Culture

Dinesh D'Souza Gets Israel Wrong in Acclaimed Debate with Bill Ayers

After their anticipated debate at Dartmouth College, Dinesh D’Souza and Bill Ayers took questions from the audience.

D’Souza’s answer to an audience member’s question about Israel was unfortunate (see 1:31:31 of the debate).

The audience member libeled Israel as an apartheid state, accused it of codifying into law discrimination against Arabs, then asked the debaters why the United States supports such a country.

The answer to this question is obvious.

Israel is not an apartheid state.

More than 1 million Arabs live in Israel and have full civil rights. Arabs constitute 10 percent of the Israeli parliament, and one sits on the Israeli Supreme Court. Arabs make up a large portion of the student population at elite Israeli universities where Arabs teach and have full tenure. The only place where Arabs have freedom of speech and association is in Israel.

Hundreds of gay Palestinian Arabs have actually fled to Israel because of fear for their lives due to their sexual orientation.

Meanwhile, Palestinian President Abbas states openly that not a single Jew will be allowed in a future Palestinian state. In Saudi Arabia women are not allowed to drive. In Iran gays are hanged. There is plenty of apartheid in the Middle East, but it is not happening in Israel.

But did D’Souza mention any of this? Nope.

Instead, he tacitly agreed that Israel is an apartheid state by not challenging that accusation in his answer, and ranting on about how much different Israel is than the United States. He then spoke about how all countries are flawed, saying, “We also recognize we live in a big world, and in a big world, we make allies with people, some of whom we agree with 100%, and some of whom we agree with 5%. Why? Because foreign policy is based on the principle of the lesser evil. And you sometimes ally even with the bad guy to get rid of the worse guy.” Wow.

The implication clearly being that Israel is a bad guy, but, hey, we allied with Joseph Stalin, too.

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He then stated, “We have to recognize that Israel’s fate—certainly over the last 50 years—is bound up with ours, for better or worse, so, ya know, it’s a tough spot. I don’t agree with everything Israel does. I’m not saying we should be giving billions in aid to Israel, or Egypt for that matter,” indicating that Israel is a liability for the United States.

The only defense D’Souza offered for Israel is that it is an ally of the United States and an outpost of western ideals.

It’s a shame, because Israel is currently facing unprecedented pressure. Iran openly declares its intentions to annihilate the Jewish state, while it races towards a nuclear weapon; Israel’s neighbors, Syria and Egypt, are consumed with utter violence and chaos; and Hamas continues to launch rockets against Israel from the southern border, while Hezbollah amasses rockets in the north. Israel’s legitimacy is under constant attack around the world by those who wish to isolate it as a unique menace, undeserving of normal relations.

With a large college audience, and facing an open Israel hater and supporter of the BDS movement in Bill Ayers—who of course agreed with the questioner, and condemned Israel as an apartheid State–D’Souza had a great opportunity to explain why morality compels one to support the state of Israel. D’Souza had a great opportunity to push back against the atrocious lie that Israel is an apartheid state, similar to racist South Africa. He did not do that.