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Making the case for Israel Apartheid Week

For two student activists in Washington D.C., Israel Apartheid Week – and using the term ‘apartheid’ – is an opportunity to alter perceptions and the discourse surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Whereas ‘occupation’ defines Israel/Palestine as a military struggle with ambiguous moral implications, ‘apartheid’ describes a civil rights struggle with a clear moral imperative.

By Joshua B. Michaels and Benjamin L. Mandel

Jewish Voice for Peace supporters in Washington D.C. January 19, 2013 (Photo: Joshua B. Michaels)

This month, cities and campuses across the U.S. participated in the 9th Annual Israeli Apartheid Week. As the apartheid paradigm becomes more and more pervasive throughout American political discourse when discussing Israel, it is fair to ask: what is meant by “apartheid?”

Here, clarifications are in order: We are not talking about a system of oppression identical to apartheid South Africa. What we are talking about is a system that is similar to the oppression of South Africa, but also unique. The occupation in Israel/Palestine is more extreme than the older apartheid, while the segregation inside Israel proper is somewhat milder. We believe that in law and in spirit, the term “Israeli Apartheid” is fair when describing the sum of that regime. Instead of presenting a technical argument about whether the term is appropriate (more qualified figures have already done so), we want to argue why applying this term, and supporting Israeli Apartheid Week, are so important.

One of the biggest challenges to changing the status quo in the region is that the Israeli narrative dominates American media. Framing the discussion has been one of Israel’s strongest and most successful weapons against the Palestinians for the last 66 years. In the American media, Israel is almost always the protagonist. Even unflattering reports tend to elicit sympathy for the Israeli position. This is only just beginning to change, and slowly.

The most prominent example is the widely accepted understanding of the occupation. While the occupation itself is not viewed positively, the American media portrays it on Israel’s terms. For viewers here in the U.S., the term “occupation” invokes a temporary situation (in reality it is endless) based on security needs, which paints Israel as the victim. Adopting the term “apartheid” will re-direct this discussion away from Israeli anxiety and toward the everyday suffering of Palestinians. The oppressed will become the new protagonists. Occupation defines Israel/ Palestine as a military struggle with ambiguous moral implications, whereas apartheid describes a civil rights struggle with a clear moral imperative. It is this redistribution of sympathy, which makes Israeli Apartheid Week so powerful, and it is especially valuable in reaching out to American Jews for whom civil rights is almost secular religion.

Generally, apartheid week involves campuses and cities hosting talks relating to the nature of Israel’s apartheid system, and promotes the tactics laid out in the global BDS call. This is another important development because in our own history Americans have used similar tactics to right societal wrongs, from Montgomery to South Africa. Whether or not one supports such measures against Israel at large, or only against specific targets, we believe that Israel will not reform from within and international pressure is the only way to force a change. Such pressure will only follow widespread awareness and Apartheid Week has already grown rapidly over the last nine years. We believe that if the term is used by more and more actors; the more people read it in the paper, see it on the news, and hear it on the streets, the less it can be avoided.

Apartheid Week is therefore a chance to influence communities who are not being taught the realities of the conflict or never took the time to question the accepted narrative. We hope that when these realities become obvious, the demand for change will mount.

In our own experience on American campuses, we have already seen how effective the new Apartheid lexicon can be. After a recent screening of the film Roadmap to Apartheid at American University, a score of young student activists stayed after the film to discuss the validity and effectiveness of the apartheid claim. Certainly the discussion about how to best describe and combat Israel’s system of occupation and segregation should not end here, but there was a unanimous feeling that just four years ago, when many of us started out with Palestinian activism at American University, it was much more difficult to criticize Israel at all.

We believe IAW has contributed to the growth of a community of impassioned activists who understand that there is a system in place, which makes Palestinians prisoners in their own homes and Israelis prisoners of their own fear. And among them are a growing coalition of American Jews, who are speaking out because they are Jewish, not in spite of it.

Joshua B. Michaels is a student at American University, and the founder and president of the university’s chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace. Benjamin L. Mandel is the Jewish Voice for Peace liaison to the chapter at American University, where he is an alumnus.

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  • COMMENTS

    1. rsgengland

      Jewish Voice for Peace is an ‘oxymoron’.
      If Jewish Voice for Peace supports the ‘Israel Apartheid Week’ and BDS, it would be interesting to see what their idea of peace in the region would be, other than the complete destruction of Israel and its replacement with an Islamic run state along the lines of all other countries in the Middle East and North Africa.
      The area between the Jordan River and the sea has been under foreign occupation for over 2000 years, except for a short break in the 2nd Century AD.
      Israel is the first independent country to exist in this area for +/-1800 years.
      After Israel was created, the Jordanians invaded, occupied and annexed Judea and Samaria, calling it the West Bank.
      Egypt invaded, occupied and controlled the Gaza Strip.
      During the period between 1948 and 1967 there was no call for a Palestinian state, just the call to destroy Israel.
      The Israeli occupation is not the problem in the Middle East.
      It is the temerity of the Jews to want a little country of their own in their ancient heartland.
      Spin it whichever way you will, but Israels enemies want nothing less than her destruction.

      Reply to Comment
      • Zephon

        Are you seriously saying that if you’re a Jew whose for peace and against Israels policies – that you’re a genocidal Neo Nazi and worse equivalent to Romes thirst for Jewish blood?! You have just spat in the faces of ALL our ancestors; by using our persecution to justify YOUR mass murdering fantasies. Which is exactly what they are – YOUR fantasies.

        No matter what our resent history with the Muslims are; they have historically been there for us during the worst times of our persecution – which you have forgotten.

        And on PASSOVER no less! You have NO shame whatsoever.

        Reply to Comment
        • rsgengland

          Please do not try to attribute either words or ideas to me that are either out of context or not in any way associated to my post.
          Please read the post again, and try to understand it.
          Your language leaves a lot to be desired.

          Reply to Comment
      • David T.

        “The area between the Jordan River and the sea has been under foreign occupation for over 2000 years, except for a short break in the 2nd Century AD.”

        Oh it’s longer than that, remember the Canaanites?

        “Israel is the first independent country to exist in this area for +/-1800 years.”

        What a suprise after it prevented Palsestine’s independency.

        “After Israel was created, the Jordanians invaded, occupied and annexed Judea and Samaria, calling it the West Bank. Egypt invaded, occupied and controlled the Gaza Strip.”

        Can’t be an “invasion”. Israel proclaimed itself in the borders of the partition plan and the people in the Westbank – the ones Israel couldn’t massacre or expell – were happy for this intervention. But Israel invaded the country outside its borders – in 1948 and in 1967.

        “During the period between 1948 and 1967 there was no call for a Palestinian state, just the call to destroy Israel.”

        Hasbara nonsense. In this period Palestinians were still hoping for the reunification and independency of their state.

        “The Israeli occupation is not the problem in the Middle East.”

        That’s what all occupation and colonialization supporters claim. This propaganda wasn’t invented by Germans.

        Reply to Comment
        • The Trespasser

          >… after it prevented Palsestine’s independency.

          That’s a bold lie. Palestinians declined statehood (independency lmao) in 1947.

          Reply to Comment
      • “Jews who diagree with me” is not an oxymoron. Taken at face value, your designation of oxymoron would mean “Jews” and “Peace” cannot go together, which, said by others, could get a charge of anti-Semitism.

        It really makes no difference who won what, or who expelled whom, in the past. There are millions of Palestinian residents under occupation and they are going nowhere. Their lives have to be faced.

        Reply to Comment
        • Kolumn9

          “Peace” when it is used as a euphemism for a call for a destruction of Israel and the highly likely massacre and expulsion of Jews and “Jewish Voices” which pretend to express the interests of Jews are most certainly oxymorons. It would be like a movement called “Jewish Voices for Peace” during World War 2 which supported a Nazi-dominated Europe. It would have likely pointed to the German victims of Allied bombings as the poor victims whose lives ‘need to be faced’.

          Reply to Comment
          • If you disagree with me you want my destruction. You are a race traitor. Your voice is not Jewish. Jewish supervenes democracy. Peace means agreeing with me.

            Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn9

            No, if you want my destruction, you want my destruction. If one is a Jew that wants the destruction of other Jews, how should such a person be classified? peace-lover?

            Reply to Comment
    2. Paul B

      A disgusting use of an appropriated term. Israel dominates Americas agendae ? Come on,!how about petro-politics ?

      Reply to Comment
    3. Tamer Ibrahim

      I appreciate the uphill nature of this battle, however, this is not apartheid. The ultimate objective of apartheid is to separate the groups. The objective of the Israeli government is to rid the land of non-Jews. Not Arabs or Muslims. All non-Jews.
      This is genocide. Not apartheid.

      Reply to Comment
      • aristeides

        If we’re going to split terms, the most appropriate one has to be “ethnic cleansing”, not either genocide or apartheid.

        You’re right essentially, though, about the Zionist solution to the Arab problem, although Israelis seem willing to tolerate small, non-threatening numbers of non-Jews. Their target really is the Palestinian Arabs, expelling the entire population.

        Reply to Comment
        • The Trespasser

          >Their target really is the Palestinian Arabs, expelling the entire population.

          Lies.

          Reply to Comment
          • JG

            >Lies.

            Unsubstantial bullshit.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            Yeah, I’ve noticed that fools always come in crowds.

            Explanation for the brightest: Deportation of Israeli and Palestinian Arabs is not possible at this stage, meaning that the State of Israel is not trying to achieve it.

            Reply to Comment
          • Piotr Berman

            “not possible at this stage …”

            Great clarification! Yet, healthily thinking patriots have long term view on the situation so subsequent stages are too be expected (footnote: to me h.t.p. is used in preference to “pathetic trolls”).

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            Of course such stages are expected. For example, it is totally within the scope of possibilities that Arabs would be able to gain the upper hand and drive Jews out.

            However, you wouldn’t mind if that would take place, would you?

            Reply to Comment
    4. Roberto K

      The problem is that if you “are not talking about a system of oppression identical to apartheid South Africa.” then it is not apartheid, and in most people’s idea of what apartheid really was, total complete segregation everywhere in the country, then again, what Israel has is not apartheid. Using the term only serves to bog people down in semantic arguments while the actual facts of the oppression of Palestinians fade into the background. I agree that the term “occupation” is also problematic as it does not address the discrimination and second class status of Palestinians born within the ’48 borders. Why not just spell out what the conditions are, rather than try to give it a catchy name?

      Reply to Comment
      • I don’t think white South Africa delt with the degree of resistence (certainly not waves suicide bombers). But one clear similarity is in the creation of client, subserviant “bantu” administration which must rely on the assistance of a structural opponent. The PA tries to keep an image of independence in negotiations and, e.g., the UN move; but, on the ground, it does mostly as it is ordered. This is much like South Africa, not like US Jim Crow. “Apartheid” emphasizes this.

        Reply to Comment
        • Kolumn9

          Only it isn’t. Apartheid would have been Apartheid with or without the bantustans. The bantustan experiment was a failure in South Africa and the real meaning of Apartheid was the absence of equal rights between whites and blacks in South Africa itself. Had the whites actually managed to carry out an actual partition of South Africa and not been reliant on black labor the term Apartheid would have lost all its meaning.

          This is where we get into semantic arguments which leave the user confused and the original point that Roberto makes is proved valid.

          Reply to Comment
          • The settlers make the beloved separation you want impossible. Apartheid applies directly, with the PA continuing to balance some sort of stability as a bantu entity.

            Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn9

            Again, hardly. There is plenty of land for the PA to control and the Palestinians are not treated separately in Israel since their labor is barely used. The settlers have no impact on the matter.

            Reply to Comment
        • Roberto K

          At least from the mid-80′s on the Apartheid regime in South Africa faced ever-growing mass demonstrations, strikes, work-stoppages, etc., many brutally repressed yet they continued marching on, which were even more threatening, and proved to be deadlier to the Apartheid apparatus than any waves of suicide bombers could have been. There came a point when apartheid laws simply became unenforceable. I remember the day I heard the news of crowds of non-whites entering undeterred what until then were white-only beaches with the authorities unable to do anything about it. During more or less the same period the South African armed forces were occupying Namibia and parts of Angola, eventually suffering defeat at the hands of Cuban, Angolan and SWAPO (Namibia) forces around 1987-88. This victory was a turning point.

          The international boycott campaign played a small though not-unimportant role too, and it was motivated and gained broad support because of the revulsion felt by many in many countries, not at the bantustan policy, but at the segregationist laws.

          Plus, South Africans had the benefit of a combative and inclusive organization such as the ANC (which had armed wing, by the way), along with other mass organizations, and two simple demands: A non-racial state, and One Person One Vote. Maybe it is time for a similar demand to be put forward for all of the territory encompassed by ’48 Israel, West Bank and Gaza

          Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            >A non-racial state, and One Person One Vote. Maybe it is time for a similar demand to be put forward for all of the territory encompassed by ’48 Israel, West Bank and Gaza

            Arabs has declined to live a non-racist state in 1919.

            Nothing has changed since.

            Any comparison to the SA situation are results of misinformation or malicious lies.

            Reply to Comment
          • JG

            >Any comparison to the SA situation are results of misinformation or malicious lies.

            Unsubstantial bullshit. Like always.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            >Unsubstantial bullshit. Like always.

            Of course. Unsubstantial bullshit could only be fought with unsubstantial rightist bullshit.

            You are not expecting that I’d have a substantial argument with fools, are you?

            Reply to Comment
          • The actions you relate were not of the suicide bombing variety–which is part of their power. Long term civil resistence in the Bank requires greater economic connection with Israel. Which will happen.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            >Long term civil resistance in the Bank requires greater economic connection with Israel.

            Yes.

            >Which will happen.

            No. WB and Gaza are almost completely severed from Israel. Few thousands of construction workers who are still admitted into Israel would (and should) be easily replaced by foreigners from other states.

            The loveliest part of the BDS campaign is that these fellas had done the greatest job of separating Israeli employers and Palestinian Arab workers.

            Reply to Comment
    5. “… which makes Palestinians prisoners in their own homes and Israelis prisoners of their own fear.” : I think a case may be made for charing that under occupation Palestinians are subject to involuntary servitude in life potential for the perceived security of Israelis. But Israeli fear is not all irrational; the bombings did happen. For me, a way out lies in the nonviolent Wall and now Protest Villages, which send no signal of overt attack on Israel but demand an end to servitude. There are allies against fear among occupied residents of the Bank. These must not be lost admist talk of Gaza.

      Reply to Comment
      • Kolumn9

        “These must not be lost admist talk of Gaza.”

        You mean because Gaza objectively demonstrates that a removal of Israeli control leads to rocket attacks on Israeli cities?

        Reply to Comment
        • Once you decide to keep the population “just above starvation.” You have a tendency to selectively report ugliness. And, no, no rocket attacks don’t legitimize doing that to a population, especially given their general level of ineffectiveness. Economic deprivation can be kind of daily terror too.

          Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn9

            Dear Greg, Hamas came to run Gaza before Gaza was under the blockade. Which one of us is selectively reporting information? Rockets that keep a million people in bomb shelters are not an issue. Tell me something, where do you run to when rockets are being shot at your house? Oh wait, that doesn’t happen.

            Reply to Comment
          • The blockade was imposed on Gaza in response to the election of Hamas, which demonstrates that Palestinian political ‘autonomy’ is a fiction even within the severely limited two-party framework. As for rockets ‘keeping a million people in bomb shelters’ – do you honestly believe that this is a realistic picture of life in southern Israel, or are you just trusting that it’s a picture a non-Israeli who has never visited is likely to accept?

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            >The blockade was imposed on Gaza in response to the election of Hamas, which demonstrates that Palestinian political ‘autonomy’ is a fiction even within the severely limited two-party framework.

            Not in response to the election of Hamas, but in response for one or two articles in Hamas charter.

            For all we care Palestinians can be ruled by whomever they want – as long as their rulers have no official agenda of destruction of neighbour states.

            >As for rockets ‘keeping a million people in bomb shelters’ – do you honestly believe that this is a realistic picture of life in southern Israel

            It was a realistic picture for quite a few months before either operation.

            Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn9

            Dear VIcky, if the autonomy was a fiction even talk of a blockade would have been ridiculous since Israeli police would be on the street and Israeli administrators would be operating the sanitation and education systems. The whole idea of a blockade is that it is something that is done from outside territory that you control. The outcome of the election was the coming to power of an organization whose goal is the destruction of Israel. First, the Palestinians had the autonomy to elect such a blatantly anti-Israel entity to power. Second, elections are not binding on other countries. Elect who you wish but diplomatic and economic relations will be impacted by your choice if you choose fanatics and terrorists as your leaders. This is known as “normal” in the world.

            As for the “million Israelis in bomb shelters”. Yes, this is a realistic picture of life in southern Israel (definitely of Ashkelon where I have friends) when rockets are being fired from Gaza.

            Reply to Comment
          • “For all we care Palestinians can be ruled by whomever they want…”

            Trespasser, this is demonstrably untrue, given the army’s habit of imprisoning Palestinian political activists in the West Bank for such crimes as attending unauthorised demonstrations. Recently Mahmoud Abbas himself was subject to travel restrictions as a personal punishment for making the UN statehood bid. There is no possibility for political autonomy under these conditions, and that has nothing to do with Hamas. Any political decision that the Israeli authorities do not like is met with swift retaliation, whether a siege in the case of Gaza or a pay freeze in the case of the PA.

            K9, Gaza’s imports and exports all lay under Israeli control prior to the blockade. Passage of Gaza residents even to the occupied West Bank was also impossible before its imposition, necessitating Israeli permits and Israeli-issued ID. In clinically severing the West Bank from Gaza, Israeli policy determined what shape this ‘autonomous’ Gaza community was to take, which did little to discourage people from supporting paramilitary activity – although, to be quite accurate, the vote for Hamas was in large part a protest vote against PA corruption rather than a declaration of support for militancy. The divide between Hamas and the PA is now efficiently exploited by Israel as a means of cementing its control. But given that Fatah too has had its paramilitaries, and Hamas has shown a calculated willingness to halt its own paramilitary activity when it stands to benefit from such a move, holding up Hamas as the bogeyman and foil to peace makes no sense. The Israeli government already deals with them through the back door. Acknowledging this (and recognising that the existence of Palestinian school administrators is hardly indicative of great political freedom) would be a better starting-point for peace negotiations than the current punitive measures, which are more likely to foster militancy than reduce it.

            As for living conditions in the south, I also go there from time to time. Some of those shelters seem to get their best use as a public toilet for drunks – those that aren’t locked, that is. The statistical likelihood of being harmed by a rocket is very low. I don’t dispute that rocket fire is frightening or that it has a detrimental effect on quality of life in more insidious ways. Immediate physical threat is not the only thing that makes life hard. But writing that a million people are being kept in bomb shelters is hyperbolic and achieves nothing except to make certain international readers think that life in Sderot must be like London under blitzkrieg.

            Reply to Comment
          • Leen

            In fact, collective punishment is considered a war crime. It’s worthwile to mention that 50%-60% of the Gaza population is under the age of 18, therefore theyw ould have obviously been ineligible for voting. THe number could have been even bigger considering this happened 7 years ago (the elections I mean). IT’s worthwhile to mention that Hamas gained 43% of the vote. Thus in conclusion we can peg the number of the people who voted for Hamas in Gaza at most 20-30% of the population.

            This in fact constitutes as collective punishment because you have an overwhelming majority suffering of no fault of their own.

            Reply to Comment
          • Leen

            Actually, the number could be even lower.
            Hamas recieved 440,000 votes in total from West Bank, GAza and East Jerusalem. WB and EJlm have more population that if split evenly, it would be about 220,000 from Gaza. The population of Gaza is 1.5 mil. That would mean 14.5% of the Gaza population voted for Hamas.

            Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn9

            Leen, the majority of the residents of Gaza are suffering from a partial blockade because their government and country has a declared policy of trying to destroy their neighbor. This kind of reaction applies to democracies in the same way as it applies to dictatorships and it makes no difference from the point of view of the neighbor how the hostile government got into power in determining policy.

            Vicki, Gaza is an autonomous entity ruled by Hamas, which as a movement is dedicated to the destruction of Israel. That in itself should be sufficient in demonstrating autonomy. The blockade from the outside and the absence of even a single Israeli in Gaza should be sufficient in demonstrating that Israel has no effective control on the ground in Gaza. You aren’t actually arguing any of this. You just seem to be arguing that having gotten to this point where an autonomous Gaza is ruled by Islamist fanatics (not btw put there in any way by Israel) Israel is taking steps to try to manage the situation and you don’t like the impact this is having on the people of Gaza but frankly neither do I but see no better policy available until Hamas plays along.

            A million people in the bomb shelters is an entirely accurate description of what happens when the rockets start flying from Gaza. This is also the primary reason why the statistical likelihood of getting killed by a rocket from Gaza is ‘low’. It is hard to hit people who are in their protected rooms or bomb shelters. Our international readers are likely of a lifestyle and generation that can’t imagine the blitz of london just like they can’t imagine a million people with less than a minute to get to a bomb shelter in case a rocket is fired by masked terrorists hiding among a civilian population in a neighboring country. That doesn’t mean that I should understate the situation in south Israel when rockets are flying because you might be concerned that a reader would experience even a minor pang of compassion for Israelis as human beings.

            Reply to Comment
          • Leen

            No matter how you want to dress it up as, it is still considered as collective punishment. Statistically speaking you are punishing 85% of the population because of 15% of the population’s votes. Even so, the civilian population should not be held accountable unless they are directly involved in policy making, in which case they are considered as part of the policy making.

            For instance, let’s take an example of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The US government is rightly responsible for the nuclear attacks. But if you punish the majority of the civilian population in extreme cases (such as restricting their deit to a particular amount of calorites) that is still considered collective punishment.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            >This in fact constitutes as collective punishment because you have an overwhelming majority suffering of no fault of their own.

            They elected Hamas democratically and, apparently support it, so they are fully responsible.

            Pretty much like Israelis would not be in a position to complain if Bibi would start war against Iran and Tel Aviv would be heavily pounded.

            Their fault is that they are not trying to replace Hamas or make them change their charter.

            Reply to Comment
          • Leen

            I would argue, in fact not.

            Revisiting Iraq War and Vietnam war, despite the fact the people in government were elected democratically, the overwhelming majority of US/UK citizens were against the Iraq War and Vietnam war. Yet they went against the wishes of the public. And yes, they have every right to complain and if in reitaliation the Iraqi president or (a more better example, something along the lines of Al-Qaeda) inflicted harm on the civilian population (as a result of US foreign policies), it is still considered collective punishment and thus a warcrime.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            By your logic ANY war is mutual collective punishment.

            p.s. *overwhelming* majorities were agains mentnioned wars? That’s something new.

            Reply to Comment
          • Leen

            Depends, if the war is solely conducted between militaries/armies/militants and the targets are mostly military people, then no, this isn’t collective punishment.
            However, if wars are aimed at civilian populations and civilians are ‘punished’ then yes it is collective punishment.
            Of course there is also a difference between casualties/unintended consequences and imposing specific policies to harm the civilian population.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            >Depends, if the war is solely conducted between militaries/armies/militants and the targets are mostly military people, then no, this isn’t collective punishment.

            Nonsense. Any war is conducted between societies/nations/tribes – e.t. people.

            >However, if wars are aimed at civilian populations and civilians are ‘punished’ then yes it is collective punishment.

            More of the same nonsense. Civilian population supplies soldiers, ammo, weapons, food and other resources, therefore taking part in a war.

            >Of course there is also a difference between casualties/unintended consequences and imposing specific policies to harm the civilian population.

            You’ll have hard time differencing policies which are brought to safeguard security of party A from policies which are brought to harm party B.

            Reply to Comment
          • Leen

            Not necessarily. Civil wars are not conducted between societies/nationalities, neither are militants, insurgents, etc. Also war on terrorism, or so they say, is a war on Al-Qaeda which is not a society, or a nationality or an ethnicity.

            ‘More of the same nonsense. Civilian population supplies soldiers, ammo, weapons, food and other resources, therefore taking part in a war.’

            You are talking about classic warfare. Insurgents, militants, and terrorist organizations have none of these sorts. Many of these insurgents/militants/terrorist are of various nationalities, merceneries, etc. Funding comes from their own activities, or from other countries (ex. some militant organization in Syria are being funded by Qatar/Saudi Arabia).

            ‘You’ll have hard time differencing policies which are brought to safeguard security of party A from policies which are brought to harm party B.’

            Well, restricting caloric-intake for every civilian is one of the things I won’t really peg at ‘safeguarding the security’.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            >Not necessarily. Civil wars are not conducted between societies/nationalities neither are militants, insurgents, etc.

            All and any wars are conducted beteween societies or nationalities or ethnicites or organizations.

            >Also war on terrorism, or so they say, is a war on Al-Qaeda which is not a society, or a nationality or an ethnicity.

            It is an organization, yes.

            >Insurgents, militants, and terrorist organizations have none of these sorts.

            Insurgents etc. can operate only if supported by local population.

            >Many of these insurgents/militants/terrorist are of various nationalities, merceneries, etc.

            Not too many, normally – much less than 1/4.

            >Funding comes from their own activities, or from other countries (ex. some militant organization in Syria are being funded by Qatar/Saudi Arabia).

            Yes. However, if local population would not provide support – intelligence, food and shelter – in exchange for money or due to ideological reasons, insurgents would not be able to operate, let alone withstand regular army attacks.

            >Well, restricting caloric-intake for every civilian is one of the things I won’t really peg at ‘safeguarding the security’.

            Of course it is.
            1 – Restriction of food ensures that population won’t have any surplus, which means that launching of any prolonged compain is not possible.
            2 – People who have not enought to eat are weaker and their morale is lower.

            Reply to Comment
    6. Elisabeth

      The entire comments section of this website is dominated over and over again by a few extremists, who have no human decency, are vulgar and aggressive and succeed in determining the direction of the discussions. The articles are great, but it is always a shock to see the level drop so dramatically once you get to the comments section.

      Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        Yeah, that’s what you – leftists – can’t stand: someone who’s opinion is not quite the same as yours.

        Reply to Comment
    7. Richard Witty

      Democratic Palestine

      Democratic Israel

      Equal rights for all citizens of both.

      NO forced removal of either settlers or Palestinians.

      67 borders, no modification (except the permanent Israeli annexation of the old city).

      Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        Democratic Palestine = land of terror ruled by Hamas.

        Reply to Comment
        • Piotr Berman

          Homework to Trespasser: why Hamas is morally inferior to Bnei Akiva, Jewish Home, Yesh Atid and Likud?

          Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            You’ve just made up some nonsense and want me to prove it.

            p.s. Members of “Bnei Akiva, Jewish Home, Yesh Atid and Likud” are not renowned for shooting their political opponents, tying them to motorbikes and dragging them around Israeli cities, neither are they dressing their children in suicide bomber’s suites. Not that it matters…

            Reply to Comment
    8. Jeff Blankfort

      Israel has been one apartheid state from the Jordan to the sea since 1967 with the Green Line being only a fiction which the Israeli government doesn’t recognize.

      While the authors of the article make a good case of why Israel Apartheid Week should become an inspiration for further activism, to limit their sights just to Jews is self-defeating. Countering Israel is a task for all Americans since it is the tax money of all Americans that is being sent over there and it is their members of Congress who are approving it.

      Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        >Israel has been one apartheid state from the Jordan to the sea since 1967 with the Green Line being only a fiction which the Israeli government doesn’t recognize.

        A pile of crap of an enormous magnitude.

        Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        >Israel has been one apartheid state from the Jordan to the sea since 1967 with the Green Line being only a fiction which the Israeli government doesn’t recognize.

        A pile of crap of an enormous magnitude.

        Criminals who are feeding unsuspecting people these lies should be brought to answer.

        Reply to Comment
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Credits

+972 is an independent, blog-based web magazine. It was launched in August 2010, resulting from a merger of a number of popular English-language blogs dealing with life and politics in Israel and Palestine.

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Illustrations: Eran Mendel