Daniel C. Juster, Director

A few months ago during an airport layover, I came across former President Jimmy Carter's book on Israel, "Peace or Apartheid." President Carter's thesis is that Israel discriminates against the Arabs of the Land and especially in the West Bank. The Arabs do not have full political rights. Rather they are under military occupation year after year and denied the possibility of the dignity of equal rights. Recently President Carter noted that he was not choosing this title to conclude that this was the total reality, but that he was being intentionally provocative to warn against this direction. Some months ago, I reviewed this book in this letter, but President Carter's comments brought some further reflection. (See, "Zionism & Justice", Feb. '07)

The Meaning of Apartheid and Israeli Arabs

The word apartheid refers to a political system of discrimination. This was the case in the South in the United States until the civil rights legislation of the 50s and 60s. It was the case in South Africa where the term apartheid received its primary reference. While it is true that for various reasons the Palestinians in the West Bank do not have full political rights, the parallel with South Africa is a false analogy. In Israel, the Israeli Arabs (full citizens of Israel) do have rights to vote, to elect members of the Knesset (parliament), and to vote for local officials. Israeli Arabs are only the subject of discrimination with regard to Army service. Israel does not consider them good subjects for defending the Zionist State of Israel!

Other matters of unequal justice have to do with the distribution of services and benefits which is a problem in many societies. The United States today struggles with this issue, some ethnic groups and groups of underclass peoples in the U.S. do not enjoy the same benefits afforded to more empowered citizens. With regard to the Israeli Arabs, they simply do not have a strong enough political block to gain a fair share of the state treasury. This is a normal political problem, not legislated apartheid.

Apartheid and the West Bank and Gaza

The West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and Gaza present a totally different reality than apartheid. For many years, the Arab population of these areas was in limbo. Various possible solutions were put forth to solve the problem of the political rights of these people. These rights were anticipated to form part of a peace agreement. From 1948 to 1967 Jordan and Egypt ruled these areas and did not give the population citizenship or equal rights!

After the Six Day War in 1967, these territories came under the control of the government of Israel. One solution floated in the 80s was that the Arab population of the West Bank would have citizenship in Jordan and the Jewish population in Israel. A kind of Swiss canton government would be established in each area. It is important to remember that Israel has never considered the status quo the desired end of the matter. A solution for political rights for the Arab population was always the goal. This is totally unlike the former apartheid government of South Africa.

The Barak government sought to solve the problem by negotiating for a Palestinian State that would include most of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. Major Jewish settlements on the boarder in the West Bank would be retained as part of Israel. In exchange, Israel would offer valuable land of equal area. According to the testimony of former President Bill Clinton, and chief U. S. mediator Dennis Ross, Israel gave more than any government of Israel could ever give while still preserving the security of Israel. They blamed Yasir Arafat and the Palestinians for the failure.

Soon after Arafat rejected this proposal, the Palestinians, with Arafat's encouragement started the second uprising, the intifada. This led to the fall of the Barak government and the election of the Sharon government. The Sharon government came up with a new solution: unilateral disengagement. The Palestinians would be given most of the territory but further territory would require peace with Israel. An intensive fight against the intifada began. A security barrier was created to stop the suicide bombers and many leaders of terror were killed. Sharon withdrew Israeli control from Gaza so the Palestinians could govern themselves. If the experiment worked, Israel would withdraw from most of the West Bank. The Palestinians would have their state.

The problem was the most powerful political faction in Gaza; Hamas did not want a state. Instead they took over Gaza, kicked out their rival political faction, Fatah and continue to wage war against Israel. Hamas does not want just the West Bank and Gaza but also Tel Aviv, Ashdod and Haifa! So now the Olmert government finds itself in a stalemate with a weak leader of the West Bank, Mohammed Abbas of Fatah, and a vicious Hamas government in Gaza.

President Carter's Unfair Book

How unfortunate that Mr. Carter's book comes out when Israel is trying its best to turn over the land of the West Bank and Gaza to the Palestinians for their own state where they would have full political rights. However, Hamas does not believe in political rights for its people - their vision is to create a radical and oppressive Islamic state.

The current situation reminds me of the tar baby in the Uncle Remas stories; no matter how hard one tried to get rid of it, the tar baby kept sticking to one's body. The tar baby of the Palestinians of Gaza and the West Bank stick to Israel and Israel can not separate from them no matter what she tries. How unfair then is the criticism from President Carter. It gives credibility to the radical Arab Muslims! We have not even spoken of the numerous promises of this land as intended primarily for the Jews forever.

The Real Apartheid States

Even more unfortunate is that the true apartheid states of the world are not criticized for apartheid. Why? Because the West fears the radical Arab States and has therefore foolishly chosen the path of appeasement.

The greatest examples of apartheid in the world today are Muslim states. Non Muslim minorities do not have full political rights but according to Islam, they are to be second class (if they are allowed to live). This is the awful dimmi status in Islam. One can covert to Islam but the penalty is death for a Muslim who becomes a Christian or a Buddhist. Women are defined as owned by men. Honor killings and female circumcision (really mutilation) are horrendous. Women have no political or social rights. They are often refused schooling or access to professions. China also terribly oppresses religious believers.

I am convinced that Israel is singled out for two reasons only; anti-Semitism, and the West's fearful attempts to placate the radical Islamo-facists. It is utter spinelessness in the face of evil. Without deep biblical conviction, there is no backbone in the West to confront the real apartheid of the Muslim world. Instead Israel is attacked when she is trying to solve the problem.

By Daniel Juster

Dan Juster leads the overall ministry Tikkun International. Donate to Tikkun International.

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13:17 01Nov07 Shannon -
Excellent article! Interestingly, the executive director of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, Malcolm Hedding, is a South African Assemblies of God minister who confronted the apartheid system in his home country from the pulpit and was forced to flee his homeland. Today, as ICEJ's executive director, he is in a unique position to challenge those who would brand Israel with the apartheid label and does so every chance he gets! His insights are worth reading and can be found in the April 2007 edition of the Jerusalem Post Christian Edition.

15:08 01Nov07 Bob Colver -
The KJV Bible was published during the generation of the struggle in England, when leaders promoted the burning at the stake of those early Puritains who dared point out the triumphal restoration of the Jewish people returning to Jerusalem and the land of Israel. They were burned out or thrown out of England until the Puritan Reformers transformed the hearts and souls of the nation. Mind sets of the Carters and Clintons find evil in good, and good in absolute evil concerning Islam. Our Bible is a Jewish Bible cover to cover, as our salvation is Jewish. I have come out of "dispensational" anti-Semetism which places the salvation of Israel after Acts 3:21 instead of before.

10:09 02Nov07 Lee Ann -
Thank you for helping me understand more about the history of Gaza, etc. It is often confusing watching the news. There seems to be so much missing. Being from the West and not knowing a lot about the political and spiritual background, I sincerely need your words. And they are brief and to the point! They help me to know how to pray, to vote, and discuss. This is a good reminder that liberty and freedom are from God!

04:48 03Nov07 Mike Stevens -
I totally agree ... forcibly so. Islamofascism is the anti-christ spirit; see also Mike Evans' book "the Final Move Beyond Iraq." Mike Evans too exposes fully Carter's book and exposes his spinlessness and damage whilst and since he was President of the USA.

20:12 14Nov07 Rose-Line Simon -
Thank you Dan. I too want to suggest the book "The Final Move Beyond Iraq" by Mike Evans. He explains in depth the damage cause by Carter when he back up Ayatolah K. into power. I also want to add concerning the apartheid that Carter accused Israel of, that it is found in Arab countries that have let some of the Palestinian refugees come into their land but denied them citizenship, which means that they are alway in a refugee status and don't benefit from any of the social rights (if any) of that country, even children born in that land do not rrecieve citizenship. What can we call that if not apartheid?

10:31 29Nov07 Philip William Mafabi -
The material is excellent, please continue; we stand with you in pray, may the hand of Our Lord Jesus Christ be upon you, especially when you bring light to "what is going on"many are misguided. We pray for peace in Israel, the people of Israel to have a stable and peaceful enviroment. God bless Israel, and God bless you all, who have contributed fully for support of Israel returning to their land. "Our Lord is soon coming".

12:14 29Nov07 Margareta Malo -
Your article is giving a true picture of the situation in Israel and I believe that when we allow the truth to speak our Yeshua can bring his kingdom to earth and his will be done. He says : I am the Truth the Way and the Life ...

Also in this issue of the newsletter:

Moshe Morrison: The Pushkie Project
Martin Shoub: Hand in Hand
Michael Cohen: Yom Kippur 5768