Answering Israel’s Critics
Detractors of Israel accuse Israel of being ‘an Apartheid State’, racist, colonialist, and other pejoratives. However, the population of Israel’s ethnic and religious groups tells a far different story as Abdul-Hussain shows in his blog. “Israel is a Jewish state. Its minorities are Arab: Muslim, Christian, and Druze. Their numbers have grown steadily along with the country’s overall population. In areas under the control of the Palestinian Authority (PA) everyone is Arab. Muslims are the majority and Christians a dwindling minority that fears for its security. In neighboring Lebanon, whose population is overwhelmingly Arab, Christians were a majority when the state was founded in 1920, although not anymore. If one asks where the minorities thrive in the Middle East, the answer is Israel.”
Interestingly, Christian populations across the Middle East have declined. In Lebanon, for example, the Christian population has shrunk by nearly twenty percentage points, from 53 percent to 34 percent. “Since 1932, the Lebanese population has changed dramatically,” growing from 790,000 in 1932 to over 5 million today. The Lebanese Jewish population has shrunk to less than one percent, numbering about 4,000. However, Abdul-Hussain calls that number “a bureaucratic fiction. As efforts to locate actual Lebanese Jews have turned up less than thirty.”
Where in the Middle East are minority populations thriving? In Israel, as Abdul-Hussain concludes, “Israel today is the only Middle Eastern country that affords equal rights to Muslims, Christians, and Druze. And while the system is far from perfect, the numbers of these minorities reflects a heartening reality. Israel’s demographics are holding steady. So much for ‘ethnic cleansing’ or other forms of systemic discrimination.”
As an Arab himself, Hussain Abdul-Hussain puts the reality of Israel in clear terms, Israel is neither racist, discriminatory, nor imperialistic. David Ben-Gurion declared in his Israel Independence Address on May 14, 1948, “The state of Israel is prepared to do its share in a common effort for the advancement of the entire Middle East.” That was Israel’s commitment then and it remains so to this day. Thank you Hussain Abdul-Hussain for your clear presentation and defense of Israel today. May your tribe increase!
(Source: Hussain Abdul-Hussain, The Times of Israel)