On Apartheid

No one can put it better for the masses than Juan Cole:

Netanyahu wants the Palestinians to acknowledge that Israel is a “Jewish state.” I don’t understand this demand. Israel is not a Jewish state, it is a multi-cultural state, with about half a million non-Jewish Russians and Ukrainians and 20% of its population is Arab. If “Jewish” is meant religiously, then observant Jews are actually a minority of the population in Israel. If “Jewish” is meant racially, then it is a particularly shameful demand. It is like demanding either that the US be recognized as a “Christian” country or as a “white” country. Obama was ill-advised to use the diction, himself.

14 replies on “On Apartheid”

Multicultural, eh? Then do explain to me why every past executive and legislative leader in Israel was and is Jewish. Or is there a non-Jewish member of the Knesset I don’t know about?

Fair enough, Jillian. But even that link indicates several of the Arabs are Druze, which is a far cry from Palestinian.

So let’s get to the heart of Juan’s post which you quote. If the Palestinians have lived within Israel for so long, and if Juan Cole is correct, then how come there aren’t Palestinian members of the Knesset?

There are, Ari: Azmi Bishara, Mohammed Watad, Ahmad Tibi…need I continue?

And regardless, Druze is not “a far cry from” Palestinian! There are Palestinian Druze as well, just as there are Syrian and other Druze who empathize with Palestine (just as there are Jews, Americans, etc, etc that empathize with Palestine, of course).

What you really meant is Muslim, right?

hey Ari,

That wiki article which Jillian links to lists 13 CURRENT Arab Knneset members, Palestinians are Arabs as far as I remember, what do you think?

And really, it’s an outcry saying that Druze aren’t Palestinian, it’s a sect, a religion, not an ethnicity. There are Druze in Syria, and in Lebanon as well, and yes they ARE Syrian and Lebanese respectively.

Just please don’t mix religion with ethnicity, Palestinians are mostly if not all Arabs, whether they be Muslim, Christian, or Druze. and as far as I see, all of them were represented in the Knnesset.

Also your point does nothing but affirm that Israel treats non Jewish citizens as inferiors.

Multicultural, eh? Then do explain to me why every past executive and legislative leader in Israel was and is Jewish. Or is there a non-Jewish member of the Knesset I don’t know about?

Hi Jillian,

I think you may have misconceptions about the Jewish state. For any comments or critique on the information I present, please feel free to reply :-)

you may read the indepndence declartion of the Jewish state:

by the international agreement of the league of nations it was declared as a Jewish state, that should provide the right of non-Jewish people.

It was accepted as a Jewish state because of the well known history of the Jews around the world. in 1947, The UN, also accepted it as a Jewish state, and he declerd also on an Arab-Palestinen state beside her. It was the Arab armies that attacked Israel, and therefore caused the 48′ war. This left the Palestinians the Gaza, Sommeria and Jewdia areas for their land. but it was occupied by Egypt and Jordan, until 67′.

There where much more then 13 Arab PMs. This is because Israel is a democratic state, which allows minorities to represent themselves in the parliament.

Jews are defined as people that has Jewish origins, or converted to Jedwisem. therefore scholar Jews are still Jews.


Ari poses the same rhetoric as most Israelis I’ve met. He wants to use logic that follows:

• All “Arabs” (most don’t even want to legitimize Palestinians by calling them as such) are Muslims, and all Muslims are not rightful residents of the lands occupied by Israeli settlers, known to many as Palestine. He wants to use the same logic that a Druze is not (and could not be) a Palestinian, since by his logic, Palestinians are all Arab Muslims.

Sadly, his logic is echoed by many mainstream Western news sources.

Thanks Shawn – and you’re precisely right. Also, the Israeli assumptions about Druze are disheartening…just because the Druze in Israel think one way (and even that isn’t true), there can be no assumption that Druze across the board are one Israel-loving entity. Crazy.

Please don’t put words in my mouth, Shawn. I am well aware–and have met–both Christian and Hindu Arabs, as well as Druze. My comment of “far cry” was indicative more of the role that the Druze play as allies with Israel against Hezbollah, whereas most Palestinians agree with the Hezbollah dogma that Palestine belongs (only) to the Palestinians.

If you go back to my initial comment last month, I reacted to Jillian’s support of Juan Cole’s belief that Netanyahu is incorrect to ask Palestinians to acknowledge Israel a Jewish state. Using Wikipedia’s 2005 statistics as a benchmark (, 76% of the Israeli population are Jews.

Would you agree with the statement that “Israel is a Jewish state by majority?”

Israeli Druze, Ari, not Druze on the whole. Trust me, Syrian Druze don’t feel the same way about Israel as their Israeli citizen counterparts. I don’t even think your statement is accurate about Golanis, on the whole.

Israel IS a Jewish state by majority, but that doesn’t make discrimination okay. America is a Christian state by majority. What’s your point?

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