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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 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'

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

  • 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…

  • Searching for a genuine anti-apartheid struggle in Israel/Palestine

    While Palestinians and their leaders historically took their cues from anti-colonial resistance in Vietnam, Cuba and Algeria, their struggle has, over time, become similar to the fight against apartheid in South Africa. With the failure of the Oslo Accords, new, often overlapping approaches have proliferated, leading Ran Greenstein to find out what a genuine anti-apartheid model would look like in our time. By Ran Greenstein How can we define and understand the essence of the struggle against political oppression in Israel/Palestine? On the face of it the answer is simple: the target is the Israeli regime and its practices. But, is…

  • On Mandela's legacy: Three political innovations

    Political and strategic legacies tend to be obscured in the mourning over the passing of a great leader and human being. Let us honor his memory not by regarding him as a flawless saint but as a comrade. By Ran Greenstein It is difficult to say anything not full of clichés about the death of Nelson Mandela. When tributes are pouring in from all over the world to the greatness of a unique leader, elevated to the status of a global icon and a saint, it is easy to forget that before he became a widely admired statesman who led South…