What Israel is really like

Re “Apartheid in Israel? Hardly,” Opinion, Jan. 12

I was in west Jerusalem on the eve of Yom Kippur last year and had to seek care for an infection. The nurse, the doctor who treated me and the pharmacist who dispensed my medication were all Israeli Arabs.

My Israeli sister-in-law told me this was not unusual and that Israel has affirmative action ensuring a generous allocation of places in universities and medical schools to Arab students. There are very few medical schools in Israel, and this often necessitates Jewish students having to go abroad for their studies.

This is hardly the policy of an apartheid state.

As Seth M. Siegel writes, those who seek to boycott Israeli universities should “study their subject a little harder.”

Pauline Regev
Santa Monica

As an American Jew who abhors Israeli treatment of the Palestinians but who also objects to use of the word “apartheid” to describe it, I must point out a major flaw in Siegel's attempted linguistic corrective.

His multiple-choice quiz refers to Israeli treatment of Arabs within Israel proper, whereas the apartheid epithet is directed at the occupied West Bank, where Arabs have far fewer rights and are treated far more harshly.

Before pointing out a word's misuse, one must understand how it is being used in the first place.

Vincent Brook
Los Angeles

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