“Up, up, down, down, right, left, and all around.” That is what supporters of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement (BDS) think when they think about Israel.
Yet, Israeli-Arabs have served in the Israeli Supreme Court, Knesset (parliament), military, and national police force. Following the national elections in September 2019, the joint Arab party became the third-largest in the entire Knesset. But the area over the “Green Line” is disputed territory and, therefore, BDS (il)logically claims everything in Israel is tantamount to apartheid.
The latest example of this nonsensical idea is the BDS movement’s recent call to join it in opposing the “climate apartheid” Israel inflicts upon the Palestinian-Arabs. Sound familiar? Indeed, it is eerily similar to the antisemitic conspiracy theory that somehow Jews control the weather, or that Israel is “stealing” Iranian rain clouds. Yes, these theories actually exist.
But don’t worry, it gets even better. BDS claims that one of the main components of climate apartheid is the Palestinians’ lack of control over their land and resources. This is vintage BDS foolishness. Palestinians have complete control over both what the Oslo Accords deem “Area A” and the Gaza Strip — the two areas where the vast majority of Palestinian-Arabs reside. They claim Israel pollutes the Palestinians’ water, air, and soil. Maybe, just maybe, the air pollution stems from the thousands of acres of farmland burning in the Gaza border communities due to the onslaught of incendiary kites launched by Gaza-based terror groups? Maybe the water pollution arises from Hamas’ unwillingness to invest in proper sewage treatment systems and actually better the lives of the citizens it purports to govern? Maybe the soil is polluted by the constant digging of terror tunnels for the sake of murdering Jews? Could be.
Other classic examples of the allegedly omnipresent apartheid in Israel are the “apartheid beaches,” “apartheid hospitals,” and “apartheid roads.”
The claim of a beach apartheid is obviously ridiculous, as Haaretz so graciously documented in this photo gallery of Arabs celebrating Eid al-Fitr (end of Ramadan) on the beaches of Tel Aviv.
Apartheid hospitals are another frivolous piece of propaganda. Anybody who has stepped one foot into an Israeli hospital knows that they are filled with Israeli-Arab patients, Palestinian-Arab patients, and even Syrian refugees. Israel has even treated the daughter of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh. There are also an abundance of Arabs playing pivotal roles in Israel’s medical field — be they doctors, pharmacists, or nurses.
The accusation of apartheid roads, a prevalent one over the years, has repeatedly been debunked. There is simply no such thing as “Jew-only” roads or “settler-only” roads. There are roads meant specifically for Israeli citizens and foreign nationals, just like there are roads meant specifically for Palestinian-Arabs and foreign nationals in both Area A and the Gaza Strip. This allegation resurfaced once again in 2019 with the opening of route 4370 near Jerusalem. As the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis (CAMERA) has pointed out, the road was essentially a set of parallel highways on both sides of the Green Line that were meant to ensure the safety of Israeli citizens who were targeted by Palestinian-Arab violence. Additionally, the roads help ease heavy traffic congestion that plagued both Israelis and Palestinians alike in the vicinity of the E1 project and provided a direct route between Jerusalem and Ramallah for Palestinians working in the area.
“Anybody who has stepped one foot into an Israeli hospital knows that they are filled with Israeli-Arab patients, Palestinian-Arab patients, and even Syrian refugees.”
Gideon Levy, writing for Haaretz, falsely accused Israel of creating “apartheid springs,” where Jews can play leisurely in the pools while Arabs cannot. As evidence, he quotes an unnamed Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldier who declared that the spring in question was “only for Jews.” Levy provided neither a name for the soldier nor proof that his statement was actually true. It is doubtful that such evidence exists, since Israeli-Arabs enjoy freedom of movement in Israel just like any other citizen. This would also not be the first time Mr. Levy has lied in an article. It is not even the first time he has lied about water. In 2015, CAMERA prompted a correction to one of Levy’s articles in Haaretz wherein he claimed that there “are no swimming pools in the Gaza Strip.” Seems like old habits die hard.
Finally, this brings us to the most obvious examples: The “apartheid wall” and “apartheid settlements.” First of all, the “wall” is actually a security fence, and only about 5% of it was made of concrete in 2015, according to IDF statistics. Secondly, not only did the fence help to almost immediately reduce terrorist attacks in Israel by over 90%, but Israeli-Arabs are permitted to enter all territories on the Israeli side, including Oslo Accords-designated Areas B and C — where Jewish “settlements” are located. In fact, Israeli-Arabs are permitted to freely enter and exit these “settlements.”
“Apartheid,” as it turns out, is not in fact here, there, and everywhere. An actual apartheid can be seen in Area A, which the Palestinian Authority (PA) runs in a completely judenrein fashion. A standing IDF warrant from the year 2000 forbids Israeli citizens from entering Area A, out of safety concerns (though Israeli-Arabs regularly enter uninhibited). BDS willfully ignores the fact that Israeli Jews could be killed simply by entering PA territory. For example, peace activists have been attacked in Ramallah, Israeli cars have been set ablaze in Nablus, and Jewish tourists (not Israeli citizens) were nearly lynched in Hebron. Despite these incidents and more like them, few would dare use the “A-word” to describe PA territory. Therefore, it is our duty to continue to shine a light on the hypocrisy of BDS, so that activists can oppose the real apartheid — the one right in front of their faces, but that few of them tend to notice.
Originally published in The Daily Wire.
Contributed by CAMERA’s Israel campus coordinator Eitan Fischberger.