Discussing Israeli ‘Apartheid’

John Glaser, December 09, 2013

Last week I drew a comparison between the South African apartheid system that is now the focus of Nelson Mandela’s legacy and current Israeli policies toward Palestinians. Obviously, that strikes many in the U.S. as offensive and inaccurate. But, as Israeli activist and military veteran Mikhael Manekin said in January 2012, the “apartheid” criticism is an accepted part of the debate lexicon in Israel.

Today, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz demonstrated how true that is with a discussion of it led by correspondent Amira Hass:

What do those who say “Israeli Apartheid” mean?

They definitely don’t mean the official and popular biological racism that ruled South Africa. True, there is no lack of racist and arrogant attitudes here, with their attendant religious-biological undertones, but if one visits our hospitals one can find Arabs and Jews among doctors and patients. In that regard, our hospitals are the healthiest sector of society.

Those who say “Israeli Apartheid” refer to the philosophy of “separate development” that was prevalent in the old South Africa. This was the euphemism used for the principle of inequality, the deliberate segregation of populations, a prohibition on “mixing” and the displacement of non-whites from lands and resources for their exploitation by the masters of the land. Even though here things are shrouded by “security concerns,” with references to Auschwitz and heaven-decreed real estate, our reality is governed by the same philosophy, backed by laws and force of arms.

What, for instance?

There are two legal systems in place on the West Bank, a civilian one for Jews and a military one for Palestinians. There are two separate infrastructures there as well, including roads, electricity and water. The superior and expanding one is for Jews while the inferior and shrinking one is for the Palestinians. There are local pockets, similar to the Bantustans in South Africa, in which the Palestinians have limited self-rule. There is a system of travel restrictions and permits in place since 1991, just when such a system was abolished in South Africa.

Does that mean that apartheid exists only on the West Bank?

Not at all, it exists across the entire country, from the sea to the Jordan River. It prevails in this one territory in which two peoples live, ruled by one government which is elected by one people, but which determines the future and fate of both. Palestinian towns and villages suffocate because of deliberately restrictive planning in Israel, just as they do in the West Bank.

Read the rest here. See some of my discussion of this subject here, here, and here.




27 Responses to “Discussing Israeli ‘Apartheid’”

  1. I'm more inclined to think that Israel is using apartheid and 'peace talks with Palestine' as an interim step prior to a takeover…with the USA's financial, political and military backing. In essence, I accept the "Greater Israel" concept to explain what they are doing:

  2. Glaser is far from the first person to say this. Many, many authoritative Israeli figures and groups have been saying it for years.

    See Notman Finkelstein’s work, or his Q/A session at Yale, on YouTube, for some of the list.

  3. No mention of half of all the Palestinians not being allowed to live in Palestine. No mention that 80% of the Palestinians who are allowed to live in Palestine don't have the vote. For the 10% of all Palestinians that have the vote Israel is more democratic than apartheid South Africa. For the 90% without the vote, apartheid Israel is much worse. The apartheid system didn't start recently; all of Palestine was conquered in 1967. A Palestinian who was 15 then is now 61 and has been ruled by Jewish neo-nazis all his life. donthomson1@hotmail.com

  4. "all of Palestine was conquered in 1967"

    Funny that the people living in the 90% of Palestine called "Jordan" never noticed they'd been conquered.

    And of course your numbers refer only to Palestinian Arabs and exclude Palestinian Jews, also known as "Israelis."

  5. Read Menachem Begin's autobio 'The Revolt' to get his gory story about the 1948 takeover.
    The book's hard to get for some reason

  6. @Thomas L. Knapp: "And of course your numbers refer only to …" (blah, blah).

    The immigration which changed the population in the hapless, now blighted 'Z-coveted' land from 2-3% when Herzl&Co conferenced in 1897, target 'finalised' latest 1905, given the 'seal of approval' by Balfour in 1917, then assisted by the British mandatory, reaching ~32% by 1948 (as Plan Dalet was perpetrated with Deir Yassin plus similar outrages before, during and since, right down to the 'current moment') – was nothing other than an aggressive alien invasion predicated on violence – latest by Jabotinsky in 1923, confirmed by Ben-Gurion(1936-39): "We are the attackers and the Arabs … own the land" – led directly to the deliberate, premeditated murdering theft of 'lebensraum.' Nothing much different has happened since, except that the ethnic cleansing is pushed ever outwards, and the associated misery of the improperly dispossessed natives festers, as it is cynically aggravated by the armed invaders.

  7. I understand that Netanyahu chose not to attend the burial of Mandela, the celebrated opponent of South
    Africa' apartheid. He claimed Israel couldn't afford to send him.
    Actually, I think he showed some rare taste in not rubbing the World's nose in dirt as the chief representative of Israeli's apartheid system, ruining the message of Mandela's life struggle. Probably, he realized that he would have been booed off the stage of dignitaries.

  8. Oh look, it's the Hasbara patrol!

    Seriously, do you think anyone here believes your revisionist history? Always the same falsehoods and tripe attempting to convince the world that Palestine belongs to certain religious followers of European and Russian descent because these followers are special and "chosen".

    Zionism is a cancer on humanity, plain and simple; an atheist belief system that has attached itself to Judaism, like a parasite.

  9. Yes, I'm "hasbara" … in your imagination.

    Which is precisely where your claim that I am "trying to convince" people that Palestine belongs to the Ashkenazi Jews because they are "chosen" also comes from.

    As of 2013, 73% of Israel's Jewish population was born in PALESTINE, idiot.

  10. Actually, if you look at the Israeli streets today, you'll find that most Jews look Middle-Eastern because they are as they came from all the other countries in the Middle East. In fact, many so-called "white" Jews can actually trace their familial lineage back to those Jews living in the land 2,000 years ago. Jews have continuously been living in the land for 4,000 years. I know you don't like that fact, but you'll have to mentally deal with it.

  11. The movie 5 broken cameras doesn't leave much to the imagination.

  12. The Palestinians in this 21st century are the only population that lives in an OCCUPIED
    state, completely denied HUMAN RIGHTS. rights to citizenry, equality, freedom and all the
    rest. All of us should be ashamed. Obama gives great speeches about justice and freedom
    and then gives the only APARTHEID state of Israel all his support, never mentioning the
    imprisoned and oppressed Palestinians. Shame on him.

  13. Why haven't you shown my two previous comments submitted today that bear factually, and topically on Israeli apartheid?????? Please explain.

  14. @Thomas L. Knapp: Yes, I'm "hasbara" … in your imagination.

    Me: Not just imaginary; proof = what such say. Apologist? Check.

    Q: Care to estimate a) how many in the I/J/Z-plex are perpetrators, accessories, apologists, vocal or silent supporters – of supreme international crimes, and otherwise b) living off the proceeds of such Nuremberg-class crimes?

    A: 100% are guilty, less only the tiny minority in active-opposition, whereby 'active' = actually doing something towards punishing those guilty, and compensating the victims, their heirs & successors. There is no statute of limitations on ethnic cleansing or genocide = intermittently continuous from 'back then' to the current moment.

    Victims of the I/J/Z-plex are due truth, justice, revest and/or return to all improperly alienated land/property, plus fully acceptable recompense and reparations.

    No peace without justice, no justice without truth; no crime without punishment and remedy, no fulfilment without dignity, no dignity without honour, no honour without integrity.

    Truth + justice = peace – nothing else will do.

  15. aletheia,

    I'm trying to figure out whether English is a not-yet-well-learned second language for you, or whether you're just not quite all there, but most of your message is incoherent. I have no idea what an I/J/Z-plex is.

    "Hasbara" has a meaning. None of what I am or what I do resembles that meaning. If I were a hasbara, I wouldn't be frequently and consistently calling for a complete end to US intervention in the Arab/Israeli conflict, including ending all US aid to Israel. Nor would I consider, as I do, a return to the 1967 borders to be the bare minimum STARTING POINT for real peace talks. Nor would I be so fond of pointing out that Likud is an historical descendant of the fascist Jabotinskyites, who lionized Mussolini and tried to negotiate a deal with Hitler to fight on his side in World War II. And so on and so forth.

    As far as "genocide" is concerned, I'll once again point out that the Palestinian Arab population is not only increasing, but increasing faster than the Jewish Israeli population. So either Israel is really, really, really bad at genocide, or what they're doing is something else. Not necessarily something good, but something different.

  16. @Thomas L. Knapp, December 10th, 2013 at 4:04am:

    {… the 90% of Palestine called "Jordan"}

    @Thomas L. Knapp, December 11th, 2013 at 12:24pm:

    {As of 2013, 73% of Israel's J..ish population was born in PALESTINE, idiot.}

    Me: That would mean 65.7% I/Js were born in Jordan? – Please explain.

    You might also care to explain, how the info after "frequently" in your comment of December 13th, 2013 at 4:30am was somehow encoded in your two previous comments, or are readers supposed to be clairvoyant, regular users of 'divine inspiration' or some other supernatural omniscience?

    If you have no idea what the I/J/Z-plex is, perhaps you are in need some 'divine inspiration' too? Or simply a few more active brain cells? Did someone say "Idiot?" Oh, it was you.

    Denying that Zs are practicing genocide as one means of ethnic cleansing is a standard hasbara gambit, as is pooh-poohing the observation by jesting "Israel is really, really, really bad at genocide," at which we are, one supposes, expected to break into laughter.

    genocide n. deliberate extermination of a people or nation. [POD]

    Your turn to break into laughter.

  17. —–
    {As of 2013, 73% of Israel's J..ish population was born in PALESTINE, idiot.}

    Me: That would mean 65.7% I/Js were born in Jordan?
    —–

    No.

    —–
    – Please explain.
    —-

    I'm not a remedial math teacher.

    —–
    You might also care to explain, how the info after "frequently" in your comment of December 13th, 2013 at 4:30am was somehow encoded in your two previous comments, or are readers supposed to be clairvoyant, regular users of 'divine inspiration' or some other supernatural omniscience?
    —-

    No, readers are just supposed to have some vague idea of what the hell they are talking about before opening their pie-holes.

    "salt-king" alleged that I'm a hasbara. If he had bothered to read even a fraction of the stuff I've written in a couple of decades on the Intarwebs, he'd have known that that was an idiotic claim. By making the claim anyway, he established that he either doesn't know what he's talking about, or that he's a liar. I gave him the benefit of the doubt in assuming the former.

    —–
    If you have no idea what the I/J/Z-plex is, perhaps you are in need some 'divine inspiration' too?
    —-

    The more likely probability is that you need to stop using abbreviations that are probably understood by no one other than yourself.

    I was not "jesting" that Israel is either 1) really, really, really bad at genocide or 2) not attempting genocide. When the population you are allegedly committing genocide against not only grows instead of shrinking, but grows faster than yours, you're either not doing it or not very good at it.

  18. Sure: If you want to remove the anti-semitic crap from your comments, they might get published. If you don't, they won't. If you continue to submit your comments with the anti-semitic crap included, you'll get banned. That's how this works, and it's non-negotiable.

  19. Knapp is definitely hasbara.

    [Lying will get you nowhere. No, really, it will. Watch! - Knapp]

  20. @Thomas L. Knapp, December 10th, 2013 at 4:04am:

    Combine your own statements; 90% of 73% = 65.7% – see it yet?

    First "idiot" for saltking and now "pie-holes" then "liar" for saltking again – personal abuse (ad hominem fallacy) is another sign of hasabara-ists (not only, of course).

    Read this again; if it helps, run your finger along underneath as you do so:

    genocide n. deliberate extermination of a people or nation. [POD]

    Tip: "people or nation…" "or nation…" "nation" – get it yet? What the aggressive alien invading Zs may be directly observed to be doing to Palestine (and on the way killing natives, but obviously not killing enough, since they are out-breeding the kill-rate, as hasabara-ists never tire in pointing out), from the early 20C right down to 'the current moment,' with ever more illegal settlements, say, in direct defiance of UNSC446 at least.

    Oh, sorry (but not too sorry); POD = Pocket Oxford Dictionary. Need any help with UNSC?

  21. —–
    Combine your own statements; 90% of 73% = 65.7% – see it yet?
    —–

    Yes, I see that you have a problem with math and logic. I didn't say that 73% of the population of Palestine is Jewish. I said that 73% of Jews living in Israel were born in Palestine. There's no rational way to get from what I said to the weirdness you're trying to turn it into.

    I suppose it's possible that hasbaras engage in ad hominem, but the fact that I engage in ad hominem is hardly evidence that I'm a hasbara, since most members of most other identifiable groups of people do so as well.

    The two definitions of "hasbara" of which I am aware are:

    "term is used by the Israeli government and its supporters to describe efforts to explain government policies and promote Israel"

    and

    "pro-Israel propaganda"

    Neither I nor my comments here resemble either of those definitions in any way that a reasonable observer could detect. Calling me a "hasbara" because I believe that words mean things and that allegations should be careful and truthful instead of whatever silly bullshit happens to enter one's head is like calling me a "Nazi" if I correct someone who claims the Red Army lost only 2,000 tanks during the Wehrmacht's Kursk offensive by noting that they lost closer to 2,600.

    As far as your continuing attempt to turn a growing population into "genocide," my usual advice to people is "if you find yourself in a hole, stop digging," but I doubt that you'll take that advice.

  22. @Thomas L. Knapp, December 13th, 2013 at 12:41 pm:

    "There's no rational way …" – what utter garbage.

    Palestinians and other oppressed people are in a hole; not I.

    Ju-u-ust one more time:

    December 10th, 2013 at 4:04 am: "Funny that the people living in the 90% of Palestine called "Jordan" never noticed they'd been conquered."

    December 11th, 2013 at 12:24 pm: "As of 2013, 73% of Israel's Jewish population was born in PALESTINE, idiot."

    Now, taking the essence;

    "73% of Israel's Jewish population was born in PALESTINE" AND

    "the 90% of Palestine called "Jordan"" – see it *this* time?

    90% of 73% = 65.7% – of Israel's Jewish population was born in Jordan.

    No mirrors, no magic, no maths error; all in someone's very own words.

    Once more to the genocide:

    Genocide n. deliberate extermination of a people or nation. [POD]

    Delete 3 words;

    Genocide n. deliberate extermination of a nation. [POD]

    No mirrors, no magic, not only a people, matey but also a nation; you really, really, really should try reading what people, including yourself, actually write – instead of jumping at shadows…

  23. "see it *this* time?"

    Yes, I still see that you have a math and/or logic deficiency going.

    Israel is in Palestine. Jordan is in Palestine. It does not follow from that that Israel is in Jordan, any more than the fact that both St. Louis and Kansas City are in Missouri means that St. Louis is in Kansas City.

    "you really, really, really should try reading what people, including yourself, actually write – instead of jumping at shadows."

    Say this to yourself over and over until it becomes part of your approach.

    The Palestinian Arabs were not a "nation" in 1948. They've been becoming more and more a "nation," not less and less a nation, ever since.

  24. Thomas L. knapp, do you what knapp means in Swedish? Some one who have lost his Brian down the line while walking with his dad.

  25. With all due respect, perhaps we could dispense with the jousting?

    (Short version, for long version see here.)

    Thomas, I request that you both a) substantiate, and b) justify your 90% claim (i.e. accuracy and *relevance*, say, recalling that Transjordan was 'split off' from the British mandate ~1922), and c) explain what relevance and/or significance your 73% statement might have – to the headline topic, the developing argument, or to the price of fish?

  26. Why, when discussing apartheid Israel, is it against the "rules" to bring up a country that has roads, towns, and laws that apply only to jews? Why is it "anti-Semitic" to discuss checkpoints, beatings, torture, assassinations, white phospherous, and war crimes? Why is it out of bounds to talk about a blockade in Gaza which is against international law and has widely been described by journalists and international humanitarian organizations, as "an open air concentration camp"? Even Israeli historians ( Benny Morris) agree that Israel was founded on ethnic cleansing. Why is it out of bounds to link all of the heinous actions above to the doctrine of "Choseness" which is just another form of racial superiority and entitlement? Is there any new ground broken here? Is it not all germane to a discussion on apartheid in Israel? What is anti-Semitic about these facts Mr. Knapp?

  27. —–
    Why, when discussing apartheid Israel, is it against the "rules" to bring up a country that has roads, towns, and laws that apply only to jews?
    —–

    It isn't.

    —–
    Why is it "anti-Semitic" to discuss checkpoints, beatings, torture, assassinations, white phospherous, and war crimes?
    —–

    It isn't.

    —–
    Why is it out of bounds to talk about a blockade in Gaza which is against international law and has widely been described by journalists and international humanitarian organizations, as "an open air concentration camp"?
    —–

    It isn't.

    —–
    Why is it out of bounds to link all of the heinous actions above to the doctrine of "Choseness" which is just another form of racial superiority and entitlement?
    —–

    It isn't.

    —–
    What is anti-Semitic about these facts Mr. Knapp?
    —–

    Nothing at all, which is why your comments weren't deleted over those things, but rather about the anti-semitic rhetoric that you insisted on throwing in around them.

    Even then I didn't ban you until you told a personal lie about me. And one thing that IS out of bounds is sneaking back in here once you've been banned, so good-bye again.