Answering questions from YouTube viewers over the past few weeks, Benjamin Netanyahu depicted Israel as an oasis of interracial harmony in a region of strife.
“There’s only one country in the heart of the Middle East that has no tremors, no protests,” the Israeli prime minister said. “That’s Israel. Because we’re the only one where we respect human rights. The only one that respects the rights of Arab citizens. Twenty percent of our population are Arabs. And they enjoy full civil rights in Israel. It’s the only place in this entire vast expanse where Arabs and Muslims enjoy complete freedom and complete equality before the law.”
“Israel is a democratic country and a partner of the European Union. Human right issues and possible shortcomings in this respect are discussed in the regular dialogue we have with the Israeli authorities.”
“Israel is what we in political science call a herrenvolk democracy, democracy only for the masters. (Reframing the Israel-Palestine conflict). The fact that you allow people to participate in the formal side of democracy, namely to vote or to be elected, is meaningless if you don’t give them any share in the common good or in the common resources of the state, or if you discriminate against them despite the fact that you allow them to participate in the elections. On almost every level ~ from official legislation through governmental practices to social and cultural attitudes ~ Israel is only a democracy for one ethnic group.”
“The EU is not willing to compromise its relationship with Israel,” Nathalie Tocci, the report’s author, told me.
“This means it’s unwilling to recognize Israel as not being a democracy. It is ready to criticize Israel’s democratic deficiencies ~ regarding human and minority rights ~ but would view these problems as analogous to those within some European countries too.”
“The JNF is involved in the illegal expropriation of Palestinian land and the concealing of Palestinian villages beneath parks and forests,” said Michael Kalmanovitz from the Stop the JNF Campaign in Britain. “The fact that David Cameron is one of its patrons is a disgrace.”
“The main culprit is the insistence of Israel and successive US governments on exploiting the current massive power imbalance to impose a peace devoid of justice and human rights on the Palestinians, an unjust ‘solution’ that fails to address our basic rights under international law and undermines our inalienable right to self-determination.”