“And if you think that's Apartheid it's because… You don't know what Apartheid really was”. (From “Israel Apartheid” by Ari Lesser)
My journey through the news reports of 2013 has now reached the subject of Israel’s treatment of its largest minorities - specifically, Moslem Arabs (including Bedouins), Christians and Druze. (Those who missed last week’s “The Israeli Occupation in 2013” can still read it here.)
As usual, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) idiots have got it totally wrong when they accuse Israel of being an “apartheid” state. There is no segregation of Israel’s Jews, Arabs and Druze in the manner of South Africa under apartheid. The following news stories from 2013 show that Israel gives its minorities equal status in all areas of society.
When reporting medical stories involving Israeli-Arabs I frequently feature Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center. A high proportion of Muslim women refuse to undergo prenatal testing for deformities, so Rambam surgeons often have to perform operations such as on two 14 year-old twins each with a cleft palate and nose, and fused fingers. Also at Rambam in June, Israeli-Arab Mohammed Eckert received a kidney from the son of Israeli-Jew David Ben-Yair whilst simultaneously David received a kidney from Mohammed’s wife. "We bonded both physically and mentally," said David. "Here, in our country, and in the world at large, we have to realize that we have the power to save people, all people."
Congenital heart defects are also common among the Israeli-Arab population. At 28, Balal Kalash from Kfar Qara had undergone several cardiac operations at Schneider Children's Medical Center until in June he became the hospital’s oldest pediatric heart transplant patient. And only in Israel could researchers have uncovered an Arab genetic disease. The rare bone marrow mutation “congenital neutrophil defect syndrome” affected five Arabs at Sheba Hospital and two Moroccan Arabs in Munich. Israeli doctors are now working on a potential treatment.
There was no discrimination in April when Muslim cardiologist Dr. Aziz Darawshe was promoted to become director of the emergency department at Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem, and chairman of the Israel Society for Urgent Medicine. Dr Darawshe would therefore have been impressed in October by the way Doctors at Israel’s Hadera hospital carefully extracted a 3.5cm hatpin that was accidentally swallowed by a 16-year-old Israeli-Arab girl from Baka al-Gharbiya.
Israel’s universities are a shining example of Israel’s integration of its minorities. Last year, the top student at Israel’s Technion was a Moslem Israeli woman. Mais Ali-Saleh graduated first in her medical school class and is now an obstetrician-gynecologist at Carmel Medical Center in Haifa.
In February we heard about the commercial plans for the diagnostic breath test for cancer invented by Technion’s Israeli-Arab Professor Hossam Haick. In April, the normally anti-Israel New York Times published a positive feature on the Technion, highlighting its 20% Arab student composition. It is also well worth reading Vivian Hamui's account of life with fellow students who include Ethiopians, Russians, Chinese, Dutch, Venezuelans and (of course) Arabs.
Israel certainly doesn’t rest on its (Nobel) laurels. In 2013:
- The Hebrew University started a program for students from minority backgrounds
- The Israeli Ministry of Education founded the "Peace University" in Nazareth
- Israel’s Higher Education Council launched a new $82 million, six-year program for Arabs.
- Channel 2 TV featured Ashraf Brik - Israel’s first Arab Chemistry Professor.
These are some of the Jewish State’s initiatives in 2013 to improve the economic prospects of Israeli minorities:
- January’s R&D conference for the Arab community, sponsored by Israel’s Ministry of Science
- February’s inauguration of the Bedouin eco-village of Hura
- March’s export by Golan Druze of 18,000 tons of apples to Syria.
- The annual free distribution of fir trees by the municipality to Christian residents of Jerusalem.
- The new Nazareth industrial park promoting economic cooperation between all religious groups.
In entertainment, 19-year-old Israeli-Arab Lina Mahoul won the TV song contest “The Voice Israel” singing Leonard Cohen’s “Halleluyah”. In sport, Israel’s European Under-21 Soccer Championship squad contained Jews, Arabs, Druze and Ethiopians, as you can see in this video
There may be a way to convince the BDS mob that Israel is not an Apartheid state, but they would have to read and listen to what ordinary Israeli Arabs said themselves in 2013. People such as:
- Abdol Abugosh - “I’m proud to be Arab and Israeli.”
- Anett Haskia, whose goal is to replace deceitful Arab representatives in Israel’s parliament.
Or the thousands of Israel’s minorities that in 2013 were proud to serve in the Israeli Defense Forces.
- Samir – a Muslim Arab who was born in Syria but now lives in Israel.
- Sgt René Elhozayel - an Arab Bedouin medic with 5,600 relatives who nearly all join the IDF.
- Master Sgt. Marzuk Suaed who actively goes round recruiting fellow Bedouins.
- Bedouin Lieutenant Colonel Magdi Mazarib, who was featured in Al Arabiya.
- New recruit Muhammad Atrash and his brother Milad who is training to be an officer.
- Colonel Ghassan Alian, the first Druze to serve as the chief of the elite Golani Brigade.
- And especially Bedouin Ahmed Inaim who enlisted despite losing one brother in service and another who was wounded in the raid in which terrorists captured Gilad Shalit. Please watch his video here.
To conclude, here is the full video of Ari Lesser’s “Israel Apartheid” to enjoy.
Finally, here is an example of how crazy the BDS squad really is. When Larry Rich, from Israel’s Emek Hospital, spoke in the Scottish Parliament about Israel’s equal treatment of its patients and medical staff, a BDS member launched into a long verbal attack on the Jewish State. Just before he sat down, he had the gall to ask for Israel’s help in treating someone with a serious medical condition.
Apartheid State? What on earth are they talking about!
Michael Ordman writes a free weekly newsletter containing positive news stories about Israel.
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