The good, the bad, and the ugly of our public sector. By Eoghan Harris. Irish Independent, April 7, 2013.
bad there is ugly. Last Thursday, the Teachers’ Union of Ireland became the
first academic union in Europe to call for an academic boycott of Israel. The
motion, passed unanimously, referred to Israel as an “apartheid state.”
of calling Israel an “apartheid” state is to smear it with the same brush as
South Africa. But as someone who strongly supported the Irish Anti-Apartheid
Association I can categorically state there is not the slightest comparison
between South Africa and Israel. Passing this motion simply peddled propaganda.
because the motion conflated two separate groups. First, Israeli Arabs who form
one-fifth of the population of Israel and have full civil rights. Second,
Palestinians who live in Gaza under Hamas and who get a hard time for many
reasons, including sending rockets into Israel.
African non- whites under apartheid were separated by law. They could not vote,
form parties or serve in government. The notion that a non-white woman could
give birth in the same hospital as a white south African woman would be literally
beyond the imagination of anyone in apartheid South Africa.
contrast, Israeli Arabs, who make up 20 per cent of Israel’s population, are
full citizens. They can vote, form parties, hold government posts, become civil
servants and lawyers. The judge who sentenced a former Israeli prime minister
for sexual transgressions was an Arab. Some apartheid.
birth there is no apartheid in Israel. Jewish and Arab babies are born in the
same delivery room, looked after by the same doctors and nurses. Jewish and
Arab mothers recover side by side in adjoining beds. Some apartheid.
Israel an apartheid state is an attack on truth. As wrong as teaching that 2+2
makes 5. It confirms my belief that there are a lot of good teachers out there,
but you won’t find them at conferences.