Contributed by CAMERA fellow Avital Zenilman

Israel tends to apologize for actions that she is not at fault for doing. A country has the right to defend itself, including Israel, and therefore should not be apologetic when it chooses to exercise that right. Just as any nation has the right to act against terrorism and violence within its boundaries, Israel has the right to do so without fear of being reprimanded by other countries.

On February 26, 2015, Students for Justice in Palestine held a panel regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and drew on some alleged claims of similarities between the US and overseas in regards to militarism. During the question and answer segment of the conflict, a student began his question by apologizing for the unpleasant experience of one of the panelists on a trip to Israel. He then continued by asking what steps should be taken to bring peace to the conflict.

The response from one of the panelists was to the question was to put pressure on Israel, due to the fact that the “Palestinians have been open for a real peace negotiation.” To further this false point, a member of SJP falsely stated that Israel is an apartheid state, claiming that Palestinians are not allowed to cross borders or the ocean or even see it due to a wall. This is false. The sole purpose of the security fence is in the name itself—security, and security only. It is not a means of oppression. The security fence protects both Israelis and Palestinians, as it makes it possible to prevent and stops the occurrence of any possible future terrorist attacks against innocent civilians, and Israel has shown willingness to ease restrictions if terrorism and violence decrease.

Israel protects all people. As the only democratic state in the Middle East, it has become a sanctuary for anyone who is deprived of basic and civil rights, or anyone fleeing persecution. It is a state that welcomes any type of person, regardless of religion, and extends rights to them. Palestinians are not denied rights; they have more rights in Israel than they do in any of the surrounding countries.

On March 5th, Sayed Kashua, an Arab citizen of Israel, stated that there was complete separation and segregation between citizens in Israel. He stated that he felt unsafe as an Arab living in the country. This statement, though it may hold to be true, deflects from the point that Israelis are targeted and terrorized for being Jewish. Terrorist attacks are carried out against Israeli Jews, regardless of the age, on the sole basis of their religious practices. Terrorists are encouraged to kill as many Jews as possible, as earlier this year, when people were encouraged to use cars to kill Jews, and ruthless stabbings of Jews were praised.

The fact that there is no peace settlement in the Middle East is not Israel’s fault, though often portrayed as such in the media. Israel has shown willingness to negotiate; however, Palestinians constantly refuse offers of peace. While the Jews in Israel and in the United States apologize and accept blame, this, in fact, worsens the situation since it does not provide a broader picture of the situation, nor does it provide a means of fixing it.

Israel is a legitimate country with legal rights, as any other country. She can and must defend herself when necessary. Her citizens have the right to be guarded and safe. No apologies.

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