Israel’s first Arab president
Israel’s ‘apartheid’ has been the subject of debate in universities the length and breadth of the United Kingdom. Many of our most august seats of learning, including Oxford University, recently held an ‘End Israel Apartheid Week’, during which they discussed ‘the nature of the State of Israel’ and ‘its treatment of Palestinians’. Both phrases are so implicitly derogatory that it comes as no surprise that all of those who participated agreed unanimously on the strategies of boycott, divestment, and sanctions against the Israeli State.
The ‘Israel Apartheid Week’ is so named in order to inculcate into the student body that Israel shares in and replicates the injustices perpetuated under apartheid system of South Africa, and the corollary is that Israel should suffer the same fate.
There are many countries, including several in the Arab-Muslim world, that practise and promote discrimination against particular religious or ethnic communities. There are no university weeks given over to explore ‘the nature’ of these countries, and no demands for boycotts or sanctions against them. And what is Israel’s alleged ‘apartheid’ in any case? In South Africa, there was a legally enshrined system for discrimination, but in Israel the precise opposite obtains. Its constitution enshrines equality before the law for all its citizens regardless of religion or ethnicity, and any discrimination which does occur can be challenged in the courts, which was certainly not the case in South Africa. And what of those areas of social cohesion evidenced in many hospitals and schools, where Jews and Arabs work peacefully side by side to the mutual benefit of both? The black people of South Africa were strictly separated from the white, and the black people invariably got the least and the worst. The black people had no votes, yet in Israel Arabs not only have full democratic rights, there are Arab members of parliament, Arabs in government, and Arabs in the judiciary. Majallie Whbee’s appointment as President clearly exposes the lie that the Jewish state is an apartheid country. He said that his ascent to the position proved that those who draw such a parallel with the former South African regime were ‘ignoring the facts on the ground’. None of this was possible in South Africa, so there is absolutely no comparison.
Discrimination is a social ill that is manifest in Israel just as it is in every nation on earth. It is legitimate to criticise Israel for its failings, but the charge of ‘apartheid’ is a malicious libel designed to demonise the only democracy in the region. Those involved in our universities, which professes to prize knowledge and to pursue truth, are guilty of, at best, extreme ignorance or, at worst, collaboration in the effort to delegitimise the Jewish State and stir up anti-Semitic sentiment on a scale and ferocity not seen since the Nazi era.