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Lilac Sigan Headshot

Apartheid Is Awful, But Who Is the Real Racist?

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Here's an interesting question for you: if someone who's known for their
very violent temper declared they hate you and would rather see you dead,
would you let them into your house?

Now let me ask you another question: if as a result of your decision not to
let them in, your neighbors would say your behavior is racist, would you
still value your life and safety over your image in the neighborhood? Not an
easy choice, but I'm guessing choosing life and surviving the bad image is
what you'd do.

I'm asking because of the slander festival against Israel that just ended these days. It's called Israeli Apartheid Week, and it's being held in 109 university campuses in cities all
around the world, for the 8th year in a row. It calls for boycott and
sanctions on Israel claiming it is a racial state because it discriminates
Palestinians.

After spending quite some time in the official website of this noble
organization, I must confess -- it I hadn't known the truth, I too would have
been convinced -- the site is packed with information and facts. The only
problem is that these facts are partial, and therefore paint a partial
picture that brings to false accusations.

Let's talk about the word apartheid for a minute: it
means racial segregation. Specifically, it refers to a former political and
economic discrimination against black people in South Africa.

The website will tell you that apartheid is a crime against humanity. It is.
But is Israel really guilty of it? The allegations against Israel's policy
towards Palestinians chooses to overlook one very simple fact. I searched
the whole site, and strange how with all the research and professionalism,
it neglects to mention that the Palestinian leaders have always wanted
Israel to cease to exist, and still do today. The extreme ones, such as Hamas in Gaza, have no problem saying it right out. The moderate ones, such as PLO, are more modest about this
fact.

Is it a crime against humanity to protect yourself from a declared enemy?
And if we're already on the subject -- do the people who run this
organization think using children as human shields is a crime against
humanity? Or perhaps teaching toddlers to become shaheeds and blow themselves up in public
places? They don't seem to be bothered by these everyday actions of Hamas.

The crazy thing is that real racist laws that do exist and awfully
discriminate women, homosexuals, Palestinians
and of course Jews, in Arab countries such as Jordan or Syria, are completely overlooked. These discriminating autocratic countries who truly go by apartheid laws are never
mentioned. Why? Because that description is ironically saved for Israel, the
only democracy in the middle east, which has equal rights and equal laws for
all genders, religions and races, and has appointed Arab parliament members
and judges in the supreme court.

So can security measures be considered racism? I guess when people want to
hate and blame, they don't really need logic and can always find "facts"
that will defend their state of mind. Abbas, for instance, is considered a
moderate Palestinian leader, but that doesn't mean he doesn't deny the holocaust ever happened, or refuses to recognize Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state.

If you think Israel must evacuate the settlements and let the Palestinians
build their own state in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, I will
agree. That's exactly what PM Ehud Olmert offered Abbas 3 years ago, but
Abbas refused. This was only one of quite a few refusals of Palestinian leaders to Israeli peace offers made in the past 20 years.

I too think the suffering of the Palestinian people should stop. I truly
wish they had their own state. But it's their leaders are a bit more
particular about the conditions under which such a thing would actually
happen. Israel does not still occupy some of these territories for
imperialistic reasons -- it would give them away for peace and safe borders.
You cannot blame a country for wanting to keep its borders safe from those
who define themselves as enemies and continuously practice terror against
it.

Has anyone in the world ever been called "racist" because it protected
itself against an enemy? I guess that privilege is saved for the Israeli Jews. And
does anyone bother Palestinian leaders with the very basic question -- why
they don't recognize Israel's right to exist? Not very often, if ever. Maybe
it's because everyone is so busy with promoting the Israeli Apartheid Week.
And if that's not racism, then I seriously don't know what is.