Gallant is right

The security fence and checkpoints on West Bank roads are not designed to perpetuate a regime where there is one superior and one inferior people, but to protect Israel from real-life terrorists.

Twisted version of Israel flag, Apartheid flag 311 (photo credit: Richard Millett)
Twisted version of Israel flag, Apartheid flag 311
(photo credit: Richard Millett)
First things first: Israel is not an apartheid state.
There is no apartheid inside Israel within the 1949 Armistice Lines, nor in the areas controlled by Israel beyond those lines. To say that Israel is an apartheid state is either to not know Israel, or to not know apartheid.
Those using this term in relation to Israel are doing so not in an effort to truthfully describe a situation, but to malign and demonize Israel either because of an obsessive hatred of the Jewish state – or in the hope that throwing this epithet at Israel long enough, and hard enough, will force it to alter policies that the one using this term believes are wrongheaded.
Apartheid describes a particularly grotesque form of institutionalized and systemic racism that existed in South Africa from 1948 to 1994 and was designed to preserve the dominance of one race – the whites – over another, the blacks.
Anyone who looks honestly at Israel, on either side of the Green Line, knows this is not the situation here.
Inside the Green Line, Israeli Arabs have full civil rights. Israel’s aspiration, as laid out in its Declaration of Independence, is for equal rights between Jews and Arabs. Has it reached that aspiration? No, far from it. But that it falls short of the aspirational ideal does not make it an apartheid or systemically racist society, only an imperfect one.
It is equally absurd to use the term apartheid to describe the situation in Gaza or the West Bank.
Since Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005, Israel has had no say whatsoever in governance there. Hamas violently took control of the coastal enclave in 2007, and rules there with an iron fist.
The Israeli naval blockade of Gaza, as well as the fence keeping Gazans from coming into Israel, is not meant to separate “inferior Palestinians” from “superior Jews,” as Israel haters would argue, but rather to keep the terrorists who run Gaza from realizing their violent aims toward Israel, aims illustrated overnight Sunday when rockets were fired from Gaza toward Ashdod.
And in the West Bank, the Palestinian Authority is a self-governing body meant to govern the Palestinians until the final dispensation of the territories is worked out. That no final agreement has yet been reached is as much – if not more – a Palestinian fault as an Israeli one.  
The security fence and checkpoints on West Bank roads are not designed to perpetuate a regime where there is one superior and one inferior people, but rather to protect Israel from real-life terrorism. Anyone remotely acquainted with the Israeli-Arab conflict of the last century understands this.
Hagai El-Ad, executive director of the human rights organization B’Tselem, doesn’t understand this – and in a dramatic announcement last week, his organization declared Israel an apartheid state.
“The territory between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea is governed by a single regime that works to maintain Jewish supremacy,” the organization stated. “In recent years, the Israeli regime has grown increasingly explicit regarding its Jewish supremacist ideology.”
It is because of this view that Israelis largely yawn at B’Tselem’s  pronouncements, believing them to be so far from the truth as to be irrelevant.
The Jerusalem Post, unlike the Hebrew media, was one of only a few media outlets in Israel – all of them English – that reported on B’Tselem’s outlandish declaration, believing that the public should know what this group, trumpeted abroad as Israel’s “leading human rights organization,” is saying.
We do not believe, however, that B’Tselem should be given a blank check to peddle this pernicious lie in the country’s schools. Therefore, we support Education Minister Yoav Gallant’s directive to keep groups calling Israel an apartheid state out of the schools, a decision breached Monday when El-Ad delivered a Zoom talk to Haifa’s Hebrew Reali School.
El-Ad has both a right to his viewpoint and to articulate it. The state must by no means prevent him from expressing his opinion, but it need not provide him a platform. Gallant is not saying that El-Ad can’t express his opinion, only that state-funded schools don’t need to give him a bullhorn and an audience.
While some may say this is undemocratic, we contend it is just good common sense.