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Civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.:

Peace for Israel means security, and we must stand with all our might to protect its right to exist, its territorial integrity. I see Israel, and never mind saying it, as one of the great outposts of democracy in the world, and a marvelous example of what can be done, how desert land can be transformed into an oasis of brotherhood and democracy. Peace for Israel means security and that security must be a reality. (A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings of Martin Luther King Jr., HarperCollins 1991, pg. 670)

South African human rights activist Rhoda Kadalie with editor of New Society: Harvard College Student Middle East Journal Julia Bertelsmann: 

[T]he equivalence simply isn't true. Israel is not an apartheid state. ...

Whereas apartheid was established through a series of oppressive laws that governed which park benches we could sit on, where we could go to school, which areas we were allowed to live in, and even whom we could marry, Israel was founded upon a liberal and inclusive Declaration of Independence. South Africa had a job reservation policy for white people; Israel has adopted pro-Arab affirmative action measures in some sectors.

Israeli schools, universities and hospitals make no distinction between Jews and Arabs. An Arab citizen who brings a case before an Israeli court will have that case decided on the basis of merit, not ethnicity. This was never the case for blacks under apartheid. (Z Word, March 2008)

South African apartheid opponent and editor Benjamin Pogrund:

Apartheid is dead in South Africa but the word is alive in the world, especially as an epithet of abuse for Israel. Israel is accused by some of being 'the new apartheid' state. If true, it would be a grave charge, justifying international condemnation and sanctions. But it isn't true. Anyone who knows what apartheid was, and who knows Israel today, is aware of that. Use of the apartheid label is at best ignorant and na´ve and at worst cynical and manipulative. ...
 
"Apartheid" is used in this case and elsewhere because it comes easily to hand: it is a lazy label for the complexities of the Middle East conflict. It is also used because, if it can be made to stick, then Israel can be made to appear to be as vile as was apartheid South Africa and seeking its destruction can be presented to the world as an equally moral cause. (From the December 2005 issue of Focus, published by The Helen Suzman Foundation)

Bedouin Muslim Israeli Diplomat Ishmael Khalidi:

For those who haven't heard, the first week in March has been designated as Israel Apartheid Week by activists who are either ill intentioned or misinformed. On American campuses, organizing committees are planning happenings to once again castigate Israel as the lone responsible party for all that maligns the Middle East. ...

My perspective is unique, both as the vice consul for Israel in San Francisco, and as a Bedouin and the highest-ranking Muslim representing the Israel in the United States. I was born into a Bedouin tribe in Northern Israel, one of 11 children, and began life as shepherd living in our family tent. I went on to serve in the Israeli border police, and later earned a master's degree in political science from Tel Aviv University before joining the Israel Foreign Ministry.

I am a proud Israeli – along with many other non-Jewish Israelis such as Druze, Bahai, Bedouin, Christians and Muslims, who live in one of the most culturally diversified societies and the only true democracy in the Middle East. Like America, Israeli society is far from perfect, but let us deals honestly. By any yardstick you choose – educational opportunity, economic development, women and gay's rights, freedom of speech and assembly, legislative representation – Israel's minorities fare far better than any other country in the Middle East.

So, I would like to share the following with organizers of Israel Apartheid week, for those of them who are open to dialogue and not blinded by a hateful ideology.

You are part of the problem, not part of the solution ... (San Francisco Chronicle, March 4, 2009)

Palestinian/Israeli journalist Khaled Abu Toameh:

The majority of these [campus anti-Israel] activists openly admit that they have never visited Israel or the Palestinian territories. They don't know – and don't want to know – that Jews and Arabs here are still doing business together and studying together and meeting with each other on a daily basis because they are destined to live together in this part of the world. They don't want to hear that despite all the problems life continues and that ordinary Arab and Jewish parents who wake up in the morning just want to send their children to school and go to work before returning home safely and happily.

What is happening on the U.S. campuses is not about supporting the Palestinians as much as it is about promoting hatred for the Jewish state. It is not really about ending the “occupation” as much as it is about ending the existence of Israel. (Hudson New York, March 24, 2009)


What makes [these activists] “pro-Palestinian”?

In their view, inciting against Israel on a university campus or publishing “anti-Zionist” material on the Internet is sufficient to earn them the title of “pro-Palestinian.” But what these folks have not realized is that their actions and words often do little to advance the interests of the Palestinians. In some instances, these actions and words are even counterproductive.

It is hard to see how organizing events such as “Israel Apartheid Week” on a university campus could help the cause of the Palestinians. Isn't there already enough anti-Israel incitement that is being spewed out of Arab and Islamic media outlets?

If anyone is entitled to be called “pro-Palestinian,” it is those who are publicly campaigning against financial corruption and abuse of human rights by Fatah and Hamas. Those who are trying to change the system from within belong to the real “pro-Palestinian” camp. (Hudson New York, Nov. 17, 2009)

Palestinian journalist Ray Hanania:

Rejectionist and extremist Palestinians and their Arab allies have launched "apartheid week" to attack Israel. Although they are a minority they have built up a mirage of public support by exploiting the unanswered anger of the majority in the Arab world.

The word apartheid does not really apply accurately to the Palestinian-Israel conflict. ...

Palestinians who support "apartheid week" do so either out of sinister hatred of Jews, or out of blind, unreasoning anger that simmers because they can't properly vent. The inability to release pent up anger empowers the rejectionist minority but stems from the failures of Palestinians and Arab leadership.

When Arabs couldn't defeat Israel, they turned toward demonization. And when demonization didn't work enough, they simply exaggerated the truth. Exaggeration is a common trait among Arabs and Israelis, too. ...

Is it "apartheid week?" Or is it really "apartheid weak"? Rather than hold celebrations that fuel a hatred of Israel around an exaggerated word like apartheid, Palestinians should instead organize rallies and conferences that call for compromise based on peace and the creation of two states. (Jerusalem Post, March 10, 2010)

Sudanese human rights activist and former child slave Simon Deng:

The State of Israel is not an apartheid state. I know because I write this from Jerusalem where I have seen Arab mothers peacefully strolling with their families – even though I also drove on Israeli roads protected by walls and fences from Arab bullets and stones. I know Arabs go to Israeli schools, and get the best medical care in the world. I know they vote and have elected representatives to the Israeli Parliament. I see street signs in Arabic, an official language here. None of this was true for blacks under Apartheid in Tutu's South Africa.

I also know countries that do deserve the apartheid label: My country, Sudan, is on the top of the list, but so are Iran, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. What has happened to my people in Sudan is a thousand times worse than Apartheid in South Africa. And no matter how the Palestinians suffer, they suffer nothing compared to my people. Nothing. And most of the suffering is the fault of their leaders. Bishop Tutu, I see black Jews walking down the street here in Jerusalem. Black like us, free and proud. ...

Today, black children are enslaved in Sudan, the last place in the continent of Africa where humans are owned by other humans - I was part of the movement to stop slavery in Mauritania, which just now abolished the practice. But you were not with us, Bishop Tutu.

So where is Desmond Tutu when my people call out for freedom? Slaughter and genocide and slavery are lashing Africans right now. Where are you for Sudan, Bishop Tutu? You are busy attacking the Jewish state. Why? (The Jewish Advocate, Nov. 16, 2007)

Vanguard Leadership Group, an honor society for top students at the nation’s historically black colleges and universities

The use of the word "apartheid" by Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) in its characterization of Israel is patently false and deeply offensive to all who feel a connection to the state of Israel. Your organization's campaign against Israel is spreading misinformation about its policies, fostering bias in the media, and jeopardizing prospects for a timely resolution of the Israeli-Palestnian conflict. Such irresponsibility is a blemish on your efforts. ...

Decency, justice, and the hope of peace and reconciliation in the Middle East compel us to demand an immediate cessation to the deliberate misappropriation of words and of the flagrant mischaracterization of Israel. ("Words Matter," An Open Letter to Students for Justice in Palestine)

Professor Robert Wistrich

The reality is that South African apartheid never had anything in common with Israeli democratic structures, with the ethos of Israeli society, or with its fundamental values. In an apartheid Israel, Muslim Arab voters and legislators could never influence the outcome of elections as they have often done in the past. The country's literary prize would have never have gone to an Arab. Road signs throughout Israel would not be indicated in Arab as well as Hebrew and English. Nor would the Jewish state open its universities to Arab students, let along permit viscerally anti-Israeli human rights organizations to operate freely within its borders. In an apartheid state, there would never be articles galore about the Zionist project being a failure—some of them written by Arabs as well as Jews. A so-called Zio-Nazi or apartheid state would hardly bother to translate hostile Palestinian authors, such as the late Edward Said, into Hebrew. Nor would such a Nazified state permit its supreme court to consistently defend the human rights of Israeli Arabs and Palestinians against army interventions or considerations of national security. (A Lethal Obsession: Anti-Semitism from Antiquity to the Global Jihad)