Arab Regimes, Not Israel, Are Guilty of Racism

It´s an upside-down world, as the old saying goes. At the conference on racism, in Durban, Arab delegates and their allies accused Israel of racism and human rights violations, yet it is the Arab world that is rife with government-sanctioned racist practices, human rights abuses and mistreatment of women.

Contributing Author,

Writing on the wall: Death to Jews
Writing on the wall: Death to Jews
photo
It's an upside-down world, as the old saying goes. At the conference on racism, in Durban, Arab delegates and their allies accused Israel of racism and human rights violations - yet it is the Arab world that is rife with government-sanctioned racist practices, human rights abuses and mistreatment of women.

Jews are continually victimized by Arab racism. The Palestinian Authority, with the active support of the Arab countries, bombs, shoots, stabs and stones Jews for one reason only - because they are Jews. The PA and the Arab regimes insist that the residents of every Jewish community in Judea, Samaria, Gaza and much of Jerusalem must be expelled, for one reason only - because they are Jews. And Jewish holy sites such as the Tomb of Joseph and Jericho's ancient Shalom al-Yisrael synagogue have been destroyed by the Palestinian Arabs for one reason - because they are Jewish.

Anti-Jewish racism is the theme of the culture of hatred and violence that is promoted in Arafat's official media, school text books ("One must beware of the Jews, for they are treacherous and disloyal," according to the text Islamic Education for Ninth Grade), speeches by PA officials and sermons by PA-appointed clergymen (in one recent sermon, "Allah decreed that in our lives, we are to humiliate the Jews sooner or later...the Jews are the enemies of Islam"). In PA summer camps, Arab children are taught how to slit the throats of Jews. Rabbi Eric Yoffie, leader of Reform Judaism, recently denounced the PA's "neo-Nazi language" and warned that the PA is raising an entire generation of children to hate and murder Jews, for one reason only - because they are Jews.

Black Africans are also the victims of Arab racism. The Arab government of Sudan, for example, sponsors militias that massacre and enslave blacks. The Arab government of Mauritania likewise permits blacks to be enslaved.

Christians, too, are systematically persecuted by the Moslem regimes. U.S. courts have even granted asylum to Palestinian Arab Christian refugees on the grounds that they would be oppressed if they return to the PA areas. In PA-controlled Bethlehem, Muslim mistreatment of Christians has caused a steady stream of emigration, with the city's Christian population having dwindled from 80% to just 20%. U.S. Senator Connie Mack and a delegation of Zionist Organization of America leaders met in 1999 with Palestinian Arab Christians who described, first hand, how the PA routinely harasses Christians, arrests them on false charges and prohibits them from building or renovating churches. Christian cemeteries are frequently desecrated by Palestinian Arab Muslims.

The Coptic Christians in Egypt are subjected to government-sanctioned discrimination in employment and university admissions, as well as occasional massacres by Muslim terrorist groups. The Maronite Christians of Lebanon have been slaughtered and suppressed by Yasir Arafat's terrorists and the Syrian Army. Saudi Arabia prohibits Christian worship and even objected to crosses being worn by the American soldiers who defended Saudi Arabia against Iraqi aggression during the 1991 Gulf War.

While the Arabs falsely accuse Israel of human rights violations, in fact such violations are rampant throughout the Arab world. Torture of political detainees is "widespread" throughout the Arab world, according to a July 2001 report by the Cairo-based Arab Organization for Human Rights. The PA itself has tortured to death at least 16 Palestinian Arab dissidents. In addition to torturing prisoners, the Arab regimes engage in "repression of peaceful protest, massive arrests, restriction of freedom of the press, closure of newspapers and detention and imprisonment of journalists."

Not one Arab regime has a free press. Not one Arab regime has free, democratic elections. Not one Arab regime permits complete freedom of speech. Convicted criminals are routinely subjected to cruel and unusual punishment in the Arab world. In Saudi Arabia and Libya, thieves are punished by having one hand cut off. Public whippings or beatings are common in many Arab countries.

The treatment of women in the Arab world is likewise appalling. In Egypt, Jordan, Yemen and Palestinian Authority areas, women suspected of violating Muslim fundamentalism's moral code are often murdered by relatives seeking to avenge their "shame." Such "honor killings," as they are known, "are regarded with leniency by the law" in PA territories, according to Daoud Kuttab, a prominent Palestinian Arab journalist.

Throughout the Arab world, women are routinely treated as second-class citizens or worse. In Saudi Arabia, women are prohibited by law from driving cars. The Palestinian Arab newspaper Jerusalem Times recently reported that sexual harassment of women in the PA territories is worse than in many other parts of the world, because of "the wide spread of the phenomenon, the lack of laws against it, and the feebleness with which laws that do exist are implemented."

Throughout the Arab world "workers face serious violations of internationally recognized worker and trade union rights," the Jewish Labor Committee reports. For example, unions are illegal in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Oman; collective bargaining is prohibited in Libya, Iraq, Somalia and Yemen; and taking part in a strike is punishable by death in Sudan.

Yes, racism and human rights abuses are terrible problems in the Middle East - not in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv, but in Gaza, Amman, Cairo and Damascus. It's time for the leaders of all civilized countries to speak out about where the real racism is to be found - in the Arab world.
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Morton A. Klein is the National President of the Zionist Organization of America.


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