Very rarely if ever can I remember being in lock step with the
political left on any issue of substance. But I totally agree with the
importance of Apartheid Week and the need to draw attention to this
hideous practice. The only problem, as usual they've singled out the
wrong country, Israel.
Most infamously, apartheid came into prominence in South Africa with
an enactment of laws in 1948 which institutionalized racial
discrimination. From the outset, these laws touched upon every aspect of
social life throughout the country; prohibitions of marriage between
non-whites and whites; "white" only jobs;" and the imposition of racial
classification registration. By 1950 and the passage of "the Population
Registration Act" the laws of separation became even more stringent.
The absurdity of these laws made it incumbent upon the society as a
whole to be classified into one of three categories: white; black (South
African); and colored (people of mixed genre). Members of this last
category comprised people and progeny of mixed races; Asians, Indians,
and others from the Pacific Islands and outlying areas. If a seemingly
white looking person had one non-white parent, he or she would not be
A black person would be accepted as a member of an African tribe and a
white person would be recognized as being obviously white if: both
parents were white; his habits were "correct," his education, his
deportment, speech, and demeanor were all considered to meet "white
This debilitating social practice began unraveling when in February
1990 President FW de Klerk announced Nelson Mandela's release and thus
began the slow dismantling of the Apartheid system. In 1992 a
whites-only referendum approved the reform process. On 27 April 1994 the
first democratic elections were held in South Africa, with people of
all races being able to vote.
The History of Apartheid in South Africa
Unfortunately, the dismantlement of Apartheid in South Africa isn't
the end of the story, the practice is endemic throughout many parts of
Africa and the Middle East. Let's take quick a tour of the region.
Even casual followers of world news have heard about the incessant
violence in the Darfur region of Western Sudan. However few have an
understanding as to the extent of the Apartheid being committed by the
government against the black native population.
Is Sudan not an Apartheid State?
In a 2007 a report entitled, Laws Without Justice was issued by a
humanitarian group, Refugees International. It stated the Sudanese
government has backed a rogue group called Janjaweed Militiamen in an
ongoing campaign of systematic rape against black women in unsettled
regions of that country. The report goes on to say that it's, "an
integral part of the pattern of violence that the government of Sudan is
inflicting upon the targeted ethnic groups in Darfur."
Since women, under strict Islamic law must have four male witnesses
to prove rape the burden is so great, few women dare to report this
heinous crime for fear of not being believed. In such cases a single
woman could receive 100 lashes and a married woman could be stoned to
death as an adulteress.
Let's now travel to the North and visit Sudan's neighbor, the radically changing, soon to be Islamic state of Egypt.
As the "democratic process" in Egypt winds up, Coptic Christians find
themselves facing a number of restrictions and proclamations that would
leave them with far fewer rights than they already have. They're
worried that the newly empowered Islamists will force them to pay
special taxes or wear veils not called for by their religion. Where have
we heard this before? Oh yeah, it's called the jizziah, Jews and
Christians living in Muslim countries are not new to this, they have
have been paying this special extortionist tax for centuries to their
Along with the burning of several Christian churches this past
October, 20 Christians were killed as they demonstrated for equal
rights. According to George Gerges, a 24 year old Coptic Christian,
"When we live together, without any political factors, we live in
peace," he stated. "But when religion becomes an issue, they burn
churches, they burn houses, they kill Christians."
The fact that Coptic Cairo is blocked off and surrounded by armed
Egyptian police is not surprising due to what people know, or should
know about Islam. Unlike the security fence built in Israel to keep out
homicide terrorists, the sole purpose of this fence is to segregate the
Perhaps not realizing, or caring about the following, Mohammad
Soudan, the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party foreign
relations chief in Alexandria explained, "Muslim men can marry Christian
women, while Christian men cannot marry Muslim women." This is par for
the course for these folks. What I find perplexing is why this blatant
apartheid isn't a cause celebre of the political left in this country
and In Israel itself for that matter. It probably would take up to much
of their time from bashing the Jewish State.
The inequalities and violence directed against the Coptic Christians
of Egypt is well chronicled. It's increasing, and the violence directed
against them is causing Christians, seeing the handwriting on the wall,
to leave in droves.
Coptic Christians Fearful for What an Islamic State Will Mean for Them
Continuing our tour of this lovely neighborhood, let's cross the Red
Sea and visit President Obama's good friend, King Abdullah. Most
Americans have criticized the President for his distended bow to the
King in 2009. Since I can't believe any American President would do such
a humiliating thing out of deference to a King, I'd like to think he
was whispering into Abdullah's ear, extolling him to end apartheid.
Here's a news flash. According to the U.S. Department of State,
"Saudi Arabia is an Islamic monarchy without legal protection for
freedom of religion, and such protection does not exist in practice.
Islam is the official religion, and the law requires that all citizens
be Muslims. The Government prohibits the public practice of non-Muslim
religions. The Government recognizes the right of non-Muslims to worship
in private; however, it does not always respect this right in
According to a State Department report by the Bureau of Democracy,
Human Rights, and Labor, "An overwhelming majority of citizens support
an Islamic state and oppose public non-Muslim worship. There is societal
discrimination against adherents of the Shi'a minority." I don't know
about you, but I feel comforted about this. It shows that the Sunnis
hate everybody, but do it equally.
International Religious Freedom Report
BUREAU OF DEMOCRACY, HUMAN RIGHTS, AND LABOR
Traveling North, let's crossover to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
According to a 2005 report by the same, Bureau of Democracy, Human
Rights, and Labor; "The Constitution provides for freedom of religion,
on condition that religious practices are consistent with "public order
and morality;" however, the Government continues to impose restrictions
on this right.
According to the Jordanian Constitution, Islam is the state
religion." The report goes on to mention, "A convert from Islam to
Christianity was detained on the orders of a Shari'a court in September
2004 and charged with apostasy. In November, the Amman Shari'a Court
found him guilty of apostasy, stripped him of his civil rights, and
annulled his marriage. Hmm, sounds like some more apartheid. Have you
heard of any of this? I haven't.
International Religious Freedom Report 2005
BUREAU OF DEMOCRACY, HUMAN RIGHTS, AND LABOR
As we cross the Allenby bridge into Judea and Samaria, it's
interesting to get the Palestinian take on what a Palestinian state
would look like if ever they get to carve out such a state in this
ancient Jewish homeland.
This past September, Maen Areikat the PLO envoy to the United States
remarked unequivocally that Israeli Jews would be removed from such a
Media Ignore Palestinian Talk of No Jews Allowed in Palestinian State
But he's small fry. The big Kahuna himself, Mahmoud Abbas delivered
this often repeated quote to an emergency session of the Arab League in
Doha, Qatar in 2006. "When an independent Palestinian state with
Jerusalem as its capital is established, we won't allow the presence of
one Israeli in it." Can you just imagine Prime Minister Netanyahu
uttering these racist words about Palestinians not being allowed a
presence in Israel's capital, Jerusalem. Every ninny screaming to be
unsubscribed at the end of this article would have committed suicide
long before reading this.
Another Tack: No Jews in Judea
Let's now look at the pariah of the left, the object of all the
scorn. The target of divestment and delegitimization, the recipient of
the Boycott-Divestment-Sanction cabal funded mainly by Saudi Arabian
petrol dollars; the can do no right, Israel.
Not counting Judea and Samaria, there are currently 15 Mosques in
Israel proper where Arab worshipers are free to practice their religion,
or not worship any religion at all if that be their choice. There are
over 500 Christian churches in Israel and the number is growing. As in
our country, freedom of religion is a given. Apostasy and severe
punishments for conversion is perpetrated and practiced only in Islamic
countries and there alone. Where is the outcry against this?
Rape and crimes against women are taken very seriously in Israel. The
recent conviction, upheld by the Supreme Court of former President of
Israel, Moshe Katsav is proof of this. Not to speak of the fact that
Katsav was convicted by an Arab Judge, Salim Jourban, who upon
convicting Katsav told the hushed court, "Every woman has a right to her
own body. A right to dignity, a right to freedom. No one has the
liberty to take any of those from her." Can anyone imagine a Jewish
judge in an Islamic country convicting a high Muslim official, for rape
no less? You'll win the lottery three times before seeing that.
Israel: Moshe Katsav Rape Conviction Upheld
Gay rights in the Middle East? With the exception of Israel, gay
couples face brutal 7th century punishments if their lifestyle is
discovered by the authorities. In Iran, Dr. Mohammad Javad Larijani, the
international adviser to the head of Iranian Judiciary told a visiting
delegation from the German Parliament that; "there are some unethical
behaviors in the West that are not acceptable to Iranians, including
homosexuality." He went on to say, "recognition of same-sex partnership
in the West will probably lead to legalization of marriage between cats
and human beings in the future." And this guy is a member of their Human
Rights Commission no less. These sentiments are endemic to the region.
Again, where is the outrage?
LGBT People Are Sick Says Iranian Human Rights Official
Except to the willfully blind the plight of gay and lesbian people in
Islamic countries is abysmal. Contrast this despicable behavior with
that of Israel where gay couples can, and do, openly express their life
style without any legal repercussions. But even with such a remarkable
record on gay rights, the irrepressible left refuses to relent in their
defamation of the Jewish State.
According to an article by Jeffrey Goldberg in the Atlantic: "If the
Left is not willing acknowledge the tangible differences between
Israel's treatment of its gay citizens and the persecution gay and
lesbians face in many of the neighboring countries, and to throw its
support to Israel, then it is risking seeing those hard-won gains
Israel's Gay Rights Record
Apartheid Week? I'm all for it. But let's put the onus of this
disgusting practice where it belongs, on Islam and the Arab world in
particular. Is Israel perfect? Maybe not to some but compared to the
aforementioned, it's heaven. In the din I can hear detractors whining
the usual refrain, "the wall, what about the wall?"
The security wall was created to save innocent people from fanatical
monsters set on killing them in the name of God. It was made to stop
devil worshipers that are willing to kill and maim civilians because a
writer wrote a book about Mohammad, or a cartoonist drew a cartoon they
found objectionable. The wall was constructed to hold out miscreants
that riot and kill for days on end over the burning of a book no matter
how venerated. That's called security and self preservation, not
For Further Reading on Middle East Apartheid
Jerrold L. Sobel
Jerrold L. Sobel is a published author of over 40 years with articles
published in Israpundit, American Thinker, The Jewish Press, and other
cyber and hard media in addition to his own weekly blog of 10,000