Apartheid, Jewish Style


Andrzej Koraszewski 2014-01-27


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On our facebook page a reader who calls himself Pablo Vitasso asked if criticizing Israel is allowed. (He posted this question under the article by Nick Cohen about an exhibition by an Iranian artist living in Denmark, where one of exhibits was stones of the size recommended by both shari’a and the law of Iran for stoning women.)

This is apparently a question which torments this reader, as he asks it regularly and on the most varied occasions. I tried to explain to him that the whole world is criticizing Israel incessantly and there are no signs that there is any hindrance to doing so and that maybe it is worth asking if it is allowed to reveal false information so often included in this criticism, like disseminating the pictures of children killed in Syria as victims of Israel, telling about Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons without saying that they are murderers of children and the elderly, or withholding the information that Palestinian participants of “peace talks” do not recognize Israel and announce their intention to “liberate all of Palestine”. Our regular reader was a bit hurt by my blunt answer and I returned to the guest for information about which neither Gazeta Wyborcza (Polish main daily) nor The New York Timeswill inform me.


Is it allowed to describe life-saving Israeli inventions? Is it allowed to mention that every time there is a natural disaster anywhere Israeli humanitarian help comes immediately? This type of information drives this type of readers to extreme despair. They so fervently want to convince us that Israel is an apartheid state and the greatest threat to world peace, that it is maltreating poor Palestinians, that it constantly commits the crime of house building which  - absolutely correctly, according to our reader – dwarfs every act of genocide, every murder and every act of terror in the world.


This one reader is a figure without any significance. Those who are important are politicians, diplomats representing their countries at the U.N., editors of big newspapers and TV stations, people who hijacked organizations like Amnesty International or Human Rights Watch. The murderous obsession which has repeatedly infected the minds of the residents of our planet has returned. When in an Israeli bus a sleeping Israeli soldier is slaughtered with a knife, the New York Times publishes a big picture of the mother of the murderer, devastated, presumably, because her son has been arrested.


On Saturday November 16 2013 the director of the Amnesty International office in Israel, Yonatan Gher, published in a magazine +972 an article under the title“A year after 'Pillar of Defense,' the nightmare continues”.


The first sentence is in bold:


A year after 165 Palestinians and six Israelis were killed, political leaders have yet to conduct independent, impartial investigations into allegations of human rights violations.


The author writes about the inhabitants of Gaza, who have been forgotten by the world. He starts with the story of a 13-year old boy killed by Israeli drone on 12 November 2012 and in the eighth paragraph he mentions:


In Israel, too, civilians bore the brunt of the conflict. Palestinian armed groups fired more than 1,500 rockets and mortars during the eight days. The vast majority of these weapons were indiscriminate, meaning that they were not capable of being directed at military targets and therefore their use violated international humanitarian law.


One can hear a constant regret that in this conflict usually there are more dead among those who started the shooting than among those who defended themselves, a genuine horror that so few Jews are dying in spite of the best efforts by the Arabs.


The director of the Amnesty International Office in Israel is writing about the forgotten inhabitants of Gaza. I was an Amnesty International activist when this organization didn’t have either offices or directors, but everybody knew from beginning to end and back again the article by its founder, Peter Benenson, about the forgotten prisoners of conscience. Benenson, who inspired a movement for remembering those forgotten prisoners of conscience, never himself became a member of Amnesty International and unlike the founder of Human Rights Watch, Robert Bernstein, he didn’t have to resign and dissociate himself from this organization. The movement started by Benenson was not supposed to take care of murderers and terrorists; it defined very clearly who the prisoners of conscience were and was supposed to limit its activities strictly to them alone. (Incidentally, Peter Benenson is our compatriot in a way: his family came from Pinsk).


Amnesty International dismissed an employee when she objected to the open promotion of terrorists. It has issued hundreds of statements about Israeli apartheid and as a rule never corrects information it disseminates which later is shown to be false. When it comes to this conflict AI consistently gives data from the most biased sources. (For example, after Operation Cast Lead the Israeli side stated that among the dead Palestinians in Gaza 709 were terrorists, Hamas stated that 600 to 700 fighters were martyred, and Amnesty International reported that only 92 people died with weapons in their hands[ 1 ]).


The apartheid accusation is especially curious for anybody who has ever been on an Israeli beach, walked down a street in any Israeli town, visited an Israeli hospital, or has been following Israeli politics and knows what South African apartheid was.


Ayoub Kara, Israeli Deputy Minister for development in the Negev and Galilee (incidentally, a Druze),  revealed in December last year that he has sent his representative to Jordan with the aim of organizing aid for Syrian children wounded during the Syrian conflict and staying in Jordan[ 2 ]. Since then dozens of Syrians have been treated in Israeli hospitals and many tons of food has reached the camps for Syrian refugees [ 3 ]. The Arab press reports devious schemes Jews hatch under the guise of aid.


Israeli volunteers also give aid to refugees in Syria itself. A woman who started this activity three years ago, says: 


"We're here to be a voice for the voiceless and give some perspective to the world," she said. "Israel is a country that was started by a nation almost gone extinct in the Holocaust, and this aid is our way of saying, 'Never again'. We can't be silent even when there are other people involved." [ 4 ]


Pablo Vitasso will probably not understand what a descendant of Jews from Pinsk, Peter Benenson, wanted to say in his article about forgotten prisoners of conscience, nor is he likely to understand what some Jewess, who for almost three years has been risking her life in Syria, is really saying.


Let us therefore return to Israeli apartheid. The Financial Times published an article by John Reed on 12 November 2013 about Israeli help for the victims of the war in Syria [ 5 ]


In the first paragraph it says:


„The patients are brought to hospital, on their own or in groups, with dreadful injuries: severe burns, bones broken, skulls cracked open and organs lacerated by bullets or shrapnel from bombs. Many are unconscious when they arrive."


When they awake and discover that they are on the territory of their archenemy some of them panic and they are calmed down by somebody from among the staff who speaks Arabic, often with a Syrian accent. They are taken to the hospital in Nahariya by military ambulances, then they are left in care of Arabic speaking staff whose task is both to ascertain the medical problems and to reassure the frightened patients. This is not the only Israeli hospital saving lives of the victims of the Syrian civil war.


Israel is neutral in this conflict but people seeking help at the border are not sent away empty-handed. They are getting food and medical help, and in cases of serious injuries they are taken to the hospital.


This help gives rise to angry growls from Damascus. Assad’s regime accuses Israel of treating “members of armed gangs”. Doctors confirm that some of the wounded men were connected to the Free Syrian Army, but they also had cases of soldiers from the government side. Most, however, are civilians, often children. The treatment of the wounded from both fighting sides sometimes requires separating them in the hospital or they could kill each other.


There is a five-minute video attached to the article in which the author shows some cases. John Reed talks about a sixteen year old with a jaw ripped away by a bullet, about a man with a leg broken in four places and a skull contusion, and about the horror of this war. You can see conspicuous apartheid: nurses in Islamic headscarves working together with nurses who might be either Jews or Arabs for all anyone can tell. There are Arab patients, Jewish patients, and doctors trying to do their best to save patients who may hate them. Apartheid like in South Africa or even worse, right?


In the Philippines, far away from Israel, an Israeli field hospital with the capacity for 500 patients has been operational for a few days. On 14 November the first baby was born in this hospital. The parents decided to name the baby boy Israel. The news about the existence of this hospital infuriated Mr. Ali A., who tweeted to the world:



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Humane attitudes towards gays is “pinkwashing”, compassion for the victims of natural disasters is “bluewashing”.  The same, always the same.


Our reader, Pablo Vitasso, when asked if he ever protested against lies spread about Israel, answered:   


...you don’t tolerate opinions other than your own, and the political issue of the occupation of Palestine is your most painful subject, that’s why I’m reminding you about it. And the conclusions will be drawn by your readers.


This reader doesn’t say what he means by “Palestine”. Does he, like Hamas, understand by it the area “from the River to the Sea”, or does he understand it the way President Abbas does, who in English states that he acknowledges Israel and in Arabic says the same as Hamas, or then again, would he agree with a Palestinian writer, Mudar Zahran, who presents it differently:  


Our reader does not write what he understands by “occupation”, since there never existed any state of “Palestine”, and if he is talking only about Judea and Samaria, those territories were occupied in 1948-1967 by Jordan and were later the subject of peace negotiations, invariably torpedoed by Arab states.


This, however, is not important, after all, Pablo Vitasso has not come to talk. Like millions of other people writing on the Internet or people demonstrating on the streets, he is expressing his regret that so few Israelis are dying in spite of such huge efforts by those Arabs who are not incarcerated in Arab prisons for the crime of wanting a real peace. Some of those million-strong masses are only writing comments with innocent questions: “Is criticizing Israel allowed?”, some are demonstrating their need to fight for a “free Poland” under the flag of Hezbollah.*



Our reader is not important, he is just parroting what the millions say, but millions are important for politicians.


Israel is defending itself from another extermination, now mounted by the Islamic world with the acquiescence of the rest of the so-called civilized world. Israel is protecting its citizens from constant armed attacks and Israeli society is defending itself from hatred and the loss of the ability to feel compassion. Apartheid, Jewish style.


UPDATE 1:

After writing this article I heard the news that a granddaughter of Ismail Haniyeh, the head of Hamas, who promises to obliterate Israel with weapons, who swears that he will never acknowledge the existence of this “Zionist entity” and will torpedo each and every peace treaty with Israel, was admitted to an Israeli hospital in an attempt to save her life.


 Footnotes:

[ 1 ] See: Camera.org

[ 2 ] Israelis work in Jordan to assist Syrian refugees

[ 3 ] Israeli group quietly feeding Syrian refugees in Jordan

[ 4 ] Report: Israeli aid workers inside Syria

[ 5 ] Israel quietly treats Syria war victims, (behind a paywall)

Translation: Małgorzata Koraszewska and Sarah Lawson

Update 2
27 January 2014

Here is the entire statement put out by the EU's Catherine Ashton on the occasion of Holocaust Memorial Day:

Today the international community remembers the victims of the Holocaust. We honour every one of those brutally murdered in the darkest period of European history. We also want to pay a special tribute to all those who acted with courage and sacrifice to protect their fellow citizens against persecution.

On Holocaust Remembrance Day, we must keep alive the memory of this tragedy. It is an occasion to remind us all of the need to continue fighting prejudice and racism in our own time. We must remain vigilant against the dangers of hate speech and redouble our commitment to prevent any form of intolerance. The respect of human rights and diversity lies at the heart of what the European Union stands for.

Can anyone find the word that Ashton manages to avoid using?

Oh, yeah - the victims.
From Elder of Ziyon