Civil Liberties in Israel

This weekend’s tennis match between Israel and Sweden appears to have more to do with politics than sport. Pictures of the violent protests against Israeli representation recall the worst days of the Intifada.

It is easy to compare the lawlessness of the protesters with those who attacked British police recently in London. Of more interest is to analyse their basic complaint that Israeli society is racist.

Speak to Ishamel Khalidi, Israel’s deputy consul general in San Francisco. A Muslim, a proud Bedouin, the owner of a master’s degree from Tel Aviv university, he clearly disagrees with such an appraisal. Writing recently in the San Franciso Chronicle, he observed: –

If Israel were an apartheid state, I would not have been appointed here, nor would I have chosen to take upon myself this duty.

On a different spectrum, the Leo Beck School in Haifa has a diverse student background. You can find Jew, Muslim, Druze, Christian, etc. Almost every year, another multi-ethnic school opens in Israel.

The Israeli Parliament has numerous non-Jewish representatives. The judiciary is replete with members of the minorities. And my wife works in the Ein Kerem area of Jerusalem, where today the church bells will toll out loudly as per every Sunday.

On March 4th, the Independent Commission for Human Rights released its monthly report re violations of civil liberties in Palestinian territories. At least 4 citizens, including Basheer ‘Ilayyan al Zaytouneh, died from torture. One died under interrogation from Palestinian police. Numerous journalists, like Wa’el Issam Abdul Qader, were detained or arrested or deported. etc etc.

So, are teh protesters in Sweden really interested in human rights or dumping their “politically hatred” on others?

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4 Comments on “Civil Liberties in Israel”


  1. I believe there is absolutely no question NGOs like the mentioned ICHR, Amnesty, HRW and others are clearly biased against Israel. Frankly, I don’t want them to be pro-Israel. But they have to be objective. When HRW presents a report that blames Israel for violating human rights during the Lebanon campaign in 2006 and barely mentions Israeli casualties, and then it takes it another couple of months to release a report about Hizb Allah violating the rights of Israelis – all this under pressure – well, what do we have left to say.

    Although it is clear that at least some in Swedish gov’t are clearly anti-Israel, I don’t mind. I don’t actually think Swedish gov’t allowed the game because of their pro-Israel views. I believe they wanted to put rule of law above all and that is what should be done.

  2. themadjewess Says:

    Israel has a little over 5 million Israeli-Jews. they are surrounded by 27 Arab Muslim states that all want their death (330 million, inc. Iran) And Israel is the bad guy?
    Israel is the GOOD guy.

  3. themadjewess Says:

    I am sorry- I meant (57) Sorry, SHALOM!


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