Long-standing Israeli propaganda has it that Israel is the “only democracy in the Middle East”. The statements of Western political leaders, particularly from the US and UK, often also make this claim as part of their justification for fostering ties with Israel. They claim the mantle of “democracy” for themselves, while often supporting or directly creating brutal regimes of occupation and tyranny around the world (such as the US-UK occupation of Iraq, and the theocratic Saudi tyrany).
In fact, as activists and critics have long pointed out, Israel is an ethnocracy – a state ruled by a particular ethnic group, in this case, something defied in Israeli law and practice as “the Jewish people”.
(In reality, as the Israeli historian Shlomo Sand convincingly argues in his book, The Invention of the Jewish People, there is no such thing as a homogeneous, unified “Jewish people”. Instead, there are many…
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