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An Israeli Aparheid – Debunked. Part 1 – Definitions and History

April 27, 2008

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There were quite a few comments on my recent post (most of which I could not allow to be posted, not because I disagree, but because of the language/ill-wishing in them). I actually posted a couple of replies to some of the comments I did allow, but there was so much to it I decided to write a post about it. Since there is a lot of ground to cover, I will post it in parts.

I am including some of what I wrote in the comments – feel free to read the comments in their entirety here.
I’d like to begin by saying that by NO means am I saying Israel is perfect and without its problems and faults. Neither is the US (Abu Gharib, anyone?)

What I’m going to do here is post definitions of apartheid and then show, point by point, why Israel is NOT an apartheid state (according to these definitions). I will also compare it to the South Africa Apartheid regime to further prove my point.

A Definition of Apartheid and the South African Apartheid

Webster’s defines apartheid as racial segregation: a former policy of segregation and political and economic discrimination.

Apartheid means “separateness” in Afrikaans, and it was a system of legalized segregation in South Africa. It was a system of legitimized racism and white nationalism. Under this system, legislation classified everyone in South Africa into racial groups (Black, White, Colored, and Asian), where Blacks had their citizenship taken away, and legally became citizen of one of ten, theoretically sovereign, homelands, much like the Native American reservations, Canadian First Nation Reserves, and Australian Aboriginal reserves.

Blacks had no rights in White South Africa. Their voting rights were restricted to the 10 territories, called bantustans, even if they weren’t living in them. The government segregated education, health care, and other public services, where the Blacks deliberately had inferior standards. The black educational system essentially prepared them to be a laboring class.

Here’s a summary of the definitions of apartheid:
1) Racial segregation
2) Legalized segregation, institutionalized by law
3) One group does not have citizenship
4) Legalized inferior standards for one group of people
5) Separating a certain group of people into separate territories
6) No voting rights in the country
7) Segregated health care, education, and public services
8) The South African system came from a notion of White Supremacy and the belief that one group of people is superior to another.

Stay tuned for my next post over the next couple of days.

An Israeli Apartheid – Debunked. Part 2 – History of Israeli Equality Laws

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11 comments

  1. I say: take out the words “institutionalized” and “legalized” and you have a pretty good description of the Palestinian living situation. Just because this state of being is not institutionalized, just tolerated by a small, but influential group of people, doesnt make it better.


  2. Perhaps, but the moment you take out the words “institutionalized” and “legalized,” you can no longer call it an apartheid. According to this definition, actually, the US was much more an apartheid than Israel ever was.

    Anyway, stay tuned: In the next posts I will show you that several of the other parts of the definitions here are not exactly as correct you as you may think either.


  3. Quotes from Nelson Mandela

    “The UN took a strong stand against apartheid; and over the years, an international consensus was built, which helped to bring an end to this iniquitous system. But we know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.”

    “We consider ourselves to be comrades in arms to the Palestinian Arabs in their struggle for the liberation of Palestine. There is not a single citizen in South Africa who is not ready to stand by his Palestinian brothers in their legitimate fight against the Zionist racists.”

    Desmond Tutu

    “What is not so understandable, not justified, is what it did to another people to guarantee its existence. I’ve been very deeply distressed in my visit to the Holy Land; It reminded me so much of what happened to us black people in South Africa. I have seen the humiliation of the Palestinians at checkpoints and roadblocks, suffering like us when young white police officers prevented us from moving about. Many South Africans are beginning to recognize the parallels to what we went through.”

    I think they might know what apartheid is.


  4. I stand by the comment I made earlier. I am by no means saying that there aren’t injustices. But the use of the word apartheid here is not correct. It is like the misuse of the word holocaust nowadays.

    Not to mention the fact that the roadblocks aren’t there for humiliation purposes, but to prevent the deaths of our own people (which clearly continue to happen). The South Africa blacks did nothing to the whites, and the whites were both setting discrimination in the law AND setting it as racial superiority, which Israel isn’t. (Israelis are of all colors and from all countries, and not all are Jewish – there are many Christians here, both Arabs and others from all around – like many Russians – and you can’t say they are mistreated for their religion, so you can’t claim religious apartheid either.)


  5. It is real easy to throw out names and not HAVE to back them up. When a man of the renown as Desmond Tutu begins to use names indiscriminately then that is simply a show if irresponsibility. He equates the White South African regime as Zionist and equated that as racist. Zionist – (and he should ask ALL of the blacks currently living willingly in Israel) is the yearn for a people for its’ home again – after 2000 years. Racist? Hardly when there is a no definition of a race involved. Does Israel as a state hold by ANY of these terms: Apartheid, Racist, or and of the other currently popular terms of disparagement? No, and in no way. Is it perfect? Is it the Utopian fulfillment of the ZIONIST dream? Again, no! But then it is also NOT the 51st state of the Union, nor is it an insulated bubble of Muslim law . I would CHALLENGE any who disagree to take their definitions and apply them to ANY of the 70 some odd Moslem countries in the world today – With the exception of Turkey, they will fail miserably to measure up to Israel’s standards.


  6. “Israel has issued only 91 construction permits to Palestinians in the West Bank over the past seven years but granted 18,472 to Jewish settlers, Israeli activists said on Thursday.”
    -yahoo news Febuary 21st 2008

    Here is an article about racial and religious discrimination against Arab Israeli’s
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/19/AR2007121902681.html?nav=emailpage


  7. […] Real Israel There’s more to Israel that what you see in the news « An Israel Aparheid – Debunked. Part 1 – Definitions and History An Israeli Apartheid – Debunked. Part 2 – History of Israeli Equality Laws April 28, 2008 […]


  8. Edmund: The Yahoo! also says, ““This report is biased and partial as it only represents a tiny part of the reality on the ground by forgetting to mention wildcat Palestinian construction over the whole territory, mostly without seeking any authorisation,” the Council for Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) said.”

    As for the Wash Post article, it’s sad, but Jews are denied all the time. Those are closed communities that are very selective. They don’t take in single-parent households, same-sex couples, and more. These types of closed communities exist everywhere (in the US and UK too), even though I personally don’t agree with them. I can show you TONS of reports about Jewish families that were denied.

    Conversely, there are Arabs living in regular Israeli cities, not just Arab villages – there are plenty in my small town and in all kinds of other towns. Again – not an apartheid by the original definitions.


  9. People wouldn’t build without permits if permits wer actually granted.

    And there is not a single instance in which an Jewish Israeli could not move into a home because of it being mostly Arab. Look at Hebron, and thats not even within Israel proper.

    Its rather sad that you live in this little dream world. Why is it that people are unable to admit the problems and inherent racism within Israeli society?


  10. I’m living under no such false pretenses. There IS racism in Israel. There is discrimination against all kinds of groups, but there is in other countries as well.

    As for your example, there aren’t many Jewish families that will want to live in Arab towns. We are afraid of being lynched (if you’re taking about the Palestinians who are not Arab citizens). I would never want to live in Hebron. Most of the Jews there are extremists too, and they will be gone – there are very few of them.


  11. To suggest that there is anything even remotely approaching Apartheid in Israel OR Gaza and the so called “WB” is ignorant at best.

    Apartheid is a system that was Biblically based and had all to do with racial separation. First of all, Israel is a secular nation and this is enshrined in the Baisc LAw. Second of all, both Jew and Arab are not only of the same, exact race but the same, exact racial sub-grouping, Semite!

    While a Hebron Arab can buy a condo in Tel Avivi (legally), any “Palestinian” selling ANYTHING to any Jew (notice the word Israeli is omitted) is guilty of a capital offence in both Gaza (HAMAS) AND the so called “WB” (PA ). At the same time an Israeli si not only prohibted (under Israeli Law) from moving to Hebron, they are also prohibited (again y law) from even visiting without special and difficult to obtain permits. I am a Jew whose family lived in Hebron for at least 1100 years and only left in 1929 when my grandfather and eldest uncle were killed in the anti-Jewish Riots that struck Hebron and several other Jewish population centers. These riots extinguished a community that had been there since the days of the Bible.

    Today roughly 400 Israeli Jews live in Hebron and lead , at best, extremely marginal lives. To suggest that a Jewish presence in JUDEA and SAMARIA (of all palces) somehow represents Apartheid is , again, ignorant.

    Apartheid prohibited integrated healthcare. Not only do Arabs, who make up just under 20% of Israel’s overall population have the same access as any other Israeli, but Israel provides many millions in US Dollars (easier to caluclate for Westerners reading this) in free health care. So much for that false assumption.

    Apartheid prohibited integrated schooling. Arabs in Israel have every opportunity to attend any school they choose. While some DO opt for integrated schools, most have other ideas of what they want for their children. This is their choice. As for the so called “WB,” it is a crime to provide any municipal services to any Israeli (PA Law, Jews are not even allwoed to live in Gaza so so much for THAT idea). In any event, why would Israeli Jews wish to have their kids attend schools where text books list the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” as actual fact,etc?

    Under Apartheid blacks lacked suffrage. In Israel ALL citizens vote. In the so called “WB” Arabs may vote for their own candidates.



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