There is absolutely no way to call Israel an “apartheid state”, because it doesn’t treat its religio-racial minorities — namely Arab Muslims, Christians and Druze — in a discriminatory manner that warrants such a label. There is no such complaint. Instead, Israel’s Islamic Arab neighbour states deserve such an identification.
The Israeli Apartheid Week – observed annually in February-March on University Campuses in the West – is here again. This is an occasion for condemning Israel as an apartheid state, targeted at its delegitimization as a nation-state.
The Israeli Apartheid Week was born out of the 2001 UN Conference UN Conference on Racism and Discrimination in Durban, South Africa, which Yasser Arafat attended as a distinguished guest. The conference, dominated by the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and the Palestinian leadership, adopted a declaration, calling Israel “a racist, apartheid state” practicing “crime against humanity.” Since then, it has become an annual anti-Israel hate-fest on University and College campuses across the West.
It should be noted that this is a continuation of the effort to delegitimize the statehood of Israel internationally, which started with adoption of the UN resolution UNGA 3379 in 1975, branding “Zionism as racism”. Ridiculous as it was, the resolution was thoroughly discredited and repealed in 1991 in a new resolution (UNGA 46/86).
Now as the 2012 edition of the Israeli Apartheid Week is ongoing, Professor Efraim Karsh, a renowned historian, wrote an opinion article, entitled The Middle East’s real apartheid, in which he discussed (1) Religious intolerance, (2) Ethnic inequality, (3) Racism, (4) Gender discrimination, (5) Denial of citizenship, (6) Labor inequality, (7) Slavery, and (8) Political Oppression practiced in Israel and Islamic Arab states of the Middle East, and concluded that in these respects, Israel is free of apartheid and that the Islamic Arab states are the real outposts of apartheid in that religion.
When a blogged Karsh’s article on my Website, islam-watch.org, with the title Which is the Apartheid State in the Middle East: Arab Countries or Israel?, it, as expected, angered the Muslim readers. But unable to refute Karsh’s well-documented and -reasoned opinion, one Muslim, named Malem, commented: “Definition is — A policy or system of segregation or discrimination on grounds of race. Israel does this each day with Arabs from Philistine.”
Another reader, code-named Muslim and Proud, supported Malem, saying: “I think you will find that the Islamaphobes regard Israel to be very peaceful and tolerant…. The civilised world does not live in cloud cuckoo land and is aware of how Israel deals with the Palestinians.”
And Mr. Malem retorted: “Very True, I cannot understand how they deny the land of Philistine to the Philistines, quite odd.”
The question is:
- Is Israel truly an Apartheid state?
- Is it at all odd to disagree with branding Israel an apartheid state?
Mr. Malem’s copy-pasted definition of apartheid is correct. But apartheid becomes relevant when a state treats different sections of its own people differently based on racial/religious differences. So, the Israeli treatment of the Palestinians (Philistines) cannot be considered apartheid, because Palestinians are not citizens of the state of Israel. If one wants to determine whether Israel is truly an apartheid state, he/she has to examine how Israel treats it own citizens of minority communities – namely the Muslim Arabs, Christians, and Druze etc. in comparison to its Jewish majority.
The authors of branding Israel an apartheid state have never made that judgement based on the Israeli state’s treatment of its Muslim Arab, Christian, and Druze citizens; it has been based on Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.
So, the basis on which Israel has been labelled an “apartheid state” is clearly and absolutely groundless.
Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians, an extra-Israeli people, can be called unjustified aggression or such things, but not apartheid.
Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians should be seen in the context that they are a people dedicated to Israel’s destruction, and they have made every possible attempt to achieve that goal by waging repeated wars (in alliance with their Arab friends) and campaign of terrorism. So, to Israel, the Palestinians or the territories of Gaza and West Bank, are clearly an “enemy entity or outpost” – resolved to its annihilation. Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians should be judged in that context.
How would Saudi Arabia or another Muslim state of the Middle East react had a Christian or Jewish people right across its border, like Palestinians are right across Israel’s border, sought annihilation of that Islamic state, and waged similar wars and terror campaigns to achieve that goal?
How did America react when the Taliban-aided Islamic al-Qaeda terrorists attacked targets in New York and Washington, although not really as a campaign to annihilate the state of America?
The claim that Israelis deny and have denied statehood to the Palestinians is another foul plot, aimed at delegitimizing the statehood of Israel in front of the largely uninformed international community.
Israel has never denied statehood to the Palestinians. But the opposite is true, as made clear above.
The fact is: The Jews of the region have said “yes” on every occasion when proposal for a Palestinian state was put forward.
And there is already a Palestinian state, namely Jordan, which was created by dividing the former Land of the Children of Israel, aka Palestine, which was brutally occupied by the Islamic Arab invaders at the birth of Islam (630s).
So, the great majority of the Philistines already have a state, and the Israelis have happily recognized it, never denied, even though they had to evacuate all the Jewish citizens, who were living in that part of the Land of Israel (Palestine).
The problem with the Muslims of Gaza and the West Bank is that they could easily merge with their Palestinian brothers of Jordan, or they could have formed a state of their own alongside the state of Israel. But they didn’t and remained committed to destruction of Israel and extermination of its Jewish population.
After Israel’s creation, based on the 1947 UN Partition Plan (UNGA 181), Gaza and the West Bank were occupied by Egypt and Jordan respectively during the 1948 Palestinian-Arab war to destroy Israel. And they lived under the Egyptian-Jordanian occupation until 1967, never making any complaint against their Arab-Islamic occupiers. Instead of waging campaigns of terrorism against Egypt and Jordan, their true occupiers, they targeted their campaign of terrorism for the annihilation of Israel and extermination of the Jews – both in Israel and abroad.
As concerns the statehood of the Philistines of Gaza and West Bank, they were offered a second Philistini state three times: 1) by the Peel Commission (1937), 2) by the UN (1947), and 3) by the US-mediated Palestine-Israeli negotiations (2000). And every time, the Israelis said “yes”, but the Palestinians rejected it, because they wanted annihilation of the state of Israel and exterminate its resident Jews to create a Palestinian state that included all of the Israeli land. And, to achieve that goal, they have repeatedly waged wars and continued terrorist campaigns against Israel since its creation in 1948.
Israel is not an apartheid state, because there is no such complaint regarding Israel’s treatment of its religio-racial minorities, namely Arab Muslims, Christians or Druze.
Israel’s treatment of Palestinians can in no way qualify as apartheid, because Palestinians of Gaza and West Bank are not part of Israeli state.
Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians should be seen as a sovereign state’s treatment toward its avowed enemies from across the border, seeking its destruction and genocide of its people.
It is a patently false claim that Israelis have denied Palestinians their statehood. Israeli have already happily recognized a Palestinian state, namely Jordan, comprising vast parts of the historical Israel/Palestine. And the Israelis have also said “yes” to every proposal of another Palestinian state for the Muslims of Gaza and West Bank. The Palestinians have, repeatedly, self-denied themselves a state.
M. A. Khan is author of “ ”