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Israel: A failed state
I grew up in South Africa and left for Israel in the 1970`s. So I consider myself somewhat knowledgeable on South African apartheid. In view of the criticisms of Israel as an apartheid state, I felt it my duty that my understanding and knowledge of apartheid should be put to good cause by exposing the evil manifestations of apartheid in Israel.
I started in my neighbourhood. I went to the municipal park. In South Africa, only whites would have been allowed to enter. I could not believe my eyes. Arabs and Jews were mixing peacefully, Arab and Jewish children socialising and shouting at each other in their home languages. This cannot be, where is the separation? So I went to the shops and restaurants of the adjoining mall. What a major let down! Arabs and Jews shopping together as customers, Arabs and Jews employed together in the shops as assistants and cashiers, Arabs and Jews sitting in restaurants, an Arab dentist with his sign for all the world to see and the only missing ingredients were the “blankes alleen – whites only” signs. Clearly, in matters of commerce and common use of public and transport facilities, open to all, Israel is a failure in implementing apartheid: there is clearly no South African style apartheid to be found in public areas.
I was going crazy. Apartheid – where are you? I drove like a madman to an Israeli university to search for this elusive apartheid thing. Again, about twenty percent of the students at Israeli universities, no less than 30% at Haifa university, are Arabs. There are Arab professors and lecturers mixing with their Israeli colleagues. The Palestinian, Bargouti, leader of the world-wide anti-Israel boycott (BDS) movement, which bases itself on alleged Israeli apartheid, is a student at Tel Aviv University. Kafka, where are you when you are so desperately needed? This is becoming a mad, mad, mad world. When it comes to imposing apartheid, Israel does not appear to have a clue as to what is required.
I knew I could rely on the army to provide me with a first success that apartheid exists in Israel. After all, why would any but Jews want to serve in the Israeli army? I charged to army headquarters and suffered possibly my biggest defeat. In the Jewish/Israeli army serve, as commanders, officers and soldiers, Ethiopians, Beduin Arabs, Christian Arabs, Moslem Arabs, Druse and Circassians (Moslems originally from the Northern Caucuses). Worse, the world famous Golani Brigade is commandeered by a….. Druse Brigadier General! What sort of fictitious apartheid permits Arabs to serve and even command in the Jewish army? Israel, you failure you, don`t you know anything about implementing apartheid?
I decided to catch this Israeli apartheid thing slyly through the back door. South African apartheid was anchored by legislation. I went to a lawyer to obtain details of legislated apartheid in Israel. I came out with my tail between my legs. Not only is there no legislative apartheid but Israel`s Declaration of Independence and subsequent Basic Laws specifically provide for full democratic and human rights for all. Arabs serve as judges and in fact an Arab judge recently sentenced an ex-president of Israel to jail for being naughty with the ladies. Arabs vote as equals with Jews and sit as members of the Knesset (Parliament) as members of all parties. What an abject failure for Israel; even the judiciary up to and including the Supreme Court and the Knesset (Parliament) are devoid of “apartheid”.
The bottom line is that, when it comes to implementing apartheid, Israel is a failed state. Israel fails every test evidencing the existence of South African style apartheid.
But all was not yet lost. My lawyer pointed out that the Palestinian had learnt much about apartheid from their good South African friends. Could I snatch victory from the jaws of defeat by changing direction? Apparently, yes. The Palestinians have legislation forbidding the sale of property to Jews; the sentence for transgressions: death. Good. Apartheid at last. There are no Jews or Israelis living in Areas A & B under Palestinian Authority control. Better. More apartheid. The Palestinians have announced that no Jews or Israelis will be entitled to live in their state after it is founded. Eureka! Success at last! If you want to find South African apartheid in the Middle East, all you need to do is visit the Palestinian Authority`s areas, or for that matter, most Arab countries such as Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Iraq, Libya etc (where Jews and Israelis have no rights or are even allowed). By now it must be clear to all why the Palestinians, their supporters and the Arab world are always shouting “apartheid”. These folk are the real success stories when it comes to implementing apartheid.
Charles Abelsohn, a co-founder of Truth be Told, retired several years ago as the legal manager of one of the