Monday, October 31, 2011

Goldstone eloquently picks apart the Apartheid canard

Richard Goldstone--of all people--emerges as a very cogent and eloquent Israel-advocate. It's about time. Here are two sample paragraphs:
[...] In Israel, there is no apartheid. Nothing there comes close to the definition of apartheid under the 1998 Rome Statute: “Inhumane acts ... committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime.” Israeli Arabs — 20 percent of Israel’s population — vote, have political parties and representatives in the Knesset and occupy positions of acclaim, including on its Supreme Court. Arab patients lie alongside Jewish patients in Israeli hospitals, receiving identical treatment.

To be sure, there is more de facto separation between Jewish and Arab populations than Israelis should accept. Much of it is chosen by the communities themselves. Some results from discrimination. But it is not apartheid, which consciously enshrines separation as an ideal. In Israel, equal rights are the law, the aspiration and the ideal; inequities are often successfully challenged in court. [...]
Read the rest as they say. I would like to add one other point that Goldstone does not discuss. Ultimately, discrimination--even severe and cruel discirmintaton--is quite common in the world. The degree of discrimination is not what made Apartheid so odious. Apartheid had to go because the white South Africans were such a small minority in such a large country. Control simply had to be wrested from their hands and vested in the hands of the people who comprised the country's significant population. Leftists who cast Jewish Israeilis as the White South Africans are actually seeking to deprive Israel's majority population of self-determination. That's what excites them about the Apartheid comparison--it provides a precedent for revoking a group's control of a country.

White South Africans, on one hand, were a small group who were not entitled to control the destiny of a large country. On the other hand, kicking a unique nationality and majority-population--Israeli Jewry--out of the driver's seat of its own destiny would lead quickly to ethnic cleansing. That is what is so insidious about the Apartheid-comparison: it whitewashes the ambition to ethnically cleanse. (h/t: EOZ)

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