IllustrationFlash 90

The Rabbinical Alliance of America, an organization representing nearly 1000 Rabbis that is also known as the RAA or the Igud HaRabbonim, issued a statement condemning the depiction of Israel as an apartheid state.

"Recently, Human Rights Watch, a few Members of the United States House of Representatives and other opponents of the State of Israel have used the current strife in the Middle East to falsely accuse Israel is of being an apartheid state. This is not only an incorrect and offensive judgement — it is a nefarious attempt to delegitimize, isolate and destroy the Jewish state by associating it with an evil, racist state regime of the recent past. This accusation has no legal or factual basis. It is an inaccurate and vile anti-Semitic assault on Israel," statement reads.

In the words of Rabbi Dr. Warren Goldstein, Chief Rabbi of South Africa, in the Wall Street Journal, “[t]his is immoral. ‘Apartheid’ has a sacred historical meaning, sanctified by the blood and suffering of millions of South Africans who were oppressed and discriminated against on the basis of race. In appropriating the word, Human Rights Watch presents a grotesquely distorted picture of both South African history and the current reality in Israel."

“Apartheid was a state-enforced national system of racial discrimination that manifested in a slew of oppressive laws aimed at obliterating the human rights of an entire race—among them the Population Registration Act, the Group Areas Act, and the Separate Amenities Act. Black South Africans were denied the vote and equality before the law until 1994.”

Rabbi Mendy Mirocznik, Executive Vice-President of the Rabbinical Alliance of America (RAA), stated that the RAA is in full agreement with Rabbi Goldstein’s assessment. Mirocznik said, “Israel is not an Apartheid State. Apartheid was the official South African policy that sought to maintain a complete political and social separation between the white and black population of South Africa. Under South African Apartheid, blacks were not permitted to eat in white restaurants or cafes; to attend white schools or universities; to be treated in white hospitals; to live in white neighborhoods; to serve in the white government or judiciary."

“Anyone familiar with Israel knows that there is no such segregation in Israel. Israeli Arab citizens have full rights. They attend all of Israel’s universities. They can seek medical treatment in all of Israel’s hospitals. They are employed by the Israeli government and by its judiciary and are welcomed at all of Israel’s restaurants and cafes. They even serve in its national legislature, the Knesset. Furthermore, Palestinian Arabs residing in the West Bank live under the political control of the Palestinian Authority and enjoy the full range of rights guaranteed by the Palestinian Authority. Clearly, it is an erroneous conclusion to compare Israel to an Apartheid state.”

"The Rabbinical Alliance of America protests and condemns this inaccurate and anti-Semitic platform and agenda that singles out the Jewish state for false delegitimization in order to justify terrorism against civilians."