Fake news and the shame of Israel "apartheid week"
At the heart of Israel Apartheid Week is the lie that apartheid even exists in Israel. That lie demeans the struggle for justice of black South Africans. Those who participate are the true standard bearers of fake news, and they should be ashamed of themselves
There has been a lot of talk about "fake news" these past few months. But no event illustrates the problem of dishonesty in political discourse more clearly than the annual round of Israel bashing attending "Israel Apartheid Week".
It is already underway in Britain, and there will be repeat performances across the world through to the middle of April.
Tragically, universities are at the forefront. It is tragic because universities are institutions which, if they stand for anything, stand for the pursuit of truthful intellectual discovery.
Positing an outright lie at the heart of a campaign and then bringing it inside the confines of a university contradicts the very essence of what the academy is about. Apartheid, a system of enforced segregation based on white supremacy, simply does not exist in Israel.
Checkpoints and roadblocks that do exist are there solely because of the very real problem of terrorism. Calling such counter-terrorism measures apartheid is an insult not just to Israel but to black South Africans who endured one of the most demeaning political systems of the post-War era.
If, in the end, all the South African authorities were doing was trying to prevent bombs going off in supermarkets, what was all the fuss about?
There is, of course, plenty of space inside and outside Israel for sober criticism of Israeli policies. But there is nothing sober or even rational about "Israel Apartheid Week".
Instead, it is an exercise in dishonesty masquerading as a human rights event. Those who participate are the true standard bearers of "fake news", and they should be ashamed of themselves.
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