In a ‘private’ conversation, John Kerry unleashed the well-known narrative that dictates that if Israel does not retreat, it will become an apartheid state and suffer the same fate as South Africa. . Kerry even showed deep concern for Israel’s future as a Jewish State. Clearly, his words were directed at the Israeli public in order to influence public opinion for additional retreats.
And what is the truth?
The only case in history in which a ‘white’ nation has sent its armed forces to Africa and brought back ‘blacks’ in order to make them citizens with equal rights – not slaves – is Israel’s rescue of Ethiopian Jewry.
Slavery in the classical sense exists today only in some Moslem countries. Accusations of ‘apartheid’ from the representatives of the culture of slavery and their supporters in the Obama administration against the nation that represents the message of Jewish liberty are outrageous.
Now for some real definitions of apartheid: South African apartheid was an array of segregative and discriminatory laws based on race. If annexation of territory without affording full voting rights means apartheid, then the USA has been –and continues to be- an apartheid state for over 100 years:
The US captured the island of Puerto Rico (3.6 million residents) from Spain 116 years ago. Its residents cannot vote in US federal elections.
The US captured the island of Guam (150,000 residents) from Spain 116 years ago. No voting rights, as above.
The US bought the Virgin Islands (106,000 residents) from Denmark 97 years ago. No voting rights as above.
The Northern Mariana Islands (77,000 residents) were captured from Japan 70 years ago and became a UN-American mandate. For the past 36 years, they have been under US sovereignty. No voting rights, as above.
The US captured American Samoa (55,000 residents) from Spain 116 years ago. Its status is different; it is a protectorate of the US. No voting rights, as above.
Nobody accuses the US of apartheid because the people in its territories do not have federal voting rights. There is a clear and recognized difference between human rights and civil (voting) rights.
Differences in the civil status of citizens exist in other Western countries and they are not considered ‘apartheid’ states at all. In addition to the US, in Czechoslovakia, Hong Kong, Latvia and more – all modern countries – a certain percentage of its citizens do not have voting rights. In Latvia, for example, which is a member of the European Union, 15% of its citizens do not enjoy voting rights. All of these countries make the distinction between people on the basis of their nationality and not on the basis of the territory in which they live. Israel is another one of those countries. It has nothing to do with apartheid.
The Nation of Israel has returned to its ancestral homeland in order to establish a Jewish State. The principles according to which this state should function are the means, not the end. If and when we see that granting voting rights/full citizenship to other national groups will threaten Israel’s Jewish identity – it is our full right not to do so. Israel always has and always will grant all its residents full human rights.
And what about Kerry’s concern for Israel’s Jewish majority? Most likely, Kerry was referring to the ‘demographic problem.’
In that case, Mr. Kerry can relax. The average Jewish woman in Israel now gives birth to more babies than her neighbor in Ramallah. According to the American-Israel Demographic Research Group, the continued trend, with the addition of approximately 500,000 new immigrants to Israel will bolster the Jewish majority from 66% to 80% by 2035. Without any ‘peace’ process, the Jewish majority in Israel, Arabs of Judea and Samaria notwithstanding, will be 80% in just twenty years. Upheavals like what we are witnessing now in Ukraine or economic crises throughout the world can definitely bring even more new immigrants to our country and shorten the estimated time span.
To sum it all up: Kerrys come and Kerrys go. The Eternal Nation doesn’t have to take his manipulations too seriously.
About the Author: Moshe Feiglin is the Deputy Speaker of the Knesset and a member of Israel's Security and Defense Committee. He heads the Manhigut Yehudit ("Jewish Leadership") faction of Israel's governing Likud party. He is the founder of Manhigut Yehudit and Zo Artzeinu and the author of two books: "Where There Are No Men" and "War of Dreams." Feiglin served in the IDF as an officer in Combat Engineering and is a veteran of the Lebanon War. He lives in Ginot Shomron with his family.
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