Yousef Haddad

Israeli Arab Yoseph Haddad writes op-ed in Israel Hayom slamming anti-Israel NGO that “has already broken the record for hypocrisy.”

By Yakir Benzion, United With Israel

Yoseph Haddad is a proud Christian Arab citizen of Israel who is normally a happy guy and full of life, but last week his mood changed to anger when he woke up to find out that he had suddenly become a second-class citizen.

B’Tselem, a so-called “rights” organization that admits most of its funding comes from European governments, issued a proclamation that everything between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea was now an “apartheid state.”

“When B’Tselem director Hagai El-Ad, who is Jewish, decides that I, my Arab family, and my Arab friends are all living under an apartheid regime, he and his organizations are basically telling us they see us as second-class citizens,” Haddad wrote Sunday in an op-ed in the Israel Hayom newspaper.

“Last week, I woke up one morning in my Nazareth home and was astonished to discover I was living under a racist apartheid regime whose only purpose is ‘the promotion and perpetuation of the superiority of one group of people – the Jews.’ I rubbed my eyes, read the story in greater depth, and calmed down as soon as I realized the reports were based on yet another report by the left-wing NGO B’Tselem,” Haddad said.

“The problem is that this report has spread like wildfire around the world, and the propaganda is working. B’Tselem, which presents itself as a human-rights organization, is in fact known as an organization with a clear political stance that is in contrast to Israel’s position,” Haddad said.

“How dare they say that I, an Arab Israeli who served along with Jewish soldiers in the Israel Defense Forces and managed hundreds of Jewish employees, live under an apartheid regime?” he asked. “How can anyone say our society is living under an apartheid regime when among us you will find doctors, judges, and even lawmakers,” adding that the head of the largest bank in Israel is an Arab, Samer Haj-Yehia.

Haddad, 35, turned into a social activist after being severely wounded while serving as an IDF combat officer in the 2006 Lebanon war. He founded a non-profit organization called “Together Vouch For Each Other” for Israeli-Arabs, which works to bring the Arab sector closer to Israeli society and encourages the involvement of young Israeli Arabs in their country.

“B’Tselem has already broken the record for hypocrisy, but to compare Israel to an apartheid regime … is not only a distorted lie but an insult to all those South Africans who actually lived through apartheid. It is contempt for and cynical exploitation of the concept,” Haddad said.

“I am not here to claim that everything in Israel is perfect. Some things need to be fixed, and how. But show me a country where everything is perfect. I look around at our neighbors in the region and thank god I was born in the State of Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East,” he said.

“True, the Arab minority in Israel faces challenges, just as other national minorities do in other countries. Yet while minorities of all kinds across the Middle East – Shia Muslims, Sunni Muslims, Yazidi, Kurds, and of course the Christians – are persecuted, the State of Israel is the only country that grants minorities equal rights and the ability to influence their future,” he noted.

“B’Tselem, don’t push your agendas at our expense,” he said.

“To my delight, Israel will likely be the first country to exit the corona crisis, and in a few months, people from around the world may be able to come here and see what apartheid looks like in Israel for themselves. Then they will be able to hear Hebrew and Arabic spoken in the Nazareth marketplace, they will see mosques, churches, and synagogues alongside one another in Jaffa, and see the coexistence of the Israeli mosaic across the country.

“And maybe, just maybe, their visit here will make them want to live under an apartheid regime,” he quipped.