Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Apartheid Week

The seventh annual “Israeli Apartheid Week” is being held on university campuses across the United States this week to renew the call for destroying the Jewish State—if not by military aggression or by terrorism, then by what its organizers call “Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS).”

What is little appreciated by those who toss around the term apartheid so loosely, however, is that the most passionate believers in “apartness” are Arab Muslims. They are so deeply committed to purging “Muslim land” of any Jewish presence at all that they will decapitate a three-month-old child in her bed. Apartheid is the official policy of Saudi Arabia and Jordan, which will not permit Jews to reside there; it is the popular custom in the rest of the Arab world:

Egypt73,365,915 Muslims

       200 Jews

Algeria32,333,219 Muslims

       100 Jews

Morocco32,069,316 Muslims

     5,700 Jews

Iraq29,672,300 Muslims

        50 Jews

Saudi Arabia25,731,776 Muslims

         0 Jews

Yemen21,119,004 Muslims

       200 Jews

Syria15,451,798 Muslims

       100 Jews

Tunisia 9,762,350 Muslims

     1,000 Jews

Libya 6,461,454 Muslims

         0 Jews

Jordan 5,702,783 Muslims

         0 Jews

By contrast, at last count Israel was home to 5,839,764 Jews and 1,229,424 Muslims. About 16.5% of the population is Muslim, that is. There are sixty times more Muslims in the Jewish State than there are Jews in the entire Arab League.

Israeli apartheid? No one should expect the Arab propagandists behind the anti-Israel demonstrations on campus to respect the truth, but perhaps the casual observers, students and faculty, might take a second look at the numbers. Or perhaps they might want to consider what the organizers of “Israeli Apartheid Week” really have in mind when they speak of apartheid.


David said...

Well said. Totally true and completely logical and it will, of course, fall on deaf ears.

Jonathan said...

**Dr. Myers - PLEASE DON'T POST THIS OPENING COMMENT** I am torn over what I have written below. I fear I it is worded in such a way that it will read as an attack on your general premise regarding apartheid or upon yourself. If you find my comment offensive, please don't post it and accept my sincerest apologies. I, of course, accept you may disagree strongly with my comment and that you may wish to express that in a response. That is a chance I take gladly. I enjoy immensely reading your blog, and wish you nothing but the best. Sincerely,****

Dr. Myers,

I concur with David - well said.

There is, however, one caveat. I'm sorry you wrote that "they" are willing to decapitate children. Considering the population numbers you provided in this post, such a generalization is both unwarranted and excessive. It's as unwarranted as claiming Jews are so committed to there being no Muslims in Israel that "they" are willing to assassinate their own leaders or murder worshipers in a mosque. There are fanatics and criminals on any side of a conflict. Equating their deeds, however, with the inherent morality or righteousness of the populations from which they have sprung is untenable.

I fear this will be taken as a critique on your discussion of 'apartheid" or a as a declaration of solidarity with those who align themselves against Israel. It is neither. And while I too was horrified by the recent murders you referenced, I am distressed you would fall into the trap of making the claim you have.

Still, with best regards,


49erDweet said...

Well said. A similar pattern emerges when counting Christians, too, but to expect an honest dialogue in the ME over these disproportionate numbers is naive. What's fair for Muslims is for their own determination, and the rest of the world can lump it - they seem to say. Only fools still consider it a "religion of peace".

Dick Stanley said...

At least Israel and its friends are fighting back. There is Buy Israel Goods Day on March 30:


D. G. Myers said...


Please forgive me for posting the opening. I didn’t know how else to post your criticism. (And I also didn’t find it till just now. Blogger had dumped it into my spam box.)

I used to worry about using the third person plural. Not so much any more. Palestinian Arabs in Gaza celebrated the murder of the Fogel family as they had celebrated 9/11. They handed out sweets and ululated with joy.

Not all of them, no. But the “generalization is not excessive”—not any more. The Palestinian Arab culture fetishes murder and demonizes the Jews. Relentlessly.

Jonathan said...

Dr. Myers,

Disgust is my only response to those who would celebrate such violent deaths. Yet I'm still concerned that the actions of a minority are being held up as representative of the humanity and sensibilities of the majority.

In the link I provided above regarding the murders at the Cave of the Patriarchs, the NYT reported very similar reactions venerating and celebrating Goldstein as those you've described taking place in Gaza. While such behavior was hardly representative of the majority of Jews or Israelis, don't you (By holding the larger Palestinian Arab community responsible for the deeds of a minority), leave yourself vulnerable to similar criticism?

I hope it doesn't appear I'm posting only for the pleasure of debate. I do think this is an important point to clarify.


D. G. Myers said...


Did you follow this link? We are talking about Baruch Goldstein times four. And that’s only the number of Jewish children killed. And only since October 2000.

And you must consider the mob attacking the Great Synagogue in Tunis last month, chanting “Slaughter the Jews.” Somehow I doubt that the mob was referring only to the 1,000 Jews left in Tunisia.

Nor must you leave out of consideration the rape of CBS correspondent Lara Logan in Cairo last month, by a mob of Egyptian men shouting “Jew! Jew!”

Whether those who carried out these Aktionen are a minority is, I would imagine, an imponderable. They represent a sizable portion of the Muslim world, however. Perhaps even the majority.

Jonathan said...

Dr. Myers,

I did follow that link. Any response could only be inadequate to the tragedies it records.

Against my best efforts, I fear I'm somehow coming across as an apologist for murder and hatred directed at Jews in the Middle East. There can be no denying that anti-Semitism exists in the Middle East and that it is often manifested in ways that disturb and horrify. Yet I don't think I've made such representations.

It would also be disingenuous of me to suggest that Arab and Jewish civilian deaths in Israel are reported in the same way by the world's media, so I appreciate your pointing to specific instances. Yet, Palestinian Arab children have also died, and the adding up of casualties on either side and comparing numbers supports no possible position in this conversation. It only seems to diminish the tragedies that both Jews and Arabs mourn and desire to avenge. I find it noteworthy that whether Arab or Jew, parents of children who have been killed seem to respond with equal amounts of grief and agony.

Regarding the final paragraph of your last comment, I wonder if you'd consider making a distinction between claiming to represent the Muslim majority and actually representing the Muslim majority. Those who engage in unthinking and brutal violence often make such claims. And to ask the question doesn't deny or minimize the violence.

This will, I fear, seem a rather convoluted response and objection to the use of "they". If so, please forgive me.


49erDweet said...

Jonathan seems to take comfort that [in his opinion] only a "minority" of Palestinian Muslims might be violent, or approve of violence, toward Jews. I think he may have a point in the same way General George Custer was able to take comfort that only a minority of the Sioux facing him at Little Bighorn were intent upon inflicting violence on his command.

Jonathan said...


Phrasing your comment as to insinuate I approve of or am minimizing violence is the type of intellectual dishonesty that prevents reasoned or civil discussion from occurring. All I requested was a measured use of language - namely, the avoidance of one pronoun that makes no distinction between those who perpetrate violence and those who do not. Such a distinction neither minimizes nor denies violence.

Furthermore, to suggest it is only "my opinion" that a minority engage in violence while ignoring your own unexamined opinion - that a majority of Muslims are willing to decapitate children (or approve of such actions) for political gain - further demonstrates your aversion to honest discussion. The difference between the two opinions is, of course, that you are unable to produce evidence a majority of Muslims murder children. That Israeli children are indeed murdered doesn't even approach proving the contention that "they" [Arab Muslims] all are culpable .

I shall now bow out - your hastily composed and ill-conceived comment has marred what was otherwise a civilized and considered discussion.

49erDweet said...

Jonathan, mea culpa for disturbing a civilized and considered discussion. "Bowing out" is always an option, of course, but does little to further one's point of view.

I've looked, re-looked and even reconsidered your pov, and am not convinced my Little Bighorn example missed the mark.
My perception is roughly two thirds of today's Palestinians take inappropriate delight in atrocities committed against Israelis. I would like to be wrong. Convince me I am by arguing more than mere semantics, and thank you for being robust enough to stick up for your viewpoint.

Eric said...

Good post. I really liked Elder of Ziyon's Apartheid week response posters.

Susan Messer said...

Jonathan (if you're still around), I want to thank and support your respectful and measured contribution to a very, very difficult conversation. To me, you've made it clear that you do not excuse savage or violent behavior from anyone, that you have realistically (as realistically as any of us can) assessed the horrifying evidence, and are still trying to find a humane response. Courageous. And almost impossible.