Could the New York Times possibly publish an opinion piece that didn’t paint Israel in the worst possible light? Seemingly not as column inches are given over to Yousef Munayyer in a piece damningly titled “Not All Israeli Citizens Are Equal”.
Sitting from his office in Washington DC, Munayyer begins:
I’m a Palestinian who was born in the Israeli town of Lod, and thus I am an Israeli citizen. My wife is not; she is a Palestinian from Nablus in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. …
Tel Aviv’s Ben-Gurion International Airport is on the outskirts of Lod (Lydda in Arabic), but because my wife has a Palestinian ID, she cannot fly there; she is relegated to flying to Amman, Jordan. If we plan a trip together — an enjoyable task for most couples — we must prepare for a logistical nightmare that reminds us of our profound inequality before the law at every turn.
Even if we fly together to Amman, we are forced to take different bridges, two hours apart, and endure often humiliating waiting and questioning just to cross into Israel and the West Bank. The laws conspire to separate us.
If the point of Munayyer’s article is to promote a view where Israel’s Arab citizens are treated unequally, then he has failed. The very fact that he takes a different bridge shows that Israeli Jews and Arabs are treated equally. The border crossing for Israeli citizens is just that. It defines Munayyer as an Israeli without prejudice as to whether he is Arab or Jewish.
Related content: The Australian’s Apartheid Cloud
As for the fact that Munayyer’s wife is Palestinian and does not have the same rights as her husband to live with him in Israel: We’ve heard the same charge only a few weeks ago in The Australian, which attempted to portray Israel as an apartheid state based on its citizenship laws. At that time, HonestReporting pointed out that any Israeli Jewish citizen would have the same problems marrying a resident of the Palestinian territories as an Israeli Arab.
In a very selective reading of history, Munayyer paints Israel as responsible for the Palestinian refugee problem and subsequent alleged discrimination, including an attack on the rights of Jews to immigrate to Israel. More revealing than what he says is what Munayyer omits. For example: