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December 19, 2014 / 27 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘apartheid’

The Frum Professor’s Legal Case for Israel: The Video

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

Do you suffer from International Law Insecurity? Do you stutter incoherently when someone tells you that “Israeli settlements in the ‘West Bank’ are illegal under international law?” What about when they say “the International Court of Justice has judged Israel’s security barrier to be illegal?” Or when they call the area east of the Green Line “occupied Palestinian territory?”

Guess what? It’s all a bunch of crap, to use a technical expression.

As reported yesterday on the JewishPress.com, here, in one 46-minute lecture, is a clear explanation of what international law is and is not, and how it applies to some of the controversies around the Jewish state.

Eugene Kontorovich is Professor of Law at Northwestern University and an expert in international law.

Visit Fresno Zionism.

Haaretz ‘Apartheid’ Survey is False and Biased, Charges Israeli Media Watch Dog ‘Presspectiva’

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

A recent survey conducted and presented by Haaretz newspaper claimed that the majority of Jews in Israel advocates the instating of an apartheid regime, and further claimed that most Israel is believe that currently there are areas in which apartheid measures are already exercised.

The survey relied on a sample of 503 respondents, and was published in the media all over the world, allegedly revealing a series of racist views and extreme nationalist opinions among the Jewish citizens of Israel. An in-depth analysis of the survey performed by the Israeli media watch dog ‘Presspectiva’ presents a different depiction of Israeli opinion. Presspectiva was able to obtain a full copy of the survey, enabling them to take a close and accurate look at the survey’s findings.

According to their analysis, the conclusions in this survey were misrepresented by the Haaretz article, details were omitted, and Gideon Levy’s coverage of the survey was not objective and contained information that was intentionally distorted.

Presspectiva’s study provides many examples of inconsistencies between the survey’s data and the information presented by Haaretz newspaper. The first example is the question in which respondents were asked for their opinion regarding the roads permissible for Israeli use only. Parenthetically, it should be noted that these roads exist as a result of security necessities. Respondents were asked whether they think the existence of such roads is good or bad, and is there a way to stop such instances. 24% of the respondents viewed this situation as positive, while 50% said it is bad, but there’s nothing to do about it, and 17% claimed that the phenomenon must be stopped. Despite these clear details, the reporter chose to publish that 74% of respondents support the existence of such authorized roads for Israelis only – in stark contrast to the respondents’ answers.

Furthermore, respondents were asked several questions about racism and a possible preference of the Jewish sector over the Arab one. In this sequence of questions most respondents gave answers which expressed their desire to integrate the Arab sector into general society, and their support of equal rights to all. For example, 49% of the respondents stated that they would not be bothered by an Arab student in their children’s class. In addition, 60% of respondents (compared to 33%) claimed that Israeli Arabs should be allowed to vote for the Knesset (the Israeli Parliament), in contrast to what Gideon Levy wrote in his article.

Throughout the article, it seems, the text highlights negative data, ignoring the details which depict a different picture.

On the subject of apartheid, which was used as the article’s title, there were also some distortions, according to Presspectiva’s research. In the question regarding apartheid, respondents were asked about a scenario in which Israel would annex Judea and Samaria, a situation which could lead to two and a half million Palestinians voting for the Knesset. 69% of respondents said they would oppose such a reality. However, Levy decided to conclude from their reply that the respondents support the existence of apartheid in Israel, a very broad interpretation of this data.

It should be noted that in the article itself, the reporter points out that it seems that the respondents did not fully understand the term ‘apartheid’, however, it did not prevent the reporter from remarking on the respondents’ opinion on the subject, despite their lack of understanding. According to Presspectiva, it seems that the answers given by the respondents were based on the understanding of the term ‘apartheid’ as synonymous with ‘discrimination’. Another element that contributed to the confusion was the surveyors’ question whether there is “some” apartheid in Israel, or is the phenomenon prevalent. Apartheid policy is a political phenomenon and cannot be quantified.

Presspectiva published its reaction to the Haaretz article because its suspicion of the facts presented in the Haaretz article, allegedly showing extreme racism among the Israeli Jewish population. In-Depth examination of the facts presented by the survey shows that the reality is different. The results do not reflect a racially motivated society in Israel that supports apartheid, as it was presented in Haaretz newspaper.

After being attacked by several sources, Haaretz published a clarification stating that their headline and article were misleading. Gideon Levy published an apology as well. However, the article has already been published by the British Guardian, the British Independent, the Canadian Globe and Mail and tens of other sites, causing extensive damage to the image of Israel and its citizens.

Defamation: Combating the Assault on Israel’s Legitimacy at the Guardian

Monday, October 29th, 2012

H/T Chas

“Sometimes the left distinguishes between vulnerable European Jews who have been persecuted and latter-day “Prussians” in Israel. Yet it is often forgotten that a majority of Israelis just happen to be Jews, who fear therefore that what begins with the delegitimization of the state will end with the delegitimization of the people.” – Colin Shindler

Benjamin Pogrund, a former South African journalist, and anti-Apartheid activist, who made Aliyah in 1997 and founded Yakar’s Centre for Social Concern, published a piece at ‘Comment is Free’ on Oct. 25 titled ‘Israel has moved to the right, but is not an apartheid state.’

Pogrund refuted the recent poll on Israeli views of Arabs, and the profound distortion of the poll results, which smeared Israel with the charge of apartheid, by Gideon Levy of Ha’aretz.

Interestingly, Pogrund was forced to contend not merely with one misrepresentation, but two, as CiF editors noted the following below the essay:

“The original headline of this article, “Israel is hostile towards Arabs, but it is not an apartheid state”, was changed at 17:46 on 26 October 2012 at the request of the author.”

Anyone reading Pogrund’s piece would understand that he not only responded to the apartheid charge but, in fact, refuted those claiming that the poll demonstrated Israel’s hostility towards its Arab citizens.

One of the more thoughtful reader comments about the broader issue of the danger posed by slander against the Jewish state, below the line of Pogrund’s CiF piece, was posted by someone using the moniker Mita Khondria, who wrote the following:

Pejorative terms used freely against Jews in the last century led to people thinking that the Jews were a ripe target which could be injured with impunity, and attempted to wipe them out in an industrial murder operation the very scope of which was breath-taking.

Similar loose talk about a Jewish state in this century and blind insistence on its uniquely evil nature despite the obvious dangers (and the absurdity of applying these terms to this one state when there are plenty with far worse records) is irresponsible in the extreme.  So when people ask what you can say about Israel without being antisemitic I would ask them, whatever they say, to name at least one other current state about which they can say the same thing. Comparisons with Apartheid South Africa and Nazi Germany are of course ruled out as indications of a desire to do damage.

For instance, there were gasps of disbelief from Westerners recently that Israel had no civil marriage laws.  They were not aware that this is the rule not the exception in the Middle East.  It was therefore not antisemitic when put into the correct perspective.

The Hebrew term for speaking badly of others (Slander, spreading malicious, false information, etc.) is called lashon hara, literally “evil language.”

Such evil speech, when it involves criticism of Israel at the Guardian, often involves not outright lies – though they are not uncommon – but the dynamic of selectively reporting information void of historical or political context, or any sense of moral proportion.

Such context is vital in providing the nuance and complexity necessary to avoid misleading, lazy characterizations which render Israeli Jews as mere stereotypes, caricatures, or crude political abstractions.

Interestingly, according to Jewish tradition, while the person engaging in such slander is of course morally culpable, those who listen and fail to refute false, misleading and defamatory words are considered more culpable, because the person had the power to stop the lie and didn’t, thus completing the transgression.

All that is required of a philo-Semites – indeed of anti-racists more broadly – is the determination to not allow defamations of the Jewish people to go unchallenged.

‘What begins with the delegitimization of the state will end with the delegitimization of the people.’

Our mission at CiF Watch – leveraging nothing more than the weight of our arguments and the power of our speech – is to refute false and misleading information about Israel and the Jewish people.

We also hope to inspire others to do the same.

Visit CifWatch.org.

Guardian Columnist Concludes: Israelis Favor Apartheid

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

H/T Simon Plosker

Harriet Sherwood’s latest report, Oct. 23, contains a dramatic headline,  ‘Israeli poll finds majority in favor of ‘apartheid’ policies.

The highlights of the poll reported by Sherwood, and based on a Ha’aretz article by Gideon Levy which cited the results of polling conducted by a group called Dialog, are as follows: (Graph from Ha’aretz)

Critical omission by Sherwood on the findings

Here’s the opening passage of Sherwood’s story:

More than two-thirds of Israeli Jews say that 2.5 million Palestinians living in the West Bank should be denied the right to vote if the area was annexed by Israel, in effect endorsing an apartheid state.” (emphasis added).

However, Sherwood failed to acknowledge that only 38 percent of the Jewish public wants Israel to annex the territories with settlements on them in the first place, which is arguably the most important stat, as many of the subsequent questions, such as the one highlighted by Sherwood, pertain to a scenario where such annexation occurs. The fact that a majority of Israelis do not express support for annexation renders the subsequent questions extremely less meaningful, and her conclusion about Israeli support for ‘apartheid’ dishonest.

A few additional observations.

* The sample size of the Dialog poll is 503 (out of a Jewish population of over 6 million), which is problematic. Further, since there is no link to the full poll it’s not possible to judge the methodology.

* Levy admits that “the survey conductors said that the term ‘apartheid’ “was not clear enough to some interviewees”, which may explain the following additional quote by Levy about the results: “39 percent believe apartheid is practiced “in a few fields”; 19 percent believe “there’s apartheid in many fields” and 11 percent do not know.”  Further, it’s unclear how ‘apartheid’ – widely understood as a systemic policy of separation based on race – could be characterized as a dynamic localized in certain fields. It seems possible that Israelis were expressing their belief that “discrimination” occurs in certain fields, which is a far different phenomenon than ‘apartheid’.

* Sherwood writes that “58% believe Israel already practices apartheid against Palestinians”, a number, it seems, based on Levy’s report, cited above.  As I noted in the previous bullet, this is extremely problematic conclusion, based on what may be an unclear understanding of what the word ‘apartheid’ meant in the context it was being used.

Palestinian Context

The most glaring omission by Sherwood is her broader failure, in this or other reports alleging Israeli racism, to provide similar data indicating the political views of Palestinians.  This is part of a larger problem within the Guardian’s coverage of the region, which consistently fails to rigorously examine Palestinian society and mores.

As such, the following Palestinian poll results should at least serve to provide a bit of context to contrast the recent polling on Israelis:

* 51% support the August 2010 Hamas attack on settlers near Hebron that resulted in the death of four settlers? (PCPSR, October 2010);

* 54% support armed attacks against Israeli civilians inside Israel? (Harry Truman Research Institute/PCPSR, March 1-7, 2009);

* 64% support launching rockets from the Gaza Strip against Israeli towns and cities such as Sderot and Ashkelon? (Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, March 13-15, 2008)

84% support the bombing attack that took place in a religious school in West Jerusalem in 2008. (Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, March 13-15, 2008);

60% of Palestinians eventually hope that one state − Palestine − will replace the Jewish state. Only 23 percent of Palestinians said they believed in Israel’s right to exist as the national homeland of the Jews  (Based on a poll in 2010);

Only 4% of Palestinians have a favorable view of Jews. (Pew Global, 2011);

* 47.5% of Palestinians still support terrorist attacks inside pre-1967 Israel. (2012 PSR Survey);

* 73% of Palestinians “believe” the Islamic Hadith that preaches it is Islamic destiny to kill Jews (2011 poll);

Of course, there is as good of a chance Sherwood would report these disturbing findings about Palestinian racism, support for violence, and intransigence as the chance she would avoid skewing the results of an Israeli poll in a misleading manner which shows Israelis in the worst possible light.

Alice Walker Kills Hebrew ‘Color Purple’ Deal Citing ‘Apartheid’

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

Alice Walker, author of “The Color Purple,” refused to authorize a Hebrew translation of her prize-winning work, citing what she called Israel’s “apartheid state.”

In a June 9 letter to Yediot Books, Walker said she would not allow the publication of the book into Hebrew because “Israel is guilty of apartheid and persecution of the Palestinian people, both inside Israel and also in the Occupied Territories.”

In her letter, posted Sunday by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel on its website, Walker supported the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement and offered her hope that the BDS movement “will have enough of an impact on Israeli civilian society to change the situation.”

Here is the full version of Walker’s letter:

June 9, 2012

Dear Publishers at Yediot Books,

Thank you so much for wishing to publish my novel THE COLOR PURPLE. It isn’t possible for me to permit this at this time for the following reason: As you may know, last Fall in South Africa the Russell Tribunal on Palestine met and determined that Israel is guilty of apartheid and persecution of the Palestinian people, both inside Israel and also in the Occupied Territories. The testimony we heard, both from Israelis and Palestinians (I was a jurist) was devastating. I grew up under American apartheid and this was far worse. Indeed, many South Africans who attended, including Desmond Tutu, felt the Israeli version of these crimes is worse even than what they suffered under the white supremacist regimes that dominated South Africa for so long.

It is my hope that the non-violent BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement, of which I am part, will have enough of an impact on Israeli civilian society to change the situation.

In that regard, I offer an earlier example of THE COLOR PURPLE’s engagement in the world-wide effort to rid humanity of its self-destructive habit of dehumanizing whole populations. When the film of The Color Purple was finished, and all of us who made it decided we loved it, Steven Spielberg, the director, was faced with the decision of whether it should be permitted to travel to and be offered to the South African public. I lobbied against this idea because, as with Israel today, there was a civil society movement of BDS aimed at changing South Africa’s apartheid policies and, in fact, transforming the government.

It was not a particularly difficult position to hold on my part: I believe deeply in non-violent methods of social change though they sometimes seem to take forever, but I did regret not being able to share our movie, immediately, with (for instance) Winnie and Nelson Mandela and their children, and also with the widow and children of the brutally murdered, while in police custody, Steven Biko, the visionary journalist and defender of African integrity and freedom.

We decided to wait. How happy we all were when the apartheid regime was dismantled and Nelson Mandela became the first president of color of South Africa.

Only then did we send our beautiful movie! And to this day, when I am in South Africa, I can hold my head high and nothing obstructs the love that flows between me and the people of that country.

Which is to say, I would so like knowing my books are read by the people of your country, especially by the young, and by the brave Israeli activists (Jewish and Palestinian) for justice and peace I have had the joy of working beside. I am hopeful that one day, maybe soon, this may happen. But now is not the time.

We must continue to work on the issue, and to wait.

In faith that a just future can be fashioned from small acts,
Alice Walker

In a June, 2011 interview with Foreign Policy, walker said:

“I think Israel is the greatest terrorist in that part of the world. And I think in general, the United States and Israel are great terrorist organizations themselves. If you go to Gaza and see some of the bombs – what’s left of the bombs that were dropped – and the general destruction, you would have to say, yeah, it’s terrorism. When you terrorize people, when you make them so afraid of you that they are just mentally and psychologically wounded for life — that’s terrorism. So these countries are terrorist countries.”

It was not clear when Yediot Books, an imprint of the daily Yediot Achronot newspaper, made the request, or whether Walker could in fact stop translation of the book. At least one version of the book has already appeared in Hebrew, in the 1980s.

“The Color Purple,” which won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, was adapted into a movie in 1985 directed by Jewish filmmaker Steven Spielberg.

The novel and the film, which was nominated for 11 Oscars, treat racism in the American South in the first part of the 20th century and sexism among blacks.

Walker has intensified her anti-Israel activism in recent years, traveling to the Gaza Strip to advocate on behalf of the Palestinians.

JTA content was used in this article.

Jews Clash in Queer Toronto Over Inclusion of BDS Group in Parade

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

A Jewish gay and lesbian group has submitted a request to the Pride Toronto arbitration panel, asking the gay pride parade organizers to ban anti-Israel group Queers Against Israeli Apartheid from the festival, according to a report in the Toronto Star.

Jewish homosexual group Kulanu Toronto filed a complaint on Friday against QuAIA’s participation in the July 1 parade, stating that “QuAIA’s “behavior and rhetoric are hurtful to Jewish parade participants and to supporters of Israel”.  According to Kulanu, QuAIA’s comparison of Israel to apartheid South Africa is offensive and untrue.  In an e-mail to the Star, Kulanu executive director Justine Apple accused QuAIA of “hijacking the parade with their anti-Israel propaganda,” and alienating the people of Toronto with their “hateful, hostile messaging”.

Queers Against Israel Apartheid

Queers Against Israel Apartheid

The Star reported that the dispute resolution committee will review the complaint, but may not be able to render a decision in time for the event.

Last week, the Toronto city council voted to condemn the use of the phrase “Israel apartheid,” but also granted $124,000 in funding to the pride parade regardless of QuAIA’s ability to participate.  In 2010, a decision to ban QuAIA from the annual parade was overturned due to pressure from Canadian homosexuals.  In 2011, the city of Toronto threatened to cut funding to the parade if QuAIA was allowed to participate.  In response, QuAIA pulled out of the event, holding an event in favor of BDS (boycotting, divestment, and sanctions) instead.

In January, Tel Aviv was named the Best Gay City of 2011 in an international American Airlines competition choosing the most popular destinations among LGTB tourists.

Endemic Mass Psychosis Strikes Universities

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

http://fresnozionism.org/2012/06/endemic-mass-psychosis-strikes-universities/

Those of us who have not been hanging around US college campuses lately have no idea of the degree to which anti-Israel activities and discourse permeate the political atmosphere, especially where there are active chapters of groups like the Muslim Student Association, Students for Justice in Palestine, etc.

Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, a Lecturer in Hebrew at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and Leila Beckwith, Professor Emeritus in Pediatrics at UCLA, have attacked it head on, arguing that the over-the-top hatred of Israel constitutes anti-Semitism, which directly harms Jewish students. From their AMCHA Initiative  website:

In June 2009, Tammi filed a Title VI complaint under the 1964 U.S. Civil Rights Law that alleges that anti-Israel and anti-Jewish discourse and behavior in classrooms and at university-sponsored events had resulted in the intellectual and emotional harassment and intimidation of Jewish students at UC Santa Cruz and violated federal anti-discrimination laws. Her complaint, the first of its kind, is now being investigated by the Office of Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education.

They are now engaged in a dispute with the administration of CSU-Northridge about a “boycott Israel resource page” maintained by Mathematics Professor David Klein on the University’s server and linked to Klein’s faculty page.

For example, here is a snippet from Klein’s page, under the heading “Israel is the most racist state in the world at this time”:

Zionism calls for a Jewish state.  Israel defines Jewishness, in part, in genetic terms.  A person is legally Jewish if his or her mother is Jewish, regardless of place of birth or religious belief. Israel is an apartheid state that systematically discriminates against the indigenous population, enforcing, for example, Jewish-only buses and Jewish-only roads.  The result of Israeli state policies has been a 63 year program of ethnic cleansing, including expulsion of the Palestinian population, military occupation, and mass murder.

Almost every proposition in the above is false.

1. Israel is a Jewish state like France is a French state and ‘Palestine’ would be a ‘Palestinian’ one. For comparison, the proposed constitution for ‘Palestine’ adds that Islam is its official religion and Islamic shari’a the main source of legislation. Israel does not have an ‘official’ or state religion and its legal system is not based on Judaism.

2. There is no apartheid in Israel and the Palestinian Arabs are no more indigenous than Zionist Jews.

3. There are no Jewish-only buses or roads. There are limitations on access to Israeli buses and roads placed on Arab residents of the territories for security reasons, but they are not race-based. Israeli Arabs are free to use them.

4.  Most of the Arabs that fled Israel in 1948 were not expelled. On the other hand, all of the Jewish population of eastern Jerusalem were kicked out at gunpoint, and many of the residents of Gush Etzion in Judea were massacred by the Jordanian army.

5. There has been no mass murder of Arabs by Jews, and today more than 95% of the Palestinian Arabs in Judea and Samaria are governed by the Palestinian Authority, not Israel (all of Gaza is controlled by the genocidally antisemitic Hamas).

6. The Palestinian Arab population in Judea, Samaria and Gaza has more than doubled since 1990. This is evidence of mass murder and ethnic cleansing?

Rossman-Benjamin and Beckwith argue that Klein’s pages are anti-Semitic, and that his placing this kind of material on a CSUN server is misuse of University facilities.

I am not going to rehash the argument - which I have made here - that extreme Israel-hatred is anti-Semitism by another name.

It’s true, but it doesn’t matter.

Advocating the destruction of a nation on the basis of lies and distortions — for example, the wholly inappropriate application of the concept of ‘apartheid’ — is no less vile than doing the same to individuals.

Accusing a nation of mass murder and ethnic cleansing that did not happen is no less vile than doing the same to individuals.

Calling for a boycott of a nation unless it agrees to commit suicide by admitting 5 million hostiles who claim to be descendants of refugees is vile, period.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/endemic-mass-psychosis-strikes-universities/2012/06/06/

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