I have often written about the plural nature of Israeli society and how it confounds those who would label Israel an ‘apartheid’ state.
Look at this story in ynetNews of an Guinean whose original name was Ibrahim and who now considers himself as ‘a Jew in every way’.
He was sold to slave traders who smuggled him into Israel. How this worked or who benefited from his flight to Cairo and then into Israel via Eilat I cannot work out. I believe the person who had bought his air fare to Cairo expected him to send money back to Guinea. This is hardly slavery as we understand it but the obligation he felt and his fear of return were a kind of slavery.
However, he was never a slave. He found himself as an illegal in Tel Aviv and soon found other black Africans who advised him to apply for refugee status.
When this was turned down he was almost deported but a kind family took him in, sent him to school and eventually persuaded the authorities to give him Israeli citizenship. From there it was a short step to army service.
On Tuesday he is set to complete his officers’ course and will then be promoted to the rank of Second Lieutenant. “I really do feel like someone who is making history,” he says with pride. “Who would have believed that I, who arrived in this country with nothing, sat in prison and was nearly deported, would become an IDF officer and serve at the IDF adjutancy helping Israelis integrate into the army?”
Please name any other country in the Middle East where such opportunities, especially for black Africans, are possible. In some Gulf states black Africans are literally slaves. Read this article about Saudi Arabia. In Libya, the vaunted rebels, are attacking black Africans indiscriminately because Gaddafi is using black African mercenaries. See here an article in FrontPage Mag for a report on this behaviour.
Meanwhile Israel has been a haven for Somalis and Sudanese fleeing war and persecution.
As I have often said: so much for Israeli Apartheid.