Friday, March 12, 2010
11 March '10
In nearly three dozen cities across the world, a coordinated series of events is being held this week with the express aim of demonizing Israel. Now in its sixth year, the annual hate-fest known as “Israel Apartheid Week” has sought to portray the Jewish state as a bastion of bigotry, inequality and discrimination.
The organizers do not mince words in describing their objectives, asserting on their Web site that they aim “to educate people about the nature of Israel as an apartheid system and to build boycott, divestment and sanctions campaigns” against the Jewish state. This, they confidently declare, is a key part of “the battle to end Israeli apartheid,” whatever that means.
Naturally, behind the sloganeering stands a clear political platform, one which essentially seeks to dismantle the Jewish state by stripping it of territory and flooding the country with millions of Palestinian refugees through the so-called right of return.
The first step in this campaign, of course, is to equate Israel with the evils of apartheid-era South Africa, thereby laying the groundwork for increased diplomatic and economic pressure to make far-reaching concessions. And so, as usual, the only democracy in the Middle Eastonce again finds itself on the receiving end of yet another indefensible canard, accused of one of modernity’s greatest political sins without any basis or justification.
SIMPLY PUT, this slur cannot be allowed to stand. It is an insult to Israel and its democracy and dangerously analogous to asserting that Zionism is a form of racism. If allowed to take hold in the public’s consciousness, it could have far-reaching and extremely damaging effects on support for Israel in the near- and long-term. In the past, the typical response by pro-Israel activists to such charges has been to go on the defensive, responding to the slanders and explaining in great detail the myriad differences between democratic Israel and the racist regime that once ruled South Africa.
Well, I say the time has come to stop playing defense and to bring the offense out onto the field. We need to turn the tables and fight back against our opponents by taking the struggle toward their end-zone.
A good place to be start would be to organize an annual “Arab Apartheid Week,” which would highlight the decrepit state of human and political rights throughout the Arab world.
(Read full article)