June 2021 IS ISRAEL AN APARTHEID STATE? BIG LIES PRECEDE BIG PERSECUTION Paul & Nuala O'Higgins. www.reconciliationoutreach.net
Anti-Semitic Persecutions Are Always Preceded By a Big Lie Throughout history, whenever major persecution has broken out against the Jews it was preceded by a propaganda campaign of lies that fueled hatred and used to justify violent actions against them. In the Middle Ages, ignorant Christians justified their hatred and hostility to the Jew by spreading the "Blood Libel" that Jewish people killed young Christian children to mix their blood with their matzos for Passover. In the 13th century, this lie was used to stir up hatred against the Jews that finally led to their expulsion from England by orders of the King. In the 14th century, Jews were accused of poisoning wells and thus causing the Black Death, (bubonic plague) that killed 25 million people in France, Germany, and throughout Northern Europe. This time the lie that Jews were responsible for the plague resulted in violent mob attacks on Jewish villages synagogues resulting in the murder of tens of thousands of Jews in massacres of unprecedented ferocity. In the 19th and early 20th Century persecution again broke out against the Jews in 'Christian Russia' and eastern Europe Jews. This time the lie was that the Jews were plotting to overthrow the Czar and seeking to get control of the world banking system. This baseless lie found expression in the libelous "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" a forged document attributing sinister plots of world dominance to the Jewish people. Thousands of Jews in Russia and Eastern Europe were expelled from their villages and slaughtered by Tsarist forces.
In the greatest persecution of all against Jews - the Nazi persecution of the 1930s - the Nazi Party intentionally propagated the vilest form of racism. They revived every lie imaginable that was ever spoken against the Jews to support their extreme anti-Semitism. They characterized the Jews as cancer on humanity and as human vermin. They recycled the old conspiracy theories of Jews trying to take over the world through the banking system. They recirculated the discredited "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" to substantiate this lie and resurrected the 15th-century diatribes against the Jews written by Germany's most respected historical Christian leader, Martin Luther to give moral and theological justification to their lies. The lie gathered momentum and was used to justify the deportation of millions of Jews to concentration camps where six million were deliberately and systematically murdered.
On the night of November 9th, 1938 anti-Jewish mobs - with the approval of the government - rampaged through the streets of Germany destroying over 700 Jewish-owned buildings and killing hundreds of innocent Jews. The lies had worked, and the ignorant mobs were incensed enough to vent their murderous rage on the Jewish people. This atrocity is known as "Kristallnacht" - the night of the broken glass.
Now today in 2021 many Jews in Europe, and around the world believe the anti-Semitic riots that have emerged in hundreds of cities around the world are similar to the events of the pogrom of the Kristallnacht in 1938. They fear - with good reason - that the present anti-Israel protests will eventually lead to semithin even more sinister.
And what is the lie that ignites the hatred and violence against Israel as mobs demonstrate in our cities today? The lie today is that Israel is a racist and apartheid state. This is probably the worst accusation that can be brought against any person or group in today's world. These lies have been repeated by respected organizations such as "Human Rights Watch" and "Amnesty International' as well as Palestinian activists and repeated on thousands of university campuses.
There are eight marks of an apartheid state which describe the repressive regime that existed in South Africa from the 1950s to the 1990s 1. Enforced Racial Segregation By Law 2. Censorship Of Criticism Of The Regime By The Media 3. Banning Of Political Parties Opposed To The Regime 4. Torture And Murder Of Human Rights Activists In Detention 5. Indoctrination Of Children Into Racial Ideology 6. Removal Of Voting Rights From Certain Groups. 7. Ethnic Cleansing - The Forced Removal Of Populations Into Separate Regions. 8. Forbidding Marriage Between People Of Different Ethnicities.
These accusations are used to rationalize violence against Jews and to justify the dismantling of the State of Israel with the ultimate goal of many ( a goal actually, openly stated by the PLO Hezbollah, Iran) of expelling the Jewish people from the land and dismantling the State of Israel)
We now need to answer the question, is Israel an apartheid state? Does it meet any of the seven criteria mentioned above which were descriptive of apartheid South Africa?
1) Does Israel Enforce Segregation Of People On The Basis Of Race Or Color? This is not the case, as, throughout Israel, Israeli Jews and Arabs live side by side in neighborhoods throughout the land. No law exists that forbids Arabs from purchasing homes in predominately Jewish neighborhoods or vice-versa within the State of Israel. On the other hand, within Palestinian governed areas this cannot be said to be the case. Furthermore the Jewish Israelis themselves - contrary to European stereotypes - are made up of people of every color. From dark-skinned Ethiopians to light-skinned westerners Jews of the most diverse ethnicity mingle in the same neighborhoods and synagogues throughout Israel. There is definitely no separation by color or segregation by race in Israel as anyone who has visited it knows.
2) Does Israel Censor Those Who Criticize Its Regime Or Forbid Anti Regime Publications To Be Distributed? If it did practically every Israeli would be in trouble! Israel has the highest level of free speech of almost any country in the world. Zionist and anti-Zionist newspapers, magazines, and websites publish their opinions openly and without fear every day. Israelis are the world's greatest debaters. We all know the phrase "two Jews three opinions." It resonates, because debate and argument, and dissent are a cherished part of Israeli society.
3) Does Israel Ban Political Parties Opposed To Its Regime? Unlike apartheid South Africa, Israel has a plethora of political parties ranging from far left to far right; parties that are predominately Arab and parties that are predominantly Jewish; parties that are highly critical of the present state of Israel, parties of reform, and conservative parties. There parties that advocate a two-state solution and parties that advocate a one-state solution. There are religious parties and secular parties, socialist parties, and capitalist parties. In the 2023 election thirty-seven parties put forward candidates. Israel has more diversity of political opinion in its parties than any country on earth. In no way can this element of apartheid be attributed to Israel.
4) Does Israel Permit The Torture And Murder Of Human Rights Activists In Detention? Israel has some of the strictest human rights laws in the world, and its court system of appeals from the lowest courts to the supreme court absolutely guarantees the rights of all its citizens. Forced and coerced confessions are totally outlawed in Israel.
5) Does Israel Indoctrinate Children Into Racial Ideology? In apartheid South Africa, children were indoctrinated in racial ideology. While Palestinian textbooks portray Israelis in a very unfavorable light, Israeli school textbooks show respect for the history of the Arab people, and the and Arab schools are allowed their own curriculum. Israel does not meet this criterion of apartheid.
6) Does Israel Suppress The Voting Rights Of Certain Groups? Israel is a democracy with equal voting rights for all. All Israeli citizens have an equal vote. Israel does not meet this criterion of apartheid.
7) Does Israel Practice Ethnic Cleansing? Ethnic Cleansing is the forced removal of populations into separate geographical regions. Israel has never forced the Arab population from one area to another, as practiced in Apartheid South Africa. In 2005, not being able to protect Jewish citizens living in Gaza, Israel ordered all Jews to evacuate Gaza, and, in some cases, since then it has ordered Jews to leave areas of the West Bank. In the 1948 war Arabs were ordered by their leaders (not by the Israelis) to leave many of their villages in western Israel.
8) Does Israel Forbid Marriage Between People of Different Ethnicities? One of the most notorious marks of South African apartheid was 'The Prohibition of Mixed Marriage Act' of 1949 that forbade marriage between 'Europeans' and 'non Europeans’. No such laws forbidding marriage on the basis of ethnicity have ever existed in Israel, and marriages between Arabs and Jews are not uncommon. Again, Israel does not meet this criterion of apartheid.
Conclusion Israel is not a perfect nation and many of its policies towards the Palestinian authority can be debated and criticized, but it is neither a racist nor an apartheid state. The opposite is true. The lie that supports the outrage simply cannot be supported by facts. Why then the outrage? Why do so many vent their rage on Israel? We do know that before great persecution comes to a great propaganda effort to inspire hatred. This has been the age-old history of anti-Semitism We are convinced that the lie of apartheid is being used to galvanize public opinion around the world against Israel and to justify violence against Jews and Israel. All people of goodwill, especially Christians, should separate themselves from the support of anti-Israel and anti-Jewish propaganda while also standing for the advancement of social and political rights for all Palestinians and Israelis? Can we learn the lessons of history?
While violent anti-Israel Islamic extremists, supported by Iran, exert enormous influence within the Palestinian Authority to destabilized Israel and to inflame strife between Arabs and Jews there are also encouraging signs. Since the recent Abraham Accords which brought peace between Israel and Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates pro-peace and reconciliation movements have been strengthened. These are working within Israel and the Palestinian Authority to seek greater cooperation and harmony between Arabs and Jews, Israelis and Palestinians, in the region. They deserve our encouragement and support.
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