Two Darfuri refugees at the menorah near
the Israeli Knesset parliament, Jerusalem.
September 6, 2007 - It has become fashionable to throw charges of "apartheid" at Israel, regardless of how little that word may actually apply. The political sloganeering needs to be balanced by a consideration of reality.Read it all.
Israeli Interior Minister Meir Sheetrit has announced plans to grant Israeli citizenship to several hundred refugees from Darfur. He stated that "Just as prime minister Menachem Begin acted to grant citizenship to refugees from Vietnam, the same ought to be done today."
According to UN estimates, over 200,000 people have been killed and 2.5 million made refugees since 2003 when the fighting in Darfur began. As David Frankfurter observes in his report, a country the size of Israel cannot be expected to grant asylum to 2.5 million. But Israel is doing its part. The Muslim communities of the world are not doing theirs.
Look at how Egypt responds to the Darfur crisis. One day last August four Sudanese refugees were trying to cross the Egyptian border into Israel (yes, these Muslims seeking shelter felt their chances were better in Israel). As they ran towards the border fence Egyptian soldiers fired on them, killing two and wounding a third. As the fourth refugee ran to the fence an Israeli soldier reached out a hand to help him cross. It was too late. Two Egyptian soldiers began pulling at the man's legs.
"It was literally like we were playing 'tug of war' with this man," said the Israeli soldier. "They were aiming loaded weapons straight at us, I was afraid they were going to shoot us." He was forced to release his grip. The Egyptians carried the man off several yards, then beat him and the wounded refugee with stones and clubs until they died.
"What happened there yesterday was a lynch," said the Israeli soldier. "These are not men, they're animals. They killed him without even using firearms. We just heard screams of pain and the sounds of beatings. Then the screams stopped."
Related: Deconstructing Apartheid:
The historical context of the Jewish-Arab conflict in the Middle East is fundamentally different from that between the whites' Afrikaner ideology of apartheid and the blacks in South Africa. The latter was a system of discrimination and inequality based upon racial criteria; a system of domination by a minority over a majority and refusal to negotiate a bilaterally agreed solution.Previous Darfur-related posts here.