Those who use the “apartheid” slur against Israel are seeking to evoke unconscious feelings of black/white conflict. This is an inaccurate portrayal of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and of Israel in general.
The Middle East is not black. Israel is not white. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not racial. The groups involved are very similar genetically but have differences in culture, religion, history, economic development, education, politics, language and values.
On an unconscious level, however, manipulated symbols often stir emotions that override reason and analysis.
Race prejudice is a subject that people feel strongly about. Those who have experienced it will sympathize with others who experience it. Thus, portraying yourself as an anti-racist creates a positive emotional reaction towards you.
Psychological operations or “psyops” is a form of psychological warfare that uses public diplomacy, propaganda and other methods to evoke a desired emotional response. This response then prejudices rational argument and decision-making.
Many individuals and groups use psyops. During the Cold War, fanning the flames of racial conflict in the United States was a favorite tactic of the Soviet Union. The Soviets brought this tactic to bear against Israel by playing a key role in the 1975 U.N. Resolution 3379 that proclaimed Zionism a form of racism.
Today’s cultural Marxists have replaced the old communist ideology of class struggle with a struggle between identity groups based on race, sexuality and gender. They use the concept of “intersectionality” to build a broad coalition of purportedly marginalized people to fight their “oppressors.” For example, one of their main arguments is that white people are always oppressors and black people are always victims.
The Palestinians have adopted this ideology wholesale and seek to exploit it to their own ends.
For example, Palestinian activist Mohammed El-Kurd said of the apartheid libel, “I think what the word itself as a word—I’m not even talking about the legal definition of the word ‘apartheid’; I’m not talking about the crime against humanity—but the negative word that is ‘apartheid’ and the negative connotation it carries in the psyche of the public. I think it’s capable, and it has been, engineering and establishing a cultural shift in the way people approach and talk about Palestine.”
“But I’m less concerned with the accuracy of the word,” he confessed. “You know, me and my friends have these arguments about, like, ‘it’s settler-colonialism,’ ‘it’s apartheid,’ ‘it’s police brutality,’ ‘it’s ethnic cleansing,’ ‘it’s this, it’s that.’ I don’t care. As long as there is a conversation happening in which the villain is portrayed clearly, I think that’s good.”
This is only one example of the “Red-Green Alliance,” a partnership between Marxist and Islamist ideologues and activists who try to coordinate their messaging and finances to broaden support. In addition to “apartheid Israel,” other slogans they promote are “globalize the intifada,” and “from Ferguson to Palestine.” This psychological warfare asserts that Palestinians and black Americans are both victims of Israeli oppression, as if Israel were the white policemen who are the purported oppressors of black Americans.
Cultural Marxists have influence far beyond their numbers. They have dominated and deformed academia, K-12 education, media, the unions, NGOs and broad swaths of other left-leaning cultural institutions.
Dissidents in these captured spaces often try to counter the “apartheid Israel” slur by arguing that many Israelis aren’t white. This cedes ground by using the same frame of reference as the attackers.
A better argument is that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not about race at all. Apartheid involves a small racial minority dominating a racial majority. Israel and the Palestinians are not different races, largely not in the same country and of roughly equal numbers.
Not all of those who employ the apartheid libel against Israel are involved in psyops. Some may not be conscious of their messaging and are just repeating things they read and hear.
For example, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), the Congressional Progressive Caucus chair, called Israel a “racist state” last Saturday after being pressured by a pro-Palestinian mob. She has since said she believes only that the Netanyahu government has racist policies and some members have made racist statements.
This is the leftist worldview in a nutshell: Intimidated by a mob, Jayapal reverted to her default position. Everything leftists don’t like is about race. Everyone they don’t like is a racist. Jayapal was simply playing the game. She is a one-trick phony.
We must reply that Jews are not a race and Jews are not racists. Israel is racially diverse and its citizens enjoy equality under the law. Israel’s rescue of Ethiopian Jewry is a shining example of racial inclusion. There is more racism in most nations than in Israel. There is more racism in most Arab and Muslim-majority countries than in Israel. Jews can be and are friends with Arabs, Muslims and black people.
The one-trick ponies will keep doing their one trick: making everything, including Israel, about race. In response, we must expose and defeat them.