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Arab \ Israeli Apartheid

Arab \ Israeli Apartheid

There is so little understanding of what happens in Israel \ Palestine by foreign media. As an Israeli, I just wanted to share a two examples that will never be reported by mainstream media. These facts are either known to all Israelis or are personal stories of some of my Arab Israeli friends.

“Jewish settlers”

This term is constructed to make the Apartheid claim . The truth? Israelis irrespective of creed live in the west bank: Christians (think Russian immigration, Arab Christians). Muslims (Arab Israelis living in east Jerusalem), Druze (mainly in east Jerusalem) and of course Jews. Based on the skewed rhetoric of the international media any Jew living beyond the 1949 armistice line is a settler… So if you are a Jewish French student living in the Hebrew university dorms, you are a settler. But your Arab Israeli flat mate isn’t. You’re illegitimate, and he isn’t. Apartheid anyone? Here is a reference for yee with no faith

Real story: I have a Palestinian friend who accepted Israeli citizenship. His wife is Israeli… being a life time resident of eastern Jerusalem, he decided to move back from west Jerusalem (aka “the Jewish part”) and is now… you guessed it. He’s a settler. He bought an apartment in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. This makes him, according to the current interpretation of resolution 242, an instrument of “the occupation”. Dumb, I know.

“The Israeli Right is Fascist”

Two weeks ago Supreme court judge Salim Jubran caught an irregular amount of attention. He was last in the headlights when he sentenced former Israeli president Moshe Katsav to prison for rape. This time however this Chrstian Arab Israeli had another issue to contend with. He was “caught” by the media as not singing the national anthem. The Israeli national anthem (Ha’Tikva, התקווה – meaning “the hope”) is a tricky one for non Jews, the words are:

As long as in the heart, within,

A Jewish soul still yearns,

And onward, towards the ends of the east,

An eye still gazes toward Zion;

 

Our hope is not yet lost,

The hope of two thousand years,

To be a free people in our land,

The land of Zion and Jerusalem.

I have often asked myself how I would feel, as a non Jew, if I had to sing that anthem. Simple answer: I couldn’t (the whole Jewish soul reference). And you know what Israeli prime minister Benyamin Netanyahu agrees with me… he conveyed this message to Supreme Court Judge Jubran.

As a matter of fact Arab Israeli fighter pilots, members of parliament, judges, policemen, officers, firefighters, social workers and doctors of Israel don’t need to sing the national anthem. They are expected to stand up in respect however. That is the civil thing to do, and that is exactly what Judge Jubran did.

Netanyahu’s Likkud party has always been a nationalist one, but also a liberal democratic party – hence his obvious and effortless response to this non issue. As usual the usual hysterics erupted from the extreme right and left. They both labeled Jubran as a traitor, from the far right it was seen as an act of subversion. From the left they accused the esteemed judge as being a “tokenistic” figure… as if a minority memeber can’t get ahead on merit (I think that’s called Apartheid).

Presentation: at Shorewood High School

Presentation: at Shorewood High School

Invited to speak at Shorewoord high school last Tuesday, after memorial day, was a pretty exciting prospect for me. David Shayne and I were sent to this via StandWithUs, Seattle (although I wasn’t aware that I was representing them at the time).

First time in a non-Israeli high school. So it was interesting to see the front office, which seemed very service oriented, with waiting chairs, and trophies in the background.

The rest of the school unfolded as you walked behind it. It reminded me of an army base where classes are actually just collections of buildings joined together after being placed on an asphalt tarmac.

The big shocker of course that the school had multiple entrances, no security guard or guards and no one even looking and who comes or goes. I suppose there is a camera system and teachers keep a look out, but how different!

Back home schools are fenced off, with an armed guard at the entrance and a single point of entry. Their normal sense of security for me feels like an anomaly.

We gave our talk in the library, with two classes joining together each time. They seem to have a weekly Middle East conference where each student is given a country from the region to represent (they included also the non Arab Middle East, not sure if Afghanistan made it in). The topics they seem to be debating in terms of our silly conflict were:

– One state versus two state solution

– Refugees

– Settlements

And a few other things (don’t remember them all), thus basically adopting an Arab (extremist) narrative (there are more moderate ones, not calling for a one state solution or the return of refugees), I didn’t see any Israeli concerns on their whiteboard, which was disappointing.

Sadly I couldn’t record the Q&A session, which was interesting. Will do better next time.

As requested, here is the power pointPeace-in-Israel-and-Palestine

Some of my best friends are Jews (as long as they aren’t into self determination)

Some of my best friends are Jews (as long as they aren’t into self determination)

It seems to boil down to that: all anti zionist critique is directed only at Jews who are for self determination. Putting aside the critique on existing Israeli policy, which is warranted at times, those who attack Zionism are racist.

Why have I reached this conclusion? I had an all out argument with an infuriating “Susie Gale” from Montréal some months ago. She threw so much crap at me lamenting how evil Zionists are that I actually formed an entire site which aggregates the accusations and counter-arguments that followed here.

The logic behind those opposing Zionism (aka the right of Jews for self determination) is the following:
  • Judaism is a religion and no religion has it’s own country. As such Jews do not deserve self determination. 
  • The second component of this argument is that: all Jews come from Europe and thus Zionism is simply the last form of European colonialism.

Now, as we all know Judaism is actually more than a denomination, but is also a nation. The only similar group to Jews in the world are the Sikhs – they too are a nation and religion, and reside mainly in one area: Punjab.
When presented with the fact that Jews are a nation we are asked then “how come we come from different places”? The answer to that is that this is the result of most of us intermarrying in the diaspora. This point of course negates the insane claim that all Israelis are European.

A reminder: Jews always lived in the Land of Israel. This fact is not only held true in academia but also in the Koran and in the writing of Josephus and even by Mark Twain (who I adore).

The truth is that:

The resettlement of the sparsely populated Holy Land by the descendants of its ancient inhabitants, however, did not take place solely in the modern era. Throughout Jewish history, waves of returnees came back to the sacred soil of their ancestors. In the 8th and 9th centuries, A.D., Jewish immigrants re-established major communities in Jerusalem and Tiberias; by the 11th Century, they had built new communities in Jaffa, Ashkelon, Caesarea and Rafah. In the 16th Century, more Jewish immigrants developed the famous center of mysticism in Safed and beginning in the 1700’s religious scholars and pilgrims intensely repopulated Jerusalem (Michael Medved, 2006).

Thus, if Jews have no right to a land they have populated from before the time that Christ was born what right does the US or Canada have to exist? What right does any nation barring China (unified in 220 BC) or Iran (which I like referring to as occupied Persia) to exist? As Haim Weitzman once said to Lord Arthur James Balfour:

We held Jerusalem when London was a swamp!

Those who single out Jews for not having a right for self determination are no more than racists. They are modern day fascists who spread their poison under the guise of liberalism.  A great example how these people are trying to tear down the legitimacy of Jews for self determination is in this map:
Here is the land Palestinian propaganda say was lost to Israel since 1945. However, here are the details of land ownership in mandatory Palestine: http://bit.ly/7MtPx1. Also, under the Turkish system the sovereign owned all of the non agricultural land (called ard almawat – dead lands). Once Israel became sovereign of it’s share of mandatory Palestine, is simply took over from the British. As such the map attached is a blatant lie.