The time is now long overdue to recognize that Adolph Hitler's contribution to political wisdom -- the Big Lie -- has reappeared in the Palestinian narrative of the state of Israel as an "apartheid state." "[T]he broad masses of a nation," Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf, "will more readily fall victim to the big lie than to the small lie." The constant repetition of the Big Lie, he explained, made it acceptable, especially when it could be manipulated to appear to have a certain credibility. The world is all too familiar with the success of Hitler's Big Lie narrative that the Jews were internationally powerful, responsible for World War I -- and, in his view, for most of the problems of the world.The 'Palestinians' learned from the master how to use the Big Lie. May the purveyors of the Big Lie one day suffer Hitler's fate.
This new Big Lie about Israel being an "apartheid state" that has been trumpeted by the Palestinian narrative of Middle Eastern history and politics has, in recent years, been accepted not only been accepted by "the broad masses," but also by more educated and supposedly politically sophisticated individuals in the media, the churches, and academia.
The declaration of Durban 1, which reads as an indictment, was certainly applicable to the old, unlamented South Africa where blacks were indeed segregated in many ways by legal and other restrictions, and were treated as inferior human beings; but it has no application to the state and society of Israel. Within the state of Israel, Israeli Arabs, 20% of the population, have equal political and social rights as Jews; full citizenship; members of the Israeli Parliament, called the Knesset; a seat on the Supreme Court; diplomatic representation at the most senior levels, a free press in Arabic, which is, along with Hebrew, an official language; the capacity to move freely; equal opportunity to enter universities, to be employed, and to enter freely into marital relations with fellow Arabs or with Jews. If Jews and Arabs do live in different areas of the country it is not through a state-imposed segregation, enforced by legal means, but by choice. There are no segregated roads, as there are in Saudi Arabia, and there are no segregated schools, housing, drinking fountains, buses or any officially imposed limits whatsoever. Discrimination does not exist on the basis of race, religion, or sex; and all groups have legal protection of the law. Unlike Muslim countries Israel has no state religion, but rather contains some 15 recognized religions. Israel, unlike the old South Africa, is a multiracial society.
In the absence of a peace settlement between the parties that will determine the boundaries of territories currently dispute, both the Palestinian Authority and Israel control parts of the West Bank. Measures such as roadblocks, checkpoints and a fence have been imposed not for the purposes of segregation, but for security and for self-defense. Although it is true that these security measures cause inconveniences and some hardship, they have been created to prevent terrorist attacks, not to impose discrimination by an oppressive regime. It is a tribute to the nature of democracy in Israel that its Supreme Court on a number of occasions has ordered the state to make changes in the fence route, often by a small amount, when the fence seemed to be imposing hardship on the Palestinians.
The world is all too well aware of the disputes between Israel and Palestinians, especially on the complex issues of settlements, refugees, and Jerusalem, but to accuse Israel of being "apartheid" is not only false, it is unhelpful and counterproductive for any hope for a peaceful settlement.
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Israel Matzav Monday, May 21, 2012