Words Have Meaning: Apartheid and Sedition

When words are thrown out to attack a country or person, it is often done without the definition matching the charge. It is easy to use language to attack without taking time to research how a word is defined, but it is also easy to do a little research to find out if the attack is based on accuracy. Definitions give words their value which should never be taken for granted that the intent is accurate without reading how a word is defined. A foolish person makes assumptions, a wise person does research.

A common charge made against Israel is that the country is an apartheid state. When the charge is made, it is based on an emotion appeal, rather than a reasoned appeal. Does the definition of apartheid fit the charge?

Dictionary.com lists two definitions, with the first specifically dealing with South Africa. The second definition takes a broader approach not specific to any one country. This broader definition is, “any system or practice that separates people according to color, ethnicity, caste, etc.”

https://www.dictionary.com/browse/apartheid

For Israel to be an apartheid state, there must be laws segregating some portion(s) of their society. Does Israeli law cover anything close to segregation? Is anyone, based on religion or anything else, segregated in any way?

Israel does not have separate hospitals for Muslims or Christians than the hospitals used by the Jewish people. Israel does not have specific places required to live for Muslims or Christians where Jewish people live. Israel does not have any school or profession that is forbidden by anyone for any legal reason.

There are members of the Knesset, Israel’s parliament who are not Jewish, including Dr. Mansour Abbas, who is the leader of the United Arab List. He went to school for dentistry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem alongside Jewish students. Dr. Abbas never faced legal hurdles in school or politics, since there are no legal hurdles in Israel for Muslims.

Majalli Wahabi is a Druze member of the Knesset who, for a short time, became Israel’s acting President when Moshe Katzav took a leave of absence in 2007. Being Druze did nothing to stop him from becoming Israel’s head of state. There is no law requiring any member of the government to be Jewish, regardless of position.

Without laws segregating some portion of the population, Israel cannot be an Apartheid state. The emotional charge falls short of reason, which is typical of those who hate Israel, like BDS, which is a well-known anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist organization founded by people who do not believe Jews have the right to live, let alone have their own country.

Sedition is one of the many words being used to describe those who forced their way into the US Capitol. In a similar way that Israel is called an apartheid state, the sedition charge is based on an emotional appeal rather than a reasoned appeal. Does the definition, in this case legal, fit the charge?

In order to commit sedition, seditious conspiracy must happen first. A plan of action must be created with the intent of overthrowing the government. Without the conspiracy, there can be no sedition.

18 US Code S 2384:

If two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof, they shall each be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both.

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/2384

Maddy Teka, Equire has an impressive resume and one of the legal writers at FindLaw.com who wrote about what is required for there to be an act of seditious conspiracy under the law:

“In order to get a conviction for seditious conspiracy, the government must prove that the defendant in fact conspired to use force. Simply advocating for the use of force is not the same thing and in most cases is protected as free speech under the First Amendment. For example, two or more people who give public speeches suggesting the need for a total revolution “by any means necessary” have not necessarily conspired to overthrow the government. Rather, they’re just sharing their opinions, however unsavory. But actively planning such an action (distributing guns, working out the logistics of an attack, actively opposing lawful authority, etc.) could be considered a seditious conspiracy.”

https://www.findlaw.com/criminal/criminal-charges/sedition.html

Rebellion falls under various legal Codes, including advocating the overthrow of government, which falls under 18 US Code S 2385. All require organization and planning prior to carrying out any act, including sedition. If there was no organizing and planning, there can be no sedition under the law.

In 2018, thousands marched and protested against the confirmation of Kavanaugh, with hundreds arrested for forcing their way into the Senate Hart building to stop the Senate from carrying out their Constitutional duty of confirmation. There were politicians, such as Senator Warren, who did say things to fire up the protestors. Not one of the hundreds who were arrested were charged with anything close to sedition.

Both Senator Warren and then President Trump used similar language, both of which are protected under the 1st Amendment of the US Constitution. There is a lot of latitude given to what a person, regardless of office, can say without being guilty of anything. Based on what is known, neither crossed any legal lines.

For there to be conspiracy to commit sedition, there has to be planning prior to an act being taken by any group with intent on overthrowing anything. An investigation is under way into what led to the forced entry into the Capitol building, which will take time. As of right now, there has been no evidence to support any charge the comes close to being legally seditious.

In regards to Israel being called an Apartheid state and those who forced their way into the Capitol building being called seditious, neither matches the definitions provided. Once the investigation into the entry is complete, if there is evidence that something was planned and organized, those directly involved should be charged. Words and charges should be based on what is known, not what is assumed.

About the Author
Bob Ryan is a science-fiction author and believes the key to understanding the future is to understand the past. As any writer can attest, he spends a great deal of time researching numerous subjects. He is someone who seeks to strip away emotion in search of reason, since emotion clouds judgement. Bob is an American with an MBA in Business Administration. He is a gentile who supports Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state.
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