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Why Herzog's diplomatic plan looks an awful lot like apartheid

Looking closely at Labor’s plan, the logic behind it becomes clear: since it is difficult to envision a Palestinian state in the foreseeable future, Israel should no longer be ashamed of putting Palestinians in Bantustans.

By Neve Gordon

Labor Party leader Isaac Herzog. (Photo by Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org)

Labor Party leader Isaac Herzog. (Photo by Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org)

On Sunday night, Israel’s Labor Party unanimously approved their leader’s diplomatic plan.

Labor’s premier Isaac Herzog laid out his vision a few weeks earlier at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, telling the audience that he “wish[es] to separate from as many Palestinians as possible, as quickly as possible.” Herzog continued by explaining that “we’ll erect a big wall between us. That is the kind of co-existence that is possible right now… Ariel Sharon… didn’t finish the job. We want to finish it, to complete the barrier that separates us.”

Examining Labor’s new plan more closely, what becomes bitterly clear is that “We are here, they are there” does not signify the withdrawal of Israeli power from Palestinian territories, but rather a devious way of entrenching the colonial enterprise even further.

Herzog’s underlying assumption is that under current conditions a two-state solution is impossible. He is, however, adamantly against a one state solution, whereby Jews and Palestinians live together as equals. His objective is to formulate a plan that guarantees the continued existence of a Jewish state, with about five million Palestinians living within its territory.

On the one hand, then, Israel should not take steps that would undermine the two-state solution, because sustaining the two-state chimera is crucial for preventing the alternative: a democratic state between the Jordan Valley and Mediterranean where Palestinians, like Jews, enjoy full citizenship. On the other hand, Herzog realizes that the two-state solution is no longer an option. He therefore lays out the blueprint of a plan that is in effect an apartheid regime.

Palestinians dressed up as Santa Claus demonstrate at the separation wall, Bethlehem, December 18, 2015. (photo: Anne Paq/Activestills.org)

Palestinians dressed up as Santa Claus demonstrate at the separation wall, Bethlehem, December 18, 2015. (photo: Anne Paq/Activestills.org)

The specifics informing the plan, which the Labor Party approved, are not really new, but the fact that they have been outlined in writing is another crucial step in the consolidation and legitimization of apartheid rule.

The plan unabashedly promotes Palestinian Bantustans. Herzog notes that Palestinians will gain more autonomy to run their daily lives in areas A and B, which comprise only about 40 percent of the West Bank. “Palestinians will have total freedom in civil but not military matters,” he said. “They’ll be able to build new cities and expand existing ones, to develop agriculture, industry, employment.”

In order to ensure the consolidation of the division of the West Bank into archipelagoes, the plan emphasizes the importance of completing the separation barrier around settlement blocs in the West Bank. The blocs, according to Herzog, will always remain under Israeli sovereignty and “will be part of the permanent solution.”

In order to get rid of Palestinians who are residents of Israel and have an Israeli identity card, Herzog endorses cutting off Palestinian villages from Jerusalem. As he put it: “Issawiya is not and won’t be part of Israel’s eternal capital. Neither is the refugee camp in Shuafat. We’ll separate from them. We’ll build a wall. Terrorists won’t have access to Jews. Those who want to work and make a living rather than stabbing people – we’ll leave those for the consideration of the defense establishment.”

A Palestinian resident of East Jerusalem walks into a checkpoint that separates the entirely walled-off neighborhood of Shuafat Refugee Camp, East Jerusalem, December 27, 2011. (Anne Paq/Activestills.org)

A Palestinian resident of East Jerusalem walks into a checkpoint that separates the entirely walled-off neighborhood of Shuafat Refugee Camp, East Jerusalem, December 27, 2011. (Anne Paq/Activestills.org)

Finally, the IDF, according to Herzog, should continue to control the entire West Bank.

With respect to Gaza, Hamas, in Herzog’s words “will have no immunity and for every attack they’ll pay a heavy price. This won’t mean dummy bombings of empty areas.” Herzog thus criticized Netanyahu’s government for being too soft on the Palestinians – the Likud government, he maintains, is not really bombing Palestinians in Gaza, but only empty spaces. He went on to announce that if gains power he will employ an “iron fist,” including shutting down their radio and TV stations and ensuring that Palestinians won’t have internet or mobile phone services.

Looking closely at Labor’s plan, the logic informing it becomes crystal clear: since it is difficult to envision a Palestinian state in the foreseeable future, Israel should no longer be ashamed for adopting a Bantustanian approach.

It is crucial to remember that the Bantustans in South Africa were classified as “self-governing” and that the Africans living within these territories did not have South African citizenship and thus did not enjoy the most basic political rights. Moreover, because no viable economy could be developed in the Bantustans, these areas were kept afloat by massive subsidies provided by the South African government. Similarly, the Palestinians are currently being kept afloat by the EU, U.S. and a few other countries. By concentrating large parts of the African population in Bantustans, the white supremacist Apartheid regime did manage to sustain itself for many years. This, in a word, is Herzog’s vision, as well.

Apartheid in the Republic of South Africa. A beach for Whites only near the integrated fishing village of Kalk Bay, not far from Capetown. January 1, 1970. (UN Photo/KM)

Apartheid in the Republic of South Africa. A beach for Whites only near the integrated fishing village of Kalk Bay, not far from Capetown. January 1, 1970. (UN Photo/KM)

The Labor Party, which is the only viable alternative to the current Likud government, and which is considered by many both in Israel and among international leaders to be a progressive substitute, has, in other words, unanimously supported a plan that would have been applauded by Apartheid South Africa.

Given this reality, it does not seem likely that a just solution to the Palestinian plight will come from within Israel. Indeed, at this historical juncture, international pressure is perhaps the only hope and is desperately needed.

This article first appeared on Al Jazeera. Neve Gordon is the author of Israel’s Occupation, as well as The Human Right to Dominate (co-authored with Nicola Perugini).

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    COMMENTS

    1. Bruce Gould

      One shibboleth that remains in this discussion is the idea that Israel needs to hold on to the West Bank for military reasons, for “strategic depth”. The Abraham Center for Middle East Peace has a well thought-out 15 minute presentation on why the idea no longer makes sense:

      http://www.centerpeace.org/learn/security/

      Reply to Comment
      • Gustav

        The only real chimera is the idea of a state in which the number of Arabs and Jews is roughly equal and it would function as a democracy in the longer term.

        Step one would be to repeal the current immigration law. This in turn would result in an Arab majority within a very short time.

        Step two, the Arabs would grab power and within a short time after that they will declare the state another Arab state, maybe even an Islamic state.

        After that, the Jews would have no future in the Middle East which would be the culmination of the Arabs dream (no more hated Jews).

        Why would we be idiotic enough to allow ourselves to go down that path?

        Reply to Comment
        • Ben

          Bruce is talking about a two state solution and why Israel does not need to hold on to the West Bank for military reasons, for “strategic depth”–why “the territorial approach” to security no longer makes sense. So if you feel that population numbers are your main strategic threat, then why are you answering him with this non sequitur about “why would we be idiotic enough to allow ourselves to go down that path?”? Because you get into what you consider troublesome population numbers by holding on to the West Bank. So whatcha talking about?

          As for the topic of the article above, Isaac Herzog is just so pathetic. It’s really comical and sad at the same time. What a lame nonentity. What a poodle. What a loser. With an “opposition” like that, the only interesting questions now are about external pressure. Larry Derfner is right. Roger Cohen is right. Amos Schocken is right. Ze’ev Sternhell is right. Ban Ki-moon is right. But we shouldn’t be surprised about Herzog. Labor birthed and built the occupation. And now the Labor Party endorses apartheid. Like I said, the only interesting questions now are about external pressure. Israel can not possibly begin to change itself.

          Reply to Comment
          • Whonoze

            “One shibboleth that remains in this discussion is the idea that Israel needs to hold on to the West Bank for military reasons, for “strategic depth”. The Abraham Center for Middle East Peace has a well thought-out 15 minute presentation on why the idea no longer makes sense:”.

            Complete nonsense. You have been posting that thing over and over again – for several years now. Don’t you ever get tired of repeating yourself and running in circle? Ehud Barak offered the Palestinian Arabs a demilitarized state in almost ALL of the WB. In Olmert Barak’s plan will retain 3% of the WB that is essential to its security. Olmert offered the Palestinians the equivalent of ALL of the WB. They rejected both offers!

            “As for the topic of the article above, Isaac Herzog is just so pathetic. It’s really comical and sad at the same time. What a lame nonentity. What a poodle. What a loser. With an “opposition” like that, the only interesting questions now are about external pressure. Larry Derfner is right. Roger Cohen is right. Amos Schocken is right. Ze’ev Sternhell is right. Ban Ki-moon is right. But we shouldn’t be surprised about Herzog. Labor birthed and built the occupation. And now the Labor Party endorses apartheid. Like I said, the only interesting questions now are about external pressure. Israel can not possibly begin to change itself”.

            Ooooh boy …. that got to be the most informed argument ever made on this site. Woa. Keep hyperventilating and ranting and, while you are at it, take a looong, hard look in the mirror and you will see “a lame nonentity, a poodle and a loser”. Herzog at least has a job, was a Minister and currently the Opposition Head in the Great Country Israel! So much cannot be said of you and your fellow Islamists.

            Reply to Comment
          • Whonoze

            *** “In Ehud Barak’s plan, Israel will retain 3% of the WB that is essential to its security. Olmert offered the Palestinians the equivalent of ALL of the WB. They rejected both offers!” ***

            [The claim that Israel wants to keep “the West Bank” simply flies in the face of fact known to everyone. It is simply not true.]

            Reply to Comment
          • TB7

            “Ehud Barak offered the Palestinian Arabs a demilitarized state in almost ALL of the WB. In Olmert Barak’s plan will retain 3% of the WB that is essential to its security. Olmert offered the Palestinians the equivalent of ALL of the WB. They rejected both offers!”

            Please provide a source, Whonoze and then we will compare your source to what was really “rejected”.

            Reply to Comment
          • tb7

            Whonoze: “Someone told you that before”

            Was it the the pot that continuously make a fool of himself by calling the cattle black?

            Now where is the source about Barak’s offer, Whonoze?

            And regading the article you have linked – would you again make the same misleading statement which doesn’t even include the important details why it was actually rejected?
            http://www.haaretz.com/news/pa-rejects-olmert-s-offer-to-withdraw-from-93-of-west-bank-1.251578

            And would you like to commment on this, too?
            “But another Israeli official said Olmert was merely trying to establish his legacy. “There is going to be no agreement, period,” he said on condition of anonymity.”

            Reply to Comment
          • Whonoze

            “Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions”.

            • Proverbs

            Keep running around in circle, TB/BruceGould/Ben/Carmen/etc. listening to yourself and admiring yourself. More than that cannot be expected of a fool.

            Reply to Comment
          • TB7

            Whonoze “Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions”.

            • Proverbs

            Keep running around in circle, TB/BruceGould/Ben/Carmen/etc. listening to yourself and admiring yourself. More than that cannot be expected of a fool.”

            Rofl, says Whonoze who runs in circle and repeats his adhominem spam.

            But I don’t expect anything else, because you know how misleading your claims are.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Who says I was talking to Bruce, Benny?

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Funny. That’s just like an occupier. You addressed it to Bruce. It was not only a non sequitur it contradicted the whole point Bruce made. But “Who says I was talking to Bruce? I do whatever I want and logic and honesty simply don’t matter. I can come up with any reason at all. It doesn’t have to make sense. Occupation? What occupation? It’s the Hundred Years’ War, children, you see….”

            Reply to Comment
          • Whonoze

            “It was not only a non sequitur it contradicted the whole point Bruce made”.

            Riiiight! “it was a non sequitur” which at the same time “contradicted the whole point Bruce made”? Imagine that! Bruce doesn’t even know what “non-sequitur” means and can’t even “read between the lines”! Oy …whoever said that a fool ever realizes when he has become a laughing stock? ROFLMA …

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Rant on, fool.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            From the article…

            “because sustaining the two-state chimera is crucial for preventing the alternative:…”

            From my post….

            GUSTAV:”The only real chimera is the idea of a state in which the number of Arabs and Jews is roughly equal…”

            But Benny knows better than me who I address MY posts to…

            How does one argue with single track minded propagandists and the attention span of a sparrow? LOL.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            You missed this part:

            “On the other hand, Herzog realizes that the two-state solution is no longer an option. He therefore lays out the blueprint of a plan that is in effect an apartheid regime.”

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            LOL. Poor old Benny…

            So suddenly you admit that you put your foot in your mouth when you insisted that I addressed my post to Bruce, despite me telling you that I didn’t? A slight apology might be in order? No?

            But no, you are just moving on as if nothing happened. Very Bennyish of you. You are unembarrassable.

            Reply to Comment
    2. carmen

      ‘Don’t you ever get tired of repeating yourself and running in circle?’

      Don’t you ever tire of projection? You really need help – maybe Nut’inyahooo’s psychiatrist, oh sorry, he killed himself! Just try AA (apartheid anonymous) or SA (settler’s anonymous) – there’s help out there but you have to look for it.

      The only one running in circles, endlessly repeating lies, BS and more lies, is yourself and your numerous sock puppets.

      Reply to Comment
      • Gustav

        Rant on Carmen dear. Do I upset you? Good.

        Reply to Comment
    3. Anthony

      This is a wilful misreading of Herzog’s plan.The purpose of separation is not to create Bantustans, it is to preserve the option of a two state solution in the future.

      Herzog still supports the two-state solution, he just thinks it is unviable as long as there is “no partner” – i.e. as long as the Palestinians have no single elected government that can credibly sign a peace accord with Israel. However, in order to preserve the option of a two state solution in the future (and therefore avoid an eventual one state solution), Israel must get out of areas that would clearly need to be part of Palestine in the future.

      I’m not supportive of Herzog’s plan for a number of reasons. But let’s at least understand what he’s trying to achieve before critiquing the idea. And first step is recognising that neither the 80-year old Abbas nor the Hamas government today are in a position to sign an agreement on a two-state solution that would be worth the paper it was written on.

      Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        And I have some choice Florida swampland to sell you–you know that area around Miami that will be totally underwater (and undike-able–the bedrock itself is porous) in fifty years? Yeah.

        Reply to Comment
        • Gustav

          Better them than us, Benny. You might be self destructive but we are not.

          Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Who’s “we”? Somebody appointed you King? Of who? Of the Israelis? Of “the Jews” contra “the Arabs”? Of the GULLP (Grand Unified Labor and Likud Party)? You represent Netanyahu and his pathetic pet poodle? Who bites at Bibi’s ankle but mostly begs with his tongue hanging out for the Foreign Ministry Biscuit?
            Plenty of Israelis including Dov Yirmiya and six Shin Bet Chiefs agree with me. So who is “we” again?

            Reply to Comment
          • Whonoze

            Ben/TB7/BruceGould/Carmen, “WE” are the People of Israel: the Nation State of the Jewish People and represented by OUR democratically elected Government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Gustav is a patriot and speaks for the vast majority of US: Israelis.

            Stop babbling and don’t let the hate in your heart get the better of you. Hate is a very destructive emotion.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Right, it’s time to not just claim that Benny uses multiple pseudonyms while posting here, some of them extremely obnoxious and racist, it’s time to offer a little proof. Circumstantial but telling because this isn’t the only thing that points to it. More shall be revealed in good time …

            Here:
            On this very article, I will include a link just for future use…
            http://972mag.com/why-herzogs-diplomatic-plan-looks-an-awful-lot-like-apartheid/116946/

            BEN:”Who’s “we”? Somebody appointed you King? Of who? Of the Israelis? Of “the Jews”

            Here:
            http://972mag.com/dont-be-fooled-bibi-and-im-tirzu-are-one-and-the-same/116389/

            Monday Feb 2016
            TB7:”Yes Bibi, oops Gustav, King of the Jews, who speaks for all Jews.”

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            TB7 gets credit for the “King of the Jews” theme. I merely borrowed it. Because it names something that apparently irked both TB7 and me: the way you use “we” as if you speak not only for all Israelis, but even for “the Jews,” etc. It’s part of your game of incessantly turning the hypernationalist illegal Israeli occupation of Palestinian land, a criminal act, into a noble intergalactic “war” between “the Jews” and “the Arabs.” And you got aaaalll “the Good Jews” on your side. Against aaaall the Vewy Vewy Bad Awab pwotester-tewwowists” and “the whole world” and “the evil liberals” too, as well as “The Poor Misguided Foolish Jews,” such victims “you” are, but since it’s “war” “you” get to do whatever “you” want to “them.” (See Tony Greenstein btw at the Dov Yermiya article.)

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            But TB7 used “King of the Jews” first. You and your thuggish assistant–who blatantly posts under multiple names as we all know–borrow words and themes from me all the time. I get a chuckle out of it. I feel like I’m running an English vocabulary and usage School here and you two oughta pay me. Just yesterday I think you ranted about me being “unembarrassable”–my usage that you borrowed and turned around. Just one example. There are many such borrowings by you of my words and themes. You want to make the circumstantial case that I am you? LoL. Your fascination with me and your desperation always show when you turn to the paranoid troll pastime of Benny Spotting. “Right, it’s time to not just claim….” Geez.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Ben:”…Vewy Vewy Bad Awab…”

            LOL and that’s the way one of Benny’s other personas talked, Brian that is. That one he actually admitted to in one of his weak moments, because he wasn’t too ashamed about what that sock puppet said. That pseudonym (Brian) of Benny’s just called all Americans idiots. In “progressive land” apparently that’s not considered to be racist and offensive because “everyone knows how adavantaged all Americans are”, right? What a sad little steretype world the Benny’s of this world live in…

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            I am king of the Jews, Benny? I am honored. Now let me bestow an honor on you too.

            You are king of the Arabs.

            How do you like them apples Benny?

            Sheeesh. Whenever Benny runs out of arguments to support his one eyed claims, he resorts to trivia. What a childish old twit he is, LOL.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Too stupid to warrant a reply.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            What’s stupid Benny? You calling me King of the Jews? Yes, I agree. You were stupid for calling me that.

            Reply to Comment
      • Gustav

        More propaganda and disinformation from one of the resident propagandists who does not want Israel to defend itself from Arab terroists and terrorism.

        Now watch the following you tube video in which a black south African who lived through apartheid, defends Israel from the modern day blood libel of Apartheid…

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AcEL-NlxBk0&sns=em

        The only racists are people who deliberately spread blood libels against Jews again. It used to be a time honored leisure activity in the past against Jews. Nowdays, they try to pretend that they are not against Jews per se, they are just against the state of the Jewish people.

        If that would be true, then they would not have to resort to blood libels. They would just criticize. No one is above being criticized. But telling malicicious lies? That isn’t criticizm. It is driven by the same old racist hatred with which we Jews are very familiar because like this black South African MP who lived through Apartheid, our parents generation lived through antisemitism. We can smell an antisemite from what they say. And there is no doubt about it. CARMEN is a racist and an antisemite.

        Reply to Comment
        • Ben

          Ho hum. This is a pure (and very standard, very predictable, thoroughly worn out) ad hominem attack. It reads like a segment of the Apartheid Adventures video itself.

          So does the gambit of “I found a black guy from South Africa who says otherwise so that settles that.”

          Hey, I found a black South African president who adamantly insisted AIDS is not caused by HIV. That proves that, don’t it?! Stop focussing on stopping the transmission of HIV, doctors!

          Thabo Mbeki did enormous damage.
          http://www.theguardian.com/world/2008/nov/26/aids-south-africa

          Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Challange to Benny…

            Don’t play the man. Prove what he says wrong about his dispute that Israel practices apartheid.

            Watch the video again and if you think that he tells lies, point those lies out.

            Are you up to it, Benny?

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            So tell us Benny-leh. Did things like this happen in Apartheid South Africa?

            Imagine that, an Arab judge sentenced the disgraced president of Israel, Moshe Katzav, to a jail term for raping a woman who worked for him.

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

            “George Karra was born to a distinguished Christian family in Jaffa. He has two brothers and a sister. Karra studied at Terra Sancta primary school and Eshkolot high school in Jaffa. In 1973, he completed his law degree at Tel Aviv University. He has three daughters.[2]
            Karra opened a private practice in 1975. In 1989, he was appointed to Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court. After 11 years, he was promoted to Tel Aviv District Court. He was appointed a senior court judge in 2010. Karra was the judge who convicted Israeli President Moshe Katsav of rape.[3] In another high-profile case, he convicted Ofer Nimrodi of illegal wiretapping.[4]”

            You still think that black South African MP is just a liar when he dismisses the charge of Apartheid against Israel?

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            The video is a string of hackneyed talking points that sound like they were spoon fed to a man who has not lived one single day through the conflict in Israel-Palestine. Follow the Hasbara talking point words this cheezy video flashes in bold blood red. “Slander! Malicious! Delegitimize! Demonize!”

            But first of all it simply ignores the occupation outright. The entire video is off topic! The term apartheid is accurately applied to the by now more or less single entity of Israel plus its colonized territories (see Oren Yiftachel, below)

            The video depends for its punch on this pivot:

            “I know what apartheid is.” . . .

            “Having been to Israel” (but not the territories it is quite clear) . . .

            “The right to vote, the right to choose the leaders who one believes in, the right to move and travel freely, to live wherever one wants….”

            NONE of this applies to the “occupied”/colonialized territories of Greater Israel.

            This man clearly has NO idea what he is talking about (or has reasons to not say what he really knows).

            The “center leftist” Isaac Herzog in fact just proposed, in broad daylight, with pride, a blueprint of a plan that is in effect an apartheid regime.

            I could pick a dozen Israeli +972 or Haaretz writers off the top of my head who have FAR more credibility on this than Kenneth Meshoe.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            As usual, Benny just blusters and ignores facts that are inconvenient to him.

            For instance Benny ignores my very post before this one which verified one of the points which this decent black SA MP made.

            I mentioned that our disgraced ex president, Moshe Katzav was sentenced to a prison term by an Arab judge.

            QUESTION: how many white SA elites were sentenced to prison terms by black judges during the apartheid era?

            ANSWER: NONE!

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            No no, you merely distract. Pay attention to what the decent black SA MP you found for us says: “The right to vote, the right to choose the leaders who one believes in, the right to move and travel freely, to live wherever one wants….” He did not say “The right to feel good about a token judge of a certain ethnicity on the other side of a separation wall who actually has not a thing to do with us since we are subject to an entire separate and unequal set of laws almost entirely outside his civilian jurisdiction, and who sits on a court that rubber stamps illegal actions in the territories and whose judges live in settlements but will not recuse themselves on cases having to do with the theft of our land by settlers.” That Katsav sits in jail for raping people who worked for him and that one of the judges who convicted him happens to be Arab does not in any way excuse what the state does to people on the other side of the green line. The situation in the territories is apartheid. That this situation is not identical to the South African situation is not the issue.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Blah blah blah Benny. Watch the video again. The black SA MP listed a large number of differences between what existed during the SA apartheid era and what is happening in Israel. Not just one token Arab judge. Here is a reminder…

            1. Arab teachers teaching Jewish kids in Israeli schools.

            2. Arabs and Jews laying in beds next to each other in hospital wards.

            3. Arabs and Jews with equal voting rights to elect representatives in the Knesset (Israel’s Parliament).

            That’s just off the top of my head. Watch the video and don’t be in denial. Don’t call that decent black SA MP who lived through apartheid a liar because you are the liar Benny.

            You know what? Don’t watch the video. But every time you dispute the contents of that video, I’ll dispute your denial. I want other people to watch the video not you. You are just a two bit pro Arab propagandist so I don’t care what you think. Here is a link to the video again…

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AcEL-NlxBk0&sns=em

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            BEN:”since we are subject to an entire separate and unequal set of laws”

            You mean the Arabs of the WB. LOL. That old canard huh? They are not entitled to the same things that Israeli citizens are entitled to huh?

            Duuuhhh, Neither are the citizens of any other country. The WB Arabs have never been, are not today and never will be Israeli citizens.

            They could however be citizens of their own country if they would be willing to sign a peace deal with Israel. A peace deal which includes Israel’s peace terms too. Not just their terms. After all, militarily defeated aggressors have never dictated peace terms in the history of man-kind and the WB Arabs will not be the ones to start a new trend.

            What they are doing, is the equivalent of a little kid threatening his mother that he will hold his breath and hope to die if he doesn’t get what he wants…

            However the WB Arabs are making a biiiiiig mistake. They think that we are their mother, thanks to you stupid extreme lefties. But we are not. So unless they play ball, little buddy, guess what will happen to them? We will let the effect of not breathing do it’s thing. Hey, if they want to hold their collective breaths, who are we to stop them?

            We certainly are not obliged to treat another nation as Israeli citizens. Only extreme racist lefties like you Benny try to pretend that we should be the only people who are obliged to treat our sworn enemies as our citizens.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            “You mean the Arabs of the WB. LOL”

            These people of the West Bank are always an afterthought to Gustav. “Oh, you mean *them*?” And it is interesting what really gets him angry. The very idea that “those Arabs” should not knuckle under and be forced, under harsh illegal occupation, to cough up Ariel, Efrat, Ma’aleh Adumim, East Jerusalem, etc., just enrages him. King Gustav wants his pound of flesh and by god he’s going to get it.

            “We certainly are not obliged to treat another nation as Israeli citizens.”

            Ah, but Gustav’s royal decree, based on a false premise, rings hollow. We arrive at the heart of the matter that will not be denied. The emperor has no clothes.

            As Oren Yiftachel explains, “The main harm to human rights and the obstacles to establishing a Palestinian state are not a result of the military occupation, but actually stem from the civil transformation… separation long ago disappeared. Israel created a continuous Jewish civilian space…. But Arabs have inferior collective citizenship…closely linked to their identity as Palestinians…. In international law, a situation whereby a country appropriates and settles territories outside its sovereign borders is called colonialism. Southern Lebanon was an example of military occupation; the West Bank is an example of colonialism, one that seeks to entrench itself over time while preserving the privileges of the ruling population, and incidentally creating an apartheid regime….Apartheid in the West Bank seeps into the entire area between the Jordan and the sea.”

            http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.702597

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Benny in full flight spinning his lies.

            Again: the WB Arabs are a separate people from us. They were offered their own separate state from us first in 1947 and a number of other times since.

            The fact that they chose not to take up the offer and separate from us but instead they insist on continuing their war against us till they gain control of the entire land (ours too – they hope), is THEIR problem.

            We are certainly not obliged to treat them as one of us because they proved in word and deed that they are our deadly enemy.

            But Benny-leh acts like we are the proverbial mothers of WB Arabs who threaten to hold their breath and hope to die till we give in.

            I have news to Benny. We are not obliged to give in, even if not giving in is bad for his darling WB Arabs. We owe them nothing. Karma is a bitch. They made war on us, they are intransigent and refuse to make peace with us but they suffer? Well then they can suffer. Even as we speak, the key to fixing their suffering is in their own hands. All they have to do is sign a peace deal with us which contains our requirements too. Not just theirs. They don’t wanna? Well then then they can sleep in the bed that they made for themselves.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            No lies Gussie. Yiftachel is not lying. You only pretend not to comprehend him. And you only demonstrate what I’ve told you before: the interesting questions now are about outside pressure.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            I don’t care about this new Mesiah of yours. What’s his name? Yifta who? Who is he anyway?

            I am telling you again. The WB Arabs are not our citizens. They never have been and they never will be. As such, we owe them nothing even if they ‘hold their little breaths and hope to die’. If they choose misery for themselves instead of their own state in order to hurt us too, they will only hurt themselves. Oh and the two state solution will ALWAYS be viable. If places like San Marino, Monaco and the Vatican are viable then a little Palestinian statelet can be viable too. Depending on when they regain their common sense, the WB Arabs can have a larger or a smaller state. Or maybe a state confederated with Jordan which is more natural for them than being confederated with us.

            As for your stupid threats against us, keep trying Bennyleh. Your wet dreams don’t scare us.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Whenever I have presented you with someone’s compelling argument you dodge it with “who’s he, your guru? He’s nobody.” Every time. Never fails. It’s not who he is, of course, it’s what he says and from what base of experience he says it. (And you usually add another layer to the dodge: “oh boy now I’m really mad, leave me alone!” style bluster.) You can’t grapple with Yiftachel.

            “a little Palestinian statelet”

            This is just vengeance and a wish to humiliate. Cruelty. Tell me why Gustav. Why does Israel rationally have to have more? Why does it have to have Area C and East Jerusalem? Isn’t it really just greed and cruelty and covetousness? At bottom it is just a land grab. If they don’t settle for a humiliating “statelet,” because they are human beings not your subjugated serfs, then what? Why should they have to settle? You want 50 more years of cruelty? And then when the world steps in to take the keys away from the drunk driver you’ll scream you are a victim. It is sick.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            It is neither vengeance, nor cruelty Benny-leh. It is self preservation. I am sorry that it upsets you so much but we are not playing games. We came back here not to die. We came back here to rebuild our lives and to give our kids a the future which we didn’t have anywhere for 2000 years where we lived as an oppressed, trodden down and persecuted minority. I tell you Benny-leh, nothing will stand in our way and if they do, then they do so at their own risk. I won’t go on…

            You wanna really classify what we are, Benny-leh? Here let me help you. Think of us as stubborn, ruthless but pragmatic. You don’t believe me? You’d rather demonize and vilify us? Go ahead Benny-leh, I expect nothing less from you. But then again, I now gave up my attempt to have a civilized exchange of views with you because you do exactly what you accuse me of doing. And now I am doing it to you too. How does it feel? How does it feel to be just talked at but not listened to what the other person says, or being just dismissed arbitrarily? Coz that’s what YOU have been doing to me. Now you get it back. Call it vengeance if you want but it isn’t really because although I still respond to your posts, my posts are no longer meant for you. They are meant to inform non biased readers of an alternate point of view rather than just your biased diatribes. So I decide which bit of your nonsense is worth responding to and which isn’t. Kapish?

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            A stock hasbara song. The settlers on the hilltops and the outposts are anything but pragmatic. Ariel and East Jerusalem are anything but pragmatic. They are logistical and security nightmares that drain enormous resources from you the taxpayer and citizen and compromise your soul. Whenever one brings up the gratuitous cruelty and covetousness out comes the sad sounding violin and that plaintive golden oldie about 2000 years of Jewish suffering, in D flat major and F minor, it gets played and we are all supposed to step back and say ‘whoah’ and feel the pain and say of course the occupation is so understandable look at how we suffered. This is a form of manipulation, of emotive distraction that the suffering we cause the Palestinians doesn’t count. Nobody feels pain like we do and those animals certainly don’t feel pain like we do. It’s is racist and supremacist at its core. A very ugly business.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            BEN:”out comes the sad sounding violin and that plaintive golden oldie about 2000 years of Jewish suffering, in D flat major and F minor, it gets played and we are all supposed to step back and say ‘whoah’ and feel the pain”

            This is vintage Benny in full flight. No empathy towards Jews but he comes here daily and whines about the occupation which his Arabs have had ample opportunity to resolve.

            Benny lacks introspection. It doesn’t even occur to him that I too can respond the same way to his constant whining about the occupation.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            “It is self preservation”

            No one believes this, Gustav.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            No one, Benny-leh?

            There he goes again. He pretends to speak for everyone. What a fat head…

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            I tell you Benny-leh, nothing will stand in our way and if they do, then they do so at their own risk. I won’t go on…”

            You sound more and more unhinged. The proto-fascist peeks out from under the veneer. The dark hints about what you will do to “them.” If “they” don’t surrender Ariel to “you.” You poor thing. Life without Ariel and sovereign domination of East Jerusalem. Oh boo hoo.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Yea Benny-leh, one is unhinged if one does not let one’s enemies walk all over one. Do you let people walk all over you Benny? Of course not. You show an impressive ability to try to defend your point of view on this site, so are you unhinged, Benny?

            Oh, no, I can hear Benny protest. “This is nothing, we are just talking here, but if this would be a fight to the death, I would let everyone walk all over me”. No you wouldn’t Benny and you know it. Unless of course you are unhinged.

            Reply to Comment
    4. Ben

      One plays into the game even by using the word “occupation,” which at this point is false, and allows rightists to claim (falsely) that this is an unpleasant necessity. Occupation is temporary, militarized control, external to the state’s sovereign borders. Israeli rule in the West Bank and Gaza is the opposite: Control is civilian, permanent (according to Israel’s own leaders) and internal to Israeli society and politics. The accurate descriptive terms are colonialism and apartheid. That is the reality.

      As Oren Yiftachel explains, “The main harm to human rights and the obstacles to establishing a Palestinian state are not a result of the military occupation, but actually stem from the civil transformation… separation long ago disappeared. Israel created a continuous Jewish civilian space…. But Arabs have inferior collective citizenship…closely linked to their identity as Palestinians…. In international law, a situation whereby a country appropriates and settles territories outside its sovereign borders is called colonialism. Southern Lebanon was an example of military occupation; the West Bank is an example of colonialism, one that seeks to entrench itself over time while preserving the privileges of the ruling population, and incidentally creating an apartheid regime….Apartheid in the West Bank seeps into the entire area between the Jordan and the sea.”

      http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.702597

      Reply to Comment
      • Gustav

        Ok Bennyleh. Let’s take the word “occupation” and let’s be scientific about it. Are you up to it?

        Let

        ‘O’ = Occupation.

        Let

        ‘C’ = Cause of “Occupation”

        So tell me Benny if something is the cause of something else then you ignore the cause and only talk about the something else? In other words do you talk only about ‘O’ but not ‘C’? Is that how things work in your limited little world? No wonder you are just reduced to repetition and meaningless ranting. But practical adults who solve real life problems, look at cause and effect. Solve the cause and automatically solve the effect which they don’t like.

        So, if we apply the thinking of practical thinking to the problem of the occupation, ask yourself: what caused the occupation? And why is it persisting? And if you are honest (are you honest, Bennyleh?) then you would realize that the occupation was caused by Arab aggression in 1967. And it persists till this day because the Palestinian Arabs have not stopped their violence and they refuse to sign a peace deal.

        So Benny. There is an opportunity for you if you want to do some good in this world. Instead of just whining that the occupation persists, start jumping up and down and urge your Arabs to…

        1. Stop their violence.

        2. Sign a peace deal with Israel so that we won’t have the excuse to continue the occupation.

        Makes sense Bennyleh? If not, tell us why not. But no ranting please…

        Reply to Comment
      • Gustav

        Ok Bennyleh. Let’s take the word “occupation” and let’s be scientific about it. Are you up to it?

        Let

        ‘O’ = Occupation.

        Let

        ‘C’ = Cause of “Occupation”

        So tell me Benny if something is the cause of something else then you ignore the cause and only talk about the something else? In other words do you talk only about ‘O’ but not ‘C’? Is that how things work in your limited little world? No wonder you are just reduced to repetition and meaningless ranting. But practical adults who solve real life problems, look at cause and effect. Solve the cause and automatically solve the effect which they don’t like.

        So, if we apply the thinking of practical thinking to the problem of the occupation, ask themselves: what caused the occupation? And why is it persisting? And if they are honest then they realize that the occupation was caused by Arab aggression in 1967. And it persists till this day because the Palestinian Arabs have not stopped their violence and they refuse to sign a peace deal.

        So Benny. There is an opportunity for you if you want to do some good in this world. Instead of just whining that the occupation persists, start jumping up and down and urge your Arabs to…

        1. Stop their violence.

        2. Sign a peace deal with Israel so that we won’t have the excuse to continue the occupation.

        Makes sense Bennyleh? If not, tell us why not. But no ranting please…

        Reply to Comment
        • Ben

          This premise is not honest: “the occupation was caused by Arab aggression in 1967. And it persists till this day because the Palestinian Arabs have not stopped their violence and they refuse to sign a peace deal.”

          But as I think I already told you, one plays into the game even by using the word “occupation.”

          Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            No, Benny-leh. What I said was perfectly accurate and honest. In 1967, Israel pleaded with Jordan not to enter the conflict which Egypt and Syria triggered. But Jordan could not stand up to Nasser (Egypt’s) leader at the time. They started bombarding our side of Jerusalem (West Jerusalem) so after that, we had no choice but to counter attack. The result of that was our victory and the occupation started. After the war, we offered to return everything except East Jerusalem in exchange for peace. But again, Jordan chose to tow the policies of the Arab league and they refused to even negotiate with us and allowed the PLO to mount raid after raid of terrorism against our civilians so the occupation continued. That has been the ongoing pattern to this day.

            Under the circumstances, the occupation is neither illegal nor is it a dirty word. If the Arabs refuse to sign a peace deal, we are not obliged to end the occupation as if nothing happened.

            Hey, The allies occupied Germany and Japan for decades after the end of WW2 and their occupation wasn’t deemed illegal.

            I know what Benny will say next if he responds. But maybe he won’t respond coz the last time he did respond the way I expect him to respond, I made a thorough fool of him.

            Go on, Benny-leh, hava gooo. Maybe this time you’ll do better? LOL.

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