Israel has been and continues to be called an apartheid state by its detractors. Zionists and supporters of Israel of all shapes and sizes and religions shout, “foul!” Apartheid is a term that was coined in South Africa and originally referred to racial segregation and discrimination policies that existed in South Africa from 1948 to 1993. Literally translated from Afrikaans, it means, “the status of being apart” (thank you, Wikipedia). In South Africa, the majority population, which also happened to have been the native population were subjected to laws which impinged on their rights and freedoms while giving the minority population rule. It in
cluded segregated residential areas, sometimes enforced by forced removal, eventually the majority population were given no political representation and their citizenship was removed. Members of the majority population who protested the injustice were imprisoned.
The use of the term Apartheid to apply to the situation in Israel is a heinous crime against the people of South Africa and the injustices they endured. But the truth is that the term more closely fits the unjust political situation that exists in Israel than many realize. The only problem is that most of the people who use the term have got it backwards.
First of all, the majority population in Israel consists of the Jews. Additionally, it must be understood that the native population is also Jewish. The only people group to live in the area known as Israel before the Jews were the Caananites, who no longer exist (no, there are no Arabs who are even remotely related to the ancient Caananites) and, despite being thrown out by many occupying powers over the past 2,000 years, there has always been a Jewish population within the land – we never abandoned our homeland.
Arabs who lived in Israel before it became Israel never identified themselves as “Palestinian” even though the Romans re-named it Palestine 2000 years ago. They always identified themselves as Egyptian, Arabian, Turkish or Heshemite, etc. And on top of that, a very large percentage of Arabs who now identify themselves as Palestinian have moved here since 1948 – they cannot in any way be considered indigenous. And yet, these “Palestinians” who are not the native people of the land and are not the majority enjoy more freedoms and rights than the majority, Jewish population.
Arabs are free to enter any city or store within all of Israel. Israelis on the other hand, are forbidden from entering certain places within the country. These areas are labeled, “Area A” and have signs posted at their entrances forbidding Israeli citizens from entering the city. Can you imagine the international uproar if Israel were to place similar signs forbidding Palestinian citizens from entering cities or towns in Israel?
What happens if an Arab accidentally finds himself in a Jewish town? Nothing. What happens if a Jew accidentally finds himself in an Arab town? Most of the time, he is killed, cut into pieces and paraded through the streets.
What happens if an Arab living in Israel or Area A decides to burn an Israeli flag in protest? Nothing. What happens if an Israeli decides to burn a Palestinian flag in protest? At the very least it is removed from him, and often, as happened today to MKs Eldad and Ben Ari, they are forcibly and violently removed from the area and their freedom of expression is rescinded.
Israelis pay a huge amount of taxes in order to fund the military, universal health care, and oh yeah – free electricity to Gazans who not only pay no taxes or electric bills, but enjoy the freedom to burn Israeli flags, get treated at Israeli hospitals and shop in Israeli stores.
Yes, friend, there is terrible discrimination in Israel, but it’s against the Jews and not the Arabs. Somebody has gotten things terribly upside down.