Ha’aretz is a major source of critical and anti-Israel stories for the international media. In the latest example, Ha’aretz’s radical left-wing commentator Gideon Levy has deliberately fed the international media a skewed and biased reading of a poll that claims “Most Israeli Jews would support apartheid regime in Israel“. Gideon Levy regularly demonizes the Jewish state to foreign audiences and in his own newspaper columns. He regularly goes beyond legitimate criticism of Israel, crossing red lines and allying himself with those who refer to Israel as a racist “apartheid state”, promote boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) and wish to see the very destruction of Israel. On the basis that Levy promotes the canard of Israeli “apartheid”, he is the last journalist who could give an objective analysis of this polls results. His article opens with the following premise: Most of the Jewish public in Israel supports the establishment of an apartheid regime in Israel if it formally annexes the West Bank. But let’s take a look at the findings: Gideon Levy’s entire premise is based on a hypothetical situation where Israel annexes the West Bank. However, perhaps the real story here is that a plurality of the Israeli public does not favor annexing West Bank settlements let alone the West Bank in its entirety. This makes the question of voting rights for Palestinians in an annexed West Bank entirely moot. That such a large majority of the Israeli public would deny such a right to Palestinians is unsurprising given that this would effectively lead to the end of Israel as a Jewish state if it allowed Palestinians to vote as equal citizens or the end of Israel as a democratic state if it denied Palestinians those rights. Which is exactly why the Israeli public does not support such a policy, precisely because the majority of Israelis do not want to be associated with apartheid. Other statistics are casually tossed in by Levy to support his view of Israel as an apartheid state: A sweeping 74 percent majority is in favor of separate roads for Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank. A quarter – 24 percent – believe separate roads are “a good situation” and 50 percent believe they are “a necessary situation.” What Levy fails to clarify is that this form of separation is not done on a racial basis but solely on citizenship. Israeli Arabs have as much right as Israeli Jews to travel on any roads they so wish. Any separation on the West Bank road system (and there are plenty of shared roads) is solely due to security and has nothing whatsoever to do with claims of apartheid. Levy chooses to highlight significant minority opinions where it suits him. For example: 42 percent don’t want to live in the same building with Arabs and 42 percent don’t want their children in the same class with Arab children. A third of the Jewish public wants a law barring Israeli Arabs from voting for the Knesset However, some of the graphs that accompany the online Hebrew version of the article are not attached to the English version. A plurality of Israeli Jews (49%) have no objection to having an Arab child in the same class as their children and 53% are not bothered by having an Arab neighbor in the same building. And instead of the third who expressed a negative opinion, what about the vast majority (59%) of Israeli Jews who do not support banning Israeli Arabs from voting for the Knesset? These are examples of Levy’s propensity to take statistics and twist them to suit his nasty agenda. Take a sample of 503 Jews out of some six million living in Israel and you will find prejudices and biases that are present in any population in any country of the world. While Jews are not unique in this regard, a fear of the “other” could be better understood by the particular circumstances that Israelis feel when it comes to their personal security in a very dangerous neighborhood. This survey, however, is not the proof that Levy seeks to back up his assertions that Israeli society is inherently and fundamentally racist. Survey disavowed Levy states that the survey was commissioned by the New Israel Fund’s Yisraela Goldblum Fund. It is perhaps an indicator of just how politicized and toxic this poll is that the New Israel Fund itself has disassociated itself from it. NIF has issued a clarification (in Hebrew) that it does not stand behind the survey and is not related to it in any way. The original Ha’aretz story has already been picked up by parts of the international media looking to take a cheap shot at Israel, including The Guardian and Daily Telegraph in the UK. It may only be a matter of hours before some of the US press follows suit. You can send your considered comments to The Guardian – firstname.lastname@example.org – and the Daily Telegraph – email@example.com – right now. Keep an eye out for this story in your local media and respond if it appears. You can also register your complaints with Ha’aretz through its online contact form. Un article de Simon Plosker publié le 23 octobre 2012.
Several injured after Jerusalem protest march against Al-Aqsa restrictions dispersed (Haaretz)
from the article: Meet the Israelis