I don’t see eye to eye with Alan Dershowitz on certain matters (for one, he’s a liberal), but I applaud his willingness to defend both Israel and free speech against all comers.
While he finds Israel Apartheid Week as loathsome as anyone, his solution is not to try to suppress it as antisemitic hate speech, but to ‘fight fire with fire’. He argues for having a ‘real Apartheid week’:
Accordingly, I support a “Middle East Apartheid Education Week” to be held at universities throughout the world. It would be based on the universally accepted human rights principle of “the worst first.” In other words, the worst forms of apartheid being practiced by Middle East nations and entities would be studied and exposed first. Then the apartheid practices of other countries would be studied in order of their seriousness and impact on vulnerable minorities.
Under this principle, the first country studied would be Saudi Arabia. That tyrannical kingdom practices gender apartheid to an extreme, relegating women to an extremely low status. Indeed, a prominent Saudi imam recently issued a fatwa declaring that anyone who advocates women working alongside men or otherwise compromises with regard to absolute gender apartheid is subject to execution.
The Saudis also practice apartheid based on sexual orientation, executing and imprisoning gay and lesbian Saudis. Finally, Saudi Arabia openly practices religious apartheid. It has special roads for “Muslims only.” It discriminates against Christians, refusing them the right to practice their religion openly. And needless to say, it doesn’t allow Jews the right to live in Saudi Arabia, to own property or even (with limited exceptions) to enter the country. Now that’s apartheid with a vengeance.
The second entity on any apartheid list would be Hamas, the de facto government of the Gaza Strip. Hamas too discriminates openly against women, gays and Christians. It permits no dissent, no free speech and no freedom of religion.
Every single Middle East country practices these forms of apartheid to one degree or another. Consider the most “liberal” and pro-American nation in the area, namely Jordan. The Kingdom of Jordan, which the King himself admits is not a democracy, has a law on its books forbidding Jews from becoming citizens or owning land. Despite the efforts of its progressive Queen, women are still de facto subordinate in virtually all aspects of Jordanian life.
Iran, of course, practices no discrimination against gays, because its president has assured us that there are no gays in Iran. In Pakistan, Sikhs have been executed for refusing to convert to Islam, and throughout the Middle East, honor killings of women are practiced, often with a wink and a nod from the religious and secular authorities.
Every Muslim country in the Middle East has a single, established religion, namely Islam, and makes no pretense of affording religious equality to members of other faiths. That is a brief review of some, but certainly not all, apartheid practices in the Middle East.
Read the whole thing.
PS: don’t miss this other post: I am shocked, shocked, that an intelligence agency is misusing passports!