Apartheid 101 for John Kerry
By Moshe Feiglin, Jewish Leadership Blog –
And what is the truth?
The only case in history in which a ‘white’ nation has sent its armed forces to Africa and brought back ‘blacks’ in order to make them citizens with equal rights – not slaves – is Israel’s rescue of Ethiopian Jewry.
Slavery in the classical sense exists today only in some Moslem countries. Accusations of ‘apartheid’ from the representatives of the culture of slavery and their supporters in the Obama administration against the nation that represents the message of Jewish liberty are outrageous.
Now for some real definitions of apartheid: South African apartheid was an array of segregative and discriminatory laws based on race. If annexation of territory without affording full voting rights means apartheid, then the USA has been –and continues to be- an apartheid state for over 100 years:
The US captured the island of Puerto Rico (3.6 million residents) from Spain 116 years ago. Its residents cannot vote in US federal elections.
The US captured the island of Guam (150,000 residents) from Spain 116 years ago. No voting rights, as above.
The US bought the Virgin Islands (106,000 residents) from Denmark 97 years ago. No voting rights as above.
The Northern Mariana Islands (77,000 residents) were captured from Japan 70 years ago and became a UN-American mandate. For the past 36 years, they have been under US sovereignty. No voting rights, as above.
The US captured American Samoa (55,000 residents) from Spain 116 years ago. Its status is different; it is a protectorate of the US. No voting rights, as above.
Nobody accuses the US of apartheid because the people in its territories do not have federal voting rights. There is a clear and recognized difference between human rights and civil (voting) rights.
Differences in the civil status of citizens exist in other Western countries and they are not considered ‘apartheid’ states at all. In addition to the US, in Czechoslovakia, Hong Kong, Latvia and more – all modern countries – a certain percentage of its citizens do not have voting rights. In Latvia, for example, which is a member of the European Union, 15% of its citizens do not enjoy voting rights. All of these countries make the distinction between people on the basis of their nationality and not on the basis of the territory in which they live. Israel is another one of those countries. It has nothing to do with apartheid.
The Nation of Israel has returned to its ancestral homeland in order to establish a Jewish State. The principles according to which this state should function are the means, not the end. If and when we see that granting voting rights/full citizenship to other national groups will threaten Israel’s Jewish identity – it is our full right not to …read more