Sky News Misreads Mainstream Israelis

In an analysis for Sky News, Middle East News Editor Tom Rayner examines John Kerry’s “apartheid” remarks and writes the following:

The two-state solution mantra is that Israel cannot remain both “Jewish” and “democratic” if it fails to cut a deal creating an independent Palestinian state.

The reason is demographic – if the Palestinian Territories and Israel were a single state, the Jewish majority would be numerically under threat.

The only way such a state could remain “Jewish”, the theory goes, is if the democratic rights of non-Jews were severely curtailed.

That may not scare those on Israel’s right, such as economy minister Naftali Bennett, who say the country is entering a new “realist” era, which may involve “imperfect” solutions.

But it terrifies many in Israel’s mainstream, who fear international isolation like that applied to apartheid South Africa.

Rayner seems to imply that the mainstream rejection of a one-state solution is due to the fear of international isolation and the consequences that this would entail.

This ignores the real reasons: Israel’s mainstream values democracy and rejects on moral grounds the curtailing of democratic rights of non-Jews. Tom Rayner might wish to consider giving the Israeli public a bit more credit rather than crediting the threat of international isolation as the only thing preventing an “apartheid state.”

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