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Israel Apartheid Week Berkeley

by Israel Apartheid Week Berkeley Tuesday, Mar. 10, 2009 at 10:24 AM

http://blog.z-word.com/2009/03/israel-apartheid-week-hypocrisy-and-betrayal/

Israel Apartheid Week: Hypocrisy and Betrayal

http://blog.z-word.com/2009/03/israel-apartheid-week-hypocrisy-and-betrayal/

For those who haven’t heard, the first week in March has been designated as Israel Apartheid Week by activists who are either ill intentioned or misinformed. On American campuses, organizing committees are planning happenings to once again castigate Israel as the lone responsible party for all that maligns the Middle East.

Last year, at UC Berkeley, I had the opportunity to “dialogue” with some of the organizers of these events. My perspective is unique, both as the vice consul for Israel in San Francisco, and as a Bedouin and the highest-ranking Muslim representing the Israel in the United States. I was born into a Bedouin tribe in Northern Israel, one of 11 children, and began life as shepherd living in our family tent. I went on to serve in the Israeli border police, and later earned a master’s degree in political science from Tel Aviv University before joining the Israel Foreign Ministry.

I am a proud Israeli - along with many other non-Jewish Israelis such as Druze, Bahai, Bedouin, Christians and Muslims, who live in one of the most culturally diversified societies and the only true democracy in the Middle East. Like America, Israeli society is far from perfect, but let us deals honestly. By any yardstick you choose - educational opportunity, economic development, women and gay’s rights, freedom of speech and assembly, legislative representation - Israel’s minorities fare far better than any other country in the Middle East

So, I would like to share the following with organizers of Israel Apartheid week, for those of them who are open to dialogue and not blinded by a hateful ideology:

You are part of the problem, not part of the solution: If you are really idealistic and committed to a better world, stop with the false rhetoric. We need moderate people to come together in good faith to help find the path to relieve the human suffering on both sides of the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Vilification and false labeling is a blind alley that is unjust and takes us nowhere.

You deny Israel the fundamental right of every society to defend itself: You condemn Israel for building a security barrier to protect its citizens from suicide bombers and for striking at buildings from which missiles are launched at its cities - but you never offer an alternative. Aren’t you practicing yourself a deep form of racism by denying an entire society the right to defend itself?

Your criticism is willfully hypocritical: Do Israel’s Arab citizens suffer from disadvantage? You better believe it. Do African Americans 10 minutes from the Berkeley campus suffer from disadvantage - you better believe it, too. So should we launch a Berkeley Apartheid Week, or should we seek real ways to better our societies and make opportunity more available.

You are betraying the moderate Muslims and Jews who are working to achieve peace: Your radicalism is undermining the forces for peace in Israel and in the Palestinian territories. We are working hard to move toward a peace agreement that recognizes the legitimate rights of both Israel and the Palestinian people, and you are tearing down by falsely vilifying one side.

To the organizers of Israel Apartheid Week I would like to say:

If Israel were an apartheid state, I would not have been appointed here, nor would I have chosen to take upon myself this duty. There are many Arabs, both within Israel and in the Palestinian territories who have taken great courage to walk the path of peace. You should stand with us, rather than against us.

Ishmael Khaldi is deputy consul general of Israel for the Pacific Northwest.

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LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 38 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
that clown again? PrionPartyy Tuesday, Mar. 10, 2009 at 6:19 PM
Berkeley Israel peace and diiversity week no apartheid Tuesday, Mar. 10, 2009 at 7:49 PM
Berkeley Israel peace and diiversity week no apartheid Tuesday, Mar. 10, 2009 at 7:50 PM
what? what? Wednesday, Mar. 11, 2009 at 3:54 AM
Berkeley peace and diversity Go Bears Wednesday, Mar. 11, 2009 at 4:26 AM
Israel apartheid week becomes Israel peace and diversity week Gabe Weiner Wednesday, Mar. 11, 2009 at 4:32 AM
echo box of the israeli lobby name it Wednesday, Mar. 11, 2009 at 5:03 AM
Wrong Juan Carlos Wednesday, Mar. 11, 2009 at 7:35 AM
well, Juan... Why are their arms :"renegade" Wednesday, Mar. 11, 2009 at 1:34 PM
ATTACKING ISRAEL APARTHEID WEEK Matthew M. Hausman Thursday, Mar. 12, 2009 at 8:58 AM
TThe Truth about Israel Jay colbe Thursday, Mar. 12, 2009 at 10:21 AM
i luv it The Truth about Israel Thursday, Mar. 12, 2009 at 11:13 AM
as it is PrionPartyy Thursday, Mar. 12, 2009 at 5:18 PM
Israel peace and apartheid and diversity oh my! la Shawriqua Friday, Mar. 13, 2009 at 4:37 AM
huh? ed Friday, Mar. 13, 2009 at 5:59 AM
Israel is a pluralistic democracy Sheepdawg Friday, Mar. 13, 2009 at 6:06 AM
total crap as usual yup. it's me Friday, Mar. 13, 2009 at 6:13 AM
what happened PrionPartyy Friday, Mar. 13, 2009 at 11:34 AM
Israeli Apartheid Week Mirrors Recall in Berkeley Yonatan Weinberg Saturday, Mar. 21, 2009 at 7:16 AM
chump rationalizations are for tools PrionPartyy Saturday, Mar. 21, 2009 at 5:30 PM
ha ha ha ha... diversity? Sunday, Mar. 22, 2009 at 3:59 AM
the mental state of Jordan Thornton the mental state of Jordan Thornton Monday, Mar. 23, 2009 at 4:33 AM
previous post Zionuts Monday, Mar. 23, 2009 at 5:31 AM
"actually the fascists in Nazi Germany had closer ties to the Zionists" the mental state of Jordan Thornton Monday, Mar. 23, 2009 at 4:51 PM
so predictable.... Zionists-Nazis in drag Tuesday, Mar. 24, 2009 at 3:42 AM
"Every time they bring up Al-Husseini...." pointer Tuesday, Mar. 24, 2009 at 9:27 PM
ha ha ha ha... Zionists-Nazis in drag Wednesday, Mar. 25, 2009 at 3:14 AM
notice something? about Zionuts Wednesday, Mar. 25, 2009 at 5:58 PM
"Whether a sect, cult or gang" just wondering Thursday, Mar. 26, 2009 at 1:36 PM
cracked up on cults Sheepdog Thursday, Mar. 26, 2009 at 5:30 PM
Palestinians allied with Hitler jay Colbe Saturday, Mar. 28, 2009 at 6:10 AM
duh PPyy Saturday, Mar. 28, 2009 at 12:22 PM
Surprising, but not true Surprising, but not true Tuesday, Mar. 31, 2009 at 11:35 AM
so easy PPyy Tuesday, Mar. 31, 2009 at 5:24 PM
par for their kind PPyy Wednesday, Apr. 01, 2009 at 4:51 PM

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