Human Rights Watch, the US-based NGO, has indicted Israel as an “apartheid” state, accusing Israel of institutionalized racial segregation. Israel, according to Human Rights Watch, is the new South Africa.
What is the impact of this offensive onslaught on Israel?
This ugly “apartheid” smear is central to the larger campaign to delegitimize Israel. Human Rights Watch’s assault on the Jewish state is designed to undermine Israel’s international legitimacy. Isolating Israel internationally is the intention. Turning Israel into a pariah state they hope will – just like the campaign against South Africa’s apartheid – cause the Jewish state to falter and collapse in the face of overwhelming international pressure.
“Apartheid” is a loaded word. “Apartheid” implies moral bankruptcy. It presumes a willful indifference to the consequences of one’s actions. HRW’s public charge of “apartheid” provides the campaign to delegitimize Israel with “moral standing” and an ethical basis to deny Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.
And this is important – the delegitimize Israel assault is no longer just a marginal concept held by a few left-wing progressive radicals . . . no, no, no. The delegitimization of Israel has become a mainstream mindset.
Driven by the new politics of critical race theory and intersectionality, left-wing progressive hostility to Israel has literally become palpable. From J Street to Peter Beinart to Peace Now … the left-wing progressive mainstream looks at Israel through a “social justice” paradigm of racial conflict. The Jewish state, they argue, is a white colonial power recklessly assaulting people of color.
The delegitimization of Israel is today a mainstream conviction. US Sen. Elizabeth Warren has openly and publicly called for the overthrow of Israel’s elected government. And Warren, along with Sen. Bernie Sanders, has called for legislation to limit “America’s military assistance to Israel.” In the House of Representatives, Rep. Betty McCollum submitted a bill that would limit US military aid to Israel. McCollum’s bill accuses the Israel Defense Forces of deliberately and systematically harming Palestinian children. J Street and Peace Now quickly signaled their support for conditioning US military aid to Israel.
This year’s J Street gala dinner honored former President Jimmy Carter who has regularly accused Israel of being an apartheid state. Attending the dinner, Rep. Ilhan Omar praised an exhibit smearing Israel. Meanwhile, when violent clashes erupted in Jerusalem and Jaffa followed by rocket salvos fired into Israel by Hamas, the mainstream media immediately applied the “apartheid” paradigm. Rioting Palestinians were depicted as victims of “systematic” Jewish racism. Palestinian lawlessness was characterized as emulating Black Lives Matter. Israeli security forces were reported to be using indiscriminate and disproportionate power to crush legitimate Palestinian dissent.
Driven by a left-wing progressive view of Israel, the Biden administration’s Middle East policy has become an accomplice to the delegitimization of the Jewish state. It doesn’t take much effort to see what certainly looks like a significant shift in American policy in the Middle East from one of an alliance with Israel and the Gulf states to one in which Iran would supplant them as America’s closest partner in the region.
Only a few years ago that perception would have seemed absurd. Yet we now discover John Kerry has for years been in league with Iran about just such a shift – not to mention passing Israeli secrets to the mullahs.
We can’t ignore the evidence. The Biden administration treats Iran with consideration and deference. By contrast, the Biden State Department regards Israel as nothing more than a vassal state demanding a halt to all aggressive actions against Iran so as not to interfere with President Biden signing a nuclear deal that the Jewish state finds threatening.
Knowing there will be no pushback, the Biden administration is openly and publicly contemptuous of Israeli objections to a renewal of the Iran nuclear deal. Is Biden’s foreign policy team purposefully undermining Israel’s security? This is a question we must ask. The delegitimization of Israel is a mainstream mindset.
The campaign to delegitimize Israel challenges the Jewish state’s core legitimacy. The left-wing progressive establishment has turned the demonization of Israel and the delegitimization agenda into an integral part of the political debate about Israel. That is the importance of last week’s Human Rights Watch assault on Israel as an “apartheid” state.
No longer a marginal doctrine, the delegitimization of Israel campaign is nothing less than a mainstream Western liberal-progressive attack on Israel’s very right to exist.