No hate-crimes law? That’s actually a good thing…

The state Chamber of Commerce and other backers of hate-crimes legislation at a recent presser.

The state Chamber of Commerce and other backers of hate-crimes legislation at a recent presser.

I just saw this story in the Post and Courier about the legislative session ending without a South Carolina hate-crimes law being passed.

Well, that’s a good thing — although I’m sure my relief will be short-lived. It’s only a matter of time before pressure from peers and well-intended others — we’re one of only two states without such a law — will have the effect I oppose.

Yes, I know that the motives of those who want such a law are generally kindly, and the motives of many (if not most) people opposing it are abhorrent.

Nevertheless, I’ve opposed the idea as far back as I can recall — here’s a post on the subject from 2007 — and I believe my reasoning is as sound as ever.

This is America, a country where we don’t criminalize thought. We punish actions, not attitudes. There’s a very important reason why all those seemingly different concepts — freedoms of religion, speech, press and assembly — are squeezed together into the very First Amendment to our Constitution. They all assert one thing: They say the government can’t interfere with our freedom of conscience. We get to believe what we want and say what we want and write what we want and hang out with whom we want. And we have a legitimate gripe against the government if it sticks its nose in.

I know that many people feel strongly that such a law is needed. But their arguments don’t add up to anything that outweighs the values expressed in the First Amendment.

I’ve written about this a number of times in the past. I summed up my position fairly succinctly in this comment back in 2009 (which I later elevated to a separate post):

Such things should not exist in America. That’s one of the few points on which I agree with libertarians. Punish the act, not the thought or attitude behind it.

Oh, and I assure you that when I agree with libertarians on anything, I strongly doubt my conclusion, and go back and reexamine it very carefully. But this position has stood up to such scrutiny.

Perhaps you can offer something that will shake my certainty, although at this late date it seems doubtful. I’m pretty sure I’ve heard all the arguments, and while I’ve often admired the sentiment involved, I end up shaking my head at the logic.

But have at it…

85 thoughts on “No hate-crimes law? That’s actually a good thing…

  1. Doug Ross

    On this we agree. All violent crime is hate crime and should be punished accordingly. Dylan Roof should have been executed by now not for the demographics of those he killed but that he killed in such a cold blooded manner.

  2. bud

    Hmm. Something is waaaay out of kilter. I agree with both Brad and Doug on the same day! How messed up is that. Of course we shouldn’t have the death penalty so this kumbaya moment only goes so far.

  3. bud

    I would add that as important as our freedom of conscience is our right to privacy is equally, if not more, important.

  4. Bill

    All violent crimes are not hate crimes and crimes against minorities often go unenforced
    I’ve been beaten up for being gay before
    Why report it?

    1. Doug Ross

      Yeah, what happened 40 years ago is relevant. If you got beat up for being gay how exactly is that worse than being beat up for being straight? it’s the same thing.

        1. Doug Ross

          Right. You ever see a crime blotter for Five Points on Friday night? The only hate crime I know of is your music video links.

      1. Bill

        40 years ago people had a license to kill , now a gay couple can’t live in Lexington County without being forced out via code enforcement…

  5. Brad Warthen Post author

    Oh, and I’ll try to avoid ending posts with the words, “have at it” as a way of challenging you to try to change my mind. For awhile, anyway. Two in a row is too much…

    In the meantime, Have at you!

  6. Barry

    “ This is America, a country where we don’t criminalize thought.”


    Hate crimes don’t punish thought. They punish actions. You can Think of up all the hate you like.

    When you commit a a crime based on hating someone because of their race, gender, sexual orientation, etc, you should definitely face additional punishment because when someone commits such a crime, they inflict harm not only on their victim, but others that identify with the victim. One source:

    Thankfully, a hate crime bill will pass either next year or in the very near future. That freight train, thankfully, won’t be stopped.

    1. Barry

      ANYTHING that enhances criminal penalties for violence against people because of their race, gender, sexual orientation, etc is great.

      Especially in South Carolina.

    2. bud

      Would it count as a hate crime for harassing someone because they’re wearing a mask as Marjory Green did against AOC? I feel a bit out of place coming down on the side of conservatives but I really can’t find much of a distinction for harassment based on race and harassment based on a specific action such as mask wearing.

      1. Barry

        I’m not sure it’s even a crime to fuss at someone because they have a mask on. It is disrespectful. It might prove the person is a jerk.

        But if it were, it would not be a hate crime.

        Hate crimes are defined by the statute. None of the statues include fussing at mask wearers.

    3. Ken

      Yes, Brad gets it precisely backwards. Rather than violate the First Amendment, hate crime laws help to brace it up by adding an additional punishment on those who commit acts of violence aimed specifically at infringing a person’s rights due to bias based on race, religion, ethnicity, gender, national origin, sexual orientation, or disability. Hate crime laws are carefully formulated so as not to criminalize protected speech. The Supreme Court has already weighed in on the matter and found acceptable those laws that are properly tailored to increase sentences based on motivation and explicitly determined that hate crime laws do not inhibit free thought or speech. No less of a conservative than former Justice O’Connor agreed, for example, that a cross-burning that takes place for the purpose of criminal intimidation (i.e. a cross burned on a front Black family’s lawn) is not protected speech (in contrast to a cross burning that occurs at a Klan rally, which is protected speech).

      Also, if bigotry against above-named groups is not permissible in employment decisions, why should it be tolerated where criminal acts are involved?

      1. Ken

        The above post was held for moderation for over 36 hours.
        I’m almost used to second-class treatment. But I’m starting to feel like 3rd or 4th class mail.
        Or maybe I’ve been cast into an Edwardian time zone, where things move more slowly.

  7. Mark W Huguley

    Brad, I understand your point but see the question differently. Hate crimes are not about limiting speech or thought. One can think and speak with prejudice if it does not result in a criminal act. As I see it, hate crimes address criminal acts that include hate as an underlying element. Hate is the reason for the crime and I suppose might be called motive or intent. In some criminal laws, intent is required as a specific element of the offense. My understanding is the legal requirement that a criminal act be committed with a certain kind of knowledge can vary. First degree murder requires premeditation, obtaining goods under false pretense requires an intent to deprive the victim, and conspiracy is about what is planned. Hate crimes require prejudice. While thinking in a prejudiced way is not and should not be prohibited, committing a crime motivated by prejudice should. It is important to call out crimes based on prejudice because the impact of punishment (i.e., changing behavior) may not be as effective. We should make clear the reason for the crime to best understand it.

    1. bud

      I think my mask example is germane to this conversation. Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez is of Puerto Rican descent. If she is assaulted for that national origin we all agree that is a crime. If, on the other hand, she is assaulted for wearing a face covering we would all agree that too is a crime. Where we seem to differ is whether the former is a more serious crime and therefore subject to a stiffer sentence. I say no.

      1. Ken

        It’s a more serious offense because it is based on animus against an entire group of people rather than against one individual alone.

        And what could be a more fundamental form of expression than what one is as a person?

        As I said in a separate post, hate crime laws help buttress the First Amendment by declaring that this sort of behavior is not a form of expression we as a society are willing to tolerate.

      2. Barry

        In your example, I say it’s an easy “yes.”

        If she committed a felony against someone simply because the victim is Puerto Rican, that act is one of hate directed at Puerto Ricans That not only makes the principal victim a hate crime victim, it can easily terrorize an entire community based on their Latino ethnicity.

        Our society has every right to add to the punishment someone faces when their crime is motivated by hate against someone because they happen to be Puerto Rican.

        1. bud

          But couldn’t you stipulate the same class intimidation aimed at people who choose to wear face coverings? If assaults of this nature become widespread people might stop wearing masks and arguably put themselves or others at higher risk.

          1. Barry

            You could, but it’s not a felony to fuss at people wearing a mask.

            If they l”assault” them, it’s not a hate crime because the laws define what a hate crime happens to be.

            Hate or bias crime laws protect victims based on their actual or perceived characteristics.

    2. Brad Warthen Post author

      Thanks for you thoughtful and well-informed response, Mark. (Y’all, Mark used to be one of the top people at SLED.)

      Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think what you’re suggesting is that the political thought behind the criminal act should be regarded as an aggravating circumstance. That’s a persuasive way of looking at it, but I still can’t go there, because of the political content. An act should be criminal on the basis of the action, not on the particular views or attitude of the criminal. What I said about the First Amendment overrides other considerations, for me.

      The other part of what you raise is a separate thing, I believe. You speak of intent. That’s very different from a person’s sociopolitical views or prejudice. Intentionality, it seems to me, is essential to understanding the severity of the crime. If it’s something that just happened on the spur of the moment when passions were high, it’s pretty bad, but not as bad as a premeditated act planned well ahead of time. Running over someone in a car is terrible, but nowhere near the criminal act of deliberately chasing the person in order to run him or her down.

      The question there is, Did you mean to do it, and to what degree? Which is a very different issue from, What do you think in general about people who look like the person you harmed?

      Now I can see a way in which the two could be combined. Say a white man kills a black man. If it is established in court that this perpetrator really hates black people, I could see an argument being made that there could be a certain intentionality that might not occur under the other circumstances of the crime in question. A prosecutor could try to make the case that this criminal has on some level to kill a black man his whole life. And maybe there would be evidence to that effect, in the man’s babbling on social media, for instance.

      But still, I would say that the intent in such as case would be using the presence of the attitude to demonstrate the degree of intentionality.

      In other words, the idea would be not to demonstrated and punish the prejudice, but the intent.

      Is that what you’re saying?

      If that’s what a “hate crime” law does, I’m less against it than I have been. But I never hear them advocated that way. The argument always seems to be, “This is an abhorrent attitude, and we need to punish that in addition to the crime.” And while I may agree about the ugliness of the attitude, I don’t believe our body of criminal law is supposed to address that…

      1. Ken

        “I still can’t go there, because of the political content.”

        Then I assume you’re also opposed to the federal terrorism statutes already on the books as well. Because of the “political content” of terrorist acts.

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          Actually, terrorism is political for the terrorist. That’s what makes it “terrorism,” rather than random mass murder.

          From the perspective of the state, it’s a matter of violent crime, and of protecting public safety. If something is done with the intention of undermining the society at large, the society has the right to protect itself from that. Terrorism is an attack on the country from abroad if it’s foreign, and an act of insurrection if it’s domestic.

          The arrangements for reacting to, and trying to prevent, things of that nature are pretty much a widely accepted legitimate function of this or any other country. That’s why oppressive regimes call rebel factions “terrorists,” to try to give themselves some legitimacy both at home and abroad….

          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            It’s a tricky word, terrorism.

            For instance, there’s been discussion whether to call what happened on Jan. 6 “terrorism,” and convincing arguments can be made either way. Here’s a good argument in favor. A Boston University professor who has long studied domestic terrorism was asked, “Does the Capitol attack meet your definition of terrorism?” She responded:

            Yes. Terrorism involves a violent act, or threat of violence, aimed at attaining a political, economic, social, or religious goal, with the objective of conveying a message to a larger audience beyond the immediate victims. As is common with terrorism, these individuals were communicating with several audiences: existing supporters, the members of Congress they hoped to force not to certify the Electoral College votes, and the American people, whom they hope to either terrify or persuade to join their cause.

            That seems pretty solid. But it was a weird sort of terrorism. It wasn’t clear-cut, like the Oklahoma City bombing. It wasn’t, in other words, a shocking strike at the civilian population meant to lead to subsequent political results. It was instead more like a direct, out-and-out attempt to overcome the government, with an assault on the government’s very heart, intended to stop the government from performing a fundamental. It was less like, “Let’s have a political effect,” and more like, “Let’s take over.” Fortunately, it was carried out by a bunch of yahoos who didn’t know how to take over. They thought all they had to do was take a building, and they’d be done.

            A lot of people also used the term, “coup.” That one doesn’t feel quite right, either. I’ve been through a coup, when I was a kid in Ecuador. (I’ve told the weird story before about how it was actually partly planned in my house.) Military leaders put the president on a plane to Panama, and the government was thereafter run by a junta.

            That felt really different from this, and not only because it was successful.

            This was more like… the storming of the Bastille. Although it was more direct. Those folks were attacking a symbol of royal power. The Jan. 6 people attacked the Capitol itself.

            We have trouble deciding what to call it because we’d never seen such a thing before in this country…

            1. Ken

              Again, US Code § 2331 has the answer — which is, yes, the attack on the Capital was a terrorist act.

              (5) the term “domestic terrorism” means activities that—
              (A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State;
              (B) appear to be intended—
              (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
              (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or
              (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping

              The difference between the terrorist attacks of 2001 and that of 2021 is that, in the former, all parties stood as one, while in the latter, many members of one party made excuses for the attackers.

          2. Ken

            Sorry, no, from the perspective of the state — in the form of US Code § 2331 — terrorism is a political act:

            “violent acts or acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State, or that would be a criminal violation if committed within the jurisdiction of the United States or of any State;
            (B) appear to be intended—
            (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
            (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or
            (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping

            Actions aimed at influencing the policies or conduct of a government are in their essence political acts.

            1. Brad Warthen Post author

              I’m having trouble communicating today.

              What did I say? I said, “Actually, terrorism is political for the terrorist. That’s what makes it ‘terrorism,’ rather than random mass murder.”

              And of course, if you wish to prosecute it, you have to define it. And part of the definition is that the motive has to do with a political aim. If it doesn’t have that, the prosecutor would be wise to use another statute to convict the person.

              I tried to be as clear as I could with that…

        2. Barry

          I’m still trying to figure out how those against hate crime legislation have twisted this somehow so they believe it criminalizes opinions and thoughts.

          Are they against speed limit laws because it messes up their tv reception?

          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            And I don’t understand what’s unclear.

            We prosecute a murder because it’s a murder.

            We enact a hate crime in order to prosecute the “hate” — in other words, the set of attitudes of which we (usually quite rightly) disapprove.

            How in the world is that something other than criminalizing opinions and thoughts?

            Prosecute the action, not the attitudes…

            1. Barry

              Brad – “ We prosecute a murder because it’s a murder.”

              – And many states enhance penalties for murder If a gun is used

              We don’t prosecute someone for murder if they think someone should be murdered.

              Brad- “ How in the world is that something other than criminalizing opinions and thoughts?”

              Just because you type it out again still doesn’t make it true.

              Brad – “ We enact a hate crime in order to prosecute the “hate” “

              – No, we don’t. We prosecute the action. No one is prosecuted for the emotion of hate. If the hate can be proven, the penalties might be enhanced.

              No one gets prosecuted for an opinion or thought. Clearly, if they murder someone, they thought and opinion has turned into tangible action.

              This is not as hard as you are making it.

  8. bud

    Speaking of terrorism, seems like Israel has turned into a ruthless terrorist state. Time to stop sending them military aid, immediately.

    1. Bryan Caskey

      “seems like Israel has turned into a ruthless terrorist state”

      Not just a regular terrorist state, but a ruthless one, huh? That sounds bad.

      What did they do?

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        Don’t be obtuse, Bryan. They fired hundreds of rockets into residential areas of Israeli cities, hoping to kill as many civilians as possible. No, wait: that was somebody else…

        1. bud

          Why do you think they’re firing the rockets? Because they are being treated like criminals. I’m not necessarily taking sides as those on the right invariably do. But really guys there really are 2 sides here and for some reason many folks only see one side. My proposal is modest. Just cut off military and financial aid to all sides in this conflict until everyone acts in good faith.

          1. Bryan Caskey

            “I’m not necessarily taking sides…”


            “seems like Israel has turned into a ruthless terrorist state”


            1. bud

              No. I clearly stated that we should not give weapons to ANYONE. That’s being neutral. Conservatives clearly carry the water for Israel regardless of what they do. It’s become a cult like devotion to a country that clearly doesn’t deserve it. I suppose my neutrality comes across as taking a side to someone who slavishly supports one side.

              1. Bryan Caskey

                “I clearly stated that we should not give weapons to ANYONE.”

                No worries, bud. We’re selling them weapons. 🙂

        2. Guy

          According to CBS, Israeli weapons have killed over 200 Palestinians in Gaza, including 55 children and 33 women. Hamas rockets have killed 10 in Israel, including one child. Terrorism depends on which side you are on, and in this case, there are no good guys.

        3. Barry

          It’s interesting how some conveniently leave out the fact of Israel kicking people out of homes their families had lived in for generations- like it’s no big deal.

          As if South Carolina residents or Americans would just roll over and accept it if a government did the same to them….

          Israel can take care of themselves. We can stay out of it.

  9. bud

    Apparently what precipitated the rocket attacks was right wing settlers, thugs really, assaulting Arabs in the occupied territories. Israeli police cracked down hard on the Arabs. Hence the Palestinian anger. But somehow that is never seen by the Israeli apologists.

      1. bud

        This is the lowest of low hanging fruit for reducing our budget deficits. We MUST stop sending Israel any kind of aid, military or otherwise, until they agree to providing a measure of common decency to the Palestinians. They are nothing more than an apartheid state destroying homes and farms of people who have occupied the same land for decades. Frankly Biden is failing so far on this issue. This was the kind of issue that concerned me about Biden. Jimmy Carter is the only American president to actually make progress in the region.

        1. bud

          And by the way for those natering nabobs who will invariably call Israel the only democracy in the region I call BS. After losing at least 2 elections we’re still stuck with that damn Bibi. Must be the Israeli version of the electoral college.

        2. Barry

          I was a bit perplexed over the weekend at all the “we shouldn’t be the world’s policemen” folks complaining about Biden not doing enough to help Israel.

          How much more does the United States have to do to help Israel?

          We’ve already approved $38 billion in military aid ($33 billion in Foreign Military Financing grants plus $5 billion in missile defense
          appropriations) to Israel which will be provided between 2019 – 2028. This followed a previous $30 billion 10-year agreement, that was just completed.

          I guess I just don’t understand. We aren’t to be the world’s police – except when we should be the world’s police.

          1. Guy

            Much of this crowd thinks that “God” floats on a cloud and they are controlled by him like one of my children playing a video game. The world is so full of fools that it makes my head ache.

            Ultimately, the Israel piece always comes back to “God” and crazy people, another recipe for disaster.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      I see it all, bud.

      Now maybe you can draw the line for me between the things that went before — the various stupid actions by Israelis and others over a real estate dispute and some protests — and the Hamas rockets.

      Explain to me please how firing rockets into population centers, with the intent of killing as many civilians as possible, is a rational, moral or defensible response to anything that went before it.

      I’ll be impressed if you can do it, because I don’t think it can possibly be done.

      The deadly actions started with the rockets…

        1. Barry

          Come on Bud.

          Don’t you remember those “real estate disputes”?

          American Revolution
          Civil War
          WW 1
          WW 2
          Persian Gulf War


          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            Again, you guys are not paying attention to what I’m saying.

            I thought everyone knew that this is what set off the recent events. A horrendous, stupid land grab by some Israelis of a Palestinian neighborhood. And it led to all this.

            The case is before the Israeli supreme court. Something was supposed to happen last week, but it got delayed because of all the violence.

            Again, please explain how firing rockets into civilian neighborhoods is an appropriate response…

            1. Bryan Caskey

              “Again, please explain how firing rockets into civilian neighborhoods is an appropriate response…”

              Every jurisdiction has its own local rules of procedure governing the appellate process and what are appropriate filings, motions, and other appellate practice steps. I am not an expert, but I believe that the Hamas Rules of Civil Procedure (HRCP) allow rockets to be indiscriminately fired at random civilians within thirty (30) days of any pleading to which a response is due from Hamas. Beyond thirty days, one may fire rockets indiscriminately at random civilians, but you have to have consent of the opposing party, or leave of court. (See Hamas Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 15(a).

              Our counterpart rule here in South Carolina is Rule 15, SCRCP. It is substantially the same, but without any rockets.

            2. Barry

              I’m not excusing launching rockets.

              But this little real estate dispute carries more weight with the parties involved that it does me. At some point, some people have decided they’ve had enough- you know- like after decades of it.

              I also know enough people right here in the good ole USA that would shoot someone dead for trespassing on their property.

            3. Ken

              War often takes “inappropriate” directions.
              In this case, that applies to both sides. As David Ignatius points out in his recent column, the Israelis’ military response won’t get them security and likely will only undermine what support they still enjoy abroad, as indicated by protests both here elsewhere around the globe. Israel’s military approach to solving the problem has not achieved its goal in ten years of effort and it won’t this time either.

            1. bud

              Just read the Post article. I remain neutral but have more and more sympathy with the Palestinians every time I read something about this. Time to stop sending aid to Israel. NOW!

            2. bud

              Crickets. I’ll take that as a yes. This is how we should frame the conversation. The right is ONLY concerned with what Hamas is doing. Keep in mind the Palestinian authority has largely tried to negotiate with Israel for decades and they are generally ignored as Zionist thugs steal land from Arabs who have occupied the same land for 7+ decades. How come the Israeli sycophants can never see this from the Palestinian point of view. So I’ll ask again should we continue to send Israel military aid. Save the snarky responses. They really serve no constructive purpose.

              1. bud

                From wiki:

                “.. in fiscal year 2019, the US provided $3.8 billion in foreign military aid to Israel. Israel also benefits from about $8 billion of loan guarantees.[2] Almost all US aid to Israel is now in the form of military assistance, while in the past it also received significant economic assistance.”

                $3.8 billion would be a nice start toward infrastructure improvements.

                1. Doug Ross

                  There are 10 million children living in poverty in the U.S.

                  That 3.8 billion would allow the government to pay for them all to have food on the table every single day.

                  But instead, lobbyists bribe politicians to spend our tax dollars on weapons that kill innocent people.

                  And Joe Biden is all for that.

                  1. Doug Ross

                    Joe did have time to drive a Ford F150 truck on a test to show how fast it is. When asked if he would take a question about Israel, he jokingly said only if the reporter stood in front of the truck. Then all the reporters had a good laugh and cheered when he drove away. You can’t make up how useless Biden is. He’s just a puppet who reads the lines and goes where they tell him to go. he’s a joke.

                    1. Barry

                      I thought it was perfect.

                      Other than announcing that we are cutting off any more funding of military systems for Israel and anyone else, there was nothing else to say.

                      He’s said all an American President should say.

                      It’s up to them. It’s not our war or business.

                    2. Doug Ross

                      then why does he support giving them money and access to weapons? that’s not perfect. it’s heartless.

                    3. Barry

                      I thought his interaction with the reporter when he was behind the Ford truck steering wheel was perfect

                      sure I wish he would cut off access to funds for Israel but even if he did Congress would still funnel money there

                      but I would love to see him do it

    1. Doug Ross

      Blah.. blah.. blah.. .they killed Israeli kids so its acceptable for Israel to kill even more Palestinian kids. Three eyes for an eye, as the Torah says.

      Using American made arms to do it is despicable. What would happen if America decided to sit it out completely and let this centuries old war play itself out? What do we get out of this supposed “special” relationship? A perpetual customer for our military industrial complex?

      1. Bryan Caskey

        Just for historical perspective, when the Nazis sent thousands of rockets into London, Churchill’s response was to retaliate and completely level German cities as a proportionate retaliation. Civilian deaths were a consequence, and it was one of the darker chapters in the war.

        Ultimately, indiscriminate bombing of civilian populations is not shown to have the effect intended – it doesn’t intimidate and bring the civilians to capitulate. On the contrary, history shows us it hardens the resolve of the civilian population.

        1. Barry

          Good point.

          I saw a video of what appeared to be a 9-11 year old Palestinian girl walking through the rubble the other day. She was helping clean up. The reporter- I think with ABC- asked her to comment and she was very eloquent “why do they want to kill us?”

          I’m sure an Israeli girl could ask the same question.

          But my impression after watching the video was that all this is doing is creating a young generation of people that will not be afraid to kill when they get older.

          The cycle does continue.

        2. Ken

          Historical footnote:

          The first V-1 rocket attack on Britain did not occur until June of 1944. The area bombing of cities began long before that. Just so we get our proportionalities straight.

          And the bombing didn’t necessarily harden the resolve of civilian populations as much as it simply made people numb and indifferent.

    2. bud

      Support of the Israeli theocracy has always been bipartisan. But Democrats are starting to move away from undying support for what amounts to an apartheid state.

      For anyone interested in reading a good discussion of this apartheid debate go to today’s Ali Velshi (MSNBC) makes a compelling case that Israel really is an apartheid state. Rich Lowery (NY Post) takes the opposite view.

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