Israel an Apartheid State? Look at the new government

This is a very unusual alliance of very different ways of life, which seems to me the very essence of Western liberal democracy. Op-ed.

Ronn Torossian‏ ,

Knesset
Knesset
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The state of Israel has a new Prime Minister. After four rounds of elections, Prime Minister Netanyahu’s political opponents have banded together to form a government. And for the many anti-Zionists who claim Israel isn’t a democracy – even an apartheid state if you will – it is relevant to review the parties that this new government consists of.

First, this government wouldn’t have been able to be formed without The United Arab List (Ra'am), an Arab political party,the political wing of the Southern Branch of the Islamic movement. The leader of this party, Mansour Abbas attended the Hebrew University of Jerusalem to study dentistry, and later studied political science at the University of Haifa. Abbas's party said that they joined the government because it provides 53 billion shekels ($16 billion) to improve infrastructure and curb violent crime in Arab towns as well as giving a large swathe of the Negev to the Bedouin Arabs.

Then, there is the party of Russian born Avigdor Liberman who is perceived as anti-Orthodox and has no qualms in saying so. He is intent on eliminating funding for projects of the haredi and haredi Zionist communities – hence his position as Finance Minister of the new government.

Naftali Bennett, the new Prime Minister was the former leader of the YESHA Settlement Council representing the Jewish settlers of Judea & Samaria (aka the West Bank), he is a liberal Orthodox Jew, and supports the right of Jews to all of the land of Israel.

The Labor Party is headed by a former television journalist, Merav Michaeli, a fierce feminist who in Hebrew adds “feminine plurals” to her language and does not believe in the traditional family as an institution.

The far-left Meretz Party is headed by an openly gay man, a leftist environmentalist: Nitzan Horowitz.

This is a very unusual alliance of very different ideologies and ways of life – which seems to me the very essence of Western liberal democracy

So, to those who say Israel isn’t a democracy: in this government there’s a Muslim Arab party in coalition with a Russian born former bouncer, radical leftists with former heads of YESHA Settlement Council, a Reform Movement clergyman and Islamists with gay rights advocates. There’s a record number of women in the government as well as Arabs, the most female ministers ever.

There are many complaints people can have with this government, and with the State of Israel. That the country is an apartheid state can absolutely not be one of them.



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