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April 17, 2014 / 17 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘aparthied’

Why Israel is NOT an Apartheid State

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

As we speak, anti-Israel activists across the globe are gearing up for or hosting Israel Apartheid Week (IAW) events on various college campuses, with the goal of delegitimizing the State of Israel.  As an anti-Israel student group at American University announced, “The aim of IAW is to educate people about the nature of Israel as an apartheid system and to build support for the growing Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel.”  While anti-Israel student groups like the Students for Justice in Palestine frequently make such statements, it is critical to remember that such assertions are nothing more than slander designed to harm Israel.

Many of the young anti-Israel activists who claim that Israel is an apartheid state don’t understand what the definition of apartheid truly is.  According to Merriam Webster’s English dictionary, apartheid is “racial segregation: specifically, a former policy of segregation and political and economic discrimination against non-European groups in the Republic of South Africa.”

According to a report published by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs on the subject, among the policies that were implemented in apartheid South Africa were legal prohibitions on sexual relations between different races; forced physical separations between races, in restaurants, neighborhoods, swimming pools, public transport, etc.; restricting members of the black community to unskilled labor in urban areas; forbidding blacks from voting; educational restrictions for blacks, etc.

Benjamin Pogrund is a former deputy editor of the South African Rand Daily who reported on apartheid for 26 years and was an anti-apartheid activist himself.  After his newspaper was shut down because its owners were under pressure by the apartheid government, he made Aliyah to Israel.  Pogrund, as someone who is familiar with both South African apartheid and Israel, claimed that these conditions listed above do not exist in Israel.   He asserted in the Guardian that “Arabs have the vote, which in itself makes them fundamentally different from South Africa’s black population under apartheid. And even the current rightwing government says that it wants to overcome Arab disadvantage and promises action to upgrade education and housing and increase job opportunities.”

Upon witnessing how both Arabs and Jews worked and were treated in Israeli hospitals, in another instance, Pogrund claimed, “What I saw in the Hadassah Mount Scopus Hospital was inconceivable in South Africa where I spent most of my life, growing up then and working as a journalist who specialized in apartheid.”   Yet the existence of Arab voting rights, government initiatives to decrease the gap between Jews and Arabs, and coexistence in hospitals are not the only aspects of Israeli society that prove that Israel is not an apartheid state. Incitement to racism is a criminal offense in Israel, as is discrimination based on race or religion, implying that the Israeli legal system fundamentally rejects apartheid ideology.

In fact, Israel is a liberal democracy, where the Arab minority actively participates in the political process.   Arabs like Major General Hussain Fares, Major General Yosef Mishlav, and Lieutenant Colonel Amos Yarkoni have served prominently in the IDF, while Arabs such as Ali Yahya, Walid Mansour, and Reda Mansour served as Israeli Ambassadors.  Salim Joubran sits on the Israeli Supreme Court, while Nawwaf Massalha and Raleb Majadele were members of the Israeli Cabinet.   Arabs have also served as university professors, heads of hospital departments, management level positions in various businesses, and in senior level positions in the Israeli Police.  Indeed, Israeli Arabs have reached positions that blacks in apartheid South Africa could only dream of. Thus, Israel is the polar opposite of being an apartheid state.

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How did Israel Strike Hamas With Such Painstaking Accuracy and Still Get So Beaten Up?

Monday, December 31st, 2012

Paul Alster, writing on the Fox News website, asks a question that – had it been asked – would have done credit to the news teams of the BBC, Associated Press, Reuters and/or the New York Times who, though they have their people scattered all over the Middle East, somehow are unable to formulate things quite this way:

A single Syrian missile strike on a bakery near Hama killed more than 60 innocent civilians last week, so how did Israel manage to fire more than 1,500 high powered missiles into densely-populated Gaza in November, with the total loss of 161 lives, of which 90 have been acknowledged by Hamas itself as active combatants?

About that bakery attack, and numerous other bakery attacks, we posted our thoughts just four days ago [see "25-Dec-12: Know your barbarians"]

Alster’s answer, certainly worth your click, starts this way:

The numbers speak for themselves, but very little credit has so far been given by foreign governments, NGOs, and the international media for the care taken by the Israeli military to avoid collateral damage during its recent vicious engagement with Hamas and Islamic Jihad fighters. [more]

Framing an article this way does not mean Israel should be compared in any way to the loathsome, blood-soaked Syrian armed forces. Most thinking people aware of the realities of the Middle East know that. On the other hand, individuals with an ideological predisposition to kicking out at Israel at every opportunity will see things differently; the facts tend to be less urgent for them.

Case in point #1: The faded rock singer Roger Waters whose glory days included his being a lead member of the Pink Floyd band. He plays a different style of gig these days, including an appearance last month at the UN’s annual Israel-bashing “observance” of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People [pictures here]. In his own words, Waters appeared there “representing global civil society” (no less); called for greater understanding of the Hamas side of the argument; demanded action against Israel’s “illegal apartheid regime”; and warned his audience never to assume that “I support the launching of missiles into Israel.

Case in point #2: Colonel Richard Kemp, a thinking person’s senior soldier, served in the British military from 1977 to 2005 rising to the role of Commander of British Forces in Afghanistan and completing 14 operational tours of duty around the globe. When asked about Israel’s conduct vis a vis civilians in Gaza in 2008, he famously said

“based on my knowledge and experience, I can say this: during operation Cast Lead, the Israeli Defense Forces did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in the combat zones than any other army in the history of warfare”. [Wikipedia]

A little less famously, he explained:

“of course innocent civilians were killed. War is chaos and full of mistakes. There have been mistakes by the British, American and other forces in Afghanistan and in Iraq, many of which can be put down to human error. But mistakes are not war crimes…” [Wikipedia]

And this explanation by Kemp after the November 2012 Pillar of Defence battle conducted by Israel against the Hamas forces. Concerning the bias of certain media outlets when it comes to reporting on Israel and its military, he said:

“It was clear to me that there was a great deal of propaganda that was being generated against Israel, and then being exploited by people who didn’t understand military matters and didn’t want to question it, it suited their agenda to vilify Israel… People ask me why I have a pro-IDF point of view. I consider myself as having an objective view of what’s happening over here. The IDF does not need me to defend them; they have proven it over the years… It’s the dispassionate military perspective that I bring.” [more]

Case in point #3: Certain political figures in the British parliament. This snippet comes from a report published Thursday:

According to the online [UK] parliamentary archive, 21 EDMs (formal motions submitted for debate in the House of Commons, although not necessarily discussed) relating to Israel have been put forward since the 2012-2013 session began. In contrast, just two refer to the situation in Syria… [more].

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/this-ongoing-war/how-did-israel-strike-hamas-with-such-painstaking-accuracy-and-still-get-so-beaten-up/2012/12/31/

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