Jon Booth thinks he is being controversial by calling Israel an apartheid state.
Unfortunately, Jon Booth is not being very controversial. Israel has been called everything from an apartheid state, to a Nazi reincarnation, to a bloodsucking vampire (usually the blood of children).
I will always remember when Facebook came out with its new “pages” feature. I happened across a Facebook page devoted to traveling to Israel. When I looked at the member-added photos, I was shocked. Apartheid activists had filled the photo album with pictures of burning Israeli flags, swastikas, and cartoons depicting Jews sucking the blood of Palestinian children.
Today, I am no longer shocked when I see such hatred. I am saddened, however. What saddens me the most is not the hatred that is, but rather the love that could be.
Bill Clinton hinted at this potential for love and peace in an article he wrote in the New York Times earlier this month (“Finish Rabin’s work,” November 3).
“Netanyahu has the necessary support from his people to reach an agreement,” he wrote. “…Because of the terms accepted in late 2000 by Prime Minister Ehud Barak, supported in greater detail by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, and approved by President Mahmoud Abbas and other Palestinians, everyone knows what a final agreement would look like.”
Well, isn’t that great! Everybody knows what the terms of an agreement will be and everyone has agreed to them. Let Israeli-Arab Love Week begin.
Clinton is right when he points out that these parameters will, more or less, be the final agreement. He outlined a policy of two states for two people. Israel would withdraw settlements and the Palestinians would recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Israel would withdraw its military forces from the West Bank, and the Palestinians would agree to de-militarization. Jerusalem would be shared, and both Arab and Jewish refugees of the conflict would receive monetary compensation.
If both sides have accepted this proposal, then why has it not been implemented? Clearly, one side has yet to accept it.
Clinton does not cover up that Arafat rejected his parameters in 2000, but he seems to believe that Abbas is now willing to accept them. Similarly, in his new memoir Decision Points, George W. Bush indicates his belief that Abbas was willing to accept Olmert’s proposal back in 2009.
Of course, in reality Abbas turned down Olmert’s peace proposal. Even still, after having been turned down once, Olmert continued to plead with Abbas. When Olmert left office, he called on Abbas to publicly endorse his proposal, an act that would have created a breakthrough for peace.
Abbas did the exact opposite. He told to the media “the gaps were too wide.”
Alas, that leaves us where we are today. Israeli-Arab Love Week seems more elusive than ever. And “anti-apartheid” activists are more vicious in their hatred of Israel than ever. They even endorsed the notorious George Galloway, who has denied the genocide in Darfur.
I believe, with all my heart, that peace will one day be achieved. I look forward to celebrating Israeli-Arab Love Week. Until that time comes, I will have to put up with the images of the Star of David going up in flames.
Until peace comes, it is the Palestinians who will suffer the most.
They are denied any semblance of equality in the states of their Arab brothers. Their leadership in the West Bank is corrupt, continuing many of the same practices of Yasser Arafat, who embezzled billion of dollars. Their Islamist dictators in Gaza preach sexism and homophobia.
Ironically, the only state in the Middle East that grants Palestinians full legal equality and freedom is the state of Israel. When Palestinian-Israeli journalist Khaled Abu Toameh came to McGill, he proudly proclaimed that as an Arab-Muslim-Palestinian, there is nowhere he would rather live in the Middle East than the State of Israel.
Thus the Palestinians are the true victims of the “anti-apartheid” activists, Tadamon! included. By spreading hatred toward the Jewish state, they are emboldening extremists on both sides of the conflict. They are convincing the leadership of the Arab world, that there is no need to negotiate when Israel will collapse under the weight of global delegitimization.
They are pushing an already elusive peace even farther away.
Michael Morgenthau is a U1 Political Science student. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.