In the shadow of the modern-day Holocaust that was October 7, 2023—when Palestinians from Gaza slaughtered, raped, mutilated and kidnapped 1400 Israeli men, women and children—Jews worldwide are facing an onslaught of anti-Jewish propaganda, which claims that the Palestinians were justified in carrying out such inhumane, immoral and evil atrocities. So pervasive is this disinformation that even many liberal Jews and Christians maintain that the Palestinians are merely fighting for their freedom from the State of Israel’s oppressive apartheid—that the Palestinians are the true victims. But is the propaganda true?
Is the State of Israel Committing Apartheid?
When most people think of “apartheid,” they think of South Africa and Nelson Mandela. The policies of South Africa during the latter half of the 20th century institutionalized discrimination and segregation particularly between blacks and whites. The laws of South Africa separated blacks and whites in all areas of life, including education, healthcare, employment, and access to public facilities.
Such “crimes of apartheid,” as defined by the United Nations, consist of “inhuman acts committed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group of persons and systematically oppressing them.” These acts include the denial of the right to life and liberty, arbitrary arrest and illegal imprisonment, the imposition of destructive living conditions, and measures to prevent racial groups from participation in the country’s political, social, economic and cultural life.
Yet within the State of Israel, no such apartheid exists. For the 1.8 million Arab Israelis—about 20% of the Israeli population—there is no separation from Jews. In the modern State of Israel, Arabs experience no more racism than in any other democratic country. On the contrary, Arab children school together with Jewish children, Jewish students have Arab teachers, Arabs hold high positions in the government and the courts, and they even serve side-by-side in the Israel Defense Forces against Palestinian terrorism. Israel is the only country in the Middle East that does not segregate or oppress, but gives equal rights to its minority population. In fact, a 2021 poll by Arab news outlet Shfa found that 93% of non-citizen Arab residents of Jerusalem preferred Israeli rule over that of the Palestinian Authority.
The reality is that within the State of Israel, there is no apartheid whatsoever, either as defined by the UN, or as exemplified by 20th century South Africa. And to make such a claim is to insult and destroy the memory of the victims of actual racial apartheid.
But Isn’t Gaza an Open-Air Prison?
In contrast to Arab Israeli citizens and residents, the Arab Palestinians of Gaza are indeed literally separated from Israeli territory by a wall—a wall that exists not to lock Palestinians in, but to keep terrorism out of Israel. There is no part of the Land of Israel that is off limits to Palestinians as long as they can show they aren’t terrorists. Through checkpoints along the border, the people of Gaza are able to enter Israel for things such as medical treatment. Not to mention, there are about 70,000 Palestinians with approved work permits, who daily traveled into Israeli areas for work right up until the October 7 attacks.
That the wall around Gaza is not racially discriminatory but practically necessary is also evidenced by the wall along Gaza’s southern border, which it shares with their Muslim brothers in Egypt. The steel wall built by Egypt extends 60 feet below the surface in an attempt to prevent terrorist tunneling. Its single border crossing—which accommodates only the passage of people, not goods—has remained mostly closed since October 7. Is Egypt also committing racial crimes against the Palestinians?
The fact of the matter is that the majority of Gazan Palestinians support the terrorist organization Hamas, whom they voted into power in 2006. When the terrorists returned on October 7 to parade dead Jews through the streets of Gaza, Palestinian civilians cheered. Article 7 of the Hamas charter declares—not of the State of Israel, but of the Jewish people—“The Day of Judgment will not come about until Muslims fight Jews and kill them. Then, the Jews will hide behind rocks and trees, and the rocks and trees will cry out: ‘O Muslim, there is a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him.’” On Palestinian TV, when children are asked “What will you do when you grow up?” they reply, “I will shoot Jews. All of them.”
So Gaza is not an open-air prison within which Israel is oppressing Palestinians. The walled border is a necessary security measure to prevent radical Palestinians from doing exactly what they did on October 7.
The sad truth is that anti-Israel propaganda is evil, and all the facts and video evidence in the world is unlikely to dissuade anyone who believes it. While the modern State of Israel is not perfect, we must not forget that the God of Israel is. And this is why we must support Israel and protect all Jews everywhere. Because no matter the spiritual condition of God’s people, whoever touches them is touching the apple of God’s eye (Zechariah 2:8).
What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments below!