(CAMERA) On August 1, an Arab member of Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, Jamal Zahalka, stood at the podium and declared, “We [Arabs] were here before you and we’ll be here after you.” In response, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu indicated that he wanted to speak, went to the podium and answered, “The first part is not correct and the second part will not happen.”
It is clear that this could not happen if Israel were an “apartheid” state, because there would be no Arab members of Knesset. And, if Israel were not a free state, certainly no member of the Knesset could openly declare a desire for the end of the state without fear of prison or even censure.
Imagine even the most radical member of Congress, from anywhere across the political spectrum, standing on the floor of the House or Senate and envisioning the end of the United States. It would cause an uproar. But in Israel, it only elicits a brief remark from the Prime Minister.