Is Israel an Apartheid State?
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Do Israeli Arabs live under an Apartheid Regime?
Anti-Zionists charge that the Arabs of Israel live under an "Apartheid" regime similar to that practiced in South Africa. South African Apartheid was practiced against native Africans who wanted an equal say in South African affairs. Regulations prevented marriage between races, enforced unequal pay and discriminatory employment and denied Black Africans equal representation in the government. Israeli treatment of Arab minorities is not perfect, but it is improving. It is not "Apartheid." Israeli Arab citizens vote and participate in the government along with Jewish citizens, can own and buy land, and are legally protected against discrimination in government services and the work place. They enjoy a far higher standard of living and better health care and educational opportunities than their neighbors in Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon. Arabs can serve in the Israeli army and many do, especially Bedouin and Druze.
Does the Occupation Practice "Apartheid?
Anti-Zionists insist that the occupation is "Apartheid" since Arabs of the West bank and Gaza cannot vote and cannot work in Israel, and they are separated by an "Apartheid Wall" (the security fence) from Israel. It is very hard to claim that this separation is racist, considering that the Arabs on the Israeli side of the border can vote, work and own land and generally have all the attributes of citizenship. Occupation always treats occupied persons different from citizens. Japanese and Germans could not vote in US or British or French elections during the allied occupation of Germany, nor could they work in those countries.
Israel did allow Palestinian Arabs from the West Bank and Gaza to work in Israel for many years, raising the standard of living of those areas approximately 8 fold until 1992. However, the increase in terror activity made it unsafe to allow Palestinians into Israel in large numbers. The security fence was not constructed as a means of racial segregation, but as a way of keeping controlling the terror and keeping suicide bombers out of Israel proper.†
Ismail Khaldi, Israeli Consul in San Francisco says:
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