Maajid Nawaz: The supporter and defender of Israeli apartheid

Maajid Nawaz of Quilliam Foundation

mizan Mizanur “the poet” Rahman is a spoken word artist, activist and community worker.



Maajid Nawaz has publicly confirmed that he is a fully fledged supporter of Israeli apartheid in his latest rant on LBC Radio, writes Mizanur Rahman.

Self-proclaimed “counter-extremist” and secular liberal activist Maajid Nawaz has taken it upon himself, another opportunity to talk about an issue that is politically used to attack, what he calls, the “regressive” left.

For those that don’t know, Maajid believes that liberals who support Muslim political groups, are inadvertently supporting illiberal views and individuals who are using democracy to get in to positions of power so that they can “cut off hands and chop off heads” as he states in his book, co-authored by Sam Harris, “Islam and the future of tolerance”.

In his latest rant against the “regressive” left, Maajid isn’t one to shy away from the issue of Anti-Semitism. Historically, Maajid has advocated for a secular Israeli state and on Twitter has stated that Israel was founded on colonialism.

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Israel ‘systematically’ mistreats PalestiniansHowever, I personally believe that this was done in order to tackle any form of opposition to his true views highlighted in his most recent comments on this issue, which is that instead of challenging all forms of supremacy, he has actually accepted some forms in order to challenge others.

In his rant against what he believes to be modern antisemitism, Maajid states:

“Criticising Israeli policy is not antisemitism.

“However questioning Israel’s right to exist, denying the Jewish people the right to self-determination, while simultaneously holding a cognitive dissonance and affirming every other people’s right to self-determination in the world and singling out Israel [is].

“By saying Israel doesn’t have the right to exist, that can well be anti-Semitic, because what are your motivations? People who question Israel’s right to exist – which was founded in 1948 – while at the same time you acknowledge Pakistan has the right to exist? [Pakistan] was founded in 1947 for precisely the same reasons.

“[If] you are going to say Israel doesn’t have the right to exist – which by the way the UN has approved – I’d say that’s modern antisemitism.”

In the quotes above, Maajid juxtaposes two different events to show that there is a certain level of hypocrisy when it comes to the question of Israel’s right to exist. Pakistan was founded in 1947 and although it was a traumatic experience for those involved, as is the case for all who are involved in state creation, the indigenous population were not left stateless. The creation of the state of Pakistan and the transfer of people was carried out by, at least a majority of, consent.

The tide of public opinion has turned against Israel
The tide of public opinion has turned against Israel

This is in stark contrast to the creation of the illegitimate state of Israel which meant the transfer of one group of people mainly, but not exclusively from, Europe to Palestine which led to the indigenous population dispossessed from their ancestral homeland. This dispossession is what the Arabs call the “Nakba” (The Catastrophe) and those that were the victims of the “Nakba” became refugees of whom Israel has refused the right to return.

We all know that those Palestinians living in Gaza and the West Bank are occupied whether via the PA or through the siege but what makes Israel an apartheid state is how it sees its own Palestinian citizens within its own territory.

Visually, Israel looks like an equal society as Israelis and Palestinians live side by side in some cases but that’s what people call “Visual equality”. In reality, Israeli law defines Israel as a “Jewish and democratic state” and it is via this legal separation that ensures that the Jewish people are treated with privilege to the exception of others. This is how Israeli apartheid works.

One of the biggest arguments against the Apartheid label is the fact that Palestinians in Israel have the right the vote, yes they do but what is less well known is how the Knesset is designed in a way to ensure that no leftist pro-Palestinian party will ever come in to a coalition government so all the Palestinians can do, is only ever really vote for a pro-Zionist party and that’s just one aspect of Israeli apartheid amongst many. And so I say this publicly, Israel does not have the right to exist as an apartheid state.

But there is something more sinister about what Maajid said. He stated that those who question Israel’s existence but acknowledge the existence of states like Pakistan are all practising modern-day anti-Semitism. So in other words, organisations like Jews for Justice in Palestine, Palestine Solidarity Campaign, and Naturei Karta etc are all anti-Semitic organisations due to their specific focus on the legitimacy of Israel’s statehood.

Maajid’s comments have further confirmed his support for a form supremacy which denies the human rights of the Palestinians. For all those who want to know more about Israeli apartheid, please read “Israel and South Africa: The Many Faces of Apartheid” by Ilan Pappe.

You can follow Mizan on Twitter @MizanThePoet

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