This pretty much demonstrates the point. Saudi Arabia is without a doubt an apartheid state. If you are not a muslim, or rather not the right kind of muslim, your rights are severely restricted, you are typically unable to participate in in politics, if you are Jewish you cannot even enter the country, etc. The fact that they have made one concession to human rights does not change this fact.
Calling Israel the new face of apartheid is laughable when you compare the rights of Arabs in Israel (who face some discrimination but enjoy most of the benefits of citizenship) to non-muslims in the Middle East (in most countries they have practically no rights). In terms of human rights violations, Israel represents a very small part of the problem. A part worth noting, but a small part. They somehow draw the majority of international condemnation.
Face palm :P You completely missed my point.
Regarding to civil rights, equality and such, with what countries would you group Israel with? And in your opinion, is Israel going to the right direction?
I didn't miss your point... I just didn't think it was a good point.
Firstly, Saudi Arabia made one concession to modern humanistic society, something which has not been an issue in other countries for about 100 years. That's an isolated example, and doesn't indicate that they are on the right path. They've also been taking some very questionable actions in interfering militarily in Yemen, and economically in Qatar. They're engaging in a Cold War with Iran, and if either side loses the results could be absolutely disastrous. So, I don't think you've demonstrated Saudi Arabia is on the right track. They're doing some things right, and some things wrong.
If we assume that they are however, I still don't agree. When a country is so far behind in human rights, I don't think we should just let them do whatever they will as long as they're making some progress, and focus on places that have less severe issues. If you're an ER doctor, and there's a patient with severed thumb, and a patient that's having a stroke, you take care of the stroke patient first. Not that a severed thumb isn't serious, but it's a different degree.
I'm not sure exactly what you mean by grouping countries in terms of civil rights. In terms of the rights they have, Israel is more or less in line with westernized countries in terms of the rights that people have (actually in Israel, not necessarily in Palestine).
In terms of right or wrong direction, that's hard to say. I'm not a big fan of Netenyahu. I don't think moving the embassy to Jerusalem accomplishes anything aside from unnecessary antagonism, and I don't think this move to make Hebrew the official language really does anything productive either. They have a lot of the nationalistic chest beating that's going on in other countries, but in a country in such a volatile situation, it's more concerning. I also find the new settlements in the West Bank troublesome considering that the West Bank government has shown itself to be far more open to peace than Hamas. Unfortunately there is a far right contingency in Israel who, similar to Hamas, feels that the land is divinely granted to them, and care more about what they think god wants than what is actually good for the peace process. The right wing party needs to appease that religious coalition to keep more progressive Israelis from being elected.
On the other hand, there are some things Israel is doing well. They continue to provide valuable intelligence to the US to help keep us safe, they continuously provide medical and technological breakthroughs, and the country is becoming more secular, which I think generally leads to improved human rights. There are programs being made to help Arab citizens in their border, and I think that they are generally doing an ok job of treating minority citizens, particularly compared to other countries in their region.
I think their response to Gaza in generally has been appropriate (which is not to say every single action was justified). Hamas has, this has been documented by the UN, engaged in tactics such as storing rockets from schools, encouraging children to protest in dangerous areas, and of course suicide bombings. The blockade on Gaza is not a unilateral Israeli decision, as it is also enforced by Egypt, and lifting the restriction has at times led to tunnels being built with intent to attack Israel, and more rockets being constructed. That's not to say the situation isn't completely fucked, and it doesn't suck miserably to live in Gaza, but I attribute that more to Hamas.
To sum it up, I think "right direction wrong direction" is overly simplistic. I agree with some of Israel's actions, and not others past and present. In general, I think Israel's primary concern is the safety of its own citizenry. They don't have anything to gain from the continued conflict with Gaza, aside from diminishing the potential threat, and I believe that if they were convinced that there were no longer a threat they would most likely end the conflict (although as I mentioned earlier maybe their actions in the West Bank undermine this). If Hamas were similarly inclined, I think an agreement would probably be reached.
So that should answer that. So here's my question. Is the humanitarian situation in Israel superior to surrounding countries? Do you think terms like "the new face of apartheid" are justified?