Israel Apartheid Week: The Dirty Product of a Grotesque Alliance
by Edward Alexander
The enemies of Israel neither slumber nor sleep. Right now they are engaged in “Israel Apartheid Week,” spewing fire and vitriol at the Jewish state and calling for its elimination from the family of nations; as the Nazis sought to make Europe Judenrein (purified of Jews) the Israel-haters aspire to make the world “Judenstaatrein” (purified of a Jewish state).
There have never been apartheid laws in Israel. Jews and Arabs use the same buses, clinics, government offices, universities, theaters, restaurants, soccer fields, and beaches. All citizens of Israel, regardless of religion or ethnic origin, are equal before the law. That law accords full political, civil, and human rights to all its people, including the more than one million Arab citizens, some of whom serve in the Israeli parliament and cabinet. Israel is also the only country in the world to have sought out and brought to its shores, entirely on its own initiative, tens of thousands of black Africans for purposes other than slavery, granting them full citizenship.
If the charge of racism is directed specifically against Israel’s Law of Return, here are aids to reflection and comparison. The Armenian constitution seeks “the protection of Armenian historical and cultural values located in other countries” and permits individuals “of Armenian origin” to acquire citizenship through “a simplified procedure.” The Lithuanian constitution proclaims: “Everyone who is ethnically Lithuanian has the right to settle in Lithuania.” The Polish and Ukrainian constitutions have identical provisions.
If the ire of Israel’s enemies is aroused by Israel’s being a Jewish state, why do they not direct it also against Britain, a Christian state, with an official Protestant church, a Protestant monarch, a Protestant state education system? Other Christian states with numerous non-Christian citizens are Denmark, Finland, Greece, and Norway. And let us not speak of all the states whose names begin with “Islamic Republic of…” or “United Arab…,” and who are among the most zealous supporters of such orgies of hatred as “Israel Apartheid Week.”
The blackening of Israel’s name on university campuses is the dirty work of a grotesque alliance between political “progressives” and reactionary Islamic fundamentalists. Among the warmest of hearts in both groups, there is always a cold spot for the Jews, so let us appeal to them not on moral grounds but those of self-interest. Have the Islamicists noticed (as President Obama did in his inaugural address of 2009) that the obsession of Palestinian Arabs with destroying somebody else’s society instead of building up their own (via education, commerce, public works, health care) has made them one of the most wrecked peoples on the face of the earth? Can the “progressive” do-gooders cease confusing doing good with feeling good about what they are doing?