University of Michigan professor Juan Cole is known as one of the chief apologists for Islamic extremism in the academic world. Naturally, he is a big critic of Israel. I first saw Cole speak at California State University at Long Beach in 2014. It was there that he attacked the British government under then Prime Minister David Cameron for alerting the British public that some 400 Brits were believed to have traveled to the Middle East to join ISIS. Cole called it a racist act and added that 400 suspected ISIS terrorists out of 400,000 Muslims in Britain was a "minuscule" number. As we know, Britain has suffered a number of terror attacks since then. Minuscule indeed.
Cole runs a web site with the improbable name, "Informed Comment". Currently, he is running a posting by himself entitled, "Is There Too Much Democracy in the Middle East?" Aside from attacking George W Bush and his attempts to implant democracy in the region (which Cole calls a "smokescreen"), as well as attacking Israel, Cole also defends the Turkish dictator, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, no easy trick. Cole's column is a critique of a (linked) piece by Israeli professor Yoav Fromer.
That is a bit of hyperbole to put it mildly. In spite of the conflict with the ever-dangerous Palestinians, Israel is hardly an apartheid state. South Africa, under apartheid did not give blacks the right to vote, the right to serve in elected office, nor the right to intermarry. Such is not the case in Israel, which also has complete freedom of religion. Cole's statement that "pretty much everyone in the world except Republican Party members in the USA thinks Israel is an apartheid state" is false. A majority of Americans support Israel. If public opinion in places like Europe is against Israel and ranks it alongside North Korea (which is absurd on its face), I attribute it to a well-organized PR effort by the Palestinian lobby coupled with European cowardice in the face of its restive Muslim population, Arab oil, and a willingness to tolerate a resurgence in anti-Semitism against its Jewish population. In other words, shame on Europe for their moral capitulation to evil.
"Fromer blames Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan's bromides against Israel as an Apartheid state on an attempt to appease public opinion in Turkey. The implication is that Erdogan is simply engaged in demagoguery and that the Turkish public is benighted. Since it doesn't seem to be apparent in the hothouse atmosphere inside Israel, let me just suggest that pretty much everyone in the world except Republican Party members in the USA thinks Israel is an Apartheid state."
"That people in Turkey recognize what is going on in the Palestinian West Bank is if anything a sign that they are ready for democracy."
Apparently, Mr Erdogan does not agree. Erdogan is, indeed, a demagogue who has contributed not only to anti-Israel feeling in his country, but anti-Jewish feeling as well. This dictator, who is reversing many of the secular reforms of Turkey's national hero, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, has spread his tentacles into the Turkish communities and mosques of Western Europe through his religious affairs agency, Diyanet, angering those governments and all but ending any hope Turkey might still have of joining the EU. Even more, NATO now has to consider whether Turkey under Erdogan is a reliable NATO member.
Then there is this comment from Juan about Tunisia:
"Fromer is out of date. Tunisia has had successful elections, a new constitution, a vibrant civil society, and it is certainly a functioning democracy by the definition of transitologists. Moreover, Tunisia has the advantage of not practicing Apartheid and having a freer press than Israel, which is under military censorship."
Well, I am no transitologist, and I concede that Tunisia has made considerable progress since the 2011 Arab Spring, but I would hardly put that country on the level as Israel.
It might also be noted that not only has Tunisia contributed its fair share of criminal and terrorist migrants into Europe in recent years, here's another little tidbit. Many of the international NGO ships that are picking up African and Middle Eastern "refugees" in the Mediterranean off the coast of North Africa are taking them directly to Italian ports even though in many cases, the nearest safe haven port is Tunis, where according to international law, is where they should be taken, a thought to ponder about "the only democracy in the Arab world".
This is so typical of Cole. He despises Israel, but acts as a mouthpiece for all the rotten societies that surround the Jewish state. Someone once called Israel, "a diamond in a sea of mud". Like the proverbial hog, Cole prefers the mud to the diamond.