from Pressure Points and Middle East Program

Israel, "Racism," and "Apartheid"

November 12, 2015

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One of the most common Palestinian attacks on Israel is that it is building a racist and "apartheid" society.

Here is a minor but standard example from Saeb Erekat, the Palestinian official who is actually chief negotiator with Israel and a reliable voice of PA propaganda: In March of this year he said Netanyahu’s election victory was based on "a campaign platform based on settlements, racism, apartheid and the denial of the fundamental human rights of the Palestinian people."

I was thinking of Erekat and of the constant Palestinian accusations of "racism" and "apartheid" when reading the following headline in today’s Israeli press: "Government set to approve final wave of Ethiopian aliyah."

This would be the last group of Jews coming from Ethiopia to Israel, under proposals being debated now. Israel has brought more than 85,000 Ethiopian Jews out to live in Israel, and there are about 50,000 Israeli-born descendants of Ethiopian Jewish immigrants. Unsurprisingly, the transition from small villages in  Ethiopia to 20th and 21st century Israel has been difficult, and there are plenty of tensions. Unemployment is higher and average income is lower than for the rest of the Israeli population.

The Jewish population of Israel is now 3 percent Ethiopian, and anyone who travels there can see groups of schoolchildren or groups of soldiers that include Israelis of Middle Eastern, European, and African origin.

Some racism. Some apartheid.

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Israel

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