If you deduct the Israelites, Pharaoh’s Egypt was actually a marvelous country

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Affirming that Israel is not an apartheid state if one overlooks its treatment of Palestinians, Benjamin Netanyahu said this on Thursday to a reporter from The Onion Haaretz:

The State of Israel is doing “not badly” compared to other countries, and “if you deduct the Arabs and ultra-Orthodox from inequality indexes, we’re in great shape,” said Netanyahu.

He was responding to the latest annual International Monetary Fund report on Israel, which showed that inequality has worsened significantly over the past two decades and that Israel is now one of the three IMF members with the worst inequality.

He said that? Is Bibi asking for the world to unite behind an Israeli-Palestinian Equality Movement, as recently contemplated by card-carrying liberal Zionists Gideon Levy and Bradley Burston?

On Passover, Bibi might remember that according to Jewish mythology, ancient Egypt didn’t do badly compared to other countries of its time, and if you deducted the Israelites from Pharoah’s inequality indexes, the land of the pyramids was in great shape!

Imagine if an American political leader today said something similarly racist and prejudicial involving 18 percent of our population– “If you deduct the Blacks and Mormons from unemployment figures, the U.S. economy is in great shape” — the outrage and criticism that would deservedly descend! Doesn’t Bibi’s quip sound like it could have emanated from the mouth of the governor of a Jim Crow U.S. southern state in the 1950s? 

Memo to Peter Beinart: As Bibi has tacitly admitted, on neither side of the green line is Israel a “flawed but genuine democracy.” Israel is now, and always has been, the Middle East’s Only Pretend Democracy™. It’s time to end the pretension.

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