This popular post was originally published on April 14, 2011
Israel isn’t racist: Just ask black people. The one good thing to come out of Israel Apartheid Week is a letter from the Vanguard Leadership Group (VLG) that all but essentially calls Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) liars who seek to inflame and popularize the stereotype that Zionism is racism.
To the 16 leaders of VLG hailing from “historically black colleges and universities” the use of the term “apartheid” in conjunction with Israel is not only incorrect, it is insulting. “Black South Africans could not vote and had no rights,” the VLG explains, in comparison to the Arab minority in Israel “which enjoys full citizenship with voting rights and representation in government.” Moreover, to the VLG, the SJP’s attempt to define Israel as an apartheid State is nothing more than a “transparent” strategy that easily reveals the pro-Palestine organization’s true motives: to delegitimize Israel on the world stage.
The VLG’s statement was published as an advertisement that “appeared in newspapers on campuses that saw Israel Apartheid Week activity in February, including Brown University, UCLA, Columbia University and the University of Maryland.” A few unnamed colleges refused to carry the ad in their campus papers, feeling the language was too inflammatory—or, perhaps, that the truth is too painful.
The radical Left’s criticism of the Vanguard Leadership Group’s statement is, to borrow the latter’s descriptor, as transparent as are their claims of Israeli apartheid. These young future leaders of America are held in comparison to the likes of “seasoned anti-apartheid activists who resisted injustice and suffered for it,” like Desmond “The Jewish Lobby is very powerful” Tutu and Arafat’s “comrade in arms” Nelson Mandela. The VLG leaders are also depicted as the owners of a “cryptic” website that is “peppered” with references to the group’s relationship with AIPAC and visits to the Israeli Knesset.
The conclusion: The student leaders of the Vanguard Leadership Group who signed the advertisement are too privileged to understand the real meaning of apartheid; having naively parlayed their unearned affluence into certain political relationships, they have merely become tools of the “Jewish Lobby.” In past generations, these kids would’ve simply been defined using a slew of racial epithets too ugly to mention here. It’s nice to see that the Left does take a cue from their own Politically Correct playbook once in a while, at least when it comes to dressing up their rhetoric for print.
Lest criticism from the Jewish Left be ignored, The Magnes Zionist jumped on the Left’s “They’re just funded by AIPAC” bandwagon with this gem of an insight: “let’s not forget that the only groups with money to take out full-page ads are Israel advocates”—I guess Soros’s billions are busy being poured into Obama’s re-election campaign. Magnes also carefully pointed out the distinction between the Israeli (read: Jewish) attitude toward Arabs in Israel proper versus that of the Palestinians in the “occupied territories”. Calling Israeli security measures in the West Bank an “insult to apartheid,” the writer explains in thoroughly sanctimonious prose:
“The situation in the Occupied Territories is not apartheid. The Blacks in South Africa were considered South African. Inferior, but South African. They were not completely segregated from Whites; they did not have their own roads. In Israel, nobody views the Palestinians as part of their country, only their lands and resources.”
Nothing justifies your argument more than delegitimizing your opponents by re-defining the term in question. For those of us in the real world, apartheid is defined as “a policy or system of segregation on the grounds of race.” In Israel’s case, erecting a fence, setting up checkpoints, and putting soldiers on duty has nothing to do with racism and everything to do with national security. But it’s not poor Magnes’s fault; after all, if he were to acknowledge the real race issue inherent in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he’d have to point out that the terrorist organizations operating in the West Bank and Gaza are the groups that want to “drive the Jews into the sea.”
But, the Left has its own playbook and its own rulebook; why not have its own dictionary as well? How very apropos, then, that the Vanguard Leadership Group’s advertisement was entitled Words Do Matter: Unfortunately, when it comes to the Left’s incessant defense of Palestinian terrorism, words may matter, but definitions do not.