The Coordination Forum for Countering Antisemitism

Against Turkey and Syria there will be no “Apartheid Week”, by Ben Dror Yemini

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It began yesterday. Not one, but two weeks of animosity towards Israel, two weeks ostensibly dedicated to the struggle against apartheid, commemorated by dozens of universities in the west. Ahmadinejad blew the first trumpet. A week of declarations of the destruction of the Zionist entity. This is the exact same rhetoric. He speaks, the Hamas, Hizbullah, Syria and the “the forces of progress” are situated in at the active forefront.

“How many Palestinians have you killed today?”, the Israeli ambassador for Spain, Rami Shutz, was asked during an organized propaganda campaign, devised by the same coalition of hatred. So here’s the answer: in all the wars Arab nations declared on Israel, bent on destroying it, 60,000 people were killed. Out of which 7,400 perished in over 40 years of occupation, including operation “cast lead”.

Compared to this, 12 million Arabs and Muslims were killed in the Arab-Muslim world, mostly by Arabs and Muslims. Only last year tens of thousands were killed in Iraq, Sudan, Somalia and Afghanistan. Almost all of them were killed by Islamists slaughtering other Muslims. Did anyone ever hear of a campaign for the termination of this massacre?

Hundreds of doctors and medical professionals, members of the Arab minority, work in Israeli hospitals. Some of them are senior ranking members. Many of them have Jewish subordinates. Is that apartheid? In the beaches of Jaffa and Tel-Aviv, children and families enjoy common diversions. Is that apartheid?

Yes to demonization, no to facts.


Israeli Arabs are probably the only minority in the world refusing to assimilate to its national entity, and insists on remaining in a country in which it is a minority. Is that apartheid? In these days a panel of three judges is examining an indictment against former Israeli president, Moshe Katzav. Leading this panel is a Muslim judge. Is that apartheid?

Is there anything even remotely like this in any other Western nation? The nations holding the “apartheid week” have a thing or two to learn from Israel. But the sworn followers of this week of hatred are not discouraged by the facts. Such has always been the case for racism and antisemitism. Yes to demonization, no to facts.

The struggle for equality for the Arab minority deserves all the support it can receive.

However, there is no connection between this type of discrimination – a blight which strikes every democratic nation – and apartheid. Any comparative analysis between Israeli Arabs and Arabs from neighboring nations, or Muslim minorities in Western nations, will deduce that their condition in Israel is better than anywhere else.

Apartheid can be ascribed to Syria and Turkey, which inflict it on the Kurdish minority, and in Bahrain, which inflicts it on the Shiite minority. But these will not inspire an Oxford festival. You see, Muslims are inferior, and such behavior is permitted to them. The day the world tells the Arabs – you are not inferior, you are equal, will be revolutionary. In the meantime, “apartheid week” tells them the exact opposite: continue deceiving yourselves. We’ll blame Israel, anyway.

The Palestinians are also responsible for their fate


And what of Arabs in the occupied territories? Indeed, they are, in part, under Israel rule. This is hardly an ideal situation. However, this situation is of no Israeli fault. Twice in the last decade the Palestinians were presented with fantastic settlement proposals. Almost complete withdrawal to ’67 lines, the division of Jerusalem and territorial exchange. Once by former US President, Bill Clinton, and once by Ehud Olmert, as Israeli Prime Minister.

In both these occasions, Arafat and Abu-Mazen said “no”. Anyone who places the blame on Israel merely reinforces the campaign of deception and hatred. Whoever exempts the Palestinian side of the conflict is merely being racist. Because Arabs, in general, and Palestinians in particular, are also responsible for their fate.

They are not free of responsibility to the mass slaughter they inflict upon their own people. They are not free from responsibility to the oppression of minorities in their own nations. They are not free from responsibility to their refusal to any settlement proposal they receive. They are not exonerated from supporting Hamas’ reign of terror, following Israel’s withdrawal. Whoever absolves them from this responsibility treats them as retarded children. Here lies real apartheid, real racism.

There is room for valid criticism against Israel. But to anyone blaming Israel in institutionalizing apartheid is uninterested in enacting a settlement or in bringing equality. They want what Ahmadinejad wants. The destruction of the Zionist entity. The deprivation of the right of Jews – and only Jews of all world nations – for self determination.