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The Israel-apartheid debate

Is Israel an apartheid state? Does its rule over the Palestinians constitute an apartheid regime?

With movements like BDS and others attempting to shift international discussion of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to a rights-based and international law-based discourse, we at +972 take a look at the merits, increasing use and utility of applying the word “apartheid” to Israel and the Occupied Territories.

A number of public figures ranging from Ehud Barak, John Kerry, Ehud Olmert and Tzipi Livni have warned that if a two-state solution isn’t reached, Israel will become an apartheid state. Others say that apartheid is already here. The verdict isn’t yet in but the discussion is taking place here.

special
coverage
  • The 'NY Times' puts apartheid on page one

  • Beneath the illusion of a temporary occupation lies apartheid

  • The incremental annexation of Palestine

  • The blame game, then the shame game

  • On the Israel-apartheid analogy, yet again

  • Call it colonialism, call it occupation - just don't call it 'apartheid'

  • The occupation doesn't have an 'image problem'

    In a January 2014 New York Times op-ed that I somehow just noticed now, a South Africa-born Jew insists that Israel is not an apartheid state. Hirsh Goodman, a journalist and political commentator who immigrated to Israel in 1965, agrees that the occupation must end. Not because it's evil to deprive a whole nation of its basic civil rights, but because it looks bad. For Goodman, the problem is not the human rights abuses committed by Israel, but rather that anti-occupation activists, "some of whom have graduated from the best universities in the world," are waging a campaign to "delegitimize"…

  • Who can say if it's 'apartheid' or not?

    Why does most coverage discussing Israel and the 'A-word' exclude the voices of black South Africans? Text and photo by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org Noticeably absent from most coverage of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's use of the term "apartheid" are the voices most qualified to make the comparison. The Daily Beast article that broke the Kerry story at least quotes the 1998 Rome Statute, the definition of apartheid under international law: "inhumane acts… committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed…

  • State Department stumbles: If not apartheid, then what?

    Asked what word Secretary Kerry would have used in place of 'apartheid,' his use of which stirred up a small storm in the U.S. this week, the State Department is hard pressed to give an answer. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and the State Department on Tuesday were scrambling to diffuse the storm that erupted following Kerry’s warning that absent a two-state solution, Israel risks becoming an apartheid state. Following the publication of that speech, Kerry put out a statement that fell far short of a retraction: I have been around long enough to also know the power of…

  • Kerry apologizes for speculating that theoretically, in the distant future, Israel could do something bad

    It took Secretary of State John Kerry exactly 24 hours after his “apartheid” comments were revealed by The Daily Beast to issue a comprehensive apology for the remarks. Despite demands from the American right, Kerry did not resign. The New York Times reports: In the statement that Mr. Kerry issued Monday, which bore the title “On Support for Israel,” he said that he had been a staunch supporter of Israel during his years as a senator and had spent many hours since working with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli officials. […] Mr. Kerry added that he did not believe…

  • Kerry warns: Israel could become an apartheid state

    The apartheid analogy is common among centrist Israeli politicians, but the U.S. administration has been careful not to use it in the past. Also: What makes Kerry think that Israel is not already 'a unitary state?' The Daily Beast’s Josh Rogin obtained a recording of a meeting in which Secretary of State John Kerry used the term "apartheid" to describe what an Israeli regime would look like - if and when efforts to bring about a two-state solution fails. Speaking to senior officials and experts from the U.S., Western Europe, Russia and Japan, Kerry warned of renewed violence in the West Bank, and…

  • Ten reasons why the anti-Apartheid movement is immoral, hinders peace

    Alan Dershowitz published an op-ed in Haaretz on Wednesday giving his top 10 reasons why boycotting Israel is immoral. What if he wrote the same article in 1974 about the anti-Apartheid movement? It might look something like this. By Sol Salbe Ten reasons why the anti-Apartheid movement is immoral and hinders peace The anti-South African movement threatens the reconciliation process by promoting extortion rather than negotiation, and discourages blacks from agreeing to any reasonable peace offer. By Alan M. Dershowitz | Feb. 12, 1974 | 4:00 PM 1. The anti-Apartheid movement immorally imposes the entire blame for the continuing Apartheid and…

  • Beyond irony: Whitewashing Mandela's legacy

    It is not the least bit surprising to see Israeli political leaders praising Mandela’s memory, with some even going so far as to declare him an Israeli hero. Some of these will surely be cynical, conscious attempts to whitewash his legacy and escape criticism. Many, however, believe every word they say. By Sean O’Neill Working in Palestine from late 2006 to late 2009, mostly in the Yatta/Hebron area, I have had the distinct (and often surreal) privilege of meeting a number of Israeli settlers who had emigrated from South Africa. One such man was G., the security guard for the settlement of…

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