Monday, March 08, 2010


Alan M. Dershowitz responds to the nasties who follow an annual ritual of concocting fake accusations against Israel in the form of "Israel Apartheid Week". To counter this chicanery he suggests, Let’s Have a Real Apartheid Education Week.
It would be based on the universally accepted human rights principle of "the worst first." In other words, the worst forms of apartheid being practiced by Middle East nations and entities would be studied and exposed first. Then the apartheid practices of other countries would be studied in order of their seriousness and impact on vulnerable minorities.
Dershowitz nominates these countries for examination as Middle East Apartheid States:-

1. Saudi Arabia because "that tyrannical kingdom practices gender apartheid to an extreme, relegating women to an extremely low status. Indeed, a prominent Saudi Imam recently issued a fatwa declaring that anyone who advocates women working alongside men or otherwise compromises with absolute gender apartheid is subject to execution. The Saudis also practice apartheid based on sexual orientation, executing and imprisoning gay and lesbian Saudis. Finally, Saudi Arabia openly practices religious apartheid. It has special roads for 'Muslims only.'"

2. Hamas (the de facto government of the Gaza Strip) which "discriminates openly against women, gays, Christians. It permits no dissent, no free speech, and no freedom of religion."

3. Jordan, which "has a law on its books forbidding Jews from becoming citizens or owning land" and "... Despite the efforts of its progressive Queen, women are still de facto subordinate in virtually all aspects of Jordanian life."

4. Iran, whose "President has assured us that there are no gays in Iran."


5. Pakistan, where "Sikhs have been executed for refusing to convert to Islam".

6. Throughout the Middle East, where "honor killings of women are practiced, often with a wink and a nod from the religious and secular authorities."

Then there's Israel, the secular Jewish State "recognizes fully the rights of Christians and Muslims and prohibits any discrimination based on religion (except against Conservative and Reform Jews, but that’s another story!) Muslim and Christian citizens of Israel (of which there are more than a million) have the right to vote and have elected members of the Knesset, some of whom even oppose Israel’s right to exist. There is an Arab member of the Supreme Court, an Arab member of the Cabinet and numerous Israeli Arabs in important positions in businesses, universities and the cultural life of the nation. A couple of years ago I attended a concert at the Jerusalem YMCA at which Daniel Barrenboim conducted a mixed orchestra of Israeli and Palestinian musicians. There was a mixed audience of Israelis and Palestinians, and the man sitting next to me was an Israeli Arab, who is the culture minister of the State of Israel."

Like Australia, Israel is a vibrant democracy.

That's why you might be confronted this week by someone who thrusts a pamphlet under your nose containing blood libels against the one true democracy in the Middle East that doesn't practice Apartheid claiming it's all part of "Israel Apartheid Week". Your daily newspaper might publish an opinion piece or two or a news report or even a letter to the editor highlighting say, Israel's security barrier which saves the lives of its citizens from Palestinian terrorism. One in Melbourne has already published an "Apartheid" letter. If it doesn't provide a balanced viewpoint to counter such article or if it conveniently omits to include the other viewpoint in its letters section, then it also is practising a form of Apartheid against the Jews. If it regularly offends, you could call it a pogrom.

Dershowitz quotes Congressman John Conyors, who helped found the congressional Black caucus:
[Applying the word “Apartheid” to Israel] does not serve the cause of peace, and the use of it against the Jewish people in particular, who have been victims of the worst kind of discrimination, discrimination resulting in death, is offensive and wrong.
Wrong but it won't stop the nasties!

1 comment:

Jasmine Couch Grass Cookie said...

Maher Mughrabi - Scottish Palestinina - is Foreign Affairs News Desk editor.

Guess that accounts for the rise in anti Israel articles/pieces etc.

Boy, the Age must really have hated having a good reputation for quality news!! Talk about a fast train to Loserville.