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Losing the will to fight Israel Apartheid Week

It’s getting harder and harder for liberal Zionists to reconcile an Israel that legitimizes settler land theft with the values they have been raised to believe the Jewish state stands for.

By Ben Reiff

Israel Apartheid Week at the University of Texas, Austin. (Monad68/CC/Flickr)

Israel Apartheid Week at the University of Texas, Austin. (Monad68/CC/Flickr)

I’ve been dreading Israel Apartheid Week since I arrived at university in London – a supposed hot-spot for Israel-Palestine tension on campuses. My understanding of what happens each year during Apartheid Week has always been a scene of hate-fueled anti-Israel, pro-BDS, “free Palestine”-chanting protesters, often facing off with equally hate-fueled anti-Palestine, pro-Israel, “Hatikvah” singing counter-protesters.

As a Jew and an anti-occupation Zionist, as someone who sympathizes with some elements of both of these protest groups while being repulsed by others, and as someone who wishes for nothing more than to see a Palestinian state standing peacefully beside the State of Israel, this puts me somewhere bang in the middle.

Special Coverage: The Israel-Apartheid Debate

Or rather it did, until one Monday earlier this month: February 6, 2017. For liberal Zionists, the passage of the “Regularization Law.” retroactively legalizing the theft of privately owned Palestinian land by Jewish settlers, is at best a slap in the face. At worst, it is a fatal stab in the back to the core values supposedly immortalized in Israel’s Declaration of Independence.

Owing to increasingly extremist policies being propagated by increasingly right-wing governments, it has become more and more difficult to reconcile our Zionism with our support for Palestinian aspirations in recent years.

With enormous measures of empathy and nuance, balancing those two things has nevertheless appeared to remain achievable. I’m no longer confident this is the case.

In the days following the passing of the law, President Reuven Rivlin himself warned that “it will cause Israel to be seen as an apartheid state, which it is not.” But liberal Zionists have been saying this for years. Each additional aggressive, indefensible policy emboldens those labeling Israel an apartheid state, while ostracizing those calling for the avoidance of unilateral peace-hindering steps by either side.

I still won’t be supporting Israel Apartheid Week. I think it creates a perception that Israel is a homogeneous population of occupiers, which is unquestionably false. There are Israelis voting for leftist parties that unequivocally oppose occupation, and Israelis actively boycotting settlement products. There are Israelis choosing conscientious objection and prison over army service.

Look beyond the national-religious right, and you’ll see the work of organizations like B’Tselem and Machsom Watch who are documenting and bearing witness to IDF human rights violations. Look at Breaking the Silence who are giving testimonies of their own experiences serving in the occupied territories. Look at Rabbis for Human Rights who are accompanying Palestinian farmers to prevent unlawful harassment by IDF soldiers. And look at Yesh Din who are fighting the very land laws the Israeli government is seeking to extend.

But I will not be supporting the counter-protests either. The Regularization Bill demonstrates how staggeringly powerful the extreme right has become in the Knesset, which is dangerous not only for the Palestinians but also for Israel itself. Israel has long been heading down a path with which increasingly few in the diaspora are comfortable, and the fact remains that Israel cannot survive without international Jewish support. In favor of the support of radical expansionists, the Israeli government is pushing away the very foundations of its existence.

What would it take, I wonder, for liberal Zionists to have no choice but to join the Apartheid Week protests themselves? I fear that the answer will become evident sooner rather than later.

Ben Reiff is a student at the London School of Economics, and a member of the Reform Zionist youth movement, Netzer.

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    COMMENTS

    1. R5

      Classic rant of the American Jew who’s tokenized Israeli Jews his whole life. Losing the will to fight anti-Israel fanatics over the normalization bill is like giving up on America because Trump got elected. There are times of darkness and times of light. If you only care about Israeli Jews as moral mascots, then you have never loved the Jewish people. Good thing is they don’t need you at all, and never have.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Itshak Gordin Halevy

      How can this Ben Reiff be a Zionist outside Israel? If he is Zionist what does he do in the UK? He has to live here in Israel… I really do not understand these assimilated Jews..

      Reply to Comment
    3. Haifawi

      Saying you won’t support Israeli Apartheid Week because there are Israeli dissidents who oppose apartheid is disingenuous. Israeli Apartheid refers to the actions of the Government and State, and recognizes that there are courageous Israeli Jews who oppose these policies.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Reuben

      Dear Ben:
      You write “What would it take, I wonder, for liberal Zionists to have no choice but to join the Apartheid Week protests themselves?” I can tell you as a one-time Zionist that for me it was listening to the dehumanizing stories told by a guest speaker –a Captain in the Israeli military, who addressed the labour Zionist group I belonged to as a teenager. It was the realization that political Zionism bore little resemblance to the religious training I received as a child. It was the displacement of religion by nationalism. Later on it was the ugly face that is political Zionism itself. It was a lack of fear that the Holocaust would be repeated. It was too many contradictions and rationalizations for the theft of land and water. Finally, it was the horrible fate, the brutal treatment of Palestinians, to whom I bear no ill will whatsoever. On the contrary, I share a sense of camaraderie with these brave people who fight against decades of injustice, just as I would. So when you’re ready, you’ll join Israeli Apartheid Week educational events and protests. You’ve already listed enough reasons of your own.

      Reply to Comment
    5. i_like_ike52

      Sorry, Mr Reiff, but the Palestinians view your opposition to the new law, which you claim legitimizes “land theft” as hypocrisy. That is because they, unlike you, don’t differentiate between what they claim Israel “occupied” in 1967 and what Israel “occupied” in 1948. They consider Tel Aviv , Beersheva and all of pre-67 Israel “stolen Arab land” as well.
      People like you who claim to be “liberal Zionists” and who pathetically attempt to draw distinctions between “good Jews” like yourself, and “bad right-wing Jews” are doomed to fail. You are going to have to choose sides. Are you with the majority of Israelis who more or less support the dominant center-Right governments that have been in power for most of the time since 1977, or are you going to turn your back on Israel?

      Reply to Comment
    6. Andrew

      ” I think it creates a perception that Israel is a homogeneous population of occupiers, which is unquestionably false.”

      I don’t follow the logic here. Saying “X is an apartheid state” does not imply that the people of X are politically homogeneous or that they uniformly support apartheid policies. There were white Southerners who opposed Jim Crow, there were white South Africans who opposed the Pretoria regime, there were white Rhodesians who supported majority rule and there were Europeans who fought against colonial apartheid regimes throughout Asia and Africa. Every state is made of individuals; that does not prove that a state does not maintain an apartheid regime.

      Reply to Comment
      • AJew

        “that does not prove that a state does not maintain an apartheid regime.”

        No it doesn’t. But if you watch videos in which an intelligent human being speaks and who knows what REAL apartheid was like, then those with even minimal intelligence will realise that calling Israel an apartheid state is just a smear. Mere propaganda by hateful people.

        https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=AcEL-NlxBk0

        Reply to Comment
        • Chris

          “calling Israel an apartheid state is just a smear. Mere propaganda by hateful people.”

          Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…

          And here’s a statement of solidarity from South Africa, supported by a wide range of institutions and voices, condemning the celebration of Zionist apartheid in Zionist occupied Palestine:

          We fought apartheid; we see no reason to celebrate it in Israel now!

          We, South Africans who faced the might of unjust and brutal apartheid machinery in South Africa and fought against it with all our strength, with the objective to live in a just, democratic society, refuse today to celebrate the existence of an Apartheid state in the Middle East.”[https://bdsmovement.net/news/we-fought-apartheid-we-see-no-reason-celebrate-it-israel-now]

          Moreover, the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, which was the treaty that established the ICC, defines apartheid as “inhumane acts…committed in the context of an institutionalised regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime.”[https://www.icc-cpi.int/NR/rdonlyres/ADD16852-AEE9-4757-ABE7-9CDC7CF02886/283503/RomeStatutEng1.pdf]

          And Article 1 of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, defines “racial discrimination” as follows:

          “In this Convention, the term “racial discrimination” shall mean any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life.”[http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/ProfessionalInterest/cerd.pdf]

          Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            “inhumane acts…committed in the context of an institutionalised regime of systematic oppression”

            Zzzzzzzzz 💤

            According to that definition, most Arab countries and Iran are apartheid states. Not to mention numerous other countries.

            Reply to Comment
          • Chris

            “According to that definition, most Arab countries and Iran are apartheid states. Not to mention numerous other countries.”

            Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz💤

            Nah, “most Arab countries and Iran are apartheid states” only according to ignorant little Arab-hating foreign fakestinian zio Anti-SemiteJew bigots. Not to mention comprehension-challenged, incontinent, Jew baiting, state-worshipping zio morons and their proxies.

            http://www.itisapartheid.org/get_informed.html

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            🖕🤗

            Reply to Comment
    7. AJew

      “that does not prove that a state does not maintain an apartheid regime.”

      No it doesn’t. But if you watch videos in which an intelligent human being speaks and who knows what REAL apartheid was like, then those with even minimal intelligence will realise that calling Israel an apartheid state is just a smear. Mere propaganda by hateful people.

      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=AcEL-NlxBk0

      Reply to Comment
      • AJew

        LEBANON

        “But for the inheritance, a non-Muslim woman married to a Muslim man, cannot inherit, if he dies.

        Lebanese laws and regulations witness many levels of Discrimination and inequality:

        Inequality between Lebanese women, Inequality between Lebanese Men, inequality between both…”

        So based on the above facts and according to Chris who uses the Rome Statute of the ICC to justify his apartheid smear, Lebanon is an apartheid state.

        Now, Chrissy dear, you want me to move to Iran, or Saudi Arabia next? Or are you willing to concede that according to your definition, both Saudi Arabia and Iran are aparrheid states?

        Reply to Comment
        • AJew

          How about this, Chrissy darling?

          Muslim men can marry non Muslim women.

          Non Muslim men cannot marry Muslim women unless they convert to Islam.

          If a Muslim forsakes Islam he/she are apostates. Apostasy is punishable by death. If a non Muslim converts to Islam, he/she are made out to be heros.

          Is that inhuman institutional discrimination or not? Of course it is. Ergo, most Arab states are apartheid states, right Chrissy boy? C’mon, Chrissy, you can say it:

          O-F C-O-U-S-E R-I-G-H-T!

          Hey, it wasn’t my idea to invoke the Roman statute of the ICC to determine which state is apartheid or not, it was your idea. But since it was your idea, then we need to use your ideas consistently, right? Not just against Juden, we need to use the same rules for Araben too, right, Chrissy?

          PS
          The above Arab/Muslim discriminatory practices are just scrapping the surface. Want me to dig up more?! Say yes… please say yes…Chrissy Baby…. and your wish will be my command 😇

          Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            Ah and I nearly forgot about Syria. Now there is another Arab apartheid state for ya, Chrissy baby 😜

            Reply to Comment
    8. AJew

      Ah and then there is Iraq of course …

      “Amid all the suffering they are already subject to, the minorities in Iraq now have to deal with a National Identity Card Law that systematizes infringement on their rights. This law, which parliament passed in late October, came after the numbers of Iraqi minorities dwindled, following the massacres and organized attacks that have caused the displacement of the vast majority of them.

      According to statistical projections, Iraq will be a minorities-free country in the near future, which brings to mind the displacement of the Jewish minority in Iraq in the 1950s and 1960s. The Iraqi legislator was supposed to take this fact into account, as it undermines Iraq’s political system and promulgates a law that promotes the presence of minorities in Iraq and protects them from the dominance and political encroachment by the majority (Muslims).”

      Another Arab Apartheid state according to the Rome statute of the ICC, right, Chrissy darling?

      Reply to Comment
    9. AJew

      IRAN

      http://www.ihrr.org/ihrr_article/violence-en_discrimination-against-religious-and-ethnic-minorities-in-the-islamic-republic-constitution/

      “Discrimination is embedded by the need to align all laws with Islamic rules according to Article 4[3] of the constitution and to accept the principle of Supreme Leadership in the country, with centralised political power and the security forces under his control.[4] This situation, along with the emphasis on a shared Persian language,[5] has led to Iran’s diverse population being faced with various forms of discrimination and inequality, including religious and ethnic discrimination, which will be reviewed below.

      Part I: Discrimination against religious minorities based on the constitution

      The Islamic Republic constitution is conditioned on adherence to the 12 Imamate school of Shia Islam as the official religion of the people of Iran, as set out in the constitution’s Preamble and Articles 1, 2 and 12. This condition does not only result in the most important and severe forms of discrimination against religious minorities, but it also means that in order to enjoy full rights and freedoms, one must follow the official religion.”

      Yes, another Islamic apartheid state according to your definition of apartheid, right, Chrissy? Don’t be shy. Just admit it. Awwww gaw ooon Chrissy, you know you want to 😜

      Reply to Comment
    10. AJew

      SAUDI ARABIA

      Read this Chrissy….

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights_in_Saudi_Arabia

      I won’t even quote from it. It is too horrific. Saudi Arabia definitely qualifies to be another Arab apartheid state according to your definition of apartheid, Chrissy. C’mon, daaaaaaaarrllliiiing, you can do it…. just admit it….
      …the truth will set you free Chrissy 😎

      Benny? Wanna give him a nudge? I think Chrissy is a reluctant bride, he needs a bit of nudge from his betters. You are better than Chris, aren’t you Benny…? …. well ….? Benny…? Are you there….? You are not as far gone as Chris, are you Benny? Help him. He needs help from his kind….

      Reply to Comment
    11. Ben

      A technique of those would insist there is no reasonable way to apply the term “apartheid” to what goes on in Israel-Palestine is to make this a simplistic black/white, yes/no, either/or question. It is not. It’s shades of grey, and the comparison is more true than false.

      Larry Derfner (in the midst of an article showing why the term “genocide” is improperly used by critics of Israel):
      ‘One of the other terms Abbas used in his speech was “ethnic cleansing.” It hurts me as an Israeli to hear it, but I have to admit it’s a true characterization of the Nakba. And while current Israeli policies toward Palestinians in East Jerusalem and parts of the West Bank’s Area C don’t fit the popular image of “ethnic cleansing,” they do fit the literal meaning.
      And let’s not forget “apartheid.” I don’t use the term because it’s based on racial supremacism, while the occupation is based on national supremacism, and this is a major difference. But the most significant feature of apartheid – that of one people officially, as a matter of policy, keeping another people down by force – is the most significant feature of the occupation, too, so the comparison is certainly more true than false. Besides, good Zionists like Ehud Barak, Ehud Olmert, Tzipi Livni, former Shin Bet chief Ami Ayalon and star newspaper columnist Nahum Barnea have made the comparison, so it can’t be dismissed as another exercise in slanderous Israel-bashing by the “loony Left.”’

      Reply to Comment
      • AJew

        “…but I have to admit it’s a true characterization of the Nakba”

        Benny? Is that you? The same Benny who was critical of me for dwelling on the past? The 1929 massacre of Jews in Hebron and Safed, by your dear Arab friends? You tried to make fun of me by bringing up the following story:

        “…And then he recalls how he saw an elderly Palestinian woman coming down from the hillside neighbourhood of Abu Snena to be greeted by settler children throwing stones at her. “I said to a child of about 10, ‘What do you think you are doing?’ He said, ‘Do you know what this woman did in 1929?’”

        Can I play your own story back at you about the Nakba but with the roles reversed? With Arab children throwing stones at an old Jewish woman? Can we too play that game, Benny-leh? Or only you and your Arabs can tell US to shush about Arab massacres of Jews in the past?

        I say, what’s good for the goose (you and your Arabs, Benny), is good for the gander (us Jews). You sush then we will sush too about the past.

        You don’t shush, then we too will bring up the past. Howzat, Benny-leh? You wanna call me that 10 year old Jewish boy, then I’ll call you too that 10 year old Arab boy, OK?

        Reply to Comment
        • Ben

          “Another milestone in the long journey that led Shaul towards this point began early in his Army service. Shaul explains that the seminal historic event in every settler child’s early education is the 1929 massacre during the riots against Jewish immigration to Palestine, when 67 Jews were slaughtered on a single day – though 435 survived after being sheltered by their Arab neighbours. And then he recalls how he saw an elderly Palestinian woman coming down from the hillside neighbourhood of Abu Snena to be greeted by settler children throwing stones at her. “I said to a child of about 10, ‘What do you think you are doing?’ He said, ‘Do you know what this woman did in 1929?'”

          That child is so “you” Gustav. It is the absolutely perfect story to describe you.

          “Can I play your own story back at you about the Nakba but with the roles reversed? With Arab children throwing stones at an old Jewish woman? Can we too play that game, Benny-leh? Or only you and your Arabs can tell US to shush about Arab massacres of Jews in the past?”

          In four sentences you bring out how deeply muddled is your thinking. It really is a marvel the way you display these things. Because, obviously, the roles are not genuinely reversed. Palestinian children in 2017 do not throw stones at old Jewish women, they throw stones at young Jewish occupying soldiers. As a form of protest. And get brutalized by the soldiers. And by settlers who throw garbage on their heads.

          You say, “Is that you? The same Benny who was critical of me for dwelling on the past?” And then you go on to dwell on the past but cite something I quote that focuses on the present, on a child in the present who is dwelling on the past in the illogical revealing way only children can. Except Gustav can, though I am realizing now that I don’t really know if Gustav is of adult age. I might be dealing all this time with a settler child?

          Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            I am sorry to have to do this to you Bennyleh but I’ll have to make you eat your own words. Let me quote what you said:

            “…but I have to admit it’s a true characterization of the Nakba”

            The Nakba happened in 1947/48. That’s hardly the present, is it? That’s the past, isn’t it?

            And your claim that 10 year old Arab children today don’t stone Jewish old women (or even babies) just does not stand up to scrutiny (note, I am trying to put it politely). I coud have said that your claim is a bare faced lie. In fact, there have been incidents when Arab children stoned Israeli civilian cars which consequently crashed and passangers died. And that’s the present!

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/israeli-infant-critically-hurt-in-traffic-accident-caused-by-stone-throwing-palestinians-1.509492

            “West Bank terror:Israeli Infant Critically Hurt in Traffic Accident Caused by Stone-throwing Palestinians
            Three other people, including the baby’s mother and sisters, sustain moderate injuries; police say driver lost control and smashed into passing bus.

            A 2-year-old Israeli infant is in critical condition and her mother and two sisters sustained moderate injuries on Thursday evening, in a West Bank traffic accident that police say was caused by stones thrown by Palestinians at passing vehicles.”

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            The Great Muddler strikes again! Again, your ability to muddle things conceptually is unparalleled. Of course there are these incidents. Of course the Nakba was 47-48. (You also excised what Derfner also wrote: “while current Israeli policies toward Palestinians in East Jerusalem and parts of the West Bank’s Area C don’t fit the popular image of “ethnic cleansing,” they do fit the literal meaning.”) What we don’t have are little Arab Lords of the Land imperiously stoning old women just because they can and because “do you know what this woman here that I am throwing stones at in 2009 did in 1929?” You will say *anything* rather than grasp the heart of the matter. You are a piece of work my friend.

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            “Of course the Nakba was 47-48”

            And that’s the bit that you are furiously trying to avoid with your double shuffle.

            I made one point and one point only in my post to you:

            YOUR HYPOCRISY

            You admonish me and other Israelis when we bring up the past evil deeds of Arabs. Awwww, you tell us: “don’t talk about the past all the time”. For example the 1929 massacre of Hebron’s and Safed’s Jews. Yet you constantly bring up the past.

            But now in your inimitable Bennyish way you are trying to avoid my point by bringing up all sorts of separate arguments which we have done to death elsewhere. Some other time, Bennyleh, ok? This post is about your HYPOCRISY!

            PS
            And no matter how hard you are trying to pretend otherwise, your Arab children throw stones on Jewish vehicles which then crash and Israeli babies die because of those stones. It happened. It actually happened. And one reason why your darling Arab children do it is because they too point at the Nakba. Now go read up on the meaning of the chant “Khyber, Khayber ya yahood” means and what it refers to. That is also about the past which they want to re-enact on us today. But you want our children to be unaffected and not to act like Arabs? Hatred begets hatred Benny! Yes I know it goes both ways. But you are not even willing to admit that. You are pretending that we are the ONLY ones who do hateful things and that we are the ones who are guilty of “the original sin”. You are a hypocrite who tries to perpetrate lies.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            I don’t ignore the past. I take account of it (all of it not cherry-picked parts of it). You ignore the present. Obstinately. And with respect to either past or present I feel you ignore any nuance or intelligent distinctions and so manage to muddle things fantastically. Really I marvel at it. My most common response to your posts is to marvel at the muddling.

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            “You ignore the present. Obstinately.”

            I am the one who ignores the present, huh Benny?

            Then who ignores the following questions which ARE about the present, Benny?

            1. Why has Abbas refused to negotiate peace for the last 8 years?

            2. How can there be peace without negotiations?

            3. How can the occupation end without peace?

            You have been running from these questions like a rabbit Benny. And THAT is ignoring the present!

            Reply to Comment
      • AJew

        “A technique of those would ….” …. apply the term apartheid selectively. Only to Israel. Even though it does no more apply to Israel than say most Arab countries and many other countries …

        … is to make the label stick only for Israel for propaganda purposes. The idea is that if they succeed, then their work is done. No more need to invent accusations to sell the idea that Israel is evil. Most of the world would automatically accept that Israel IS evil. That’s how propaganda works. Create a brand and the rest follows.

        Now click on this:

        https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=AcEL-NlxBk0

        Reply to Comment
        • Ben

          It’s a very odd claim: Ehud Barak, Ehud Olmert, Tzipi Livni, Ami Ayalon and Nahum Barnea are trying to sell the idea that Israel is evil.

          Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            Really? Then show me the color of your money, Bennyleh. Please give me a link to a respectable site in which they claim that Israel, RIGHT NOW (not in an imaginary one state solution but right now) that they claim that Israel is an apartheid state. Alternatively, show me that they say that Israel “is evil”.

            Link/s please.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            I don’t feel obliged to do your research for you. Feel free to track down the sources. I quoted Larry Derfner, who lives in Israel, knows the score, and does not make stuff up:

            ‘But the most significant feature of apartheid – that of one people officially, as a matter of policy, keeping another people down by force – is the most significant feature of the occupation, too, so the comparison is certainly more true than false. Besides, good Zionists like Ehud Barak, Ehud Olmert, Tzipi Livni, former Shin Bet chief Ami Ayalon and star newspaper columnist Nahum Barnea have made the comparison, so it can’t be dismissed as another exercise in slanderous Israel-bashing by the “loony Left.”’

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            “‘But the most significant feature of apartheid – that of one people officially, as a matter of policy, keeping another people down by force – is the most significant feature of the occupation”

            There he goes again with his “occupation” story. What he continually ignores however is the following:

            1. Occupation is a product of history. A history of Arab aggression against Israel.

            2. Occupation continues because of the Arabs unwillingness to even negotiate peace terms.

            3. Given the history of Arab aggression, the occupation cannot end without a signed formal peace deal which defines secure and recognised borders.

            Yet even the so called peace maker of the Palestinian Arabs, Abbas, refuses to negotiate. Hamas is even worse. They refuse to even pretend to disavow their past aggressive intentions.

            Yet the Benny’s of this world pretend that the ball is entirely in Israel’s court and that if Israel would just want it, the occupation could end from one day to the next. And since Israel does not see it their way, it is ok to smear Israel with the label, NO, the LIE that it is an apartheid state.

            Well it isn’t ok. It is just a smear. It is a blood libel along the line of blood lies that Jew haters used to smear Jews in the middle ages that Jews use the blood of children to bake our passover Matzos. This apartheid smear is no less a blood libel than that was. Shame on those who persist with it!!!!

            Now, again, look at the link below in which this decent black south African christian, who himself was a victim of apartheid, explains why Israel is NOT an apartheid state:

            https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=AcEL-NlxBk0

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            ​I think this South African knows his country well but does not know what goes on in the occupied territories well at all.

            That makes him, at best, a half-expert spouting half truths, and a man who thinks he knows more than he does, and these less than half truths he spouts sounds like a script somebody in the settlement establishment wrote for him and handed to him to read (starting with “it’s only purpose is…”). He comes off as exploited.
            (And Gustav, matzos and blood libel is over the top outrageous anti-Semitism card pulling. It’s all you’ve got: slander the messenger. People know this, Gustav. You are fooling no one who does not want to be fooled.)

            Assaf Harel, on the other hand knows Israeli society very well (as does Larry Derfner but we’ve covered that):

            WATCH: Israeli Comedy Show Host Implores Israelis to Wake Up and Smell the Apartheid
            Assaf Harel’s scathing indictment of Israeli society has gone viral.
            http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.774663

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            What Benny and his ilk deliberately ignore is that a formal state of war exists between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs of the West Bank and Gaza. Benny will deny this but it is fact. Otherwise, why is everyone trying to get the two sides to negotiate a peace deal? And why has Abbas been refusing to negotiate without trying to impose preconditions?

            The trouble with Benny’s blood libel (yes blood libel) is that he expects Israel to treat the West Bank Palestinian Arabs as Israeli citizens even though the West Bank Palestinian Arabs are not citizens (the intention was always for them to have their own independent state), they refuse to negotiate peace terms and members of their society continue their 100 year old practice of committing terrorist acts against Israelis. Israeli civilians too, using the occupation as an excuse. So Israel is left with no choice but to treat them as any occupier treats a hostile restive population. To use the term “Apartheid” to describe such a situation is dishonest to the extreme! And yes, if people insist on using that smear, it is appropriate to describe the smearers as peddlers of a blood libel.

            PS
            It is obscene that Benny just dismisses the talk by that decent Christian South African MP who truly suffered himself under apartheid. The man has no axe to grind. He just outlined all the clear differences between the old South African regime and Israel. The main difference is that all the blacks of South Africa were citizens. They were not under occupation! They were citizens but only third class citizens.

            On the other hand, the treatment of Israel’s 1.6 million Arab citizens as. compared to the treatment of Black South Africans under apartheid is like chalk and cheese. There is no comparison. Israel treats it’s Arab citizens way better than the black south Africans were treated under apartheid.

            Here is the link to the video of the South African MP again:

            https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=AcEL-NlxBk0

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          • Ben

            ​Assaf Harel is not throwing around matzos and “blood libeling” you and you know it. Go ahead and watch what he says. You can’t claim he does not know what he is talking about. Here’s the link to the video of Assaf Harel again:
            http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.774663

            Apartheid refers to the one state comprising Israel and the territories it occupies. So your talk about Israeli citizens is exactly the point—see Michael Omer-Man’s analysis: “Decriminalization could be best apartheid explanation.” Or watch Assaf Harel.

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          • AJew

            Why shouldn’t I ignore what he says? He and you are both wrong to describe what goes in here to be apartheid. Read my previous post. Which bit of war don’t you understand?

            Oh and why do YOU ignore what this decent SA Christian MP says about apartheid? As he says, why do you want to demean what the poor South African blacks really experienced by comparing the situation in Israel with that nastiness? Here look at the video and educate yourself Benny:

            https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=AcEL-NlxBk0

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            “Which bit of war don’t you understand?”

            It is not a war. Armistice was declared 50 years ago. It is a savage suppression of defenseless civilians, by your military, in the service of a naked land grab, in violation of many laws and of the Geneva Conventions governing belligerent occupations. No one objective can see it otherwise.

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          • AJew

            “….armistice was declared….”

            Yea it WAS, back in 1949. But did the Arabs observe the armistice agreement? Did Arab terrorism stop? Of course it didn’t it has lasted to this day. In other words, Benny-leh we are still at war. Just admit something that is in front of your nose, Benny, for once in your life…

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          • AJew

            Let me paraphrase Benny’s position…

            There is no war coz an armistice agreement was signed in 1949…

            Subsequently there were several major wars as well as continual Arab terrorism to this day…

            The wars ended with cease fire agreements. And after the 1967 war Israel ended up controlling the West Bank.

            Arab Terrorism continued both before and after 1967.

            The standard Arab excuse for the terrorism is “the occupation” and the apartheid smear.

            But there is no war says Benny coz an armistice agreement was signed in 1949, sheeesh…aaaaand … the Arabs are not even willing to negotiate peace terms.

            As for the apartheid smear. There is no apartheid. There is however suffering in wars. Nowhere else is suffering in because of war described as apartheid. Only with Israel is there an attempt to make such a lie stick.

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    12. Haim Shalom

      Well done Ben. Great, thoughtful piece. Keep holding on to the nuance. Keep fighting for Justice over rhetoric, for peace over war, for Israel and for Palestine to live together.
      One small thing I would disagree with – Israel is not reliant on “International Jewish support” at all – and in fact the idea that it is is both deeply problematic and part of a set of propaganda axioms that work against peace.

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