Discrimination is NOT apartheid - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • Jacob Amir
    • 31.10.10 | 18:43 (IST)

    To equate Israel with apartheid displays a profound ignorance of the horror that was South Africa. In South Africa, apartheid was enshrined in its constitution and supported by its legal system. Under apartheid, people were legally classified into racial groups and forcibly separated from each other. A wide range of laws ensured racially based discrimination, including the prohibition of Blacks from voting, using Whites-only schools and hospitals, or even mixing with Whites in public places. Apartheid South Africa was also ruled by a Whites only minority government. The State of Israel has nothing in common with apartheid. In Israel, all citizens have equal rights, regardless of their gender, religion or ethnic origin. This is clearly spelled out in the Israeli Declaration of Independence. Israeli Arabs form political parties, compete in free and fair elections, and are represented in the legislature, executive and judiciary, all the way to the Supreme Court. They can be found in every Israeli university as professors and students and in every Israeli hspital as physicians and patients. Arabic is an official language in Israel. Of course nobody can deny that there is discrimination in Israel against its Arab citizens. Knowing Israel's history, this unfortunate fact is easily understandable. Many in Israel strive to abolish that discrimination and progress is being made. But such discrimination is found in many countries. From England (ask the Muslim Council of Britain) to France, and from Italy and Belgium to the Scandinavian countries. But Bar'el would never find any parallels between those countries and apartheid South Africa. By using the highly charged term "apartheid" with all its negative connotations, Bar'el helps the campaign of delegitimization of Israel.

    from the article: South Africa is already here
    First published 01:29 31.10.10 | Last updated 01:29 31.10.10
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