Opponents of Israel have been trying to delegitimize it for the last decade with claims that it is an apartheid state. However, anyone familiar with Israel and its reality knows that this claim misses the mark. There is certainly inequality in Israel, but it would be a far stretch to label this apartheid.
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To demonstrate the absurdity of this claim, one can look to the academic world. Over the last decade, there have been several attempts to impose a boycott on academic institutions in Israel, based on claims that they are collaborating with the so-called occupation.
Interestingly, according to the British daily The Guardian, Syrian President Bashar Assad visited Damascus University last May. The photos from that visit clearly show how warmly he was received by faculty and students. This event should have triggered an emergency session of the teachers’ unions in Ireland and Great Britain, aimed at imposing sanctions on Syrian academic institutions which collaborate with a regime that is responsible for the deaths of 100,000 civilians. A similar boycott could also be imposed on academic institutions in other Arab countries, which collaborate in discrimination against Palestinians who fled or were expelled there in 1948. Only Jordan has granted them citizenship. In other countries they still lack basic rights.
What about Britain itself? A report in the New African magazine states that there are only 50 black lecturers at British universities, out of a total of 14,000. This constitutes 0.36 percent of the total, whereas the rate of blacks in the total population is eight-fold higher. The report relates numerous cases of discrimination and tells of black people who chose to emigrate to the United States.
Discrimination based on color in Britain? Heaven forbid! According to the same logic applied to calls for boycotting Israeli academicians, British academicians should be boycotted since they participate in discrimination and exhibit racism by preventing the appointment of black lecturers. Needless to say, British media does not dwell on this topic, despite its eagerness to preach to others. No demonstrations have been held, nor calls for boycotting British goods issued. No British Apartheid Week was organized anywhere. The Teachers Union of Ireland was also caught napping. So maybe British TV is better, but even that is not always perfect.
Indeed, there is pervasive inequality in many enlightened countries, but none are accused of having an apartheid regime. Only with regards to Israel are stricter criteria employed by the world.