Allegation: Israel is a racist Jewish apartheid oppressive state
Counterargument: The following argument was made by Brigitte Gabriel and is taken from a speech she gave at the Columbia University Conference on the Middle East and Academic Integrity in New York City on March 6, 2005. Brigitte Gabriel is a Christian who grew up in Lebanon. Her remarkable story can be seen in an excellent online movie on her web site.
The lies that Arab society tried to teach me as a child in Lebanon are the
same as those spread under the guise of academic freedom on the Morningside
campus of Columbia. During a recent speech at a Columbia Law school forum,
Professor Massad repeated 24 times in a half-hour that, "Israel is a racist
Jewish apartheid oppressive state." His exercise in academic freedom
ignores the facts. As a Middle Easterner brought up on this patent "Israel
is a racist state" propaganda, I discovered it is total hate inspired
nonsense. I've seen with my own eyes what kind of society Israel is. I consider
Israel to be one of the most multi-racial and multi-cultural countries in the
world. There are no racial restrictions on becoming a citizen of Israel like
there are in many Arab countries. Remember, Jews can't live in the neighboring
Arab Kingdom of Jordan or in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Israel's multi-racial society belies the charge of Racism. More than 100 different countries of the world are represented in the population of Israel. Consider how the Israeli government spent tens of millions of dollars airlifting more than 40,000 black Ethiopian Jews to Israel in 1984 and 1991. Since 2001 Israel has reached out to help others taking in non-Jewish refugees from Lebanon, the Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, Vietnam, Liberia, Congo and even Bosnian Muslims. How many such refugees have the 22 states in the Arab league taken in? The Arab world won't even give Palestinian refugees citizenship in their host countries.
Over one million Arabs are full Israel citizens. An Arab sits on the Supreme Court of Israel. There are Arab political parties expressing views inimical to the State of Israel sitting in the Knesset, Israel's parliament. Women are equal partners in Israel and have complete human rights. Professor Massad... show me an Arab nation with a Jew in their government. Show me an Arab country with half as many Jewish citizens as Israel has Arab citizens. I'll borrow some of your academic freedom now and say that Arab nations are the real racist and oppressive states.
Counterargument: The following is taken by an article by Francisco Gil White titled "Is the US an ally of Israel?"
Israel's administration of the West Bank and Gaza followed a war provoked by the Arab states in 1967. Despite that, Israel's administration of these territories was quite benign. This is Newsweek, writing ten years later in 1977:
"Arab living standards [in the West Bank] have jumped more than 50 per cent in the past ten years, and employment has nearly doubled, largely because of the $250 million annual trade that has grown up between the West Bank and Israel. The Israelis have also kept the Jordan River bridges open, allowing 1 million Arabs a year to cross and to keep their markets in Jordan for such products as olive oil, soap and farm produce. The Israelis also allow the Arabs to elect their own officials, even though the winners are often radical activists.. . ." Source: Newsweek, June 13, 1977, UNITED STATES EDITION, INTERNATIONAL; Pg. 55, 849 words, The West Bank Today, Milan J. Kubic
So the Israelis installed a benign regime on the West Bank despite the fact that this was the population of one of its attackers in 1967, Jordan, in a war that was pledged to destroy Israel through genocide. But this enemy population was nevertheless allowed freedom of the press, the freedom to elect its own leaders, however radical, border crossings with Jordan, and the ability to take jobs in Israel. Can anybody imagine another country doing that, under the circumstances?