> Emperor's CLothes Newsletter
> Is it Antisemitic to Criticize Israel?
> Is Israel an 'Apartheid State'?
> by Jared Israel
> [Posted 27 January 2004]
> * Summary *
> It is now commonplace for those attacking Israel to call it an 'Apartheid
State.' EC Editor Jared Israel examines one piece of evidence for this
accusation and finds it to be a clever lie. Mr. Israel argues that the
answer to the question, "Is it all right to criticize Israel?" is that it's
the wrong question. The right question is: "Is it all right to lie about
Israel?" The comparison between South Africa under Apartheid and Israel is
examined and found to be absurd. In conclusion, Mr. Israel comments on the
attempt by the pro-PLO forces to claim Martin Luther King as their own,
providing evidence that, once again, it's a lie.
> Jared Israel's text follows.
> -- John Flaherty
> Editorial Assistant, Emperor's Clothes
> * Analysis *
> Over the past year I've received several emails which claim Israel is an
'Apartheid state'. The writers make this accusation quite casually, as if
they were mentioning an established fact.
> The most recent such email was from one John Schultz, who wrote:
> "When Israel gets criticized some people become
defensive and say the
critic is an anti-Semite. I wonder if this is how you might feel about an
article by John Catalinotto of the ANSWER coalition [i.e., Ramsey Clark's
group - JI]. They had a rally addressed by an Israeli Arab leader named
Mohamed Kanana. He criticized Israel for its apartheid policies giving the
example that Arabs are 20% of Israel but that this "Twenty percent of the
population own only 3 percent of the land". I have been impressed by your
exposï¿½s on the PLO but now I would like to see an even-handed exposï¿½ of the
other side or do you believe that because Mohamed Kanana criticizes Israeli
apartheid this means he is an anti-Semite?" 
> Mr. Schultz has asked a loaded question. First, the word 'criticize'
suggests honest intent, as when one says, "Don't get defensive; listen to my
criticism." But Mr. Kanana, whom Mr. Schultz is quoting, is not criticizing
Israel; he is lying about the facts.
> Second, the statement, "Mohamed Kanana criticizes Israeli apartheid,"
assumes that Apartheid does in fact exist in Israel. As I will show, this is
> Is it all right to criticize Israel? Sure, but it's not all right to tell
lies which generate support for terror. If someone spreads the rumor that
you are a serial murderer, and you aren't, and if a lynch mob gathers
outside your window, you are not likely to consider this 'criticism.'
> The Western Establishments and their junior partners in the Arab countries
(and most of the supposed Left as well) are engaged in a campaign to
delegitimize Israel. This campaign is powered by systematic distortions in
the mainstream media and lies by Western and Arab leaders, academics, and
> Is Mr. Kanana personally antisemitic? I don't know him so I can't say,
but I can say this: he's a liar, and his lie does contribute to
antisemitism, about which more later.
> First let us attend to this matter of land ownership.
> * A clever lie *
> Is Mohamed Kanana *factually* wrong about Arab land ownership in Israel?
> No, not factually wrong. Israeli Arabs do make up 20% of the population
and they do own 3% of the land. So then how is he lying? Cleverly - by
omission. He leaves out a crucial fact: Jews make up 80% of the population
of Israel but own only 3.5% of the land!
> Consider the figures:
of Israeli population % of land owned in Israel
> Arabs 20%
> Jews 80%
> Do you see? Jews and Arabs own about the same amount of land even though
there are 4 times as many Jews as Arabs. Or to put it differently, Israeli
Arabs own more than twice as much land as you would expect based on their
percentage of the population. This is the opposite of what Mr. Kanana
communicated with his "Twenty percent own only 3%" argument. Indeed, if we
were to follow his logic it would be the Israeli Jews, not Arabs, who suffer
> Mr. Kanana knows that his audience is unaware that 93.5% of land in Israel
is state-owned or state-controlled. Only 6.5% is available for private
purchase. Of that, a disproportionately high share is held by Arabs. The
other 93.5% cannot be sold, it can only be leased to the general public,
whether Muslim, Christian or Jewish.
> * Trivializing the term 'Apartheid' and slandering Israel *
> If Mr. Kanana were right that Arabs own disproportionately little of
Israel's land (as noted, the evidence he himself has put forth suggests the
opposite) it would *not* prove Israel is an 'Apartheid state'. Apartheid
does not mean discrimination in land use. (By that standard, virtually every
country would be an Apartheid state because there is discrimination
everywhere.) The term 'Apartheid' refers to the system that existed in South
Africa, with draconian laws dividing the population into 'races' defined
according to a Nazi-like ideology. It means the segregation of these
supposed races, with radically different conditions of life prescribed for
each. It means the official sanctioning of hate speech; racism becomes state
> If Israel were an Apartheid state, the enemies of Israel could point to
laws based on a theory of supposedly superior and inferior races and they
could point to secret police terror to enforce those laws. They could point
to statistical evidence of the results of Apartheid: there would be extreme
differences between Jews and Arabs in telltale statistics such as infant
mortality and life expectancy, just as there were between blacks and whites
in South Africa. The professional Israel-bashers never mention such
statistics because the figures indicate that Israeli Arabs live *better*
than Arabs in any other country in the Middle East. 
> A notable feature of South African Apartheid was that black people were
deprived of all democratic rights. Those pushing the "Israel-is-Apartheid"
line want us to believe that Israeli Arabs are in the position of South
African blacks. But Israeli Arabs run for office and vote for a parliament
that decides the government of Israel.
> By way of comparison, how do Arabs fare in the so-called 'Arab countries'?
Do ordinary Arabs have democratic rights in Saudi Arabia? Not unless you
mean the right to support the ruling family. (There are 11 secret police
organizations in Saudi Arabia to accommodate those who do *not* support the
ruling family.) If Arabs in Libya or Egypt oppose the official antisemitic
hate propaganda or call for friendship with Israel they risk jail or worse.
What about Jordan? It is a monarchy, remember? Do Arabs have democratic
rights in Sudan? In Baath-run Syria? These are vicious dictatorships.
> What Kanana has done is typical of anti-Israel propagandists. He has taken
advantage of the widespread fantasy-view of the Middle East in which groups
like the PLO are supposedly freedom fighters similar to Martin Luther King's
Civil Rights movement, minus the non-violence. Anti-Israel propagandists
build on this false image, likening Palestinians to blacks in South Africa
under Apartheid or in the US under Segregation, and likening Jews to racist
whites in these countries. Kanana knows that his audience is ignorant of
basic realities in the Middle East, where half of Israel's Jewish population
are refugees from terror in Arab-run countries, and where Arab racism
against Jews and sub-Saharan Africans is common. Taking advantage of the
fictional model of a Middle East that resides only in Western heads, Kanana
and other propagandists throw out massive quantities of lies, knowing most
will stick. 
> Aside from the fact that Arabs are treated better in Israel than in *any*
Arab country, the attempt to liken Israel with South Africa under Apartheid
ignores other facts.
> For one thing, white people are fairly recent arrivals in South Africa.
But the situation in the Middle East is quite different. The only state
that has ever existed in the area now occupied by Israel was the ancient
state of...Israel. Following the Roman genocide of the Jews 2000 years ago,
Jews have continuously lived in what was their country despite mockery and
abuse, about which see Karl Marx's account of the plight of the Jewish
*majority* in Jerusalem in the mid-19th century. (And keep in mind that Marx
was an antisemite and therefore the plight of the Jews must have been
extreme for him to write a sympathetic report on their suffering.) 
> Another thing: South African Apartheid was a nightmare, rooted in the
crackpot "science" of 'Eugenics', which the South African racists
apparently picked up in Germany, which received it from the pillars of the
US Establishment. Eugenics is especially contemptuous of two groups: dark
skinned people from Tropical Africa and... Jews. 
> Eugenics assumes the existence of 'racially inferior' groups, but racist
speech and discrimination are illegal in Israel. By contrast, in the West
Bank and Gaza, Palestinian institutions preach that Jews are subhumans who
should be killed. (What German Nazi leader does that remind you of?) 
> * Lying about Apartheid; lying about Dr. King *
> A few days after I received the email from Mr. Schultz, I got one from a
pro-PLO group, exhorting everyone to join them in celebrating Martin Luther
King's birthday in (supposedly) the "most fitting way " by "marching
Israeli Apartheid." Ages ago I participated in the Civil Rights movement.
One of my heroes was John Lewis, who led the Student Non-Violent
Coordinating Committee from 1963-66. Lewis was a friend of Martin Luther
King, so he is a knowledgeable witness concerning Dr. King's views on
Israel. The following is from Congressman Lewis' Website:
> [Excerpt from comments by John Lewis starts here]
> During his lifetime King witnessed the birth of Israel and
continuing struggle to build a nation. He consistently reiterated his stand
on the Israel-Arab conflict, stating 'Israel's right to exist as a state in
security is uncontestable.' It was no accident that King emphasized
'security' in his statements on the Middle East.
> On March 25, 1968, less than two weeks before his tragic
[King] spoke out with clarity and directness stating,
> "peace for Israel means
security, and we must stand with all our
might to protect its right to exist, its territorial integrity. I see
Israel as one of the great outposts of democracy in the world, and a
marvelous example of what can be done, how desert land can be transformed
into an oasis of brotherhood and democracy. Peace for Israel means security
and that security must be a reality."
> [Excerpt from comments by John Lewis ends here]
> You can read Rep. Lewis' comments in full at
> These were King's words almost a year after the Six Day War - that is to
say, after the Arabs provoked a war with the intention of committing
genocide and lost, leaving Israel in possession of the West Bank, the Gaza
Strip, the Sinai Peninsula and the Golan Heights. All these areas had been
used as staging grounds to launch military attacks on the state of Israel
and/or terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians. Immediately after the war,
Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol offered to return these lands to the Arab
states in exchange for a mere public promise of peace. The Arab leaders all
refused to accept this land which was being offered for free, which shows
that their power in Arab society depended on maintaining their oft-repeated
public promise to wipe out the Jews. Dr. King did not fall for the phony
issue of the supposed occupation because the Arab leaders had made it clear
that if they got back these lands they would be used again to try and
destroy Israel. 
> So please, no more attempts to murder Dr. King twice by spreading the lie
that he was an apologist for anti-Israeli terror.
> Jared Israel
> Editor, Emperor's Clothes
> To be continued in Part 2:
> "How anti-Israel Lies Incite Antisemitism"
> * Footnotes, comments and further reading follow the appeal *
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> * Footnotes, comments and further reading *
>  Former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark is now hyped as a Leftist
leader, but he identified himself with the antisemitic wing of the Right
throughout the 1980s. Along with Pat Buchanan and the Baltic-American groups
which constituted the extreme fringe of Right wing antisemitism in the US,
Clark called for reconciliation with Nazis and crusaded for Nazi criminals
whom the Justice Department was trying to deport. See documentation in "How
Ramsey Clark Labored to Protect Nazi ï¿½migrï¿½s," at
>  We are preparing an article comparing Israeli Arabs with Israeli Jews,
and Israeli Arabs with Arabs from surrounding countries, using statistics on
life expectancy and infant mortality. Already I can say with certainty that
based on these statistics, Arabs live appreciably better in Israel than in
so-called Arab countries. If a Martian saw the stats he might ask, "Do
Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Libya discriminate against Arabs?"
>  The Website, Jimena (Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North
Africa), has much information about the hundreds of thousands of Jewish
refugees driven from Muslim lands in the past 60 years, and about their lost
cultures. It is at
> Why is the Western media silent about *these* refugees?
>  Marx's account of the Jews in Jerusalem in the mid-19th century can be
>  Regarding the link between German Eugenics and Apartheid, see for
> As most people do *not* know, Eugenics, the pseudo-science of supposed
race improvement, was openly practiced in the US during the first half of
the 20th century. The goal, which was to eliminate supposed undesirables
(for example, black people, Jews, whites in Appalachia) and produce a 'pure'
Nordic-German 'race' was pushed by leading professors from universities
including Harvard. Eugenics 'research' was financed by the leading
foundations. Eugenics policies, such as the forced sterilization of
thousands of poor whites, were enforced in many states. Eugenics was
supported by the State Department. It was exported by the Establishment to
the Nazis who used it as the basis of, and rational for, the slaughter of
'untermenschen' - Jews, Slavs, etc. This is discussed in Edwin Black's
superb book, "War Against the Weak":
> "Eventually, out of sight of the world, in Buchenwald
eugenic doctors like Josef Mengele would carry on the research begun just
years earlier with American financial support, including grants from the
Rockefeller Foundation and the Carnegie Institution."
> The above is from Chapter 1. To read the informative Introduction and
Chapter 1 of Mr. Black's book, please go to
> South African Apartheid was apparently inspired by German Eugenics. And it
was Hitler's Eugenics, with its loathing for Jews, that endeared him to the
Arab extremist, Hajj Amin al Husseini, the Mufti of Jerusalem, who murdered
his way to dominating the Palestinian movement and then led it for 50 years,
indoctrinating the current top leaders with his gangsterism and race hate.
Hajj Amin was a strong influence on the Final Solution.
> It is shameless and absurd for the Hitlerite PLO to accuse Israel of
Apartheid. For an account of how Arafat's hero, Hajj Amin al-Husseini, came
to dominate Arab politics in the Palestine Mandate area, including the
treacherous role of the UK, go to
> Al-Husseini is the main subject of discussion all the way to Section 3,
entitled, "But What About Today? Have The Palestinian Leaders Changed Their
>  Regarding the violent racism of the mass media of the Palestinian
Authority (PA), the Media watchdog group, MEMRI, has translated sermons
broadcast by PA television over the past three years. They can be accessed
>  Regarding Egyptian President Nasser's stated intention of destroying
Israel if the Arabs won in 1967, see
> Regarding Prime Minister Eshkol's proposal, after Israel won, of
exchanging all conquered territory for the mere promise of peace, see