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M&F #240 - Is Israel an apartheid state?

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  • eleazar ben yair
    Mitchell Bard ha scritto: The following information is presented as a public service. It may be reprinted without charge -- with
    Messaggio 1 di 1 , 1 nov 2006
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      Mitchell Bard <mgbard@...> ha scritto:
      The following information is presented as a public service. It may be reprinted without charge -- with attribution. We encourage you to forward this email and to suggest that your friends and colleagues join the list. We also encourage you to link web sites to the Jewish Virtual Library. To no longer receive our emails, click to unsubscribe.
      MYTH #240 [reprint of #7]
      "Israel’s treatment of Palestinians is similar to the treatment of blacks in apartheid South Africa."
      FACT
      Even before the State of Israel was established, Jewish leaders consciously sought to avoid the situation that prevailed in South Africa. As David Ben-Gurion told Palestinian nationalist Musa Alami in 1934:
      We do not want to create a situation like that which exists in South Africa, where the whites are the owners and rulers, and the blacks are the workers. If we do not do all kinds of work, easy and hard, skilled and unskilled, if we become merely landlords, then this will not be our homeland (Shabtai Teveth, Ben-Gurion and the Palestinian Arabs: From Peace to War, London: Oxford University Press, 1985, p. 140; Haaretz, September 23, 2003).
      Today, within Israel, Jews are a majority, but the Arab minority are full citizens who enjoy equal rights and are represented in all the branches of government. Arabs are represented in the Knesset, and have served in the Cabinet, high-level foreign ministry posts (e.g., Ambassador to Finland ) and on the Supreme Court. Under apartheid, black South Africans could not vote and were not citizens of the country in which they formed the overwhelming majority of the population. Laws dictated where they could live, work and travel. And, in South Africa, the government killed blacks who protested against its policies. By contrast, Israel allows freedom of movement, assembly and speech. Some of the government’s harshest critics are Israeli Arabs who are members of the Knesset.
      The situation of Palestinians in the territories is different. The security requirements of the nation, and a violent insurrection in the territories, forced Israel to impose restrictions on Arab residents of the West Bank and Gaza Strip that are not necessary inside Israel’s pre-1967 borders. The Palestinians in the territories, typically, dispute Israel’s right to exist whereas blacks did not seek the destruction of South Africa, only the apartheid regime.
      If Israel were to give Palestinians full citizenship, it would mean the territories had been annexed. No Israeli government has been prepared to take that step. Instead, through negotiations, Israel agreed to give the Palestinians increasing authority over their own affairs. It is likely that a final settlement will allow most Palestinians to become citizens of their own state. The principal impediment to Palestinian independence is not Israeli policy, it is the unwillingness of the Palestinian leadership to give up terrorism and agree to live in peace beside Israel.
      Despite all their criticism, when asked what governments they admire most, more than 80 percent of Palestinians consistently choose Israel because they can see up close the thriving democracy in Israel, and the rights the Arab citizens enjoy there. By contrast, Palestinians place Arab regimes far down the list, and their own Palestinian Authority at the bottom, with only 20 percent saying they admired the corrupt Arafat regime in 2003 (New York Times, April 2, 2003).
      “There is still one other question arising out of the disaster of nations which remains unsolved to this day, and whose profound tragedy, only a Jew can comprehend. This is the African question. Just call to mind all those terrible episodes of the slave trade, of human beings who, merely because they were black, were stolen like cattle, taken prisoner, captured and sold. Their children grew up in strange lands, the objects of contempt and hostility because their complexions were different. I am not ashamed to say, though I may expose myself to ridicule for saying so, that once I have witnessed the redemption of the Jews, my people, I wish also to assist in the redemption of the Africans.”
      This article can be found at http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/myths2/HumanrightsIsrael.html#o6
      Source: Myths & Facts Online -- A Guide to the Arab-Israeli Conflict by Mitchell G. Bard.
      To order a copy of the paperback edition of Myths and Facts, click HERE. Myths & Facts is also available in Spanish, German, French, Russian, Portuguese, Swedish, and Hebrew.
      Dr. Bard is available for media interviews and speaking engagements on this and other topics.
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