Take a Look in the Mirror
Ben-Dror Yemini (from Hebrew)
Only two days ago the European foreign ministers concluded the tenth meeting of the EU-Israel Association Council. Their concluding statement contained no mention of apartheid. But there were complaints about the unequal treatment of the Arab minority. Even the Bedouins were mentioned.
It's not merely the red and green coalition in Europe, the one of leftists and Islamists, that has hijacked the term "human rights" and harnessed it in favor of the global jihad against Israel. It is also official Europe, the media and the academia in the entire free world, which kneels before the industry of deceit.
If there are any grounds for complaint, they should be directed in the other direction. First, it should be stated that all Arab countries conduct an official apartheid regime. The Kurds in Syria are under a violent military regime. Not that anyone in Syria actually has rights, but the Kurds have much less. The Coptic worshippers in Egypt suffer from incitement, protests, hateful sermons and terror attacks.
In Lebanon, discrimination against Palestinians is official. Apartheid there is just a matter of fact. They are not allowed to open their own businesses, certain professions are forbidden to them according to law, and they can only dream about voting rights. They've been there for sixty years, and under the pretense that they are "refugees," apartheid there is rendered official.
Has anyone ever heard of Apartheid Week against Lebanon or Syria? Don't make them laugh. Regimes of atrocity get an exemption. It is the supporters of these benighted regimes that are the financers and activists in Apartheid Week against Israel. There are truly no limits.
And in Israel, only in Israel, as the demonization campaign is gearing up, an Arab judge heads the panel that convicted the president of the Jewish state. Not that there are no problems in Israel. Not that everything is perfect. Not that the attempt to reconcile between a Jewish and democratic state is free of contradictions. But all these problems pale when compared to what transpires in Arab and Muslim states, and also when compared to what transpires in Europe itself. Yes, Europe.
All comparative research indicates that the condition of the Muslim minority in Europe is worse that of the Muslim minority in Israel. In Great Britain, for example, three of four children of Pakistani or Bangladeshi descent are below the poverty line. In Belgium, the majority of Turks and Moroccans are below the poverty line. The employment level of Muslim women in all these countries is extremely low.
If any such phenomena such as Azmi Bishara or Hanin Zuabi show their face there, they will not elicit an attempt at reconciliation but rather a deportation notice. So if there is any room for allegations of apartheid they should be directed in the other direction. Not that there is no discrimination in Israel. But there is no country clean of discrimination, just as there is no perfect democracy.
Apartheid essentially means a different law for different groups. This is the precise story of the free world, of the media, academia and "human rights" organizations such as the Human Rights Council. In Israel there is indeed an infringement of human and minority rights, but this is a minor infringement, not only in compassion to Muslim or Arab state, but even in comparison to Europe.
And seeing that the issue of the Bedouins seems to also be attracting attention, it must be said here and now: when the Europeans grant ownership to every parcel of land through which the Gypsies have passed, then Israel too will grant similar rights to each Bedouin nomad. Meanwhile, Israel provides the Bedouins with far more rights than Europe does to the Gypsies.
But they sure know how to preach. Thus, Apartheid Week should be called by its true name. Not merely impudence and hypocrisy week, but also the week of apartheid against Israel.
Ben-Dror Yemini is a researcher and a journalist (email@example.com)