Tag Archives: apartheid week

To believe, or not to believe – you always have to ask yourself the question.

I haven’t posted for a few days, largely because the major news surrounding Middle Eastern issues has been in more of a flux than usual, if that’s imaginable.

cokelore_santa_1942 You’ve got the al-Mabhouh  assassination – the latest wrinkle appears to be that now Dubai is issuing an arrest warrant for Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu; never mind that the organization to which the assassinated assassin belonged is saying no, no, see – it was Jordan. Or maybe Egypt. And it was probably Fatah. And Iran says it was Europe. So yeah, sure, lets go arrest Bibi. That will put a stop to all this nonsense. Yes, Virginia, the world is nuts.

Kerry-Bibi-GETTY But I’ve also noticed several developments since Monday that, if taken at face value, and without digging beneath the surface, appear amazingly positive. First, U.S. Senator John Kerry came out “solidly behind” Netanyahu’s call for truly tough sanctions against Iran. I’ve never been a fan of Kerry, but his statement on its own is positive; whether the man is sincere is really not for me to say.

And then yesterday it was reported that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Lebanon, in effect, don’t expect us to protect you from Israel if you keep letting Hezbollah bring in more arms. Now maybe you think this is not news – that the current U.S. administration has supported Israel’s right to self defense from the get-go, but to me, this is news. And  whether the woman means what she says or not, at least in this instance, I’m not here to say. At least not today.

Shalit-Israeli-Arabs And now it’s beginning to look like the Arab world is having second thoughts about its opposition to Israel. Say what!? Well, at least the Arab League is now saying it’s OK to talk. That might not seem like much, but it does represent a shift.  And here’s something that we didn’t expect (although it’s only right): Israeli Arabs demonstrated in front of the Egyptian Embassy in favor of the release of kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit. Actually, this isn’t all that shocking, considering the little known fact that the vast majority of Arabs living in Israel do actually support the Israeli government. But it bears repeating.

ap_Muhammad_Tahir_ul_Qadri_100302_mn Now this is strange: the leader of a global Muslim movement has issued a strongly worded fatwa against terrorism. I don’t have a problem with that, do you?

And regarding anti-Semitism overseas? Well, there’s not much good news there – except Canada’s Ontario Legislature just passed a resolution condemning the annual anti-Israel event known as “Apartheid Week.” I might have mentioned this before, but, to summarize the words yesterday of Washington Post writer Richard Cohen, Israel is not South Africa.

Yet we still must – I repeat, must – have more sense than to blithely accept everything at face value, pleasant or unpleasant; we simply have to, as a matter of survival, roll up our sleeves and dig beneath the surface in all things. And that takes work. I truly hope my readers don’t think that I have a lot of answers here. I don’t carry the ball – I just try to say “whoa” once in a while when I see something coming that’s just not right. U.S. Vice President Joe Biden is visiting Israel this week. During the 2008 presidential campaign, then-Senator Biden was presented, as I recall, as a supporter of Israel. Maybe he is, in some ways. But take care – read these beneath-the-surface observations by respected columnist Caroline Glick during an interview published today in Israel National News.

In some words written several centuries ago, test and prove all things until you can recognize what is good, and then hold on tight to that.

Shalom, y’all.



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Filed under 140s, Perspectives

Redefining Apartheid

Apartheid SA VS Israel-THUMBIn an earlier post, I attempted to illustrate how ludicrous the idea is of applying the label “apartheid” to the conflicts involving  Arabs against Israel. The divisions and conflicts which existed a generation ago in South Africa simply are not what we’re dealing with in the Middle East.

But today I saw, in coverage of events planned soon for something called “apartheid week,” that there is a broader sense in which the term is being used, namely as a generic term for any situation where a government or regime is abusing the human rights of its own people.

Saudi_brutal_execution_web If that’s the case, it certainly makes identifying apartheid regimes much simpler. No doubt we can very well include under that label most if not all of Israel’s current enemies, perhaps starting with the number one leader of the Arab states, Saudi Arabia. And we don’t have to restrict ourselves to Arab states; Iran, though not Arab, has been very much in the news for its abuse of its own people right about now, and is hands down Israel’s most blatant opponent at this time.  Then there is, of course, Syria, the Hamas regime itself in Gaza, and… I’ll tell you what – you find me one of Israel’s Middle Eastern foes which isn’t an oppressive “apartheid” state, according this version of the term.

But still, that isn’t what the term ever meant, nor should we play so fast and loose with the language that we all become like Humpty Dumpty.

"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less."

"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master – – that’s all."

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PalRiots4-Reuters-WEB Another current situation I’ve commented on a few times now is the escalating violence fomented by the Palestinian Authority over Israel’s proposal to designate locations within the country as “National Heritage” sites. It has gotten so bad that I began to wonder if there maybe wasn’t actually some aspect of the plan that normal right-minded people had good reason to be disturbed over.

So I went back and looked, thinking I might have been missing something, but nope – it’s just a hiking trail they’re upset about. Nobody is suggesting encroaching on anyone else’s land, activities, or rights. It’s simply officially saying ‘these places are significant to our history.’  Of course, neither am I suggesting that Abu Mazen or any of the others behind the violence are the least bit sincere in their motives. It’s just another excuse for them to launch violent attacks; sanity is not a pre-requisite.

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That’s about it from me for tonight. I’ve been watching the news on the  8.8 magnitude Chile earthquake and resulting tsunami warnings. I try to keep my focus in this blog on other matters, so I won’t have much to say about it here, other than that we all should be watching, and praying, day by day.

Hold the line.

Comments Off on Redefining Apartheid

Filed under 140s, Palestinian Prevarication, World against Israel