By Simon Fischler
Apparently the only place in the Middle East where Arabs can protest their government’s actions and not be shot, shelled, raped or beaten is in Israel.
Yesterday Israel’s Arab population took to the streets to protest Land Day, marking the Arabs’ loss of land after the creation of Israel.
At many of these protests pictures of Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s Foreign Minister were burned. We’ve all seen too much on tv recently about what can happen to Arab protestors behaving in this fashion, and it’s ugly.
However, one clear shot of Israeli Arabs fouling Lieberman’s bearded countenance and the concept of Israel as an apartheid state gets flushed right back into the cesspool from which it originates. Is it not a bit bizarre that it is Israel, not an Arab-governed country, that ensures the ability of and safety for Arabs to protest?
What is even more insane is the fact that nothing was or will be reported about the freedom given to Israeli Arabs when they choose to protest the government of Israel.
In Israel there is no Apartheid: be sure of that; and there never will be. That is why there remains so much support for Israel, despite all the screaming and yelling from a small, loud minority who would like to make you think otherwise. One must remember that the apartheid government in South Africa had no support, but for a few diehard racists inside the country itself. Why? Because it truly was utterly wrong.
Israel is not perfect and Israeli Arabs still face discrimination. On the other hand, all minorities of all countries deal with forms of discrimination. If you look today at the situation of Muslims and Arabs in Europe where head scarves and minarets are forbidden, it is evident that Israeli Arabs have far more freedom. There are parts of Israel in which there are clearly more minarets than synagogues in the region.
So why are many people intent on allowing a tiny minority the ability to promote the most heinous policies towards Israel? Why has the BDS movement been allowed to push a racist policy of delegitimizing Israel and calling for its destruction?
The majority of the world supports Israel, but many are too afraid to voice their support because this minority is violent, just as the Brown Shirts of Germany were.
There have been numerous documented accounts of pro-Israel supporters being harassed by the anti-Israel side. Pro-Israel professors have also been threatened on several occasions. I myself can testify by way of the hate-mail this blog receives, that the pro-Palestinian side is carrying out what is tantamount to political terrorism.
Even though they are a minority, the anti-Israelis have learned that violent behavior pays. They know they can force the majority who may support Israel into silence, because they wish to live their lives without being threatened.
Unfortunately, there is a great deal about this nervous silence from the pro-Israel majority which is reminiscent of 1933: a masses of frightened people who believe if they simply hold their tongues, all of the nastiness will go away.
And, as in 1933, the real tragedy is that many of those mute pro-Israel people don’t even know they are afraid. They just don’t want conflict; they’re squeamish about some of the things they hear or see Israel do; they don’t realize the growing tide of anti-semitism and Israel-demonization is as serious as it is; if it gets worse, then they’ll do something. But mostly they deny their own fears and try to make it all nice again.
This is what needs to change. We, the people who fight for Israel’s name on daily basis, must help the majority silence the liars and charlatons of the anti-Israel movement.