It is commonplace to attribute much of Israel’s domestic tensions to supposed Jewish discrimination against the country’s Arab citizens. Nearly every Israeli Arab nongovernmental organization insists that such discrimination characterizes the Jewish state in general and its labor markets in particular. The Israeli media routinely interview Israeli Arabs (and non-Ashkenazi Jews) who claim to have been victims of discrimination. These allegeations are echoed by Jewish Israeli academics, think tanks, and journalists, especially on the political Left, not to mention the international anti-Israel movement and the boycott, divestment, and sanctions campaign. Indeed, the U.S. Department of State has even joined the growing outcry concerning Israel’s alleged racist discrimination against its Arab citizens.
Of course, in reality, Israel is the only Middle Eastern entity that is not an apartheid regime, and the apartheid slander holds no water whatsoever save in the minds of the Jewish state’s enemies and defamers. Yet discrimination is a scientifically empirical question subject to testing and not a matter of subjective personal opinion. Stripping away the venomous anti-Israel rhetoric, the legitimate question remains whether and how much discrimination really exists in Israel.