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Challenging the rise of discrimination in Israel

11 8 0

Seventy-one years since the Nakba the State of Israel finds itself at the height of its self-confidence and pride. The change in US administration, the spring in Israel’s relations with Arab and Muslim countries, and a burgeoning high-tech industry, have combined to create a more favourable political and social milieu for Israel to pursue its interests.

Salient among these interests has been the conscious attempt by Israeli officials to downplay Israel’s human rights record towards the Palestinians living in Israel and Palestinian Occupied Territory.

To do this, one strategy commonly employed by Israeli officials, including by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has been to promote the narrative that Israel is the “only democracy in the Middle East”’ and a “beacon of hope for all peoples.” Reproduced not only by politicians in Israel but also here in Europe, most notoriously by the UK’s Home Secretary Sajid Javid, rhetoric supporting the idea that Israel is a democratic state threatens to grow in popularity as the far-right grows in power and influence across Europe and South America.

For Israeli officials, the reproduction of this narrative is designed to have a number of desired effects. It is intended not only to shield the State from comparisons to apartheid-era South Africa but to also suggest that Arabs are incapable of practicing democracy. The latter is often used by Israel to avoid shouldering the blame for a failing Middle East peace process........

© Middle East Monitor