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The Middle East's Real Apartheid: Efraim Karsh, The Jerusalem Post, Mar. 5, 2012—It is time to denounce these discriminatory practices and force Arab/Muslim regimes to abide by universally accepted principles of decency and accountability. This will not only expose the hollowness of the Israel delegitimization campaign but will also help promote regional peace and stability.
The Dark World of the Arab Child Slave Trade: Stephen Brown, Front Page Magazine, June 10, 2011—But it is not only non-Arab children who are Arab child slave trade victims. An Egyptian newspaper, referring to a 2008 UNICEF report, stated Egyptian children are being bought and sold for about $3,000 for “domestic work and farming, among other things.” This trade in children is so extensive in Egypt, organizations are “employing brokers, and even operating their own web sites.
Israeli Arabs Launch ‘Israeli Apartheid Week’: Yori Yanover, Jewish Press, Mar. 13th, 2013—“This is yet another play of the Theater of the Absurd, which continues to break new records. Arab citizens of Israel—Israelis such as Dr. Yousef Jabareen, who lectures in Israeli academic institutions and even heads an academic institute in Israel, taking part in a conference accusing the state of Israel of apartheid,” said Im Tirtzu Chairman, Ronen Shoval
Close The Peace Gap: David M. Weinberg, Israel Hayom, Mar. 14, 2013
The Apartheid Libel: Editorial, Jerusalem Post, Mar. 12, 2013
Human Rights in Arab Countries – Myths & Facts: Mitchell G. Bard, Jewish Virtual Library
The Promotion of Human Sacrifice and Cannibalism in Egypt: Walid and Theodore Shoebat, Front Page Magazine, Mar. 11, 2013
In light of Israel Apartheid Week, which hit cities and campuses throughout the world recently, supporters of the Jewish state find it difficult to agree on the best response to this hate fest. Some suggest emphasizing Israel's peacemaking efforts, others propose rebranding the country by highlighting its numerous achievements and success stories. Still others advocate reminding the world of "what Zionism is – a movement of Jewish national liberation – and what it isn't – racist." Each of these approaches has its merits yet none will do the trick.
Peace seeking and/or prosperity are no proof of domestic benevolence and equality. The most brutal regimes have peacefully coexisted with their neighbors while repressing their own populations; the most prosperous societies have discriminated against vulnerable minorities. South Africa was hardly impoverished and technologically backward; the United States, probably the most successful and affluent nation in recent times was largely segregated not that long ago.
Nor for that matter is the apartheid libel driven by forgetfulness of Zionism's true nature. It is driven by rejection of Israel's very existence. No sooner had the dust settled on the Nazi extermination camps than the Arabs and their western champions equated the Jewish victims with their tormentors.
"To the Arabs, indeed Zionism seems as hideous as anything the Nazis conceived in the way of racial expansion at the expense of others," read a 1945 pamphlet by the Arab League, the representative body of all Arab states. A pamphlet published by the PLO shortly after its creation in 1964 stated: "The Zionist concept of the 'final solution' to the 'Arab problem' in Palestine, and the Nazi concept of the 'final solution' to the 'Jewish problem' in Germany, consisted essentially of the same basic ingredient: the elimination of the unwanted human element in question."
Indeed, it was the Palestinian terror organization that invented the apartheid canard in the mid-1960s, years before Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. This charge, of course, is not only completely false but the inverse of the truth. If apartheid is indeed a crime against humanity, Israel actually is the only apartheid-free state in the Middle East – a state whose Arab population enjoys full equality before the law and more prerogatives than most ethnic minorities in the free world, from the designation of Arabic as an official language to the recognition of non-Jewish religious holidays as legal days of rest.
By contrast, apartheid has been an integral part of the Middle East for over a millennium, and its Arab and Muslim nations continue to legally, politically and socially enforce this discriminatory practice against their hapless minorities. Why then should an innocent party be under constant pressure to "come clean" while the real culprits are not only left unscathed but also given a worldwide platform to blame others for their own crimes? Rather than engage in incessant apologetics and protestations of innocence, something Jews have been doing for far too long, Israel should adopt a proactive strategy, call a spade a spade and target the real perpetrators of Middle East apartheid: the region's Arab and Muslim nations.
Arab/Muslim apartheid comes in many forms, and some victims have been subjected to more than one.
Religious intolerance: Muslims historically viewed themselves as distinct from, and superior to, all others living under Muslim rule, known as "dhimmis." They have been loath to give up this privileged status in modern times. Christians, Jews and Baha'is remain second-class citizens throughout the Arab/Muslim world, and even non-ruling Muslim factions have been oppressed by their dominant co-religionists (e.g. Shi'ites in Saudi Arabia, Sunnis in Syria).
Ethnic inequality: This historic legacy of intolerance extends well beyond the religious sphere. As longtime imperial masters, Arabs, Turks and Iranians continue to treat long-converted populations, notably Kurds and Berbers, that retained their language, culture and social customs, as inferior.
Racism: The Middle East has become the foremost purveyor of anti-Semitic incitement in the world with the medieval blood libel widely circulated alongside a string of modern canards (notably The Protocols of the Elders of Zion) depicting Jews as the source of all evil. Likewise, Africans of sub-Saharan descent are held in deep contempt, a vestige of the region's historic role as epicenter of the international slave trade.
Gender discrimination: Legal and social discrimination against women is pervasive throughout the Arab-Islamic world, accounting for rampant violence (for example domestic violence or spousal rape are not criminalized) and scores of executions every year, both legal and extra-judicial (i.e. honor killings). Discrimination against homosexuals is even worse.
Denial of citizenship: The withholding of citizenship and attendant rights from a large segment of the native-born population is common. Palestinian communities in the Arab states offer the starkest example of this discrimination (in Lebanon, for example, they cannot own property, be employed in many professions, move freely, etc.). The Beduin (stateless peoples) in the Gulf states, and hundreds of thousands of Kurds in Syria have been subjected to similar discrimination.
Labor inequality: Mistreatment of foreign workers (especially household servants), ranging from sexual abuse to virtual imprisonment and outright murder, is widely tolerated throughout the Middle East, especially in oil-exporting countries that host large expatriate labor forces.
Slavery: The Arabic-speaking countries remain the world's foremost refuge of slavery, from child and sex trafficking in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states to actual chattel slavery in Sudan and Mauritania. Indeed, Islamists throughout the Middle East have had no qualms advocating the legalization of slavery.
Political Oppression: Many Middle Eastern regimes are little more than elaborate repressive systems aimed at perpetuating apartheid-style domination by a small minority: Alawites in Syria; Tikritis in Saddam's Iraq; the Saudi royal family; the Hashemite dynasty in Jordan.
Possibly the world's most arresting anachronism, these endemic abuses have until now escaped scrutiny and condemnation. Western governments have been loath to antagonize their local authoritarian allies, while the educated classes have absolved Middle Easterners of responsibility for their actions in the patronizing tradition of the "white man's burden," dismissing regional players as half-witted creatures, too dim to be accountable for their own fate.
It is time to denounce these discriminatory practices and force Arab/Muslim regimes to abide by universally accepted principles of decency and accountability. This will not only expose the hollowness of the Israel delegitimization campaign but will also help promote regional peace and stability.
History has shown that gross and systemic discrimination is a threat not just to the oppressed minorities, but also to the political health of the societies that oppress them. Only when Arab and Muslim societies treat the "other" as equal will the Middle East, and the rest of the Islamic world, be able to transcend its malaise and look forward to a real political and social spring.
The writer is research professor of Middle East and Mediterranean Studies at King's College London, director of the Middle East Forum (Philadelphia).
Front Page Magazine, June 10, 2011
In a story last week in the British newspaper The Sun, a private investigator stated that Madeleine McCann, the subject of probably the world’s most famous unsolved kidnapping case, is in the United States. The British girl was three years old when she went missing five years ago from a seaside resort in Portugal, where her parents were vacationing….Since her disappearance, numerous alleged sightings have been made of the little girl across Europe, Africa, in North America and in Australia. The investigator making the latest claim concerning McCann’s whereabouts….told The Sun that a Portuguese pedophile ring took the McCann girl…. The claim that a pedophile ring is responsible for McCann’s disappearance has been made before…And while Madeleine McCann girl may have very well been snatched by such evil hands, it is surprising that an equally depraved institution — one of gigantic size — has never even been considered by investigators or the media as McCann’s possible kidnapper: namely, the Arab child slave trade.
While tens of thousands of adults are also victims of Arab slavers, many people only first took notice of the Arab slave trade in children when reports of enslaved child camel jockeys emerged from Persian Gulf countries. A 2004 HBO documentary on the subject was especially responsible for making Americans aware of this modern-day barbarism. These boys, who were sold by poor parents hoping their offspring would some day experience a better life, were primarily from South Asia. But instead of a life of dignity and meaningful work, they wound up in the Middle East where they were made to race camels for their Arab masters. Beaten and often sexually abused, they were all kept undernourished, so that the camels would have less weight to carry. “As many as 6,000 child camel jockeys…languished in hidden slavery on ozbah farms, where their masters beat them and starved them to keep their weight down,” wrote E. Benjamin Skinner in his book, A Crime So Monstrous.
When investigating in the 1990s the enslavement of hundreds of thousands of black Africans in Mauritania by Arab-Berber masters, African-American author Samuel Cotton was stunned to discover that African children were still being kidnapped by Arabs traveling with camels carrying big baskets. The child, usually playing alone, would suddenly be snatched from its play and placed in one such basket, after which its new owners hurried away. The children, he was told, are sometimes found later “hundreds of miles away as slaves.” Also during his investigation, which was summarized in his highly informative book “Silent Terror: A Journey Into Contemporary African Slavery”, Cotton was told there was “still a huge trafficking in slaves going on between Mauritania and the United Arab Emirates.”
Black African children are also not always stolen so surreptitiously. Until recently in the southern Sudan, the old-fashioned slave raid witnessed villages being burned down, the men killed and the women and children captured. This was the Arab slavers’ main harvesting tool of humans. Thousands of children were captured by this murderous method and forcibly taken as agricultural, domestic and sex slaves to Arab northern Sudan — where many still languish today. Darfur has also seen many children disappear from both refugee camps and towns subjected to central government attack. They are suspected victims of Arab slave hunters.
But it is not only non-Arab children who are Arab child slave trade victims. An Egyptian newspaper, referring to a 2008 UNICEF report, stated Egyptian children are being bought and sold for about $3,000 for “domestic work and farming, among other things.” This trade in children is so extensive in Egypt, organizations are “employing brokers, and even operating their own web sites. “Many are also sent to the Gulf States, with orphanages being a major supplier,” the story further reports.
Even from a country as far way as the Philippines children are trafficked to the Middle East. In 2008, for example, 34 minors between the ages of 14 and 16 were rescued at Manila airport by social workers as they were about to depart on fake passports for unnamed Middle Eastern countries. Again, war and poverty played a role in these young people’s desperation. They were from refugees camps in the war-torn southern island of Mindanao where an insurgency is raging between government forces and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
While most civilized people nowadays recoil in horror from the idea of slavery, especially when it involves children, many fundamentalist Middle Eastern Muslims do not. In fact, they view the psychological death and destruction of innocent lives as their legal right. Under sharia law, which rules the Sudan and the Gulf States, Muslims are legally allowed to own slaves. Bernard Lewis, the eminent scholar of Islam, writes “…the institution of slavery is not only recognized but is elaborately regulated by Sharia law.” Another reason for this inhuman sense of entitlement is the prophet Muhammad was also a slave owner, setting the example for the fundamentalists.
Besides a codified religious supremacy, there is also the element of racial superiority behind the hideous practice of Arab slavery, especially when it concerns black Africans. Arab racism is at the roots of Islamic slavery that has seen 14 million black Africans enslaved and sold around the Islamic world from the seventh to the twentieth century.
Unfortunately for its victims, the abolition of Arab slavery will be difficult to even initiate — especially when the international community remains deafeningly silent about it. The case of Dr. Abu Zayd, a Cairo University professor and Islamic theologian, amply illustrates the problem. When Zayd contended that “keeping slave girls and taxing non-Muslims” was contrary to Islam, an Egyptian sharia court forcibly divorced him from his wife and declared him an apostate. He later had to flee to Europe to escape Islamic extremists who wanted to kill him because of his apostate status.
Slavery was only abolished in Saudi Arabia and other states of the Arabian Peninsula in the early 1960s, so one cannot expect an institution that has existed for centuries to being done away with any time soon. For example, the widow of the emir of Abu Dhabi and her four daughters were caught living in Brussels in 2008 with 20 slaves who they were mistreating. And Dubai is the center for the region’s sex industry that Skinner calls “a place of slavery for women.” Promised jobs, thousands of women full of hope arrive there from Eastern Europe, sub-Saharan Africa and Asia annually only to have their passports taken away immediately upon arrival and to be forced into prostitution.
One Gulf State Arab woman, a former candidate for Kuwait’s parliament, does not even hide the fact there should be sex slaves for Arab men and claims sheikhs and muftis she spoke with in Mecca sanctioned this. As a result, Salwa al-Mutairi wants non-Muslim women captured in war made available to Muslim men, so that the men can be “protected from adultery.” She affirmed: “For example, in the Chechnya war, surely there are female Russian captives. So go and buy those and sell them here in Kuwait…I don’t see any problem in this.” Al-Mutairi’s despicable utterances came only a week after a Muslim preacher announced that, since Islam allows Muslims to buy and sell conquered infidel women, “When I want a sex-slave, I go to the market and pick whichever female I desire and buy her.”
It is not the purpose or intent of this article to engage in sensationalist or unfounded finger-pointing. But what a crime it would be to neglect finding and freeing a child slave because the hunt for his or her captors would be deemed politically incorrect. Indeed, in light of the widespread phenomenon discussed above, why is the possibility of Madeleine McCann being a child slave somewhere in the Middle East not even remotely considered in the investigation of her disappearance? Yes, it is only conjecture, but so is looking into all the other possibilities. Why, for instance, is publicly hypothesizing that she is probably somewhere in the U.S. considered legitimate, but even breathing a word about the possibility of her being somewhere in the Middle East considered illegitimate — when it is a fact that an international Arab human-slave trafficking business is in full effect?
The fact that the McCanns were at a Portuguese seaside resort when Madeleine was taken made the kidnappers’ task easier. Since the child-snatchers may have very well made their escape by sea, there would be no borders to cross until they reached their destination — potentially a Middle Eastern one. The Islamic world, after all, is very close to Portugal.
The British government has recently assigned 30 detectives in a major effort to locate the missing girl. Of course, myriad evils could be behind this tragic crime. And they must all be looked into. But in light of what is known about the Arab child slave trade, will investigators spend even at least a modicum of time considering the distinct possibility of Middle Eastern sex-slave traffickers’ involvement? The empirical reality would justify it — as it would justify the international community starting to be even slightly interested in, and outraged about, this dark and evil phenomenon in general.
What began as an anti-Israel campaign throughout the world, is coming to Israel, with a conference on “Israeli Apartheid” to be held Wednesday in the Israeli Arab city of Nazareth, Maariv reports. The conference, held as part of the “Apartheid Week,” will feature Dr. Yousef Jabareen, senior lecturer at Haifa University, who will speak about “racism within the Green Line,” and Dr. Haidar Eid, a professor from a Gazan university, who will speak over Skype about “the similarity between Palestine and South Africa before the removal of Apartheid laws.”
Event organizers are young Arab activists who are members of the local branch of the BDS movement, which leads the international boycott campaign against Israel. Raja Zaatara, one of the organizers and a member of Hadash party politburo, said: “The green line has a policy of apartheid and the territories have a regime of apartheid. In Israel there are dozens of laws explicitly speak about rights that are exclusive to the Jews, for example, the Law of Return, and various real estate laws.
“If anyone in the U.S. or in Europe chooses to boycott Haifa University because it discriminates against Arabs, or Tel Aviv University because it runs more than 50 projects for the Army, I can quite understand them,” said Za’atra. “If I was a Belgian or French citizen, I would be boycotting Israel in order to influence the situation. The boycott is a legitimate tool of civilian struggle.”
Abir Cobti, a female political activist and one of the organizers of the conference, says that the purpose of the event is to help isolate Israel in the international arena. “We will continue to engage in promoting economic boycott against Israel as a legitimate struggle of the Palestinian people.”
The “Im Tirtzu” movement, dedicated to reviving Zionist values in Israel, criticized the participation of Dr. Jabareen in the Nazareth event. “This is yet another play of the Theater of the Absurd, which continues to break new records. Arab citizens of Israel—Israelis such as Dr. Yousef Jabareen, who lectures in Israeli academic institutions and even heads an academic institute in Israel, taking part in a conference accusing the state of Israel of apartheid,” said Im Tirtzu Chairman, Ronen Shoval. “This conference is part of hallucinatory Antisemitic propaganda campaign against Israel and against Israeli democracy. “
Close The Peace Gap: David M. Weinberg, Israel Hayom, Mar. 14, 2013—The single best thing that U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry can do to advance Middle East peace is to press the Palestinians to close the "peace gap." By this I mean helping Palestinian leaders bring their own constituency towards the levels of compromise and moderation that Israeli leaders have successfully achieved in Israel.
The Apartheid Libel: Editorial, Jerusalem Post, Mar. 12, 2013—Israel Apartheid Week kicked off this year in Europe on February 25 and runs through March 17 in South Africa. Events include mock checkpoints, replicas of the security barrier, the screening of documentary films critical of Israel and meetings with the “victims” of the “occupation.”
Human Rights in Arab Countries – Myths & Facts: Mitchell G. Bard, Jewish Virtual Library—While much attention has been focused on alleged Israeli human rights violations in the volatile West Bank and Gaza, the popular press has chosen to virtually ignore violations of fundamental human rights that take place daily in almost every Arab country.
The Promotion of Human Sacrifice and Cannibalism in Egypt: Walid and Theodore Shoebat, Front Page Magazine, Mar. 11, 2013—Prominent [Egyptian] Sheikh Muhammad Hussein Yaqub recently made a speech encouraging the cannibalization of Jewish flesh: “Our hatred, animosity, and rage toward the Jews grow. Our hatred of the Jews grows when we see them destroying our brothers. Rage boils within us. If only we could strangle the criminal Jews… If only we could strangle the Jews with our bare hands, and bite their heads off with our teeth, not with weapons.”
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