Israel is not a fascist state, nor is it based on theocratic ideology. It is a democracy. The only Jewish country in the world and the only truly democratic state in the entire Middle East.
Israel, the cradle of Judaism and Christianity, has shaped the foundations of our civilisation in the occident. It is a land of extremes, extremism and an unparalleled history.
One may criticize the Israeli democracy and call it a theocracy. However, twenty percent of Israelis who are Arab Muslims have more rights in the Jewish state than Arabs elsewhere in the Middle East. Arab parties stand in the Knesset (Israeli parliament) while across the border in Syria their ‘brothers’ are being killed in an anti-democracy crackdown by the Syrian hereditary dictatorship. Sixty pro-democracy protestors were killed in Syria the day I wrote this article. On the other hand, even pro-Israelis have been worried at the growth of Jewish Ultra-Orthodox parties gaining power in Israel and causing problems for the ongoing peace-process.
It is, however, utterly sickening that anybody should compare Israel to a racist or fascist state. It is, perhaps, too easy to compare Hitler to Netanyahu, (Israeli prime-minister) or to compare the South African Apartheid to Israeli law. However, this is ridiculously callous and blindingly ignorant. It is also what the pro-Palestine movement in Britain does. This does not do credit to their movement and insult the memories of those who suffered in the Holocaust and under white rule in South Africa. Arab Israelis have full and equal rights to Jewish and Christian Israelis and are exempted from military service. Homosexuals and Women also enjoy equal treatment to men under Israeli law. This is easy to take for granted in Britain, but for the Middle East and the Islamic countries which surround Israel; human rights are a rare commodity.
The occupied West Bank is an obvious exception and is not part of the Israeli State. The complex security situation surrounding the Palestinian territories and isolated incidents between Palestinians and Israeli troops are the focus of the world’s media attention. One must remember that Israeli men, women and children are injured and killed on a regular basis, in stabbings, shootings, suicide bombings and rocket attacks committed by Palestinian terror cells which are supported by the Palestinian Hamas regime and the Iranian leadership. Hizbullah, who fire rockets into Northern Israel are also financed by the Syrians. Countless suicide bombers have been proclaimed martyrs of Islam, applauded for their gross acts of massacre by television presenters and newspapers throughout the Muslim world, most notably the Egyptian TV channels who openly call for the destruction of Israel (Which it must be said, has ceased since the recent upheavals, but this example is all based on anti-Semitic lies.).
Historically speaking, we must also be balanced in our outlook. Mohammad Amin al-Husayni ,the grand Mufti of Jerusalem at the time of British mandate in Palestine, was a Nazi. He was working from Berlin to agitate the Arabs into insurrection (or holy intifada) against the new Jewish immigrants to British Palestine. Many Arabs from Jordan and Lebanon migrated to Palestine to work on Jewish farms and benefit from Jewish built roads and infrastructure. Palestine, with its burgeoning population, went from the backwater in the Ottoman Empire that it had been before World War One, to a thriving economic and trading hub in the Middle East. (Half of all Palestinians can trace their roots back to Jordan, so in theory Palestinians, like Jews of the same generation, were also immigrants to Palestine.) However, we must not ignore the actions of Jewish extremists such as the Irgun who played their part in instigating an Arab reaction.
The Jewish presence in what is now Israel has existed (especially in Jerusalem) for more than four thousand years. Even the Romans failed to remove Jewish culture and faith from that city which has captured imaginations throughout the world for centuries.
More recently, any aid (financial or otherwise) given to Israel by the US, has always been in an exchange for hi-tech Israeli military hardware. The aid, which began in 1967 after the Six-Day War between Israel and an Arab coalition, was firstly a payment for Russian MIG Jets which had been captured by Israel from the Egyptians (MIGs which the Egyptians had been given as aid to the Arabs by the Soviets.) After the Yom Kippur war, Anwar Al-Sadat was assassinated by Islamic extremists- who could not accept peace with the Jews after all of Sadat’s blood thirsty and genocidal talk of ‘driving the Jewish pigs into the sea.’
Nowadays, Israel is at the forefront of the hi-tech industry and if we were to boycott Israeli developed products you probably wouldn’t be reading this article. Microsoft Israel developed the Windows 7, Vista, XP, 2000 and 98 operating systems in close collaboration with their British, Indian and American counterparts. Along with this, Intel chips, agricultural and medical technologies, top the long list of Israeli companies and enterprise which have saved and enriched many hundreds of millions of lives throughout the world. If you are pro-Palestine then throw out your computers, burn down your local hospital and smash your mobile phones; text messaging was developed in Israel! Its population has the highest percentage of Nobel laureates in the world. Calling Israel irrelevant in any department except politics and history is a gross oversight.
Israel is not as rich a state as may first appear, but has a smaller gap between rich and poor than, say, Saudi Arabia. The latter earns billions in oil revenues which do not go much further than the pockets of the Wahabi Kings. This finances, in part, a regime which is backward in its treatment of women and homosexuals.
By law, Jews cannot live in the Palestinian territories; many of the non Ultra-Orthodox settlers in the West Bank bought their land legally from absentee landowners. Jews, however, are not recognised as lawful landowners under Palestinian law (discriminatory?). On the other hand, the Israeli state must act on the growing Ultra-Orthodox settler movement who do violate the right of the Palestinians to build their nation. The power of this growing religious minority undermines the democratic and secular workings of the Jewish state and is a regrettable evolution in the Israeli-Palestinian debacle. However, so is the rise of the Anti-Semitic Hamas government in Gaza and the Wahabi Hezbollah in Lebanon, both funded by Iran and both hell bent on the destruction and murder of Israeli civilians- demonstrating this by firing missiles at Israel from homes, schools and hospitals to make the Israeli targeted response look inhuman.
As a Christian, I do not accuse anybody of indifference or fascism, but let us all open our eyes and stop cowering in the face of the pro-Arab lobby in Britain, let us stop insulting the memory of Holocaust survivors by comparing the incomparable, let us listen to the voice of reason which is drowned out by Arab oil money and the murders which are committed against those who speak out against extremism. We have shut our eyes against quelling of free speech in the Western World; the support of America for Israel is no excuse for Islamic extremism and acts of terror, Israel defends the very rights of Democracy and free speech which are being overshadowed by the looming threat of Sharia extremism and dictatorship. The hate of the west by many elements in the Islamic world has been fostered by the same dictators who deny rights to their own people. One Egyptian woman, talking to French news reporters during the recent upheavals, is quoted to have said, ‘Even the Israelis do not do such things,’ after the cold blooded shooting of her son by government troops.