Opinion: Is the apartheid Israeli State democratic?
How often have you heard the Israeli government label itself as, “the only democratic country in the Middle East?”
The answer – every time they get called out for running an anti-democratic ‘apartheid’ state which disenfranchises 4.5 million Palestinians who have, absolutely, no say in deciding which Israeli political party will control every aspect of their lives.
Now, the latest United Nations report confirms, as if we did not already know, that Israel has established ‘an apartheid regime that oppresses and dominates the Palestinian people as a whole.’ As usual, when Israel gets called out, it unleashes a torrent of cry-baby hyperbole designed to discredit its opponents as ‘anti-Semitic’ and/or unwilling to accept the legitimacy of the Jewish Israeli state!
Right on cue, Ambassador Nikki R. Haley of the United States, who has vowed to end what she calls “the anti-Israel’ tendencies of the United Nations, piped up to express her disapproval of the report. “That such anti-Israel propaganda would come from a body whose membership nearly universally does not recognize Israel is unsurprising,” Ms. Haley said in a statement.
A cursory examination of the documents drawn up by the Zionist founding fathers will reveal there is and has never been any reference to the word ‘democracy’. In fact, Israel continues to call itself a Jewish state which means one population is considered worthier than others (hardly democratic)
In his writings, Theodore Herzl, the founding father of Zionism, laid out plans for how the country should be created: Jewish immigration, treatment of minorities, official work hours, equality for women and minorities, health insurance, military service, mandatory free education and the separation of religion and state. But the State of Israel that was created chose not to define itself as a democracy. In essence, a Jewish state and a democracy cannot co-exist, hence Israel does not call itself a ‘Republic’ which would allude to a democracy.
Ironically, the opening address of the first Israeli Prime Minister Ben Gurion said the new Israeli State would ensure equality of social and political rights to ALL its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex. He said it would guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture and would safeguard the Holy places of all religions, while staying faithful to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.
Gurion also appealed to the “Arab inhabitants of the State of Israel to preserve peace and participate in the upbuilding of the State on the basis of full and equal citizenship and due representation in all its provisional and permanent institutions”.
Years later, we all know that the history of the State of Israeli meant nothing but death and destruction for the Palestinian peoples under occupation. Yes, Israeli proudly proclaims ‘democracy’ while it subjugates and oppresses millions inside Palestine and ignores the rights of millions in the diaspora waiting to return.
Israel and its government are fighting an uphill battle because the Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) movements appears to be as strong as it ever was. Leaked Israeli cabinet documents estimate the BDS campaign loses the country up to $4.7 billion a year.
Worse still, BDS is a strategy, successfully executed, against the original South Africa apartheid state. Therefore, like it or not (and they don’t), Israel will forever be associated with apartheid as its system and policy continue to segregate and discriminate against Palestinians.
I do not oppose a two-party state but I just not sure that can happen. With or without it, the State of Israel like any other in the world has a responsibility to all whose heritage and ancestry are rooted in the land and confirmed in scripture.
With 4.5 million on the inside and 6 million of the outside and with a projected Jewish population of 10 million by 2032. Let’s say a new state of ‘Isralestine’ or “Palesrael” should be establish with 20 million people to genuinely allow the State of Israel to claim that its ‘ the only democratic in the Middle East’.
Oh and let’s just ignore Lebanon which has been a democratic state since its inception and Tunisia since 2011!