One of the recurring themes of this blog, as in many other places, is that Israel is not perfect, but Israel is far from evil. And, refusing to see any nuance, or proportionality, with regards to Israel is one of the more effective ways that Israel's enemies slander her, and try to undermine Israeli legitimacy.
One of the more common, and more disgusting, examples of this is the oft repeated "Israel is an Apartheid regime*." Well, that canard is taken on in yesterday's New York Times by none other than Richard Goldstone. The same Goldstone responsible for the Goldstone Report, a report that criticized Israel harshly for its actions in Operation Cast Lead. A report that was so distorted by Palestinian propaganda that it was later repudiated by Goldstone himself.
* It does, however, come a distant second to the disgusting "Israel is a Nazi regime."
So, it's pretty well established that Goldstone has no problem with criticizing Israel, harshly and publicly, when he feels it's warranted. Yet, still, he outright rejects the "Israel/Apartheid" claim. Goldstone says what many have said before: Israel may do some things wrong, but it is utterly and completely wrong to call it an Apartheid state:
In Israel, there is no apartheid. Nothing there comes close to the definition of apartheid under the 1998 Rome Statute: “Inhumane acts ... committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime.” Israeli Arabs — 20 percent of Israel’s population — vote, have political parties and representatives in the Knesset and occupy positions of acclaim, including on its Supreme Court. Arab patients lie alongside Jewish patients in Israeli hospitals, receiving identical treatment.
Those seeking to promote the myth of Israeli apartheid often point to clashes between heavily armed Israeli soldiers and stone-throwing Palestinians in the West Bank, or the building of what they call an “apartheid wall” and disparate treatment on West Bank roads. While such images may appear to invite a superficial comparison, it is disingenuous to use them to distort the reality. The security barrier was built to stop unrelenting terrorist attacks; while it has inflicted great hardship in places, the Israeli Supreme Court has ordered the state in many cases to reroute it to minimize unreasonable hardship. Road restrictions get more intrusive after violent attacks and are ameliorated when the threat is reduced.
Not only is it wrong, but it's counterproductive:
The mutual recognition and protection of the human dignity of all people is indispensable to bringing an end to hatred and anger. The charge that Israel is an apartheid state is a false and malicious one that precludes, rather than promotes, peace and harmony.
Israel is not an Apartheid state. Anyone who tells you differently either has no idea what they are talking about, or is out to slander Israel.