Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

A British Academic's Splendid Refutation of the Libel that Israel is an "Apartheid State"

Below is a splendid riposte by Belfast-born Professor Denis M. MacEoin to the grotesque antisemitic canard, so evilly influential around the globe and among all age-groups, that Israel is an "apartheid state".  Professor MacEoin, a scholar of Islamic studies, is an expert on the development of radical Islam. He has written three reports for British think tanks, dealing with Islamic issues. These reports are The Hijacking of British Islam, written for Policy Exchange, examining hate literature found in British mosques and other institutions; Music, Chess and Other Sins, concerning Muslim schools in Britain, written for Civitas and published online; and the hard copy Sharia Law or 'One Law for All'?, also for Civitas. 

Professor MacEoin's remarks regarding Israel and the abominable "Apartheid State" libel, address students at Edinburgh University, too many of whom, as their vote in a debate on the issue has shown, have swallowed the libel hook, line, and sinker.  It will also be recalled that students at Edinburgh recently abused both Ishmael Khaldii (the Israeli Bedouin diplomat) and Ron Prosor (Israel's Ambassador in London) when they spoke there.

Here are MacEoin's remarks, with no further comment from me:

'… There has never been a system of apartheid in Israel. This is a fact that can be tested against reality by any Edinburgh student, should he or she choose to visit Israel to see for themselves.

… I have the impression that those members of EUSA (Edinburgh University Student Association) who voted for this motion are absolutely clueless in matters concerning Israel, and are, in all likelihood, the victims of extremely biased propaganda coming from the anti-Israel lobby. Being anti-Israel is not in itself objectionable. But I’m … speaking of a hatred that permits itself no boundaries in the lies and myths it pours out. Thus, Israel is repeatedly referred to as a “Nazi” state. In what sense is this true, even as a metaphor? Where are the Israeli concentration camps? The Einzatsgruppen? The SS? The Nuremberg Laws? The Final Solution? None of these things nor anything remotely resembling them exists in Israel, precisely because the Jews, more than anyone on earth, understand what Nazism stood for. It is claimed that there has been an Israeli Holocaust in Gaza (and elsewhere). Where? When? No honest historian would treat that claim with anything but the contempt it deserves. But calling Jews Nazis and saying they have committed a Holocaust is as basic a way to subvert historical fact as anything I can think of.

Likewise Apartheid. For Apartheid to exist, there would have to be a situation that closely resembled things in South Africa under the Apartheid regime. … A weekend in any part of Israel would be enough to show how ridiculous the claim is. That a body of university students actually fell for this and voted on it is a sad comment on the state of modern education. The most obvious focus for apartheid would be Israel’s 20% Arab population. Under Israeli law, Arab Israelis have exactly the same rights as Jews or anyone else; Muslims have the same rights as Jews or Christians; Baha’is, severely persecuted in Iran, flourish in Israel, where they have their world centre; Ahmadi Muslims, severely persecuted in Pakistan and elsewhere, are kept safe by Israel; the holy places of all religions are protected under a specific Israeli law. Arabs form 20% of the university population (an exact echo of their percentage in the general population). In Iran, the Baha’is (the largest religious minority) are forbidden to study in any university or to run their own universities: why aren’t your members boycotting Iran?

Arabs in Israel can go anywhere they want, unlike blacks in apartheid South Africa. They use public transport, they eat in restaurants, they go to swimming pools, they use libraries, they go to cinemas alongside Jews – something no black could do in South Africa. Israeli hospitals, not only treat Jews and Arabs, they also treat Palestinians from Gaza or the West Bank. On the same wards, in the same operating theaters.

In Israel, women have the same rights as men: there is no gender apartheid. Gay men and women face no restrictions, and Palestinian gays often escape into Israel, because they may be killed at home. It seems bizarre to me that LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) groups call for a boycott of Israel and say nothing about countries like Iran, where gay men are hanged or stoned to death. That illustrates a mindset that beggars belief. Intelligent students thinking it’s better to be silent about regimes that kill gay people, but good to condemn the only country in the Middle East that rescues and protects gay people. Is that supposed to be a sick joke?

University is supposed to be about learning to use your brain, to think rationally, to examine evidence, to reach conclusions based on solid evidence, to compare sources, to weigh up one view against one or more others. If the best Edinburgh can now produce are students who have no idea how to do any of these things, then the future is bleak. I do not object to well documented criticism of Israel. I do object when supposedly intelligent people single out the Jewish state above states that are horrific in their treatment of their own populations. We are going through the biggest upheaval in the Middle East since the 7th and 8th centuries, and it’s clear that Arabs and Iranians are rebelling against terrifying regimes that fight back by killing their own citizens. Israeli citizens – Jews and Arabs alike – do not rebel (though they are free to protest).

Yet Edinburgh students mount no demonstrations and call for no boycotts against Libya, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Iran. They prefer to make false accusations against one of the world’s freest countries, the only country in the Middle East that has taken in Darfur refugees, the only country in the Middle East that gives refuge to gay men and women, the only country in the Middle East that protects the Baha’is. The imbalance is perceptible and it sheds no credit on anyone who voted for this boycott.

I ask you to show some common sense. Get information from the Israeli Embassy. Ask for some speakers. Listen to more than one side. Do not make your minds up until you have given a fair hearing to both parties. You have a duty to your students, and that is to protect them from one-sided argument. They are not at university to be propagandised. And they are certainly not there to be tricked into antisemitism by punishing one country among all the countries of the world, which happens to be the only Jewish state.

Your generation has a duty to ensure that the perennial racism of antisemitism never sets down roots among you. Today, however, there are clear signs that it has done so and is putting down more. You have a chance to avert a very great evil, simply by using reason and a sense of fair play.'

3 comments:

  1. Excellent! He's said it all!

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  2. Hi. Where did you get this from?

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  3. OldSchool, it was distributed by the European Jewish Congress in Brussels via Raya Kalenova, Deputy-Secretary General there: rayaatejcbrusselsdotcom

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