By Nathan Jones
Why is it outrageous for our politicians to label Israel an apartheid state?
To answer that question, Dr. David Reagan and I on our television program Christ in Prophecy invited Jim Fletcher, the founder and director of a ministry in Arkansas called Prophecy Matters. Jim has been an author and book editor for many years, and when in the 1990's took his first trip to Israel to do some book research, he became hooked on the nation and people. Jim is now a strong advocate for Israel.
Not an Apartheid State
Dr. Reagan: Israel is always being accused of being an apartheid state. What would be your defense of Israel on that?
Jim Fletcher: First of all, it's an effective political cudgel to use against Israel, because people want to make the comparison of them to South Africa in oppressing their citizens. But, in fact, there's no such comparison to be made. Israel is the only open society in the Middle East. There are Arabs serving in the Knesset and the Supreme Court. They work in Israel and hold high positions. The standard of living for a Palestinian in Israel is dramatically higher than it is in the rest of the Middle East.
Dr. Reagan: Certainly they are not practicing apartheid, because they have Palestinians living in their own land, whereas the Jews have been evicted from all of the Arab nations. Most people don't know that after the 1956 Suez War most of the Jews were ejected from Arab lands and given as little as a week to get out. All their belongings were confiscated. Israel ended up with millions of refugees.
Jim Fletcher: That's exactly right. A friend of mine, Lela Gilbert, wrote a book called Saturday People, Sunday People. In it, she talked about the fact that many people are unaware that Israel absorbed more refugees than the Arabs that left Israel proper.
Dr. Reagan: Yes, and the reason the Arab nations won't absorb Palestinian refugees is because they want to use them as a political pawn on the world scene.
Trading Land for Peace
Dr. Reagan: Another question I have is, what's your attitude about the current policy that the United States of America has forced on Israel. That's the policy of trading land for peace?
Jim Fletcher: That policy really goes back to the Johnson administration. All American administrations since Johnson basically have called for the "land for peace" scenario. It depends on the friendliness of the sitting president as to how much pressure is applied on Israel. The problem is that this process has gone on for so long that the pressure is now intensifying on Israel.
Dr. Reagan: The one who put the real hammer on them though was the first President Bush, because they had this influx of emigrates from Russia. In fact, Israel absorbed more people in about a two year period of time, which would be equivalent to the United States absorbing the entire population of France in a year's time. They were overwhelmed. And so, Israel went to the World Bank wanting a ten billion dollar loan. The World Bank said, "The United States will have to underwrite it." So, Israel came to the United States. The first Bush said to the effect, "Okay, tell you what, I'll underwrite it under one condition. You must go to the Madrid Conference and start trading land for peace." We're the ones who forced them to do that.
Jim Baker, who was the Secretary of State at the time, was one of the most anti-semitic Secretaries of State we've ever had. In fact, I think it was interesting that the very first thing he did after he ceased being Secretary of State was he arranged to have Arafat come to Houston, Texas and receive an honorary degree from Rice Institute. To me, that's like Hitler receiving an honorary degree.
Jim Fletcher: We make a mistake if we think that American leadership has always been friendly to Israel. In fact, it's often as you said — been very unfriendly. Our current administration has an unfriendly relationship with Israel at this very moment.
Dr. Reagan: Is Israel going to gain peace by trading land?
Jim Fletcher: No, obviously not. Look at former Prime Minister Sharon's decision to pull out of Gaza in 2005. He did that to curry favor with George W. Bush. But, the plain fact is that there's no amount of concessions that will satisfy Israel's enemies. The core issue is Arab rejection of Israel as the Jewish state.
Dr. Reagan: That's right. People evidently have forgotten history, because history has shown us that appeasement does nothing but whet the appetite of the aggressor. The Arabs just think, "Hey, if I pressured them into giving me that, then I'll just do it again and get even more."
The Arabs in the Middle East are following the plan that was developed a long time ago by Mahmoud Abbas and Arafat together. That plan was this. They schemed, "We'll never defeat Israel militarily, so what we'll do is we'll attack them diplomatically and we'll just keep making demands until finally we'll have enough land to launch a final attack."
Jim Fletcher: That's right. A lot of people are unaware that the Soviets schooled Arafat and Abbas in ways of attacking Israel diplomatically and politically. They literally brought them in and gave them a blueprint for how to do it. They basically said to Arafat, "Look, you are blowing planes up and you're killing people and there's blood on TV. You have to change your MO and become a freedom fighter." And, that's exactly what they became.
Dr. Reagan: Then you get Arafat receiving the Noble Prize for being the greatest terrorist of the 20th Century. This is just mind boggling to me that this happened.
Jim Fletcher: Yes, it is. It's as Isaiah said, "good is evil and evil is good."
Dr. Reagan: And that's where we are in the world today. We call good "evil" and evil "good."