Let’s Have a Real Apartheid Education Week

Every year at about this time, radical Islamic students—aided by radical anti-Israel professors—hold an event they call “Israel Apartheid Week.”  During this week, they try to persuade students on campuses around the world to demonize Israel as an apartheid regime.  Most students seem to ignore the rantings of these extremists, but some naïve students seem to take them seriously.  Some pro-Israel and Jewish students claim that they are intimidated when they try to respond to these untruths.  As one who strongly opposes any censorship, my solution is to fight bad speech with good speech, lies with truth and educational malpractice with real education.

Accordingly, I support a “Middle East Apartheid Education Week” to be held at universities throughout the world.  It would be based on the universally accepted human rights principle of “the worst first.”  In other words, the worst forms of apartheid being practiced by Middle East nations and entities would be studied and exposed first.  Then the apartheid practices of other countries would be studied in order of their seriousness and impact on vulnerable minorities.

Under this principle, the first country studied would be Saudi Arabia.  That tyrannical kingdom practices gender apartheid to an extreme, relegating women to an extremely low status.  Indeed, a prominent Saudi Imam recently issued a fatwa declaring that anyone who advocates women working alongside men or otherwise compromises with absolute gender apartheid is subject to execution.  The Saudis also practice apartheid based on sexual orientation, executing and imprisoning gay and lesbian Saudis.  Finally, Saudi Arabia openly practices religious apartheid.  It has special roads for “Muslims only.”  It discriminates against Christians, refusing them the right to practice their religion openly.  And needless to say, it doesn’t allow Jews the right to live in Saudi Arabia, to own property or even (with limited exceptions) to enter the country.  Now that’s apartheid with a vengeance.

The second entity on any apartheid list would be Hamas, which is the de facto government of the Gaza Strip.  Hamas too discriminates openly against women, gays, Christians.  It permits no dissent, no free speech, and no freedom of religion.

Every single Middle East country practices these forms of apartheid to one degree or another.  Consider the most “liberal” and pro-American nation in the area, namely Jordan.  The Kingdom of Jordan, which the King himself admits is not a democracy, has a law on its books forbidding Jews from becoming citizens or owning land.  Despite the efforts of its progressive Queen, women are still de facto subordinate in virtually all aspects of Jordanian life.

Iran, of course, practices no discrimination against gays, because its President has assured us that there are no gays in Iran.  In Pakistan, Sikhs have been executed for refusing to convert to Islam, and throughout the Middle East, honor killings of women are practiced, often with a wink and a nod from the religious and secular authorities.

Every Muslim country in the Middle East has a single, established religion, namely Islam, and makes no pretense of affording religious equality to members of other faiths.  That is a brief review of some, but certainly not all, apartheid practices in the Middle East.

Now let’s turn to Israel.  The secular Jewish state of Israel recognizes fully the rights of Christians and Muslims and prohibits any discrimination based on religion (except against Conservative and Reform Jews, but that’s another story!)  Muslim and Christian citizens of Israel (of which there are more than a million) have the right to vote and have elected members of the Knesset, some of whom even oppose Israel’s right to exist.  There is an Arab member of the Supreme Court, an Arab member of the Cabinet and numerous Israeli Arabs in important positions in businesses, universities and the cultural life of the nation.  A couple of years ago I attended a concert at the Jerusalem YMCA at which Daniel Barrenboim conducted a mixed orchestra of Israeli and Palestinian musicians.  There was a mixed audience of Israelis and Palestinians, and the man sitting next to me was an Israeli Arab, who is the culture minister of the State of Israel.  Can anyone imagine that kind of concert having taking place in apartheid South Africa, or in apartheid Saudi Arabia?

There is complete freedom of dissent in Israel and it is practiced vigorously by Muslims, Christians and Jews alike.  And Israel is a vibrant democracy.

What is true of Israel proper, including Israeli Arab areas, is not true of the occupied territories.  Israel ended its occupation of the Gaza several years ago, only to be attacked by Hamas rockets.  Israel maintains its occupation of the West Bank only because the Palestinians walked away from a generous offer of statehood on 97% of the West Bank, with its capital in Jerusalem and with a $35 billion compensation package for refugees.  Had it accepted that offer by President Bill Clinton and Prime Minister Ehud Barak, there would be a Palestinian state in the West Bank.  There would be no separation barrier.  There would be no roads restricted to Israeli citizens (Jews, Arabs and Christians.) And there would be no civilian settlements.  I have long opposed civilian settlements in the West Bank, as many, perhaps most Israelis, do.  But to call an occupation, which continues because of the refusal of the Palestinians to accept the two-state solution, “Apartheid” is to misuse that word.  As those of us who fought in the actual struggle of apartheid well understand, there is no comparison between what happened in South Africa and what is now taking place on the West Bank.  As Congressman John Conyors, who helped found the congressional Black caucus, well put it:

“[Applying the word “Apartheid” to Israel] does not serve the cause of peace, and the use of it against the Jewish people in particular, who have been victims of the worst kind of discrimination, discrimination resulting in death, is offensive and wrong.”

The current “Israel Apartheid Week” on universities around the world, by focusing only on the imperfections of the Middle East’s sole democracy, is carefully designed to cover up far more serious problems of real apartheid in Arab and Muslim nations.  The question is why do so many students identify with regimes that denigrate women, gays, non-Muslims, dissenters, environmentalists and human rights advocates, while demonizing a democratic regime that grants equal rights to women (the chief justice and speaker of the Parliament of Israel are women), gays (there are openly gay generals in the Israeli Army), non-Jews (Muslims and Christians serve in high positions in Israel) and dissenters,   (virtually all Israelis dissent about something).  Israel has the best environmental record in the Middle East, it exports more life saving medical technology than any country in the region and it has sacrificed more for peace than any country in the Middle East.  Yet on many college campuses democratic, egalitarian Israel is a pariah, while sexist, homophobic, anti-Semitic, terrorist Hamas is a champion.  There is something very wrong with this picture.

  • BS1977

    Good article…too bad no one on the loser left will accept what it says….Israel is far more diverse, pluralistic, democratic; it's courts and laws are largely modern , secular and humanistic….the society is inclusive, tolerant and fairly open…especially when you compare it to places nearby!!

    • WarWeasle

      Um…you might want to tone down the rhetoric. I am liberal, but I aware that no one over there is our friend. They work on us to get what they want. If it were up to me, I would convert to something other than gasoline and let this region destroy itself instead of injecting all the rulers with free money. Why don't you give some of us 'liberals' a dose of respect and you might be surprised at what *we* could accomplish.

  • BS1977

    Please end your robotic cut and paste inclusions every day, every article….enough already!!!

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/Swemson Swemson


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      You're just a minimum wage putz hanging out by the door handing out leaflets to everyone you see.

      Get a life !


  • Shalom Freedman

    Alan Dershowitz gets it right here. But he forgot the major culprit the Palestinian Arabs. They now have two sources of 'government'. 'Hamas' is a radical Islamic totalitarian hate- filled group whose first aim is to destroy Israel. 'Fatah' is understood to be more moderate. But it too shows strong signs of the 'totalitarian mind'. It denies completely the reality of any Jewish historical place on the Temple Mount. It insists on 'peace conditions' whose realization would mean the destruction of Israel. It engages in vicious propaganda which demonizes Israel.
    No one however, even most left- of – center Israelis, and certainly the Administration in Washington wants to admit the truth about the Palestinians.

    • niam

      Washington and Israel are concocting stories to justify their inhuman acts against the unarmed poor palestinians. The nations keeping their own benefits have adjusted to foreign relation and boasting about welfare of humanity. Hundreds of poor humans are dying througout the world due to starvation and deseases. who cares. Millions of budget allotted for wars and weapons. The wars and weapons are the instruments which brought downfall of great nation. The Arabs are selfish fools wasting the resources in luxury and the Washington is selfish Shylock making money.Poor Palistinians, tomorrow is yours.

      • davarino

        Hmm, simplistic and naive. These are the thoughts of a 12 year old. Unable to consider the facts, or an appoligist of a tyrannical regime.

      • Democracy First

        Palestinians have killed thousands of Israelis over the years, from before and after Israel's recreation (and from before Arafat invented a nationality for these former Egyptians and Jordanians). And you know they launched thousands of rockets from unoccupied Gaza in the years preceding Israel's far too late response. So, they're hardly "unarmed."

        The day Palestinians take yes for an answer to the permanent offer of a state of their own, contingent on pretty much nothing aside from letting Israel live in peace, you may gtet your wish: tomorrow will be theirs.

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  • badaboo

    The symptoms of the virus called islam appear more and more , AND in more places . They would seek to infect the world country by country with their own special malady – JEW HATE . This will not go away , nor will anyone "reason it away " …islam is completely immune to logic , reason and any sane notions of right and wrong . These people will live in peace with NO ONE , not even amongst themselves , as they will kill each other over sectarian differences . , and THAT is self-evident .
    This is a hard truth for civilised people to reconcile , but if all peoples not in this CULT do not in fact recognize this most basic truth about the cult of islam ….then they will fall victim to it . It is the dogma of the cult itself which generates and re-enforces each generation of maniacal adherents .

  • niam

    The world has seen the rise and fall of great nation like Rome, Ancient Isreal,Persia etc. When a nation will monopolise and suppress the rights of other humans in the world, its down fall starts. The people of America are great humanbeings but their rulers are selfish tyrants who killed innocent people around the world. To expand the US Arms & ammunition industry, they instigate inwardly one nation against other and sell their goods.If they have any value for humanity, they should abstain from it otherwise, take it granted that downfall has started.

    • guest

      you are delusional boy, go see a doctor to set your brain straight naim or is it really niam

  • niam

    People living in fools paradise presume that the ambition of Islam is to conquer and implement sharia law. Majority of muslims are hypocrites, they immitate the west in their attire, culture etc. Have a reasonable thinking and be not a part of propaganda of the threat. There is no threat from any one to any one. The hate mongers spread rumours against each other for their selfish designs. Basically every human heart has a feeling for others, let it flourish and spread its fragrance.

  • niam

    Peace is possible when u admit the greatness of other humans crossing the national, racial and religious ego. Right from the begining of history, u find that different races are fighting and its an urge for existance due to which they want to see the end for others. Modern education has softened this urge and people have realised that killing others for their racial/national/religious ego is the biggest sin, which history never forgives.

    • davarino

      Ya right niam, you figured it out, all we have to do is be nice to these barbarians and they will be nice to us.

  • JB in LA


    The day will never come when Arab nations are held to any standard of decency. Let's cut the self-delusion about what Arab nations respect: Strength is all they respect. Negotiation is weakness. They are all lying scum, as proven by Oslo.

  • aliko

    The real question to Dershowitz is why he doesn't make it a defamation/libel/slander case in court?

    Who needs another article? more of the same comparisons and defensive statements that nobody can hear because there's an army of liars screaming everywhere.

    As an Israeli, I feel my government failed over the years and the blame is especially on the general attorney.

    Looking the other way just for fear of harming the freedom of speech has nothing to do with democracy. It's time to make people accountable when they spread extreme lies that provide moral support for terror and genocide.

    • Cheryl Mav

      I agree with you completely, aliko, but how would you suggest that we make these liars accountable? There is so much distortion, slander and defamation "out there" – from public school "educators" and university "indoctrinators" to the Internet itself (just see what drivel comes up when you type the keywords "Jew" or "Israel").

      It's impossible to even attempt to engage these anti-Semites – and let's face it, that's exactly what they are – in a discussion. While I'd like to see them wiped off the face of the earth, the question remains – how to stop their lies? Can they legally be held accountable? Might Mr. Dershowitz enlighten us as to how that can be accomplished?

      As an American Jew and an ardent Zionist, I am feeling more and more a minority in my own country, and even among my "fellow Jews" who have bought the apartheid lie lock, stock and barrel. Sometimes I feel that the only solution is to move to Israel and truly live my life in accordance with my beliefs.

      Chazak v'amatz!

  • Sammy L

    Mr. Dershowitz, who on campus support these anti-Israel rallies? LIBERALS!!!!

    • BS1977

      Funny how there is the thundering silence over the brutal genocidal eliminationism in Sudan….total apartheid mass murder, village burnings, forced expulsions in Darfur…but the UN has largely done nothing about this evil…..it's far easier to propagandize against Israel as Carter did in his idiotic book, which promoted the apartheid lies about Israel.

      • http://intensedebate.com/people/Swemson Swemson

        The UN won't do anything about that other than to enable the butchery. The leaders of the UN think that they should control the entire world, because the planet cannot be home to more than 500 million people. In their vision of utopia, over 90 billion people would have to go because we're overtaxing the world's natural resources. It's all a load of crap of course. Hopefully they'll soon be another historical foot note in the long line of previous megalomaniacs who wanted to, dare I say it… Rule the World!

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  • netwit

    "Can anyone imagine that kind of concert taking place… in apartheid Saudi Arabia?" Actually, Alan, I find it hard to imagine ANY kind of concert taking place in Saudi Arabia. If these sand zombies could appreciate a Beethoven symphony or an opera by Mozart there probably wouldn't be any problem with their attitude toward women, Jews or Christians, etc. Recall what Shakespeare wrote about people who don't like music: "Let no such [men] be trusted."

  • pitt

    ISLAM is Farsi for "those who tongue-bath the anuses of the shit eaters". So, it is obvious that Muslims are a lower order of human being. This becomes evident when one considers that Canada spent $1 BILLION on security for the TWO WEEKS of the 2010 winter Olympics. Why was that necessary? Because of the one or two religious nuts in the States who shoot an abortion doctor every 10 years? It is because of the sub-men, the Muslim hoard with the grade two educations who piss on everybody else's party. Fuck them. We owe them nothing.

    • hexag1

      Im opposed to Islamic totalitarianism as much as the next guy, but the post above seems more than slightly bigoted.

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  • proxywar

    <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/…” target=”_blank”>http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/

    Hey, Horowtiz or Dershowitz, you guys must read this article I found on Rachel Maddows twitter account. She's openly advocating via this article a moral relativism between Al-qaedas Dr. Fadl's theological justifications for takfirism with Bush's and John Yoo's enhanced interrogation tactics. There is simplely no correlation here, this article should have been honest and stated Al-qaeda did not go outside its realm of traditional Sharia law.

    These people litterally think of the Bush government as Al-qaeda.

    I can't believe frontpagemag missed this article.

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  • aloysiusmiller

    Didn't Dershowitz vote for Obama?

    • Teq

      He sure did. Dershowitz continues to cling to liberalism even as he denounces everything libearls do. And even though I always enjoy listening to his dynamic speeches I don't quite trust him. I saw a "debate" between him and Ben Ami (the J-Street founder) moderated by Eliot Spitzer and they were all very cozy with each other. The "debate" ended with them all agreeing that they have much in common and the same goals. Dershowitz needs to examine the contradictions he practices.

    • JohnC

      I don't think it is germane who Mr. Dershowitz voted for in the last presidential election. Maybe I missed something when reading this well reasoned article.

  • http://www.jcpa.org Debka

    The Campaign to Delegitimize Israel with the False Charge of Apartheid
    By Robbie Sabel

    Israel is a multi-racial society, and the Arab minority actively participates in the political process. There are Arab parliamentarians, Arab judges including the Supreme Court, Arab Cabinet ministers, Arab heads of hospital departments, Arab university professors, Arab diplomats in the Foreign Service, and very senior Arab police and army officers. Incitement to racism in Israel is a criminal offence, as is discrimination on the basis of race or religion. The comparison of Israel to South Africa under white supremist rule has been utterly rejected by those with intimate understanding of the old Apartheid system.

    For the entire article please see: http://www.jcpa.org/text/apartheid.pdf

  • andrew

    why not point out muslim/arab treatment of blacks ?? if you wan't to get attention

    in america, the best way to do it, is to mention any discrimination (real or imagined) against

    blacks………its a winning strategy and its factual !!!!

    • anabellab12

      What are you trying to say? That blacks are treated worse than muslims? This is ridiculous! http://wire-spools.com

  • http://islamsfatalflaw.blogspot.com/ Bob Smith

    Islam is a cult. It may be a big successful cult, but it is still a cult. And cult members are hard to reason with.

    Why so many non-Muslims are willing to go along with the cult only proves you can fool some of the people all of the time.

    • Ithaca

      Every religion starts as a cult. The main defining feature of a religion is the number of members and it's acceptance by the government/tax exempt status.

      Extremists of any variety are difficult to deal with. Find a decent speaker for your cause and your bound to find sympathizers outside of your own members.

  • BS1977

    Some Apartheid is understandable. Keeping suicide bombers, snipers and rocket launchers from killing people is not a bad policy. In this sense, most rational governments do things to protect their people and property….there are restrictions, rules, laws, societal limits on immigration that insure enemy combatants, terrorists, fugitives, illegal aliens do not flood into the country. Is this apartheid? Israel is doing what it can to stop terrorist murder. If you want to see a truly apartheid country, go visit Arabia. There are extremely strict immigration policies. No churches, temples, synagogues are permitted. There is no "amnesty" program in the works for illegal immigrants. In fact, I would guess there are zero illegal immigrants in Arabia. They know how to protect their nation, unlike some moronic liberal nations in the west.

  • Linda Rivera

    I am very concerned that Robert Bernier's comments were deleted by the Administrator. Robert's comments were always respectful; always used decent language. And were factual and informative. I was happy to see his comments!

    As Robert's comments were pro-Israel, pro-human rights, pro Free World, does this mean if we are pro-Israel, pro Free World, we will be in danger of having our comments deleted by the Administrator??????????

  • Paul

    Good article, Mr Dershowitz. I wonder why though, that you make no refrence to the college leftists, who support this anti Israel garbage.

  • George Duska Sr.

    For all those appeasing Islamic behavior :
    " Just because you are not paranoid does
    not mean they are not out to get you"

  • http://lolozpinefurniture.co.uk Jim

    You cannot hold against a people their religious beliefs. These beliefs have been handed down for thousands of years. One person cannot change that and never will. How would you feel if someone told you that your religion was wrong?

  • jessup

    @ Bryan

    I hope you realize all religions are a cult and there is no need to single out Muslims.

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    I agree with jessup. I'm sure that Bryan has never think this. It is very interesting. They can't see that they are seen on the same way that they see others. And I'm sure when Bryan reads jessup's post he'll be schocked. And will realize it.

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  • Mark
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    Anything can be termed a cult simply by gathering to celebrate a certain religion. Lets not go down that road

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    Very thought provoking article with some very debatable points, as for middle east countries they do what they want and seem to be a hundred years or so behind the rest of the worl when it comes to equality.

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