Philippe Assouline

Stupid is also just a word

Having read Rebecca Rachmany’s self-serving drivel where she accuses Israel of being an apartheid state (which, for some unfathomable reason, the ToI, in a Haaretz-worthy lapse of integrity, decided to publish), I believe it accurate to call her stupid.

To quote Rachmany herself, I don’t know why anyone would get all upset if I say that they are stupid. “Like it’s some kind of curse or something. It’s just a word, and it has a specific meaning. Come to think of it, that’s how it is with curse words, right? If someone uses the correct terminology for a person born out of wedlock, the person will most certainly feel offended, whether or not they were born out of wedlock.”

Here’s why Rachmany is stupid.

The gist of Rachmany’s pathetic cry for attention be this:


If you are a Jew or you live inside the Green Line, you are subject to a court system for citizens of Israel. If you are an Arab and you live on the West Bank, you are subject to a completely different judicial system, which is fundamentally a military court system.

Nobody would argue with that, because it is the simple truth. Depending on your circumstances, you are subject to different laws.

Actually, anyone with grade two reading skills and half a brain would argue against that, victoriously, in a few seconds.

Apartheid has nothing to do with “circumstances” and Rachmany’s hypocritical use of that euphemism is very telling as to the reliability of her piece and her judgment.

Here is how the Oxford English dictionary defines apartheid:


Definition of apartheid



  • (in South Africa) a policy or system of segregation or discrimination on grounds of race.

(The dictionary adds a derivative definition, “segregation on grounds other than race:sexual apartheid” which is ironic since gender apartheid is ubiquitous, omnipresent in Arab countries and the Palestinian Authority where Honor Killings are rampant, yet no one accuses those states or the PA of being Apartheid regimes, do they?)

The fact is that over the Green Line – which is nothing more than a ceasefire line that the Arab states that attacked Israel in 1948 refused to recognize as any kind of border – Israeli citizens, i.e., Jews, Arabs, Muslims, Christians, Circassians, Druze, Baha’i, Atheists, those of Asian descent, former African (Muslim) refugees, Russian atheists and Anglo-Saxon Buddhists alike – ALL are subject to Israeli laws.  Period. There is not one single iota of discrimination in this regard based on race, the sine-qua-non of Apartheid.

And there are non Jewish Israelis including Arabs living beyond the Green Line (e.g., students at Ariel), and they are subject to the same protections and laws as all Israelis. In fact, race is a concept seldom referred to at all in Israel, a country that is among the most diverse and tolerant on the planet (and profoundly tolerant people — which israelis are, as Rachmany in a rare non-stupid moment recognizes — don’t magically become racist when they cross an invisible line 10 minutes from their home).

Palestinians on the other hand live under Palestinian laws and Palestinian courts and Palestinian police. See, that is what they want and what they have fought for. That is the only way you get to two states, a program Rachmany seems to support. Maybe one day Palestinians will muster the courage to stop rejecting Israel’s withdrawal offers and have their own state for the first time in human history and no longer be subject to military courts for security infractions. In the meantime, if Israel is an apartheid state for subjecting hostile non-citizens to different rules than it does its own citizens of every color and stripe, then every single country on this planet is also an apartheid state. More importantly, every single one of Israel’s neighbours — which either in law or unofficially discriminate against Palestinians and Christians on the basis of their origin — are apartheid superpowers. Will Rachmany be offering her wisdom on the pages of Saudi dailies? Al Manar?

Not satisfied with her first big fat stupid lie, Rachmany piles it on:

“Separate judicial systems for separate people. The accurate current terminology for that specific situation is “apartheid.”

No, the accurate term for that specific situation is “separate judicial systems for separate people.”  Am I as a non-citizen living in America suffering apartheid because I do not benefit from a variety of American laws, including welfare, the right to vote and the right of entry to the country at will?  I can be refused entry at any point, must pay taxes but cannot vote or collect welfare and can be expelled at the slightest infraction. Does that make the American legal system racist?

Or does it make Palestinian propgandists immoral for cheapening the suffering of so many people by robbing the word apartheid of all meaning? This, while anti-Black racism – at its most extreme, slavery! — goes on unabated in Arab countries. The only real apartheid to be found in Rachmany’s article is her discriminatory and dishonest condemnation of the Israeli democracy (alone) while she remains blind to the barbaric reality around it.

The Oxford Dictionary defines a stupid person as one “lacking intelligence or common sense.”

Pandering to haters — as Rachmany does — by calling the only state in the Middle East that cherishes equality an “apartheid” state may be good self-marketing, but it is, by any definition of the word, stupid.


About the Author
Philippe Assouline is a lawyer and PhD candidate in International Relations and Political science. His research is on the Middle East, and investigating whether positive communication can foster peace between Israelis and Arabs. Philippe believes that dehumanizing propaganda, like BDS, fuels hatred and war. Accordingly, he has written posts criticizing BDS and profiling dissidents and Arab peace activists, to break barriers between Jews and Arabs.