Focus On: Israel/Palestine- The Myopia Of anti-Israel Rhetoric

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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.

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Discussion18 Comments

  1. avatar

    Speaking as the editor for the series, I’m glad someone stepped up to argue the pro-Israeli case, and did it eloquently. It’s certainly necessary for a full debate to have both sides represented.

    Speaking personally however, I disagree with the reasoning in this article on a number of counts. Firstly the claim that Israel is the only truly democratic state in the Middle East. This statement obviously requires a definition of what a “truly democratic state” is. If it just means elected leaders, then, somewhat ironically, Hamas controlled Gaza would qualify, and so would Lebanon.

    Generally, democracy requires a broader definition, and whether Israel fits this is certainly questionable. The Israeli state is responsible for extra-judicial killing, disappearances, the theft of land and more. These aren’t exactly hallmarks of a democracy. The construction of the wall, the frequent use of force, the killing of terror ‘suspects’ without trial, the blockade of Gaza and the boarding of the flotilla in international waters last year also show a complete disregard for key principles international law.

    Essentially, to say Israel is the only ‘true’ democracy, is an inversion of ‘true Scotsman fallacy.’ You set the definition of what a ‘true’ democracy is, so Israel fits into that category. It’s an illogical argument.

    Secondly, the statement about Palestinians and Jordan- you should probably say, at very least, half of Palestinians are immigrants from Jordan. Also how far back are you tracing the roots? Is one great-grandparent 200 years ago enough? If so, you could probably end up claiming everyone in the world is an immigrant one way or another. What matters is that thousands of people in the land now called Israel were forced to move to make way for a new population. Their genealogy is irrelevant.

    The point about the ‘pro-Arab’ lobby is also somewhat unbalanced. Even within the UK, there is evidence that the pro-Israel lobby has influence with very high ranking politicians- http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/nov/16/pro-israel-lobby-conservatives-channel4-dispatches. Journalists also talk of the ‘electric fence’ that surrounds frank discussion of Israeli practice, journalists can be hounded out of jobs for criticising Israel- see Nick Davies’ book Flat Earth News. The response to a (truthful) eyewitness account of the death of a 16 year old Palestinian boy at the hands of the IDF nearly got a young people‘s magazine I know of closed down. Surely the pro-Arab lobby, to the extent it exists, doesn’t have this kind of power?

    Finally, the closing comment from the Egyptian woman- well the sad truth is, they do. It might be under reported, but it happens. 1000 families living in Gaza in 2009 can attest to that.

    Luke SF Goodger
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    The Lebanese constitution does not let a Muslim be president (even if he gets the most amount of votes, and a Christian can not be speaker of the house if he is Christian. This is a flawed democracy (and maybe works well, but it is still flawed) Gaza did have elections in 2006, and were the freest in the Middle East, however since then all democratic institutions have been closed down by Hamas.

    Most countries in the world extradite and murder people abroad, check the Americans and the Russians. The British do not do this, but sometimes do the opposite and protect those who have committed evil throughout the world, for example, the blocked extradition of the murderer Ejup Ganic, or the benefits we pay to Idi Amin’s children and the protection we give to Abu Hamza. Targeted assassinations are the best way to remove murderers such as the Hamas leader who was killed in 2010 (allegedly by Mossad) Mossad left a calling card, to notify the Jihadists of the world that Israel would do everything to stop the murder of its population.

    As you say that genealogy is irrelevant, why then were the Jews kicked out of every Arab country after the 1948 war in a climate of racial anti-Semitism which displaced ONE MILLION Jews. Removed from middle eastern countries, many of whom had lived for thousands of years in countries such as Iraq, Egypt, Jordan, etc.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_exodus_from_Arab_and_Muslim_countries

    Furthermore, many Palestinians left their homes in Palestine due to pressure from the Palestinian, Egyptian and Jordanian authorities. Of course i will not argue the fact that there were Jewish pressures which were put upon Palestinians to leave.

    The searching of the ‘protest’ ship by Israeli coast Guards is legal under international law. Any state can search ships off shore, just as we search the Somalian pirate ships. However, i cannot defend the heavy handed approach.

    The pro-Arab lobby is in the form of oil money, mostly, but also, if you have followed news from the London University union, anti-Zionism (and anti-semitism) is virulent among teachers and staff. Throughout the media in general, one cannot say that there is a balanced approach to journalism (which is why i applaud Pete and his step in getting all the sides together on this)

    Lastly, Israel had to respond to repeated rocket attacks from Gaza, Israeli citizens, from not matter what background, were under daily threat from Hamas rockets. Operation cast lead was not the most perfect of conflicts (especially when your enemy cowers behind women and children, in narrow alleyways and schools) but it was a necessary evil.

    Altogether, i must now say that i would like to distance myself from the recent actions of the Israeli government, but not from the Israeli people. This article was to give both sides in the argument- Yesterday was published the opposing debate, i do not necessarily agree with everything that Israel does, nor do i think it is a perfect state- criticism is always needed. I pray that Tzipi Livni gets in next election and gets something done!!

    Martin
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    Luke,

    Here is Mark Regev (unfortunately the BBC seem to have lost the footage since the 2009 massacre in Gaza);
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SILJxPTqjAM

    I think you should hear him confess that Hama did not break the ceasefire but it was Israel.

    “A necessary evil” from a Zionist perspective.

    Your comment about distancing yourself from the current Israeli government but then hoping Livni gets elected is meant to be a joke I assume?

    Luke SF Goodger
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    No, Livni is my girl. I also believe that a constant barrage of missiles from Gaza can count for a break in the ceasefire Martin? I believe that both sides here have ‘dichotomising’ ideas. Do not close your eyes to the damage the Palestinians have done to their own cause by electing Hamas- an avowed anti-Semitic army who wishes to kill all westerners and Jews. Look, i am open to your ideas, just do not ridicule mine, it is not the mark of an intelligent chap.

  2. avatar

    I really love hearing the words of dichotomising Zionists, whether they be Athiest, Chrisitian, Jewish or Muslim (whoever they be).

    “The occupied West Bank is an obvious exception and is not part of the Israeli State” – By your own words the West Bank is ‘occupied’ therefore according to international law the population is Israel’s responsibility, to say it is not part of Israel is ridiculous.

    If Israel is not an apartheid state why are there checkpoints, roads and systems of law for Palestinians only (separated from Jewish people, Zionists and internationals)?

    You compare one tyrant to another as if this is the basis for sound reasoning. You cite democracy as if it a singular model suited everywhere, another indication that you are not on solid ground.

    All I would say is read Arthur Neslen’s ‘Occupied Minds’, it is a series of interviews with more everyday Israel’s than you find in the press; there are concerns about what Zionist Israel has done to Hebrew, why some feel better and stronger living as part of the diaspora (rather than in Israel), the economic benefits of being a migrant ‘Jew’ to Israel, and of being segregated because you are not the right type of Jew (white).

    Luke SF Goodger
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    Look, i have work to do, this article is written as part of a series of articles laying down opinions and facts, when i read your article i will no doubt make comments, but i am on very sure footing- of course my opinion is not palatable to you, but i have read enough books on this subject, be it pro or anti-Israeli. Neslen’s book is blinkered and, although first rate, does not give an even handed approach to anything except his ideas.

    Martin
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    Sorry Luke,

    I thought I would raise two concerns from your writing. Allow me to at least clarify one;

    Are you saying it is your ‘opinion’ that the West Bank is not currently the responsibility of Israel? Because it certainly doesn’t seem to be a legal ‘fact’.

    Many thanks.

    Luke SF Goodger
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    Yes i will answer that, as it is under limited Israeli military occupation, this is transforming weekly, as areas are handed over to Palestinians authority control, roadblocks have certainly been dismantled and the only thing that Israel controls on the security situation. – Which, it has been proven on numerous occasions that the Palestinians cannot take care of themselves (ending in intifada and militia groups who end up in factions e.g. Hamas and Fatah in open war in the streets of Nablus or Hebron, just as what happened in Gaza)

    The West Bank is not part of Israel, however it does have Jewish settlements (which should be removed i do not argue against that) However Israel withdrew its army and citizens from Gaza in 2005- and now Gaza is so bad that even the Egyptians blockade it.

    iyas
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    Under International law, not only is the West Bank under (illegal) Israeli occupation, but in fact so is Gaza. Israel’s dismantling of its illegal settlements from Gaza and withdrawal of the people it had illegally settled there does not actually now mean it is no longer occupying Gaza. Israel continues to control entry and exit to Gaza, its airspace, and territorial waters. Hopefully Egypt will now end this by allowing entry so that humanitarian aid in quantities that could actually make a difference will soon be able to enter.

    Also for the record, here are some of Israel’s (or any occupying country’s) obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention:

    – Article 49 prohibits population transfer. Israeli policies, for instance, of revoking residence to a West Bank Palestinian Christian or Muslim if they have been abroad for over 3 years without renewing their exit permit have meant that over 140,000 Christians and Muslims from the West Bank have now been cleansed from their homes and cannot return.
    – Article 53 prohibits the destruction of property. The Israeli Defence Force, as witnessed by countless internationals and the press, constantly destroys Christian and Muslim property on the West Bank, ranging from homes to schools to cemeteries, and has placed settlements of Israelis in their place (note that transfer of population into occupied territories is also illegal under the Geneva Conventions).

    – Article 33 prohibits collective punishment. Israel continues to routinely punish populations for acts against the occupation carried out by individuals. For instance, the ongoing siege of Gaza is illegally punishing a population of 1.5 million, more than half of which are children.

    These are facts, cited clearly in international law. As is the illegality of Israel’s brutal wall that is slicing villages in half, preventing children from being educated, and destroying livelihoods. The International Court of Justice ruled as to the illegality of this wall, but Israel, as is very common, continues to ignore international legal norms and obligations in its continued drive to dehumanise the Palestinian Christian and Muslim population and drive them out.

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    Well done Luke! I really enjoyed reading your article and it is refreshing for once to read the other side of the debate and I couldn’t agree more!

  4. avatar

    You said “Arab parties stand in the Knesset (Israeli parliament)” – unfortunately, this is not quite as simple as it seems. Arab parties were temporarily banned from standing in the 2009 elections over shaky allegations of being ‘disloyal’ (see http://www.haaretz.com/news/israel-bans-arab-parties-from-running-in-upcoming-elections-1.267987). This was later overturned, but it is not the only incident affecting the right of Arab parties to stand.

    Despite Arabs making up ~20% of Israel’s official citizens and Isarael using PR for the Knesset, only 5.8% of seats went to Arab parties, meaning that a sizeable minority is currently severely underepresented. There’s also the issue of the status of non-official citizens in the West Bank and Gaza – as they currently share the same land democratic values would suggest they have a vote (and if not then Israeli policy should not dictate what happens in those territories which should then have democratic independence).

    I also reiterate Pete’s point on how Hamas did technically win a free election and that there are other democratic countries in the middle east – Turkey springs to mind as the best example. Egypt is now joining their ranks, although the Israeli government wasn’t so keen on their democratic revolution having been allied with Mubaraak’s undemocratic regime beforehand. A good democracy would have not allied with dictators (this applies to US and UK too).

    Luke SF Goodger
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    You discredit those Arab voters who aren’t necessarily partisan- why would the Arab vote not also go to mainstream Israeli parties- thought Kadima had some Arab representatives?
    Sure we have been in bed with a few dictators, but if we ignore those dictators, we just push them to them fringes and do not try to reform them, also your understanding of the Israel-Palestinian situation is limited is you think that Egypt and Israel have ever been allies- in fact Egypt did not even recognise Israel until 1979.

    Mike Gecko
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    Considering that many of the Jewish parties have policies specifically concerning Jewish Israelis, many Arabs are less likely to vote for them. Rather it seems to be down to falling turnout amongst Arab Israelis (at a greater pace than Arab Israelis) since 1948, which indicates growing disenchantment with Israeli democracy and the effect of boycott campaigns in the last decade (see http://www.idi.org.il/sites/english/ResearchAndPrograms/elections09/Pages/ArabVoterTurnout.aspx for data). Higher turnout amongst Jewish Israelis contributes to Arab underepresentation in the Knesset, which is illustrated by the ~6% figure for Arab-focused parties. Your point that some Arabs would vote for other parties is fair but given the political situation it is likely that the majority of Arabs would vote for parties based on their interests (A figure of 53% turnout for Arabs as ~20% of population gives ~10% of the overall vote being Arab compared with 6% for Arab parties).

    “your understanding of the Israel-Palestinian situation is limited is you think that Egypt and Israel have ever been allies- in fact Egypt did not even recognise Israel until 1979.” – There’s only so much space for depth of detail in a brief comment. I am aware of Israel’s history and their relationship with their neighbours over time. 32 years is a long-time to implicitly support a dictator.

    “Sure we have been in bed with a few dictators, but if we ignore those dictators, we just push them to them fringes and do not try to reform them” – this position is naive and all too often used by our leaders as a means of justifying continued dodgy dealings with dictators. We sold Indonesia arms and jets when they had a brutal dictatorship, justifying it with the line of helping them to improve and reform, and then were all surprised when the arms and jets we sold them were used for ethnic cleansing. In the Middle East the considerable amount of arms sold to Libya is now being used on its populace (top importers of arms to Libya prior to 2011: US, France, UK, Italy). Closer to Israel, Egypt’s brutal regime was supplied with military aid by the US in return for peace with Israel with the latter’s backing – this equipment being used to repress the population for decades.

    Indeed, the examples of countries armed and cooperated with us who then turn their new toys on the innocent is extensive (see Latin America for many more examples). To state that we should stay close with them in order to help them reform stands completely in contradiction with the history of such behaviour in the past. Reform only comes when these regimes collapse, often when the West withdraws support or due to popular uprisings (which also require support). Working with dictators has a bloody track record of failure, and needs to be recognised as such [sorry for the off-topic rant, but implicit support of dictators when it meets our needs is something I find particularly obnoxious in the face of facts].

    Samuel Gilonis
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    Your statistics on arms exports to Libya is off. By far and away the largest exporter of arms to Libya was Russia both before and after the fall of the wall. Putin’s $1.8bn deal with Qaddafi alone overshadows the total exports of armaments from the European union.

    Mike Gecko
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    Fair point – the report I was getting that from focused specifically on European/American imports. Can’t say I’m too surprised at Russia doing so, they’re particularly unfussy about dictators it seems.

    A random bit of trivia – apart from importing riot control equipment and getting training in such by the UK, the UK also sold them what is only quoted on the MoD’s list as a ‘spaceship’. Perhaps gadaffi has an ambitious back-up plan up his sleeve…

  5. avatar

    Luke,

    I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading your emotive article. The fact that it was so riddled with poorly-researched, unqualified assertions and factual inaccuracies mattered little to the overall impact of the piece.

    I particularly enjoyed your invitation to throw my laptop in the bin, burn down the local hospital and smash my mobile phone. As someone with the downright cheek to harbour feelings of empathy toward the Palestinian people, I ought to get to work on your 3-point plan as soon as possible.

    As ‘Mike Gecko’ alludes to, your understanding of the Israel-Egypt dynamic of the past 30 years is at the very best, limited. I invite you to make your way back up to the Hartley library and approach your research from a less impassioned start-point. You could begin by looking-up the word ‘Moubarak’.

    Finally, I congratulate you on taking the effort to have the article published and, in doing so, raising the profile of a much misunderstood issue. I sincerely hope that this article marks the beginning of a wider, informed debate at our University.

    Good luck with your exams,

    Joel

    Luke SF Goodger
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    You have clearly been reading the wrong books mate, tell me where my facts were incorrect… Most of the responses on the page have not been about the article, just various people putting their opinions on page, why comment if it is to raise unsupported claims of bad journalism. It is only your opinion that i do not understand the situation, but it was not my intention to come out with a balanced argument- this is one side of a debate. I myself support the movements towards a Palestinian state, but i find it hard to see how that could come about (especially as people like you choose to ignore Israeli history pre-’67 when the entire world was against Israel and pro-Arab)

    iyas
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    “Fact” 1 – Israel is a democracy. It is a democracy in the same way as Apartheid South Africa was a democracy. So if you are prepared to accept that Apartheid South Africa was a democracy, then I will only disagree with you on the definition of democracy, rather than on calling Israel one. It has semblances of democracies, for sure. If you are of a certain faith and inclination, then you get looked after. If you are of Arab Christian or Muslim descent, then you are very much relegated to second class citizenship. You can vote, sure. But you have a state sponsored organ which is dispossessing your land. You have to swear allegiance to a religion which is not your own faith. If you are a Christian or Muslim living under Israel’s occupation for any of the last 43 years, then you also subject to flagrant violations of the Geneva conventions which form a part of how a democracy should be measured (see previous post). And that’s just the start of where “Israel is a democracy” is clearly myth.

    “Fact” 2 – Israel is the cradle of Judaism and Christianity. The territory which is currently the Occupied Palestinian Territory (internationally and legally accepted as illegally occupied territory) is where these two great religions came to fruition. Jerusalem is a part of this illegally occupied territory, not a part of Israel. Anyway, to call it Israel at the time of the birth of Judaism and Christianity is somewhat misleading. It was Canaan when the Jews came back to it in the bible, and a part of the Roman empire when Jesus was born.

    “Fact” 3 – Comparing Israel to Apartheid is an insult to those who suffered white rule in South Africa. Nelson Mandela (black, suffered 27 years of imprisonment under white rule in South Africa, arguably one of the greatest authorities on Apartheid) has made this comparison. And often unfavourably in terms of what Israel is subjecting the Palestinian population to in comparison with what the whites subjected the black population of South Africa to. The same has been said by Desmund Tutu. That would suggest that at least the leadership of the black population of South Africa would disagree with your comment. As incidentally do many Jews who lived through the Holocaust and are enraged and embarrassed by what Israel is subjecting the Palestinians to. In fact, Israel Charny, director of the Institute on the Holocaust and Genocide in Jerusalem, also admitted that Israel has been ethnically cleansing and committing Genocide. He may know a thing or two?

    “Fact” 4 – “Arab Israelis have full and equal rights to Jewish and Christian Israelis”. This is very oddly phrased in the first place, as Arab Israelis are the Christians and Muslims. They are treated the same way as each other, which is inferior de jure and in practice to Jewish Israelis. This is also most blatant for Palestinian Christians, who were recently prevented in the thousands from going to Bethlehem or Jerusalem to celebrate Easter while Christian tourists were given no such restraints. Israel’s Chief Rabbi recently advocated hard for Jews only to live in the town of Safad – not Christians, not Muslims. Does that sound like equal treatment? Imagine if the Archibishop of Canterbury said that only Protestants should live in Sheffield. No atheists, no agnostics, no Catholics, no Jews, no Muslims, no buddhists. Only Christians. Would you look at that and say it was equality of treatment? In addition, when Israel unilaterally and illegally annexed East Jerusalem, the Christian and Muslim inhabitants were given residency, not citizenship. Another none too subtle way to discriminate against the Christians and Muslims. And then you add to that the laws that take away that residency for staying abroad for too long (e.g. to study), and there you have another policy to ethnically cleanse the land. Volumes of books are out there with the exact quotes from Israeli law and policy that bear this out – it’s not hard to find them.

    I could go on, but there are too many “facts” in this article that some study of Israel’s own laws and constitution would negate. And that is in addition to the released records of Israel’s founding fathers which demonstrate the vast crimes committed in the founding of the state, let alone the systems that have been put in place subsequently to maintain and formalise these inbuilt prejudices. Democracy???

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