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In an attempt to deny the existence of apartheid in Israel, Dr Kevin McCarthy offers only one ‘fact’ — “After the 2015 election, 16 Arabs were elected to the Knesset…” (Letters, October 21).
Apartheid South Africa had elected black politicians, in addition to black policemen and a black regiment in its army.
A very small number of black business people succeeded financially but it was still an apartheid state because it had racial discrimination enshrined in law.
Israel self-defines itself as a Jewish democracy: that is, a democracy for Jews. As a result, Israeli law distinguishes between ‘citizenship’ and ‘nationality’ and does not grant full rights to those Israeli citizens who do not have ‘Jewish nationality’.
This includes over a million of Israel’s own citizens (including many thousands of Christians).
There are currently 32 apartheid laws in place, and one of those ‘restrictions’ is that non-Jews are not allowed to buy land or a home on over 90% of the territory of Israel. This is because that land is reserved, in law, for Jews only.
When similar laws existed in South Africa favouring whites they were internationally recognised as apartheid laws.
Hence, if a non-Jew should ever marry a non-Jewish citizen of Israel, the couple would be legally excluded from buying land or a home on roughly 93% of the territory of Israel.
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