The Great Democracy of Israel

Israel attacked (not surrounded, not redirected… attacked) a ship bringing supplies to Gaza, which has been blockaded by Israel for 3 years now. Why did Israel blockade Gaza? Because it was unhappy with the democratic decision of its people to elect Hamas to power.

Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East.

Israel arrested two Palestinians, who are Israeli citizens by the way, Omar Said and Ameer Makhoul, and proceeded to accuse them of spying for Hizbollah. Makhoul was denied access to a lawyer for 2 weeks following his arrest. Makhoul and Said are prominent human rights activists, working inside Israel. Israel has still not presented any evidence against him. Why did Israel arrest them? Because it was not happy with what they were saying. Both Makhoul and Said have been deprived the most basic fundamental legal rights. Their real crime is being Palestinian in Israel.

Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East.

Israel’s official languages are both Arabic and Hebrew. Recently, however, Israel has started to change the names of Arab cities on street signs, replacing their Arabic names with their Hebrew names, transliterated into Arabic. For instance, when describing Jerusalem, instead of writing “al-Quds” in Arabic (its correct name in Arabic), they are now writing “Yerushalim” in Arabic (its Hebrew name). I know, this does not make sense to normal people like you and me. But Israel isn’t normal. It’s not as if the next generation of Palestinians will stop calling it “al-Quds.” We’ve been calling it that for a pretty long time. But Israel is simply doing what it has been trying to do since before 1948: eradicate any sense of Arabness in Palestine. This might work… except… oops, Israel still has more than 5 million Arabs under its control.

Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East.

Jewish towns and roads are pumped with government money, while Arabs ones are left to languish with no help. Jews are granted building permits with no hassle, while Arabs must jump through numerous hoops in hopes of even getting one. Infant mortality among Arab citizens of Israel is two and a half times higher than it is among Jews. 50% of Israeli Arab college graduates are out of work. Arabs make up 6% of the civil service, but are 18% of the country’s citizens. Arab elementary and middle school students trail Jewish pupils in math, science, and English, and the gap is widening. Arabs suffer much more poverty, and the national education system spends considerably more per Jewish child than per Arab child. I haven’t even talked about the Law of Return, which grants any Jew in the world automatic citizenship to Israel while denying the rights of Palestinians living inside Israel, the West Bank, Gaza, and elsewhere.
To Israel, being Palestinian simply means one thing: You can live anywhere in the world you want… except here.

Benjamin Netanyahu, the leader of the Middle East’s only democracy, told us that the activists on the flotilla boat “deliberately attacked” the Israel soldiers who were dropped from helicopters onto their ship in international waters. Wait a second… the Israeli commandos undertook a surprise attack on a ship full of unarmed activists, then got “deliberately attacked?” That’s like saying, “A burglar broke into Amer’s house… then Amer proceeded to deliberately kick his ass.” Maybe in Middle Eastern democracies, “deliberately attacked” means something different than it does in America.

In our democratic America, our leaders have spent the last 24 hours doing damage control, trying to keep strong language out of the UN Security Council’s resolution condemning the attack. President Obama, we have bigger things to worry about. When they ask you about Israel, just say “No comment… I got a hole in the Gulf of Mexico, the economy is shit, and they’re rounding up Latinos in Arizona… I can’t deal with crazy bitch Israel right now.” Israel is like our drunk friend… she always get wasted, does something really stupid, then we apologize for her… “Sorry guys, Israel was so drunk last night… she usually doesn’t kill activists in public like that.”

Except she does. Israel is much more scared of international human rights organizations like Free Gaza than it has ever been of Hamas. If Hamas does something counter to Israeli interests, Israel can simply bomb them, kill a few innocent bystanders, apologize, and move on. But non-violence is something Israel has no idea how to deal with. Branding as terrorists those who challenge Israel in a non-violent manner is nothing new. Edward Said, Noam Chomsky, Hanan Ashrawi, have all gone through this. Killing those who use their intellect to confront and defy Israel is nothing new for the Israelis either. Simply ask the families of Naji el-Ali and Ghassan Kanafani.

In the Middle East’s only democracy, democracy is dead. Or more accurately, it was never even alive.

About Amer Zahr 181 Articles
Amer Zahr is a Palestinian American comedian, writer, professor and speaker living in Dearborn, Michigan. He is also the editor of "The Civil Arab."


  1. Exceptionalism. What was life like in Jordan for your father? Great till he got kicked out. Why not bitch about his treatment? Oh, it’s too complicated. You don’t want to get into it. Can’t talk bad about your Arab brothers, eh? Do a little soul searching. Take a look around with open eyes. Still feel like Israel is the great Satan? Try again.

    Hamas-style Democracy involves semi-automatic weapons, holes in knees, multi-story buildings, and free fall.

    While you’re at your statistics game, compare Israeli-Arab infant mortality and life expectancy to those of Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria. Come on, be a man and do it.

  2. These posts are so great…you should share it on facebook,i really apreciated that , and also my friends…thank you

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.