred of or contempt for Jews.
There's a long detailed list of countries with policy in preference of one ethnicity over the other, across the board. Yet, as a pundit points to Arab-Islamic hypocrisy: Algeria, Bangladesh, Brunei, Djibouti, Iran, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Somalia, Syria, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen won't allow those holding an Israeli passport into their countries but that doesn't seem to put anyone off. (Bahrain, Iran, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen won't even allow those with an Israeli stamp on their passport to enter.) A law that at its most malicious simply requires everyone else to follow standard naturalization procedures before welcoming them as a citizen does not seem worthy of mobilizing anti-apartheid campaigns.
The [unlimited] rights of Arabs VS the [limited] rights of Jews to reside in the region
It should be noted that the Arabs have permanent residency rights in Israel. They can live and work wherever they want in Israel, including the Golan Heights, and enjoy all rights except voting and having IL passport. These rights are reserved to full citizens only. Furthermore, East Jerusalem is not deemed an occupied territory by the US and several other Western countries, although they consider it a disputed territory. (By law, segregation is forbidden. That is the key. The fact that there are 'encountering problems' by: A Hispanic coming to an 'all white neighborhood' or a white [Caucasian] American moving to a predominantly black neighborhood are just facts of life. The same applies between Druze VS Arab-Islamic, between Christian-Arabs VS Muslims in Israel/Palestine, etc.) The sad part is, the pro-Arab anti-Jewish discrimination in the region: "As for the settlements, the current fashionable view is that Arabs have the right to live anywhere in the old Palestine Mandate--Israel, West Bank, Jordan–but Jews have only the disputed right to live in Israel proper. The West Bank area is to be ethnically cleansed of Jews, and their settlements used for Arab refugees."Harry W. Webber wrote about common knowledge in Israel of the reality favoring Arabs over Jews:
So, is there any apartheid in Israel? Yes, there is. While Arabs are allowed, as citizens, to purchase houses wherever they please (there are Arab minorities in the predominately Jewish cities of Acre, Ramle, Jaffa, Carmiel, Safed and Netanya, there is not one single Jew living in any Arab town or village in the entire country! Believe it or not! And the reason is simple. Any Jew moving into an Arab town is assured that his house will be set afire the very same night. This is exactly the fate of several Jews who bought houses in the Druze village of Peki'in. Their houses were destroyed, they barely survived, a riot ensured, the locals kidnapped a policewoman for several hours till calm was finally returned to the village. And all this in a village famous for its hospitality to Jews -- as long as they remain guests and not residents. That is the apartheid in Israel!Apartheid you say? Yes, there is apartheid. Arabs want Judea and Samaria to be "Judenrein" -- "clean" of all Jews. Most of them believe that Jews have no right to live in the only place on earth that G-d has declared to be theirs -- and only theirs. Not only do they want Jews out of Judea and Samaria, they also want them out of Haifa, Tel Aviv, Netanya and Jerusalem. In South Africa's apartheid, the whites tolerated the blacks, permitted them to live, only apart. The Arabs are much worse. They want to eliminate all the Jews of Israel -- from the hills of Judea and Samaria to the white sands of the Mediterranean Sea. Is that apartheid? No! That is a wish for genocide, and the promoters of that policy can only be described as "Palestinazis!"
Anyone visiting Israel knows all this to be true. What is also true is that in Judea and Samaria, the heart of ancient Israel -- where the Hebrew prophets lived and where the Jewish patriarchs travelled the length and breadth of the land -- the local Arabs decided after the Six-Day War that it would be nice to be called "Palestinians", and as such, demand that "Palestine" -- Judea and Samaria -- be granted statehood. That no one saw them as a separate people before 1967 is irrelevant. That they have no unique national history, religion or customs is also irrelevant. That only two countries ever recognized the territory as belonging to Jordan or to any other Arab state is also irrelevant. The new "Palestinian" dogma became: the Jews conquered the land, therefore, we, the new Palestinians want it back (but you never had it in the first place!) to set up another enemy to Israel -- on the east.
In those disputed lands -- for over forty years -- Arabs have committed murder and theft on a massive scale against Jews. As a result, the Israelis had to set up checkposts and roadblocks to control the traffic of weapons and the free movement of terrorists. Andin order to protect the lives of Jews who decided to live in the homeland of their forefathers, the Army had to set up separate roads -- for Jews and for Arabs. This was done only after hundreds of Israelis were attacked in drive-by shootings at the hands of Arabs terrorists.
Arab cities and towns in Judea and Samaria have complete local autonomy -- without a Jew ever entering their outskirts. In fact, if a Jewish driver ever mistakenly enters an Arab town in Judea and Samaria, he is immediately bombarded by rocks, and is in danger of being lynched. Just such a fate befell two Army reservists a decade ago as they got lost and entered Ramallah. No one can ever forget the blood- drenched hands of the "proud" killers of these two men as they waved to the cheering crowd. On the other hand, Arabs enter Jewish towns and cities in the most casual, care-free and confident manner one can imagine. The contrast between the two situations is admittedly grating to many Jews.
The anti-Terror fence
Despite the overwhelming life saving results of the shield/fence, which has proved to limit the entrance of intruders bent on wreaking havoc, committing massacres. The Arabist ugly propaganda, always shrewd in abusing imagery, attempts to -conveniently- use the fence as a symbolic "separation." The fence, is exactly that, a de-fence, "Saving Lives: Israel's Security Fence." Basically "the fence is doing exactly what it was designed to do, save lives. It promotes peace." As testified in Congress it is "a mechanism for peace. On a trip to Israel last year, I had the opportunity to view the security fence, firsthand."
Fact: the fence which anti-Israel forces prefer calling the "wall," is not between Arab VS Jew. There are Arabs on both sides, it's between Israeli ID holders (Arab or Jew) and "Palestinian" ID holders (happen to be of Arab origin). The security concerns come from [Arabs, by in large] holding "Palestinian" ID - naturally, the perpertrators of deadly attacks. So it would be more fair to say it's a border safety zone. In other words, it's guarding Israeli citizens, Arab or Jew.
The Law of Return - designed to be a refuge for Jews [of any color], who have a past/present history of persecution
The 'Law of Return' is precisely a protection of Jews the very victim of racism. It's the antithesis of racism, and calling it "racist" is denying the reality of discrimination against Jews past/present. This sort of labeling is Holocaust denial or Holocaust trivialization. Indeed, thousands of lives have been saved, and Jewish communities rescued from isolation and persecution, because of the availability of immigration and the Law of Return.' "There is nothing discriminatory about Israel's Law of Return. It has enabled Israel to fulfill a humanitarian mission by offering a home to Jews from around the world."
Many countries employ religious or ethno-religious symbols on their flag. In fact To single out Jewish self-determination for condemnation is itself a form of racism, asserts noted civil rights lawyer. In his words: "My definition of anti-Semitism... is taking a trait that is universal and singling out only Israel for exhibiting that trait."
In contrast of what's described as: almost impossible to become a naturalized citizen in many Arab states (and excluding Jews from their own law of return" in 1954), In Israel, however, Non-Jews are also eligible to become Israeli citizens under naturalization procedures similar to those in other countries. Arab states define citizenship strictly by native parentage.
At best, the 'Law of Return' can be described as a form of 'affirmative action' for Jews. Yet, far from discriminating against Arabs, Israeli land policy, in some cases, favours Arabs, under the guise of affirmative action.
Democracy & equalityA writer elaborating on Arab apartheid [VS the Apartheid slur on Israel]:
There are Arab parties in the Israeli Parliament; full Arab voting rights. Arabs are welcome as both physicians and patients in Israeli hospitals, and as both teachers and students in Israeli schools. The only national institution from which they are exempted is the military, so that, if necessary, they should not be required to fight against their own brothers. Israel is clearly not an apartheid state.</P>
Attempts, therefore, to compare Israel, to white South Africa are at best uninformed; at worst, maliciously dishonest and anti-Semitic.
The irony is that in Israel, despite problems in Israel as in any other country, Arabs enjoy more rights, freedoms and liberties than do their neighbors in any number of Middle East countries currently fighting for these very same privileges.</blockquote> Muslim Arab Israeli journalist K. A. Toameh: "Israel is not an apartheid state... Israel is a free and open democratic country. I enjoy living here and I would rather live as a second class citizen in Israel, even though I'm not, than a first class citizen in any Arab country." From A. Isseroff about one of the chief propagating-lies of the "apartheid" myths:A staple lie of the "Apartheid Israel" myth makers is that Israeli Arabs or Muslims do not serve in the IDF, and therefore are not admitted to Israeli society. This is a particularly diabolical sort of lie, since it takes advantage of a feature of Israeli democracy. Military service is voluntary for Israeli Arabs, so that nobody would be forced to fight against their own kin. Many Israeli Arabs and Muslims serve in the IDF. Many Israeli Arabs do not serve because they hate the state. Nonetheless, they are not prosecuted. If those who do not serve feel that they are discriminated against because they did not serve, it is their own responsibility. Israeli Arabs have a radical political leadership that does not represent their interests, and calls on the Palestinian authority to halt peace negotiations with Israel, for example.
Classical sad irony is that some Israeli Arabs like Ahmed Tibi [currently holding high position in the Israeli democratic parliament "Knesset"] who like all Israeli Arabs enjoy rights and freedoms in Israel they wouldn't find anywhere else in the Middle East, dare propagate lies and accuse the democratic Jewish state of having so-called 'racist' and 'fascist' policies, while never backing up his ridiculous epithets with facts.  Typically, this hypocritical Arab leader himself has been accused of being a racist, and in 1997 he said: "Whoever sells his house to Jews, has sold his soul to Satan..." 
The fact that Israeli law equalizes between all races/religions, provides equal right to all, proves thet Israel is Jewish and democratic. "The Jewish character of the state does not permit Israel to discriminate between its citizens. In Israel Jews and non-Jews are citizens with equal rights and responsibilities."
We must bare in mind, though Israel may have certain respect for Jewish holidays, its legal system is not Jewish, but secular. The basic laws of the State of Israel dates to the Ottoman and British mandates. marriage laws rely on the respective community's court (Jewish, Muslim or Christian).As to some differences in standards of living that might appear between some Arab and Jewish communities (despite preferential treatments the Israeli system provides):we must remember that discrepancies between the sectors are not always the result of discrimination. Perhaps the best evidence of this is the Christian Arab minority (comprising only 9 percent of the Israeli Arab population).14 Although they are identical in ethnicity, language, and nationality to Muslim Arabs, the Christians boast remarkable achievements: Their child mortality rate is comparable to that of Denmark, and the percentage of students accepted into university is higher than that of the Jewish population.15 Hence, the state cannot be held entirely responsible for the privations of its Muslim Arab minority. Ideological differences and lifestyle choices must also be taken into account.
Furthermore, any difference between the Jewish and Arab communities must be viewed in the larger context of the Israeli-Arab conflict. Because of the ongoing war between the Jewish state and its neighbors, Israeli Arabs do not serve in the army. They therefore do not undergo the socioeconomic equalization effected by military service, and do not enjoy its many benefits, including the vocational and leadership training the IDF provides to its recruits. Should the Israeli-Arab conflict one day be resolved, full equality may become a more feasible goal.
From the differences between Zionism and Arab nationalism: "most Israelis have accepted the partition of the land since 1993, while Baathism, for example, wants all the lands between Syria and Iran as one Arab Ummah, with no national rights for non-Arab nations living there centuries before the Arab conquest."
Israel's harassement of the Jewish right shows again that only security concerns dictate its policies
Routinely, in certain regions, while Arabs are left untouched, the Jewish right wingers are getting harassed. In one example, in the historic Jewish city of Hebron, "IDF unit straddles the Jewish neighborhoods, the resident decry: "policeman harass and intimidate us." The residents are all religious and hold strongly right-wing views."
The right wing politician "Avigdor Lieberman was being harassed by the Justice Ministry,"  A settler youth was even harassed by the police for exposing Top police official who kept persecuting right wing Jews. Even framing them. Especially since Y. Rabin, there has been an era of "persecution of the Israeli right wing."
Conclusion: Officials' anxiety towards the Jewish right might be exaggerated, it probably is and it cannot be justified to be a routine. But the fact remains that only safety of its citizens dictates its policies, vis-a-vis Jew, Arab or anyone else.
General facts VS myths/distortions deliberately spread around - 'apartheid lies'
The Arab-Islamic invention of the "apartheid" comparison, analogy, the apartheid lie was debunked. "For Israel, apartheid epithet is undeserved."  "Calling Israel's occupation 'apartheid' is not only wrong but thoughtless. The labeling is wrong because the situations are entirely different." says a writer: Apartheid in South Africa, from 1948 until 1994, was a unique system of racial separation and discrimination, institutionalized by law and custom in every aspect of everyday life, imposed by the white minority and based on a belief in white racial superiority. Skin color decreed inferior status from birth until death for blacks, Asians and "mixed-race" coloreds. In contrast, West Bank oppression is not based on a predetermined racist ideology. It stems rather from historical factors such as Jordan's attack during the 1967 war..., economic... and security claims...
It is strange to label Israel "Apartheid" when:
1. Omar Barghouti, a leading advocate of boycotting Israel and a resident of Ramallah is also a doctoral student at Tel Aviv University.
2. Haifa University is 25% Arab and the Hebrew University is 10% Arab, and yes, they attend the same classes and use the same washrooms.
3. Arabs vote and have representation in the Israeli parliament and there are Arab Israeli diplomats and an Arab member of the Israeli Supreme Court.
4. An Israeli Arab is captain of the HaPoel Tel Aviv soccer team.
5. Tens of thousands of Black Jews from Ethiopia and Brown Jews from India have all been welcomed into Israel.
6. An Arab Israeli young woman singer represented Israel at the 2009 Eurovision song contest.
7. Rona Raslan, an Arab, is the former "Miss Israel".
8. Druse Arabs (who support the state of Israel) have served as ambassadors, army officers, even as Deputy Prime Minister.
9. Thousands of non-Jewish black African refugees make a long trek through Egypt on foot and try to immigrate to the Jewish state because they would rather live there than in Africa.
10. There are discriminatory laws against Palestinians in Lebanon and Jordan and few Israeli Arabs would want to trade Israeli citizenship for Jordanian or Egyptian.
11. The Palestinian Authority has said that any Arabs who sell land to Jews should be put to death, (and have in fact put some to death), but when a far-right wing Israeli radical-Zionist Rabbi told his followers not to sell land to Arabs, there was a national outcry and wave of condemnation against him. (As well as leading Israeli orthodox rabbis have denounced it.)
12. Abbas, the head of the Palestinian Authority has said that no Israeli Jew should be allowed to live in a future Palestinian State on the West Bank, but he will not sign a peace treaty unless Israel accepts about a million Palestinians.
Adopting the infamous methods of Nazi propagandist Goebbels: "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, it becomes the truth." The Arab world has refined this strategy to an art form, with none more skilled than Palestinian Authority leaders and their supporters. As lies become "truth," there are people of sincere convictions who accept them...
Apartheid myths is simply poisonous.
It's a Campaign to Delegitimize Israel with the False Charge of Apartheid. Some have called (JPost, Aug. 2009): Treat the apartheid slur - the "A-word" - like the "N-word" The Apartheid Propaganda is also used to justify Palestinian terrorist attacks, this rhetoric is a form of The New Anti-Semitism. Thus, the "Israel Apartheid" Lie - The "apartheid" slur is just another way for Israel's enemies to try to delegitimize and undermine the Jewish state by comparing its self-defense measures to something derogatory. Obama, was criticized in an article titled: "Obama Silent on PA Racism" for being silent on Arab Palestinian propaganda that uses such hype, routinely.
B. Wajsman wrote "The Israel Apartheid Lies" -A response to hate ["Israel Apartheid Week, Islamist apologists"] (2009)"Israel is not South Africa" ~Prof.Edward Said, author of "Orientalism"
"The false equation of Zionism with racism is simply an Arab ploy to take the focus off of the real enemies of humanity. Zionism is a healthy form of nationalism." - Edward H. Brown, Jr., former chief United Nations representative for the Congress of Racial Equality.Had the early socialist Zionists had their way there would have been a secular bi-national state. But even before Hitler, the Palestinian Muslim Arabs' religious and political leader Haj Amin al-Husseini of Jerusalem encouraged the wanton slaughter of Jews in Palestine under the British mandate, particularly in the years 1929-1940. He spent the years between 1941 and 1945 as Hitler's personal guest in Berlin broadcasting Nazi propaganda in Arabic and helping raise two Muslim divisions for the SS. He was to be tried at Nuremberg as a war criminal, but with the help of the French and British got back to his home and continued his bloodlust even after Israel became the only nation to recognize the Arab state of Palestine by accepting the UN's partition plan. Al-Husseini's frontline Arab cousins' response was to invade Palestine and hold the West Bank and Gaza prisoner for twenty years. His nephew Feisal was a member of Arafat's inner circle.
...These propaganda campaigns are the psychological and intellectual germ warfare of the naked aggression of hate. And they debase our public discourse. Witness Canadian Arab Federation president Khaled Mouammar calling Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney a "professional #####" for his support of Israel. These campaigns have already wiped out much of the historical and institutional memories of many in one generation of citizens in the free world, and are well on the way to infecting another, younger, generation.
The Islamist propaganda blitz in this new World War creates an enormous challenge for those still dedicated to the fate of freedom in the world. For the propagandists are engaged in an effort to destroy the legitimacy of one specific nation, a sister democracy, that is the free world's frontline guardian against the spread of theocratic tyranny. And for only one reason. That reason was eloquently expressed by Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff when he recently wrote, "Israel Apartheid Week singles out one state, its citizens and its supporters for condemnation and exclusion, and it targets institutions and individuals because of what and who they are—Israeli and Jewish."
Freedom of expression
Perhaps one of the most eloquent testaments to the fact that Israel may be many things (and one can disagree with it on many policies) but an apartheid state it is not, is that Jamal Zahalka, an Israeli Arab Muslim Member of the Knesset, Israel's Parliament, has travelled freely, and frequently, in the west pronouncing on the "myth" of Israeli democracy. Zahalka is not just any ordinary MK. He is a member of the Balad Party.
Balad was founded by Azmi Bishara, also a member of Israel's parliament, who started his political life as a communist. On the 8 of February 2004 the High Court sitting in Nazareth found that members of Balad were "…guilty of having put in place a Hezbollah proxy terrorist cell inside Israel in order to carry out suicide bombings…" Bishara himself declared in Beirut's "L'Orient-le-jour" on the 13th of June 2001 that, "I do not consider Hezbollah to be a terrorist organization."
Despite this, Balad has not been banned in Israel nor have its members, like Zahalka, been stopped from traveling. Indeed, Israeli diplomats in the various cities he has spoken in could not criticize him because Israeli protocol demands respect for a Member of the Knesset. Meanwhile Jews still cannot obtain visas to most Muslim countries. One more thing. Zahalka obtained his B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. in pharmacology at Hebrew University. Hebrew University's student body is some 25% Arab.
Zahalka is not a rare case. There are about a dozen Arab Muslim members of the Knesset. They represent several Arab political parties including two who expressly support terrorism. Those two had been disqualified by Israel's election authority but re-instated by order of the Israeli Supreme Court.
In fact Israeli Arabs, overwhelmingly Muslim, turn out to vote in greater percentage numbers than North Americans do. Arabs serve in the diplomatic corps with no glass ceiling. Israel's Ambassador to Finland is Arab. It was Prime Minister Ariel Sharon who appointed the first Israeli Arab, Salah Tarif, to the Cabinet. In May 2004 Salim Jubran was appointed to the Supreme Court of Israel.
Though making up some 18% of Israel's population, 22% of the membership of the Israeli Labour Party that ruled Israel for most of its existence was Arab as of May 2005.
Arabic is an official language in Israel, even posted on all road signs which is more than we can say for English in Quebec. More than 300,000 Arab children attend primary and secondary schools in Israel. In 1948 there was only one Arab high school in Israel. Today there are hundreds. There is of course one "discrimination" in relation to Arabs in Israel. They are not obligated to perform military service though there are many, - particularly Bedouin, Druze and Circassians - who volunteer.
Though discrimination in employment and social services is outlawed, there are certainly many cases of individual prejudice. But a 2000 study published in the Jerusalem Post shows just how close the living standards are between Arabs and Jews in Israel. Unemployment among Jews stood at 6.8%; among Arabs it was 10.4%. The average Jewish household had 1.80 persons for every room; the average Arab household 2.30 persons for every room. Life expectancy for Jews averaged 75; for Arabs 73.
One of the big issues in every year's Israel Apartheid Week is that the Jewish National Fund and Israeli government agencies control most of the land in Israel and won't sell to Arabs. Well the fact is that those lands aren't sold to anyone. They are leased. And there are no religious or ethnic restrictions whatever on who can lease it. A reality affirmed in an Israeli Supreme Court judgment written by Chief Justice Aharon Barak.
The real story of "apartheid" is on the flip side. The "Waqf", the Muslim Religious Authority, has the protection of Israeli law to possess land and the Waqf – with no Israeli interference - has openly issued proclamations that its lands are strictly reserved for sale or lease to Arab Muslims only. In fact the Palestinian Authority has from its inception enforced the Jordanian law in place since the Jordanian occupation of the West Bank that no land be sold or leased to anyone other than Arab residents of the West Bank on pain of death.
"Apartheid" week has of course railed against the security wall calling it an "apartheid" wall. Speakers at various events always point to the World Court decision demanding that Israel change the route of the wall. What is always neglected is that the Israeli Supreme Court demanded the same thing months before the World Court and the Israeli government complied. And has complied with several other route changes demanded by courts. I am not the strongest advocate for a security wall as a permanent solution to anything, but let's keep in mind that most of it hugs the 1967 border. And Israel has special cause for concern. When the Palestinian Authority was organized it was Israel that supplied 150,000 arms for the PA's militia only to see many of those arms used against Israel's citizens by both Fatah and Hamas factions, in addition to the suicide terrorist attacks. And finally, one last thing. Where in the Arab world would you ever see the Supreme Court ruling against its government and the government complying?
The justice system
Another big lie of Israel Apartheid Weeks is that Israel has created in the West Bank a regime of separation based on discrimination, applying two separate systems of law in the same area and basing the rights of individuals on their nationality. This is the classic half-truth. Residents of the West Bank can choose the legal jurisdiction they want to have recourse to. Including religious courts if they like. Part of the reason West Bank Arabs choose Israeli justice is the abject failure of the Palestinian Authority in implementing not only a constitution, but a functioning court system with legislation it can act on. What legislation there is, is nothing but a remnant of the Jordanian occupation from 1947-1967.
A December 2002 study by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research of residents of the West Bank and Gaza showed just how mistrustful they are of Palestinian justice. To the question "How would you evaluate the state of democracy and human rights in the Palestinian Authority?" 19.1% said good; 28.4% said satisfactory; and 50.5% said bad. When that question was asked of these same residents about Israel 65.5% said good; 11.9% said satisfactory; and only 17% said bad.
Land and international law
The fact is that whatever one may think of the occupation, aside from the settlement policies which are objectionable in far too many instances, Israel is exercising the same rights in international law as France and the United States did after the Second World War of holding onto territory acquired in its own defense after surviving an aggressive attack until peace is achieved. And under Israeli occupation, Palestinians have the highest percentage of university students; the lowest infant mortality and the longest life expectancy of any front-line Arab state. All that due to the assistance from the Israeli social service infrastructure.
The intellectual godfather of Palestinian nationalism Edward Said once wrote that "Israel is not South Africa" As Irshad Manji has pointed out, he could have stated nothing less since an Israeli publishing house translated his seminal work "Orientalism" into Hebrew. Israel is not so much the Jewish state as a state of Jews. The only preferential legislation that exists is the "Law of Return" that gives a Jew automatic citizenship while other prospective immigrants must wait three years. That law reflects the reality of a world that butchered millions of Jews and no country would take any in. Including Canada with its infamous "none is too many" policy. Israel was a haven for many Vietnamese boatpeople when Saigon fell, but there was no haven for the Jews of Europe.
The real facts on the ground
A few simple historic & present facts about wonderful Israel VS Arab nations/Arab-Palestinians
From material published in Sun News:Material published in 2006 in 'Humane Israel'
- Israel is a multi-ethnic Jewish democracy, with a thriving Christian population and 20 percent Arab population, all free citizens. Since 9/11, Muslims slaughtered "infidels" in 7,500 deadly, ethnic-cleansing jihad attacks.
Islamic states, China, Iran, Cuba, and Syria, are apartheid, with severe domination over their citizens, torture, beheadings, amputations, honor killings; death to women, homosexuals, apostates, and rioters who oppose dictatorships.
- When Israel became a state in 1948, seven Arab nations attacked for the entire Mandate. 160,000 Arabs who stayed, became Israel's million citizens. Those who followed Arab orders became political pawns to acquire Israel. Acceptance of peace would have meant two states, no refugees, no Nakba.
- 10,000 Jews became refugees of the Mandate; 950,000 Jews fled Arab persecution, absorbed by Israel and France. No pawns.
- Arabs are still killing Israelis, using its citizens as shields. Israel's care to target military is confirmed; so is their right to self-defense.
- Israel is first worldwide in rescue missions and humanitarian aid to all nations — Haiti, Turkey, Greece, Ethiopia, etc. Innovations and achievements in science, medicine and literature reap Nobel prizes. Israel leads in humanitarian programs and healthcare to needy countries, and leads in hi-tech and biomedical innovation, research and development. Israel conducts courses annually for emerging nations, helping in desert agriculture, water management, emergency and disaster medicine. The Koran commands Islamic charity to Islamic countries only.
- When Israel administered the "territories," they became the 4th-fastest growing economy in the 1970s, rising per-capita income, plunged unemployment, plunged infant mortality. Israel ended the "occupation"; the areas are run by terrorist Hamas and Fatah. Israeli "settlements" (housing developments) were built in undeveloped, uninhabited areas and are perfectly legal.
There is no greater ally to the US than Israel, a bulwark for democracy.
Beautiful Compassionate Humane Kind Zionism / Israel VS Evil, Racist Arabism, Islamism Kindness, Tolerance, multi racial, multi color cosmopolitan open, free & democratic: Zionism - Israel
Vs. Racist, fascist, totalitarian, ethnic cleansing, cruel, oppressive: Arabism, Islamism
Zionism - Israel has established a Multi-racial Multi Colored Cosmopolitan society, not only Israeli Arabs are integrated but all colors from black through Latino Chinese, (Vietnamese that have been rescued when no one wanted them) to the whitest of whites are all part of the same Israeli system.
Arabism, Islamism - fascism & racism not only persecutes minorities in all Arab & Muslims countries, be the Kurds in Arab countries or in Iran, Chinese under Indonesian Muslims, any non Muslim in Saudi Arabia, the Christians (copts.com) in Egypt, or Christians & Druze ethnic groups in in Lebanon, Kurds and Druze in Syrian dictatorship, or the Berbers ethnic group in Morocco, Algeria, etc. or the native Africans on Arab controlled countries such as Egypt (on Nubian native Egyptians), etc. but the horrific racist bloody Arabization even invaded foreign countries such as Sudan, Chad where they (Janjaveed Arabs) carry out that most cruel genocide and slavery, the largest human calamity since WW2.
Zionism - Israel has rescued around 900,000 Jews from Muslim countries that escaped persecution and integrated them into the cosmopolitan multi racial Israeli society. Arabism & Islamism has led the Arabs (now known as Arab Palestinians) in 1948 to evacuate the holy land with fake stories of "massacres" (instead of telling the truth about BATTLES!) promises of "victory" in ethnic cleansing out the land of the Jews, now not only did not integrate them in all those camps in Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, etc. but even persecutes them (you do not want to be a "Palestinian" in viciously racist Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, etc... Just ask anyone that works/worked there), does not let any Israeli attempt to improve their conditions, so they can so terribly [continue to] use their Arab "Palestinian" brothers as weapons in their fascistic anti Israel campaign.
Zionism - Israel has a beautiful democratic society, where not only Arab women where the FIRST ever to vote, but Arabs, Muslims are not only represented in all branches of government equally, in some cases at preferred status because of Israel's affirmative action system.
Arabism, Islamism, in most moderate Arab Muslim countries such as Saudi Arabia, fascism is that strong that Jews in GENERAL are not even allowed to enter, not only Israelis... (in moderate Indonesia & Malaysia, you can't enter with an Israeli passport). Not to mention 'Judenrein" 'Palestine', with its totally ethnic cleansing reality and even officially charter, especially Hamas'.
Zionism - Israel that is forced to fight Arab Muslim terrorists who target civilians by the masses in their genocide campaign, try to do it most humanely possible, be the huge sacrifice in the norm of announcing before an anti terror action, Israel pays dearly in pursuing after 'Palestinian' terrorists, so did she paid so dearly in Lebanon, as Arab Islamic Hezbollah terrorists that -- like 'Palestinian' Hamas -- used civilians as shields got away, ONLY because of Israel's concern for non combatants.
Arabism, Islamism, let alone their intentional targeting of non combatant Israelis, Americans, British, Iraqis, Australians, Spaniards, etc. but their cruelty on their owns is so great, as they are the only ones interested in Arab civilian casualties so they can play the "victim", which is why they cause their brothers & sisters to die. They prefer [dead] kids above all, thus, they shoot out of most crowded civilian places and prepare their cameras to capture the fallen Arabs. the bloodier the image, the "better."
Zionism - Israel. Impressive open and free press (13 languages) for all kinds of opinion. Furthermore, it actually has (one of the) most self-criticism systems, even by any Western criteria. Some criticize Israel from within even though it really fights for its survival, but the super-morality critics -apparently- want even better terms.
Arabism, Islamism, let alone most Arab Muslim countries are total totalitarian, any criticism can cost your torture and death, but even if you are in a supposedly 'democratic' moderate Lebanon and write something against a foreign invader & its occupation, like brutal Syria, you are in much chances of getting shot dead (see assassinations by Syria/Hezbollah).
Zionism - Israel a true and open society. A free humane island in the middle east. Its prisons are under tight scrutiny, to make sure its humane, if there would be any rare case where it isn't, it would be immediately publicized, dealt with and fixed. Its Arab citizens enjoy even more rights than Israeli Jews, since they do not have the obligation to serve in Israeli army, yet, have all the benefits nevertheless. It not only aids foreign nations but even its Arab enemies, from treating for free, wounded "Palestinian" kids (that were sent by Arab adults for violence, as in Hadassa hospital, for eaxmple), to foreign Arab Muslim nations, see: http://israaid.org.il/ , http://israel21c.org/
Arabism, Islamism, is not only oppressing its own people, torturing its prisoners and you will never even know/hear about it from the tightly closed nations. The terrible treatment of women & honor killing is standard all over Islamo Arab world, especially in "Palestine." The vast crimes against humanity in the oppressive Arab Muslim world is [almost] not published, precisely because of its totalitarianism. Asides from being oppressive regimes including the "moderate" ones, on their entire population, on the non Muslims the second class - "dhimmis," but Arabism & Islamism even exports its wahabbi totalitarian & rapid anti-west hatred philosophy outside its borders, oppresses, enslaves, mass rapes, commits genocide on the Africans in Sudan and Chad. So is radical fanatical Islamic Republic of Iran & its Mehdi (Mahdi) army instigating, arming, fighting & mass murder internationally, including in Lebanon, Iraq & among 'Palestinians'.
From a critic of Israel on the falsehood of "apartheid"
A harsh critic of Israel, South African born, editor of various publications, Benjamin Pogrund, explained [Sep. 23, 2011] why some S. Africans "condemn" Israel (and Zionism)... He cites the dark side of historic joint violence-training of some S. Africans with Arab-Palestinians. And despite of his strong chastising what he calls Israel's "occupation," [he gives some brief historic skeches, how Israel got to that point though], he clarifies, however, how that vilification of Zionism and Israel is not true, no matter how many times its repeated.In, Haaretz, which known to be very the anti-Israel, (and was even linked to a spy scandal,) Benjamin Pogrund wrote [in May 2, 2008]: "Catastrophic, but not apartheid" noting that Israel's situation is not unique. And says: "Calling Israel's occupation 'apartheid' is not only wrong but thoughtless - because it ignores what is happening in the world, and especially the imminence of the Durban Review Conference." He goes on by saying:
I was born and grew up in South Africa, spent most of my life here immersed in the racial travails of the country, and now live in Israel, in Jerusalem, where I have been involved with pursuing dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians. I am closely linked to both countries, in heart and mind.Ending the occupation will not in itself bring peace. But it is crucial to getting there. Jews and Arabs must settle their differences between themselves, through negotiation. The way forward is known: two states, with a Palestinian state living alongside the Jewish state and Jerusalem as the shared capital. But it's a troubled path to get there and South Africa is uniquely placed, with its experience in resolving bitter division and conflict, to give intelligent advice and guidance. But always remember: Israel/Palestine is not South Africa: there is a different history, different peoples, different cultures, different religious determinants, and different aspirations. Offer help, but please be wise, careful and modest.
Coming here now, I believe that I can understand why so many South Africans condemn Israel and favor Palestinians. Among ANC members, and especially Umkhonto we Sizwe veterans, there is the history of shared military training with Palestinians during the apartheid era. Going beyond that, the basis of the struggle against white domination and apartheid was to oppose ethnicity and tribalism. The goal was a single, united, non-racial South Africa and that is what we have.
Israel seems to run counter to this. I read and hear it being condemned as an apartheid and racist state. It is even said to be worse than apartheid. Its founding ideology, Zionist, is rejected as racism. It is pilloried as colonialist, as a pitiless oppressor of Palestinians, denying them fundamental human rights and killing them en masse whenever it wants to, and guilty even of genocide.
But merely to believe these charges doesn't necessarily mean they are true. Saying them repeatedly doesn't make them true. Yelling slogans that Israel is apartheid and Zionism is racism doesn't make any of it true. And they are not true.
I have no doubt that many critics of Israel speak out of sincere belief. But I find a great lack of knowledge in South Africa about the present and the past in the Middle East, and this leads to misunderstandings. It also opens the way to manipulation: there are people here who are not only ignorant but also malevolent; it is depressing to read their distortions about Israel, and even more to find that they have an audience.
It is worth recalling the basics of the conflict …
One, Britain, with its Balfour Declaration in 1917, promised Jews a national home in what was called Palestine, with due regard to the rights of Arab inhabitants. Five years later, despite Jewish opposition, Britain hived off 77 percent of Palestine and created an Arab state – today's Jordan. Britain spent nearly 30 years trying to bring together Jews and Arabs in Palestine. It failed, and ended up hated by both sides. It threw the problem to the United Nations General Assembly which investigated, decided there was no chance of Jews and Arabs living together, and voted for partition: a state for Jews and a state for Arabs.
Two, Jews accepted the UN decision, Arabs refused. Arabs attacked and killed Jews, and Arab armies invaded. The Jews fought back, won, and in the process added another 20 percent to the land allocated by the UN.
Three, this was victory for Zionism. It has been the national liberation movement of the Jewish people, as valid and successful as the liberation movements which emerged in Europe during the 19th century and the liberation movements in Africa and Asia during the 20th century.
The aim of Zionism was to create a state for Jews, giving freedom and a haven after centuries of persecution. It has achieved that in Israel where a Jewish majority rules.
No one objects to Saudi Arabia having only Muslims as citizens. No one objects to Pakistan declaring itself an Islamic state as do many other Muslim states. In Africa, does Ghana or a host of other countries, easily allow whites as citizens? They are all ethnic states. Israel is also an essentially ethnic state. Is it any less valid? Why is it singled out for condemnation?
Four, a consequence of Israel's war for survival in 1948 was that about 750,000 Arabs fled the country. Many left because they were frightened as war approached or swirled around them; many were expelled by the Israeli armed forces. No doubt they meant to return home when the fighting ended. But the victorious Israelis did not allow that: they feared a fifth column in their midst and they also followed the example of the previous year when India and Pakistan had split: in those countries, communal violence spawned 13 million refugees who left their homes and never returned; their properties were seized.
In the refugee tragedy created by the new Israel the UN gave Palestinians a unique international status which has never been done for anyone else: not only were the original 750,000 ranked as refugees but also their descendants so the number spread around the world is now about 4.5 million, and growing by the day. More than 60 years later, Palestinian refugees remain in limbo. Many hundreds of thousands are denied elementary rights in host countries, such as in Lebanon. Refugees have suffered for too long and their plight must be ended. It needs international coordination. Israel must share in that because it is part of the problem.
Five, there is, however, not the slightest chance that the refugees will be able to return to their original homes. The oft-declared "right of return" is a false hope, a bit of propaganda theatre used cynically by those who want to see Israel destroyed. It is a cover for their true intentions – the destruction of Israel - and too many others go along with it because they do not realize what it means. It's a non-starter for the simple reason that the return of Palestinians en masse would end the Jewish majority and hence the Jewish state – which is the purpose for which Israel was created, by Jews and the United Nations.
Six, the 176,000 Arabs who remained in 1948 have flourished and now number some 1.3 million. So much for the wicked accusation that Israel practises genocide. They have the vote and elect Members of Knesset (Parliament), both Arabs and Jews. Every South African, remembering apartheid, will know the significance of that. They have full civil rights. Every South African will know what that means. They have equal health benefits: the same hospitals, clinics, doctors and nurses. Every South African will know that was inconceivable under apartheid. The equality shows in the two basic reflectors of national health, the infant mortality rate and life expectancy: vast improvements over the years have closed gaps between Jews and Arabs; both enjoy levels of health among the best in the world.
Education is complicated. I haven't read anything in South Africa which shows any understanding of it, only ranting that Israel discriminates against Arabs. It starts with separate schools – an inheritance from the Ottoman era 100 years ago and the British mandate. A system was set in place which Israel has maintained and is now very difficult to get away from because Arab children study in Arabic and Jewish children in Hebrew. Any child is free to go to other schools but very, very few do so because of language. There are also deep divisions among Jews, with separate schools for secular and religious, and still more separation among different streams of the religious.
In funding, public schools receive a "basket" of teaching hours based on student numbers – regardless of religion, ethnicity or anything else. The government pays each year. Then parents and local municipalities put in cash, for more teachers or piano lessons, or whatever, and differences grow between wealthy and poorer areas. Arabs towns are poorer and have lower tax collection rates and the lesser resources show up in the schools and in results. But nothing is straightforward: an Arab Christian school, with mainly Muslim students, regularly scores the highest matriculation results; the worst current achiever is a Jewish ultra-Orthodox school. There are also private and Jewish ultra-Orthodox schools: they receive government funding calculated somewhat differently but also based on student numbers plus the extent to which the schools adopt the core curriculum set by the government.
In religion, the right of each group to administer its own affairs is also inherited from the past. This too is complicated. Take the Jews: a Jew cannot marry a Christian or a Muslim. That seems like discrimination akin to apartheid's prohibitions in the Mixed Marriages Act. But it isn't. Instead, the situation is that Orthodox rabbis control Jewish marriage: they will marry any Jew to any Jew as long as he/she is Jewish from birth or has undergone an Orthodox conversion. Those who want to avoid the rabbinate can fly one hour to Cyprus and marry there in a civil ceremony; they return to Israel and the marriage is recognized in law. Among Muslims, Islam allows only Muslim-to-Muslim marriage – so a non-Muslim partner must first convert to Islam. Christians can be married in the churches, but some Orthodox churches will not marry a couple in which one partner is Protestant.
Land is much misunderstood and false accusations are made. It is, once again, a complex issue shaped by past practices. The basic picture is that 93 percent of the land in Israel is owned by the state and anyone can buy or rent it. But 13 percent of the 93 percent is restricted for Jewish use only. This is land owned by the Jewish National Fund, set up at the start of the last century to buy land for Jews. The fund's success provided a basis for the UN's decision to create a Jewish state. In recent years several Arab families have sought to buy into Jewish communities living on JNF land and have been rejected. The issue has been before the Supreme Court: some argue that the JNF's charter is inviolate and the land must remain Jewish forever; others insist that the charter must be changed to open the land to everyone.
...There is a great deal of consciousness about the gaps between Arabs and Jews. A range of NGOs work for change. Interestingly, the current government, although right-wing, has pledged huge amounts of money to upgrade Arab existence and also pushes national service so that Arab young men and women can work in hospitals and community centres in lieu of army service and earn the benefits of non-combat soldiers.
So the picture of the Israeli Arab community is a mixed one. Discrimination yes, but also some closeness with, for example, an Arab judge on the Supreme Court, and senior doctors and university teachers throughout the country. Theatres, cinemas, parks, beaches are open to everyone.
The extent of separation in schools and housing does, unfortunately, breed and perpetuate division. Social discrimination is one result. But none of this is remotely like the institutionalized racist laws and restrictions of apartheid South Africa. Anyone who levels that accusation against Israel has either forgotten what apartheid was, or does not know Israel, or is inventing it.
This is Israel within the 1948/49 borders. The story is very different when it comes to the West Bank. It is linked with Israel but is separate from it. The story again starts with history: in 1967, in making pre-emptive strikes against Egypt and Syria, Israel sent a message to Jordan's King Hussein on the eastern border: stay out of this, we have no quarrel with you. But Hussein believed the great lies that Egypt was feeding him – that it had destroyed Israel's air force whereas the opposite was true – and attacked. To general astonishment, the Israeli army defeated Jordan, evicting it from Jerusalem and the West Bank which it had seized in 1948.
At first, Israel was interested in exchanging land for peace. Remember, it was still in a state of war with the Arab countries it had defeated 19 years earlier and they did not recognise its existence. The Arab League met in Khartoum and issued a statement on 1 September 1967: No peace with Israel, no recognition, no negotiations...
Jewish settlement began and has grown...
I am among the many Israelis who oppose the occupation and who believe that we must get out of there. Nothing about occupation is pleasant... The fundamental point is that it is an occupation. Accusing Israel of practising apartheid on the West Bank is inappropriate and irrelevant. The charge confuses and distracts. Occupation is wrong and evil in itself. It does not need to be embellished or exaggerated. The roads built to carry only cars with Israeli yellow and black number plates – the Palestinian green and white are barred – are an expensive, heavy-handed response to drive-by shootings and have nothing to do with apartheid. The security barrier – part wall but mainly fences and ditches – was originally planned for security, to keep out suicide bombers from getting into Israel, but the purpose has been twisted to enable land grabs from Palestinians. That is exploitative and damaging. But it has nothing to do with apartheid.
To say that Israeli behavior is even worse than apartheid is even more misleading for the simple reason that the comparison is invalid. There was never in South Africa resistance in the form of suicide bombers, drive-by shootings and wholesale terror attacks, and there was thus never any call for the military responses that Israel resorts to.
The Bantustan analogy which some draw is equally faulty: apartheid Bantustans were meant as reservoirs of labour, to keep blacks penned in them so that they could be hauled into "white" South Africa when needed. The West Bank with its barrier and checkpoints is the exact opposite: Israel doesn't want Palestinian workers; it wants to keep them out.
Intentionality, or the lack of it, is a vital element: the white rulers in South Africa deliberately set about driving segregation and discrimination into every nook and cranny of society; that is not Israel. The checkpoints and separate roads and the rest are not ideological goals but are a consequence of occupation and resistance to it. End the occupation, and they will end.
So why do so many put such effort into trying to attach the apartheid tag to the occupation, with so many incessant and emotive references to apartheid roads, the apartheid wall, apartheid checkpoints and the rest? This is where we get back to the beginning: yell apartheid again and again and again and some people will believe it, or at least that is the hope and aim of the shouters.
There is an underlying, more convoluted, purpose: if Israel can be declared guilty of apartheid – and the United Nations definition is so broad that it can be pulled and stretched any way you want – then the country can be declared as much a pariah state as was apartheid South Africa and hence open to international sanctions, from trade and oil to being driven out of every possible world activity. What is clear and certain is that the ultimate purpose is the destruction of the Jewish state.
Israel is wide open to criticisms. It is as imperfect as any other country, and carries more burdens than many. But it is not the racist, cruel monster that some people depict. I believe it is time for South Africans to take a fresh look at the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians: to be aware of the machinations of critics, to ask about their motivation and their ultimate goal. The question must be asked: why is so much hatred directed at that tiny country?
The labeling is wrong because the situations are entirely different. Apartheid in South Africa, from 1948 until 1994, was a unique system of racial separation and discrimination, institutionalized by law and custom in every aspect of everyday life, imposed by the white minority and based on a belief in white racial superiority. Skin color decreed inferior status from birth until death for blacks, Asians and "mixed-race" coloreds. In contrast, West Bank oppression is not based on a predetermined racist ideology. It stems rather from historical factors such as Jordan's attack during the 1967 war and the resulting Israeli conquest of the West Bank. From that, the settlement movement has developed...
Issue: "land" or mass murder?
M. Phillips advises: "Israel's advocates all too often fail to state the reality of its enemies' intentions. It is time that they did,"
...friends of Israel fret endlessly about whether or not Bibi will extend the moratorium on new building in the disputed territories, rather than ask the much more germane question of what the Palestinians are offering as an equivalent concession. The answer to that one, said Brett Stephens, is that they say they will keep the lid on terrorism. So their great concession is to stop killing Jews. Which kind of illustrates that, while the issue in contention for Israel is land, that for the Palestinians is mass murder.Put the other side on the back foot where it belongs. Change the narrative.
But instead of accusing the Palestinians and their western supporters of this rejectionism - the true reason for the Middle East impasse - many self-professed "friends" of Israel position themselves on the very ground that Israel's enemies have chosen to conceal their real aim to obliterate it.
Hence the almost exclusive focus on the settlements and on Israel's supposed obduracy on these issues as the major obstacle to peace. This is demonstrably absurd. The only obstacle to peace is the Palestinians' continued and open refusal to accept the existence of Israel as a Jewish state, and thus their continued objective to wage a war of extermination against it.
... the whole issue of the settlements...is a giant red herring which has been swallowed wholesale by the west's Israel-bashers. But many in the pro-Israel camp have precisely the same preoccupation, obsessing about whether Israel is making enough concessions on the settlements.
Israel's defenders should be moving the conversation on to the subject of the ill treatment of the Palestinians by the rest of the Arab world - and towards each other.
I would go further. I would ask self-styled "progressives" who obsess about removing the settlers from the disputed territories why they promote an agenda of racist ethnic cleansing designed to remove every Jew from a putative state of Palestine - while Israel, whose Arab minority enjoys full civil rights, is excoriated for "apartheid".
NotesAnti-Israel bigotry: the Apartheid slur - Main