July 25, 2019
In 2008, a delegation from the Mossawa Center, an NGO that promotes equality for Arab-Israelis, came to Brussels to raise EU awareness about the socioeconomic gaps between Israel’s Muslim and Jewish citizens. Their evidence was meant to serve as proof of Israel’s discriminatory treatment of Arabs.
The delegates rather awkwardly discovered, however, that Belgium’s Muslims were in worse shape than Israel’s. Only one per cent of native Belgians were living below the deep poverty line. But that number rose to 39 per cent for Turks and 25 per cent for Moroccans.
This anecdote comes from scholar Ben-Dror Yemini’s new book, Industry of Lies: Media, Academia and the Israeli-Arab Conflict, an enlightening dive into the numerous myths and misconceptions that fuel what has become a near-global assumption that Israel is an oppressor – even an “apartheid” state.