Ultimately, Macdonald’s modus operandi serves to demonize and stigmatize Israel, to tarnish the Jewish state’s hard-fought reputation and to malign its standing in the community of nations.
In his column, Macdonald misquoted sources when saying that (emphasis added): “…with a long list of Israeli political leaders, academics and public figures … all of whom have warned that the Jewish state is becoming, or already is, an apartheid state.”
As my HonestReporting.com colleague Daniel Pomerantz observed, most of the people referenced specifically say that Israel is not an apartheid state. To be precise, the cited individuals warn that Israel would be in danger of becoming an apartheid state if Israel were to adopt certain policies: policies which Israel has not adopted and most likely never will. Such is the nature of political debate in any free democracy: opposing politicians dramatically predict the consequences that would result from following one possible path to its theoretical conclusion.
Macdonald’s only source claiming that Israel is already an apartheid state is a 2007 opinion piece in a small New Zealand based web site by Shulamit Aloni: a now deceased, former Israeli politician from the far left Meretz party. Though certainly a part of the national debate, the party is currently one of the smallest in Israel.
In a country of 8.5 million people and with free speech, Pomerantz observes that you’ll find at least someone expressing every opinion imaginable. Yet Macdonald fails to come up with even one quote from the contemporary Israeli mainstream, or even from the current decade.
Macdonald claims that (emphasis added): “Expansion of Jewish settlements in the West Bank continued, and since the election of Donald Trump, colonization has surged with an invigorated enthusiasm.”
Whether you love or loath the settlement enterprise, the facts speak for themselves. Pomerantz observes:
- Over the past decade the population of Israelis living in the West Bank has grown more slowly than at any time since 1967, a trend that has not changed since the election of the latest American president.
- Israel has not built a new West Bank settlement in 25 years.
- In order to accommodate the residents already evacuated from the town of Amona, the first new settlement in 25 years has received initial approval, but it has not yet received final approvals for actual building. Furthermore, when completed it will be tiny: containing 102 housing units, roughly the size of the smallest “truck stop” towns in America like Saint Donatus, Iowa or Marengo, Indiana.