Contrary to the claims of Palestinian activists and their supporters, Palestinians who reside in Israel enjoy more freedom, educational and economic opportunities, and civil rights protections than do any comparable Arab populations anywhere in the Arab world.
It has now become commonplace, in international demonstrations and on American college campuses, for enemies of Israel to compare that nation to Nazi Germany, thus not only trying to stigmatize its military actions of self-defense, but also insultingly debasing the meaning of the World War II genocide in what amounts to Holocaust denial by another name.
The comparison between Israel and Nazi Germany, which originated in the late 1970s, has become so widely accepted in Middle East discourse that it has evolved into a “fact” in the eyes of most people there. While the analogy is so absurd on its face as not to require formal refutation, it is worth noting some salient facts:
- The Jewish population of Europe declined from about 8 million people in 1939 to about 2 million people in 1945, after six years of Nazi horror. By way of contrast, the Arab population of Israel has increased from about 160,000 in 1949 to around 1,400,000 today. The entire Arab population of Palestine west of the Jordan River was at most 1,300,000 on the eve of Israel's declaration of independence; it is now somewhere between 3,600,000 and 5,000,000. If the Israelis are committing a Nazi-like genocide, they have been particularly incompetent.
- The average life expectancy of an Arab citizen of Israel in 74.6 years -- comparable to the average life expectancy of Americans The life expectancy of Arabs in Israel has increased by 27 years since the state was founded. The life expectancy of newly born Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe was close to zero.
- Arabs in Israel receive free medical care, government pensions for each and every child they have (and Arab families have very large numbers of children), unemployment benefits and a host of other welfare state benefits, free education in public schools in their own language, and equal opportunities for admissions to all Israeli colleges and universities. Jews in Nazi Germany and the Nazi-occupied lands received no public assistance or medical care of any kind, and were not allowed to attend schools, ride buses or trains, enter parks, dine at restaurants, shop at most stores, etc.
- Arabs in Israel are free to work in all trades and professions, including the Army and the police, both of which have high-ranking Arab officers. Jews in Nazi-ruled lands were banned from nearly all trades and professions.
- Of the 120 members of the Israeli parliament, thirteen are Arabs. There is an Arab member of the Israeli Supreme Court. Recently, an Arab was appointed to a cabinet post. Of course there were no Jews in the Nazi government.
- The Israeli government pays for the Islamic religious education of Israeli Arab children, allows Islamic courts to have jurisdiction over the private affairs of Muslim citizens, and even pays the salaries of Muslim clerics in the mosques, despite the open hostility to Israel of much of the Moslem world. Islamic organizations and preachers in Israel are free to denounce the state of Israel and even to advocate the dissolution of Israel into an Islamic state. The Nazis banned Jewish worship completely and destroyed all synagogues.
- Arab members of the Israeli parliament have often publicly expressed support for the "struggle" of the Palestinian terrorist organizations against Israel. They have sometimes expressed this support while visiting states at war with Israel, such as Syria and the "Palestinian National Authority." One Arab member of the Israeli parliament urged Palestinians to kill Israeli soldiers but spare Israeli civilians. Another assured his Jewish colleagues in the Knesset (Israel's parliament) that "we will drive you [the Jewish people] out the way we did the Turks and the Crusaders before you." Yet they are not charged with any crime, remain in the Israeli parliament and continue to receive their salaries from the state. In Nazi Germany, any individual, whether in the government or not, who in private expressed sympathy for Germany's wartime enemies was instantly shot.
- Israel provides free electricity and free drinking water to millions of Arab residents of the territories governed by the "Palestinian National Authority," even though that "Authority" is openly at war with Israel, and its agents have killed over a thousand Israeli civilians and soldiers. Israel has turned over hundreds of millions of dollars in "taxes" to the Palestinian government, despite its state of war with Israel, and has even volunteered its services in collecting the taxes for the PA for free.
- Israelis have given thousands of Palestinian Arabs free treatment in Israeli hospitals, even including Palestinian terrorists wounded in gun battles with Israelis, even though the Palestinians pay no taxes to Israel and are overwhelmingly hostile to Israelis. Israel also provides free medical treatment to over a thousand children from throughout the Arab world suffering from severe disabilities, even though they come from countries unfriendly to Israel.
- Israel grants captured Arab terrorists, who attack Israelis without uniforms or insignia of any kind identifying them as combatants, and who deliberately murder unarmed civilians in cold blood, even small children, the same rights normally granted to legitimate prisoners of war, or to ordinary convicted criminals in democratic societies. The Nazis, of course, shot all out-of-uniform combatants or undercover enemy agents immediately, or as soon as all information could be tortured out of them.
Israel, in short, is humane to those who seek its destruction, and is the exact opposite of Nazi Germany in every possible respect. The crowning irony of this wholly disreputable comparison is that is emanates from populations in the Middle East, such as the Arabs of the Palestine Mandate, who themselves actively collaborated with the German Reich throughout World War II.
Another equally spurious charge is that Israel is an "apartheid state" similar to South Africa of 1948-1994. In that country, official government policy declared blacks second-class citizens in every respect: They could not vote, hold political office, marry whites, use the same public restrooms as whites, or reside in certain restricted locations. But nothing even remotely resembling such conditions exists in Israel, where Arabs have the same rights as all other Israeli citizens: They are free to vote, serve in the Israeli parliament, serve as judges, own property and businesses, and work in professions alongside other Israelis. For further analysis of the "apartheid state" charges which are levied against Israel, click here.
Adapted, in large part, from Rachel Neuwirth’s “Hassam “Ayloush: Poison Discourse Dispelled,” American Thinker, February 2, 2007.