After an exhaustive examination of the definition of “apartheid” and how appropriate that term is to the reality in Israel, it turns out that there is no evidence that the accusation applies. What a disgrace. We Israelis and the Palestinians belong to the same Semitic race and our skin is the same color. Some of our best and brightest risked their lives to bring our beloved dark-skinned brethren from the hatred toward them in Ethiopia to our ancestral land.
The Palestinians still cling to the deluded dream—helped by notable anti-Semites, BDS sanctions and a few suicidal members of the Israeli left—of turning Israel into South Africa, an ostracized apartheid country that will eventually fall apart into a bi-national Palestinian state that stretches from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River.
The short history of our Palestinian cousins (in Gaza, for example) teaches us that if they were to seize control of “occupied Palestine,” the first thing they would do would be to murder Jewish collaborators; they loathe traitors. Then they would plan another Arab state in which there would be no apartheid but whose citizens would be equally subject to abuse, killing, rape, imprisonment and persecution.
The truth is that there is nothing new in the nation-state law. It doesn’t revoke the Declaration of Independence; it strengthens it and enshrines its essence in a Basic Law. Therefore, there was no need for it to repeat the content of the Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty, which complements it and grants liberty and equality to every citizen of this troubled nation. Civil equality, yes—collective national rights for the Palestinians—no. Let them seek that among their brothers in Arab countries with an abundance of land and resources, if they don’t try to wipe out their hosts first.
So what is bothering the Supreme Arab Monitoring Committee and the Knesset members from the Joint Arab List? A review of the committee’s manifest and remarks by Arab Knesset members suggests the true source of their pain: Demography as a way of eradicating Israel, which is the last weapon in their arsenal now that they despair of their failed military attempts to get rid of us.
The Jews’ battle against the Palestinian demographic threat is indeed given expression by the word “equality” being left out of the nation-state law, which was democratically passed by a Knesset majority. We are talking about a non-egalitarian privilege that gives—by virtue of the state being defined as Jewish—only our people, who were persecuted throughout the Diaspora, the right to return home, which is anchored in the Law of Return. That right, alas for the pundits on the High Court, does not apply to the Palestinians (who are a contemporary invention), who are demanding their own version of it in the form of right of return for Palestinians and family reunification, which both aim at annihilating us through demography.
The nation-state law is a legitimate method of self-defense for Israel. The law keeps a demographic flood from turning us into another weak Arab state. This isn’t apartheid; it’s a realization of the Jewish people’s right to self-determination in its only homeland. We intend to uphold that.
Dr. Reuven Berko was the adviser on Arab affairs to the Jerusalem district police and a writer for Israel Hayom.