By Moshe Phillips and Benyamin Korn –
(Moshe Phillips is president of the Religious Zionists of America, Philadelphia Chapter; Benyamin Korn, the former executive editor of the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent, is chairman of the RZA-Philadelphia, www.phillyreligiouszionists.org)
Secretary of State John Kerry is half-right about the danger that there soon could be “an apartheid state” in the Middle East.
Within a short time there could be a state with an official policy of discrimination against one ethnic group. Members of that ethnic group would be prohibited from living in specific territories. It would be illegal to sell land to members of that minority. They would not even be able to visit their religious sites that are located with in that state.
Secretary Kerry is right–it really could happen. But he got the country wrong.
Israel is is not in danger of becoming an apartheid state. It’s the state of “Palestine” that Kerry himself is trying to create that would be an apartheid state–and its would-be leaders are not even hiding their racist intentions.
The Palestinian Authority has always insisted that all Jews must be expelled from the Judea-Samaria (West Bank) territories, where it wants to set up the State of Palestine. All Jews. No exceptions.
And all Jews must be expelled from the Old City section of Jerusalem, where the PA wants to have the capitol of Palestine. The Old City is where the Western Wall and Judaism’s holiest site, the Temple Mount, are located.
Palestinian Authority leaders are not even waiting for statehood to launch their apartheid policies. They already have a law that prohibits Arabs from selling land to Jews. That “crime” is punishable by death.
To avoid international condemnation, the PA sometimes comes up with creative ways to enforce this apartheid land law. In 2012, for example, retired PA security officer Osama Hussein Mansour was arrested on charges of selling land to Jews. A few days later he somehow “fell’ from a third-story window in a Palestinian prison. PA officials claim he committed suicide. Mansour’s widow, who visited him shortly before his “accident,” said he was “in good spirits and telling jokes.”
Imagine if the United States enacted a law prohibiting the sale of land to Arab-Americans. The entire world would be in an uproar, and rightly so. But for some reason, when the Palestinians have such a law aimed at Jews, nobody says a word.
As recently as last December, the Palestinian Authority’s Minister of Religious Affairs, Mahmoud Al-Habbash, declared that the Western Wall is really a Muslim site and Jews should be prohibited from praying there. Speaking on PA Television on December 6, 2013, Minister Al-Habbash said that the Western Wall is actually “the Al-Buraq Wall,” and is not a Jewish religious site but rather “is an authentic part of the Al-Aqxsa Mosque only” and therefore no Jews should be allowed to pray there. (Translation courtesy of Palestinian Media Watch.
The notion that Israel could become an “apartheid” state if it holds on to Judea-Samaria is, of course, absurd. More than 98% of the Arabs in those areas live under the Palestinian Authority. They are not being denied the right to vote or discriminated against by Israel in any way. They vote in their own elections and manage their own affairs. The only thing they lack is an army. Lacking an army does not make you a victim of apartheid.
So yes, Secretary Kerry is right–an apartheid state is a real danger–if he continues to try and help the Palestinians to create one.