How are you gonna fight the most common anti-Israel tropes, such as the oft repeated, “Israel is an Apartheid state?”
Let me tell you how: you go to the source. You go to people who actually lived under Apartheid, the brutal separation policy imposed on the blacks of South Africa from 1948-1994. That’s as opposed to people like Noam Chomsky, a white, privileged Jewish academic who likes to say that Israel is actually worse than South Africa under the Apartheid regime. Or Bradley Burston who is just bursting at the seams to lie about Israel in that Palestinian rag, Haaretz.
And you certainly wouldn’t go to the last white president of South Africa, de Klerk, who is looking for a way to make somebody, anybody worse than South Africa. Or Neve Gordon, one of those Jews who is just chomping at the bit to slander and smear his own people. Who does this leave?
It leaves Olga Meshoe, the founder and CEO of DEISI (pronounced “Daisy”) a group whose acronym stands for Defend, Embrace, Invest, Support Israel. It leaves her father, Reverend Kenneth Meshoe of the ACDP (African Christian Democratic Party), a South African political party that holds 3 seats in Parliament. It leaves Nongcebo Andile Cebe, a researcher at Greater Good, SA, and Tikvah Magadzi a former model, now of Hope, SA, a religious organization.
All these people and more, are featured in the short film, No Lie Shall Prosper, by the Israel Collective, an initiative of Christians United for Israel. All the people in the film have actually spent time in Israel, with real Israelis. All of them have found in Israel, nothing but a warm embrace for people of color, people of another land and religion, strangers all.
Next time someone throws the “Israel is an Apartheid state” lie at you, trot out this little film (which you will of course, have bookmarked for exactly this purpose). It’s pretty hard to refute the word of those who were the main target of Apartheid, who were made to feel less than white people, less than human. They have been to Israel. They have seen how Arabs ride side by side with Jews on public transportation, how Arabs are treated by Jewish doctors in Jewish hospitals and room with Jewish patients. They have seen how Arabs serve in the Israeli parliament and in the Israeli Supreme Court.
They know that the “Israeli Apartheid” slur is just a lie.
Now who are you going to believe? White academics in their ivory towers, or black people who lived Apartheid, one day at a time, for year after brutal year?
It’s not really a difficult choice.
(h/t to my son, Aharon Epstein, who shares interesting things with his Eema)