How can this be justified?

Paul Prescod
Mon, 01 Oct 2001 23:47:29 -0700

Russell Turpin wrote:
> If Israel wants to honor the memory of the
> holocaust, it would institute a special immigration
> program for people who now face similar
> oppression to what European Jews faced in the
> 1930s and 1940s. Despite the fact that they are
> not Jews. And in doing so, it would hold up a
> lamp to the other western democracies. 

I think you're missing the point. Israel is a homeland for the Jews like
Ireland is a homeland for the Irish. It isn't about religion, but about
ethnicity. Now I'll agree that focusing so much on ethnicity is
backwards but it is also human nature and it isn't going to go away. No
matter how liberal Israel's laws were, the ethnic tensions would remain.

But more to the point, Israel's laws towards Arabs are really not of
much concern to either side. If Arabs were full citizens (as they should
be) it wouldn't really solve the regions problems. Palestinians don't
want to be a minority in an otherwise-Jewish state. They want their own
country back (all of it!). And Jews don't want to share a state with
Arabs, even if the Arabs were a minority today they would be a majority
soon enough due to birth rates, family unification and general

Now if you were an Israeli, would you feel comfortable thinking your
kids or grandkids might live in a mostly-Arab state when you are
surrounded by mostly-Arab states with abysmal human rights records and a
hatred of Jews?

There is no win-win situation available. The laws of Israel might be as
terrible as apartheid but they are (in my mind) not directly relevant to
the real question of "how do we get out of this mess?" Even human
rights-minded Palestinians would probably rather we discussed the
implications of shooting stone-throwing children rather than the rights
of Arabs under the laws of Israel.

 Paul Prescod