Sunday, February 27, 2011

Is Israel an Apartheid State?

Is Israel an Apartheid State?
©2011 David Talbot

Organizers across the globe are gearing up for the 7th annual “Week of actions in support of Palestinian Civil Society's call for Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS).” This media feeding frenzy against Israel is based on Palestinian claims that Israel is an Apartheid State. Last year 55 cities around the world participated.

What exactly is an Apartheid State, and does Israel meet the definition?

The word “Apartheid” comes from Afrikaans meaning: To keep apart. It was the system of Political, Economic, and Social segregation introduced in South Africa in 1948 to completely segregate black people from virtually all white society.

Under Apartheid in South Africa, black could not live in white areas; go to white schools and universities; work in certain jobs that were reserved for whites; or, use the same amenities such as parks, beaches, or public transit. They (black people) could not marry white people or have physical relations with them. Black people could not be appointed to the countries civil or legal institutions, stand for political office, and, most importantly, were denied the right to vote. Apartheid finally ended in 1994 after much international pressure.

Some critics, including former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, have accused Israel of being an Apartheid State. And, for 7 years, the Palestinian Authority, along with Israel’s critics, have been holding events in March designed to pressure the United Nations and other world organizations to declare Israel guilty of Human Rights violations akin to South Africa in 1948.

Is the accusation true?

In Israel, are housing areas segregated by race, religion, or national origin? No, it is prohibited by law.

In Israel, are public schools and universities segregated by race, religion, or national origin? No. Of course there are certain, private, Islamic, Christian, and Jewish religious schools in Israel.

In Israel, are certain jobs reserved by race, religion, or national origin. No. Even the IDF has Muslims, Christians, and Jewish soldiers and officers.

In Israel, are parks, beaches, or public transit segregated by race, religion, or national origin? No. There are, however, segregated beaches for men and women on specific days for purposes of modesty.

In Israel, are there any restrictions based on race, religion, or national origin for holding public office, appointment to commissions or boards, or participate in legal institutions? No. There are Muslims, Christians, and Jews at all levels of government in Israel.

Most importantly, is any Israeli citizen denied the right to vote because of race, religion, or national origin? Absolutely not.

What is the National Language of Israel? It’s a trick question because there are two: Hebrew and Arabic.

What do you call an Arab that stayed in Israel in 1948, when Israel was granted statehood by the United Nations? They are called Israelis.

What do you call Arabs that fled Israel in 1948 to live in Jordan, Syria, Egypt, & Lebanon? They are called refugees by the host countries and have no rights or citizenship in those countries, often living in disgusting refugee camps.

Israel is not an Apartheid State. It's a democratic, vibrant, participatory democracy. The only one in the Middle East.

Anyway, that’s my opinion, What’s yours?


David Talbot

Saturday, February 19, 2011

They tried to kill us, we won, let's eat!

“They tried to kill us, we won, let’s eat!”
©2011 By David Talbot

The crisis in Egypt, Libya, Jordan, Lebanon, Bahrain, Yemen, and Tunisia, really has proven what most of us have been saying for a long time: The White House and US State Department, have no idea what they are doing.

The events that unfolded in Egypt demonstrated a clear lack of knowledge by President Obama and his “experts” in the White House as, day after day, his blithering press conferences confounded Americans at home, and allies abroad.

Secretary Clinton was no better in her astounding assessments, completely reversing comments by the most senior and knowledgeable diplomats, and then reversing course within hours.

President Obama’s treatment of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was a disgrace and an example to many other allies of what the United States would do to other, so-called, friends of America. In fact, Mr. Obama toned down his rhetoric only after a stern tongue lashing by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.

Here’s what our representatives fail to understand. They do not understand what the “Democratic Process” means to these Arab countries. One only needs to look at Afghanistan, Pakistan, Lebanon, Gaza, and others to understand that an Islamic revolution is brewing under the guise of democracy.

There is only one true democracy in the Middle East, one that we would recognize anyway. One where there are liberals and conservatives and issues are debated with great vigor. Where all religions are accepted, including Islam, as is a persons sexual orientation. That’s the State of Israel.

Consider the reported plight of the “Palestinian people” living in democratic Gaza. When Israel turned over the land to the Palestinian Authority, it was a thriving community. Immediately, the Arabs destroyed every building, all factories, all Synagogues, and most of the infrastructure. What are the rights of women and minorities in Gaza? When was the last time you heard of a Jew destroying a Church? A Mosque? Any house of worship? This is the Arab version of democracy.

Speaking of Israel, pay careful attention to the demonstrations going on in the countries where governments are in jeopardy. While it is not being reported in the mainstream media, “Kill the Jews” and “Attack Israel” signs and slogans are becoming more and more evident as the next battle after a change to “democracy” is achieved.

I have many friends in Israel, and all of them tell me the same thing when I ask, “What does the average Israeli think about what’s going on in the Middle East?” None of them seem concerned. Hence the title of this piece (which I borrowed from a story about the holiday of Purim). They know, at some point, Israel will act, and act with terrible force, to defend the homeland.

Reaching back 3,200 years until today, the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Crusaders, Hitler, (In the interest of space I left out many), have tried to annihilate the Jews, and here we are. And, where are they?

Anyway, that’s my opinion. What’s yours?


David Talbot