More on apartheid in Israel/Palestine

Israel/Palestine
on 159 Comments

Writing in the The Brown Daily Herald, Jonathan Ben-Artzi responds to a debate on campus over the comparsion between apartheid South Africa and contemporary Israel/Palestine. From his article "Yes, apartheid":

As an Israeli, I had to start planning for my military service during my senior year of high school. In Israel, interviews, medical checkups, examinations and forms are all a routine part of one’s 18th birthday. However, long before scheduling my first interview, I had already made up my mind: “I will not join the military.” I decided that I had to take a stand in the face of policies of segregation and discrimination that ravaged (and still ravage) my country and the occupied Palestinian territories.

Within Israel, these acts of segregation include towns reserved for Jews only, immigration laws that allow any Jew from around the world to immigrate but simultaneously deny displaced indigenous Palestinians that same right, and national health care and school systems that receive significantly more funding in Jewish towns than in Arab towns. Even former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert described the situation as a “deliberate discrimination,” and added that “governments have denied [Palestinian citizens of Israel] their rights to improve their quality of life.”

The situation in the Occupied Territories is even worse. Nearly 4 million Palestinians have been living under Israeli occupation for over 40 years without basic human and civil rights. Examples include roads that are for Jews only, discrimination in water supply (Israelis use as much as four times more water than Palestinians, while Palestinians are not allowed to dig their own wells and must rely on Israeli supply) and the collective punishment of Gaza, where 1.5 million Palestinians have been living in the largest open-air prison on earth for over four years.

What should one call this situation? The International Criminal Court defines the crime of apartheid as “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 with the intention of maintaining that regime.”

About Adam Horowitz

Adam Horowitz is Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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159 Responses

  1. Avi
    April 25, 2010, 11:44 pm

    BDS needs to sweep America for true change to come about. That’s why the American Jewish community is important. It needs to be better informed and it needs to become active. Supporting an occupation from afar, or complaining about it over Seder, or voting for whomever is running against Schumer can only go so far.

    Sure, a J-Street poll shows that 60 – 70% of American Jews support a two state solution.

    Great

    What has J-Street done toward that end?

    Nothing. It’s tangled up in politics and internal handwringing.

    • Julian
      April 26, 2010, 6:19 am

      American Jews support a Jewish State and an Arab State. The Palestinians reject that. They want an Arab State and another Arab State. Obama will never deliver a better offer than Olmert offered and should get out of the peace business.

      • aparisian
        April 26, 2010, 6:37 am

        They want an Arab State and another Arab State.
        You mean they want a viable state with viable borders?

        Obama will never deliver a better offer than Olmert offered and should get out of the peace business.
        Olmert offer? what do you call the Olmert offer? you mean accepting the illegal settlements legitimacy? From which fantasy land do you come ?

        Tell me btw why Israel reject the Arab peace initiative?

      • Avi
        April 26, 2010, 3:11 pm

        Tell me btw why Israel reject the Arab peace initiative?

        Methinks Julian knows the answer. Israel rejects the offer because Israel wants to keep the occupied territories of the West Bank and Gaza. Just peace in the Middle East is a threat to Israel. It weakens it. It puts it on equal footing with its neighbors. What eludes the Israeli leadership, though, is the fact that the current situation is far more destabilizing than the alternative. These are the facts on the ground that make the reality of a binational state inevitable, absent some ethnic cleansing or large scale regional war.

      • aparisian
        April 27, 2010, 4:33 am

        Julian is a troll, he is not even able to answer our simple questions.

      • potsherd
        April 27, 2010, 8:09 am

        Julian promulgates lies.

        The problem with Zionism is that they see no problem with permanently expelling a quarter million people from their homeland. It’s a mental blind spot. Either they pretend it never happened, or they claim it was the fault of the victims, or they claim the Holocaust was a license to do it, or they claim that God let them do it.

        But the Palestinians are just supposed to go away and cease to exist, cease bothering the Jews with their existence. They’re supposed to “forget,” just like the Israelis have forgotten what they did to them. They should go to other countries, which should take them in, which will cause them no problems whatsoever, whereas their return to their homeland would be a profound catastrophe – for the people who expelled them.

        And a piece of shit like Julian comes and sneers at the concept of justice, as if the right of thieves to keep their stolen goods is enshrined in law.

        Almost every problem that Israel has suffered during the last 60+ years has been the direct consequence of this original sin. Because acts have consequences. Crimes exact payment. And the interest has been compounding now for a long time, unpaid.

      • RoHa
        April 27, 2010, 8:25 pm

        The original sin was not the Nakba. It was accepting the very concept of a Jewish state.

      • unverified__i156k3a5
        April 28, 2010, 2:51 pm

        This is illogical. If Israel really wanted Gaza they wouldn’t have left it, and the removal of settlements wouldn’t have been supported by 85% of the Israeli Public. If they really did not want peace there wouldn’t have been Baraks offer or Olmerts offer. They also would not have made peace with Egypt and Jordan.
        In terms of The arab peace initiative it is understandable why Israel hesitates as It calls for the removal of 400,000 Israelis from their homes and complete Palestinian right of return to areas within the 67 borders effectively destroying Israel. Yet despite this even Netanyahu has commented that is a great starting point.

      • Shingo
        April 26, 2010, 6:49 am

        “Obama will never deliver a better offer than Olmert offered and should get out of the peace business. ”

        73% of American Jews suport Obama’s policies. Which american Jews are you referrign to?

      • potsherd
        April 26, 2010, 7:29 am

        Julian forgot the dhimmis today

      • thankgodimatheist
        April 26, 2010, 8:48 am

        Ask Julian what about the Arab peace initiative and he disappears in a flash! It always works!

  2. wondering jew
    April 26, 2010, 12:12 am

    “National health care and school systems that receive significantly more funding in Jewish towns than in Arab towns.” I doubted this statement, when it was proven to me, via links that the school systems are funded with vast differences. Does anyone have statistics and links regarding national health care?

    • VR
      April 26, 2010, 1:16 am

      Here is a hint for you wj –

      JERUSALEM MAYOR CUTS HEALTH CARE FUNDS FOR ARAB CHILDREN

      and that is just the tip

    • Shmuel
      April 26, 2010, 2:15 am

      WJ,

      Statistics on health are a bit tricky, because there are many different factors contributing to health, including poverty, social welfare, etc. Sikkuy’s Equality Index of Jewish and Arab Citizens in Israel
      addresses the gaps between Jews and Arabs in a number of areas, including health (ch. 1). In terms of health, the report asserts that “the quality of government implementation for a single Jew is the same as for 1.28 Arabs” and finds “an increase of about 7.1 percent in inequality in the area of health, beginning in 2006, to the detriment of the Arab population.” In other words, the gap is widening.

      Access seems to be one area in which there is clear discrimination between Jews and Arabs, with fewer clinics and other health services in Arab areas than in Jewish areas. (See this article, for example.)

      Statistics are important, but it is also important to look at underlying attitudes and causes. Israel’s definition as a Jewish state makes it inherently incapable of affording equality to its non-Jewish and particularly Palestinian citizens (seen as a specific threat to the “Jewish character” of the state). This has been borne out in all of Israel’s 62 years and in all areas of life (as numerous reports have shown), and there is no reason to believe this will change as long as Israel continues to be defined as the sate of some of its citizens.

      Apologists will point to inequality between majority and minority groups in other countries (something not to be taken lightly), but in terms of the root causes of this inequality in Israel, the ethno-religious definition of the polity itself would appear to be a decisive factor.

      • Shmuel
        April 26, 2010, 2:22 am

        I see VR beat me to the article on Jerusalem.

      • wondering jew
        April 26, 2010, 4:11 am

        Thanks you VR and Shmuel.

      • Shmuel
        April 26, 2010, 4:42 am

        You’re welcome, WJ. The issue of inequality between Jews and Palestinians is directly related to the idea of making Israel a “state of all its citizens” – feasible, in my opinion, only in the context of a single state. To establish a Palestinian state – involving the forced removal of Jewish settlers – alongside a state in which Jews and Palestinians would have equal rights strikes me as unreasonable and counterproductive, lending some credence to the claim that the 2ss would in fact entail the creation of 2 Palestinian states. In order for the 2ss to have any coherence or credibility, it would thus seem to requre the perpetuation of inequality between Jews and Palestinians in the Jewish state – an outcome that is both unjust and a source of ongoing resentment and instability.

      • pabelmont
        April 26, 2010, 5:46 am

        Shmuel writes: “making Israel a “state of all its citizens” [is] feasible, in my opinion, only in the context of a single state. ” He raises *(by implication at least) the issues of democracy (“equal rights”) for all the residents of Israel and of return of Palestinians to their ancient villages.

        What’s possible depends on what you mean by “Israel”. “the territory”.

        What’s “possible” also depends on what you mean by “possible”. If you mean “something the present Israeli government will accept”, then the only current possibility is (indeed) the current one-state in all of I/P, non-democratic and apartheid-style.

        If we are going to dream of anything different, we must have a more generous vision of “possible”.

        Presently, “de facto” (who knows what “de jure” means any more?) Israeli territory IS I/P and it IS one state. Not a nice state, not a democratic state allowing all its resident s “equal rights”, not a state allowing Palestinian refugees to return, but ONE STATE. definitely not the state “of” its residents by most readings of “of”.

        Are there other possibilities? Sure.

        If Israel should someday agree to withdraw territorially onto a smaller territory (let us say no more and rather less than 55% of I/P), and take its Jewish citizens with it, leaving all non-Jewish citizens where they were then living, it could quite possibly be democratic as to its then-existing non-Jewish residents EVEN if “return” were allowed for Palestinians. Why? Because if Israel shrank onto such a territory, and that territory were carefully chosen to be a region that had a small non-Jewish population in 1947, then the size of the Palestinian refugee population having a “right to return” to that territory would be much smaller than the total population of Palestinian refugees (whose “right of return” would generally be into the remainder of I/P, presumably a Palestinian State.

        Likely? No. Possible? Yes. Recall that Israel (via the Jewish Agency) said “yes” to partition in 1947, upon the suggestion of a Jewish state on sa (mere?) 55% of I/P. In 1948 it told the world it would settle for 55%. Rescue demanded, it said, only 55%.

        The tension we all experience is between wishing (if we do so wish) to allow “self-determination” on land within Palestine to the Jews of the whole world (there were very few Jews living in Palestine in 1900 when Zionism was started!) and wishing (if we do so wish) to allow Palestinians the largest possible state for their own (in my opinion, much more clearly deserved) self-determination.

        If Israel has a right to exist at all, it is a right born of the need for “rescue” from the anti-Semitism of 1900 or 1948, not a right to prepare for any and all rescues that may be needed until the end of time, and is not a right granting a derivative right to deprive anyone else of any more resources (land, water) than are actually needed to achieve that rescue.

        The Jews of the world who needed rescue have come to Israel and been rescued. Many have since left Israel.

        What’s happening now is not “rescue” but “usurpation”, the raw and unjustified exercise of power, the acquisition of “lebensraum”, with all the injustices of that acquisition, reminding the historically-minded that the crimes of Hitler which outraged the nations well before the Holocaust outraged them was his massive aggressive warfare in the search for “lebensraum” (room to live).

        If the matter were in my hands for decision, I’d require Israel to shrink substantially and to allow both democracy (“equal rights”) and Palestinian return to the land, both within such a re-sized Israel and within the remainder of the territory, a resized Palestine.

      • Richard Witty
        April 26, 2010, 5:56 am

        I don’t see equal rights in a Jewish majority Israel and equal rights in an Arab majority Palestine as a contradiction at all.

        It is parallel to the question of whether France can offer equal rights to all of its citizens.

        It can if people demand that it do, and that legal institutions compel it to. Or, it can slip from that if people neglect to speak up for themselves, and for their neighbors in sympathy.

        Its not structured into the system.

        If the people that constitute the single state think of themselves as separate peoples, then there will be communal segregation in addition to more local prejudicial behavior.

        Only if the majority in a single state are civilists, rather than nationalists or religionist, will civil democratic institutions prevail.

        If the majority are nationalists, comprising two separate people’s, then partition is a MORE JUST structure, still with the necessity of attention to equal rights to realize it.

        The thing that makes change is relationships, if Jewish individuals think of themselves as peers, friends, neighbors of their Palestinian neighbors.

        Political forms, political ideologies, might contribute to that change in thinking, or it may not.

        One of the great horrors of the Hamas suicide bombing period and prior of the intifadas, was the breaking of that trust. People that would otherwise be accepting, rationally got very fearful.

        In my case, I had residual racist attitudes towards blacks in the US. The thing that changed that for me fundamentally was becoming close friends with two black men, in which I stopped seeing color literally, and just saw their facial expressions, their personality, their play. It was not token, “I have a black acquaintence”. Actual friendship.

        It won’t happen with BDS. They will be fewer if BDS is successful.

      • Shingo
        April 26, 2010, 6:07 am

        “It is parallel to the question of whether France can offer equal rights to all of its citizens.”

        No it isn’t because France has no legislation which condones segereatino or discrimination. In Israel’s case, it is certainly structured into the system.

        “One of the great horrors of the Hamas suicide bombing period and prior of the intifadas, was the breaking of that trust”

        That’s right Witty, after all, the ethnic cleasnging of 750,000 Paleestinians and the occuation of the west Bank, Gaza and the Golan was such a wonderful trust building measure wasnt it?

        You moron.

        ” People that would otherwise be accepting, rationally got very fearful.”

        Accepting? That is demonstrably false. Israel had relady demonstrated that they had no intention fo being accepting long before suicide bombing began. The US was already vetoing calls for 2 state solution at the UN in 1976.

        Does reality mean nothing to you?

        “In my case, I had residual racist attitudes towards blacks in the US.”

        Witty a racist? well imagine that!!

        “…I stopped seeing color literally, and just saw their facial expressions, their personality, their play.””

        You mean they became human beings to you? This is quite an expose Witty. Were your parent racists? is that where you learned to hate black people?

        “They will be fewer if BDS is successful. ”

        Becasue the absence of BDS has been just so overhwelminglyh fruitful hasn’t it Witty?

        Of course, Israel coudl stop BDS in it’s tracks if it just ceasd being a criminal and terrorist state, but it’s clear you don’t expect that to happen nor do you desire it to.

      • Judy
        April 26, 2010, 6:09 am

        Richard, you may not have noticed, but interactions between Palestinians and Israelis tend to take place at the end of gun.

        Most Palestinians only experience of Jews is as settlers or soldiers, neither of which makes for fertile ground for developing “friendship.”

        I’m sure it was a real personal growth experience for you to meet African Americans and becomes friends. Please realize that happened in a country where both people from both cultures were fully free, with full human rights.

        BDS is just the thing to break down the walls of apartheid (for one-state or two — I agree with Jerry) that keep people separate.

      • aparisian
        April 26, 2010, 6:23 am

        It is parallel to the question of whether France can offer equal rights to all of its citizens.

        All French citizens get the same public education for free/social aids and free health care. How can that be any parallel to Jewish only settlements/roads?

      • RoHa
        April 26, 2010, 6:23 am

        I’ll repeat this sentence, Shingo.

        “The US was already vetoing calls for 2 state solution at the UN in 1976.”
        I remember this.

        1976.

        Thirty-four years ago.

        And in those thirty-four years Israel has not elected a government that can arrange a two-state solution. This strongly suggests that the majority of Israelis don’t give a damn about the two-state solution.

      • Shingo
        April 26, 2010, 6:26 am

        “This strongly suggests that the majority of Israelis don’t give a damn about the two-state solution. ”

        And yet, Witty is trying to argue that more of the same will yield different results.

        Didn’t a famous Jews refer to that as the definition of insanity?

      • aparisian
        April 26, 2010, 6:38 am

        Shingo,
        Zionists keep repeating the same propaganda lies in order to make them true.

      • Shingo
        April 26, 2010, 6:48 am

        The lie to themselves.

      • Shmuel
        April 26, 2010, 6:51 am

        Pabelmont,

        Thanks for your detailed reply. By “Israel” I meant the area currently considered sovereign Israeli territory – i.e. within the ’49 armistice lines – referred to as “within Israel” in Ben-Artzi’s article. With regard to “feasibility”, my entire comment was of the “dreaming” variety, juxtaposing 2 states – a Palestinian state and a state of all its citizens with a probable Jewish majority; and one secular democratic state “from the river to the sea”. I don’t believe that such a two-state arrangement would offer the vision of equity to Jews and Palestinians necessary for long-term stability. Perhaps I should have used the word “viability”. I don’t think that a reduced Jewish state would resolve this basic problem, because it would inevitably have a Palestinian minority that it would inevitably treat as “second class”.

        I agree that I/P is already a single state, which certainly argues in favour of “making it legal” and granting equal rights to all its inhabitants. I was trying to highlight another argument in favour of a 1ss, particularly in light of conversations I have had in the past with WJ, to whom my comment was addressed.

      • Richard Witty
        April 26, 2010, 6:53 am

        My sense is that you folks are rationalizing not trying.

        “It can’t happen. I won’t try.”

        Israelis in general don’t want to live in a single state. Maybe they will change.

        Maybe BDS will make them suddenly accept and appreciate their Arab neighbors that have orchestrated a boycott, an isolation of their community. Maybe it will say to them, “I now see that we have treated you badly. We trust that you will treat us well, and affirm democracy in practice in the subsequent single state.”

        “I trust that you will allow my community to be PERFECTLY safe from violence, from harrassment.”

        I don’t see it. Not with you guys as model.

      • Richard Witty
        April 26, 2010, 6:58 am

        Shmuel,
        Do you honestly believe that anything is “inevitable”.

        Juxtaposing. Comparing.

        Do you think that Israelis will willingly (even after BDS or even after armed struggle) accept a single-state approach?

        If that is highly unlikely, or impossible without gross war, is going through that intimate and likely quite violent civil war (led by heroic Hamas, Al Aqsa Martyrs, Islamic Jihad young militias) worth the difference?

        Actually. Not ideals. Actually, considering 20,000 dead or 50,000.

      • Shingo
        April 26, 2010, 7:00 am

        “My sense is that you folks are rationalizing not trying.”

        Yeah logic isn’t your thing is it Witty? We’re not being imaginative enough in trusting that more o that we’ve had over the last 43 years will yield different outcomes.

        “Israelis in general don’t want to live in a single state. ”

        Alcoholics don’t like to be lacoholics either, but unless they make a choice or are shown tough love, they don”t usually change.

        “Maybe BDS will make them suddenly accept and appreciate their Arab neighbors that have orchestrated a boycott, an isolation of their community.”

        It’s not the Arab neighbors that have orchestrated a boycott, it wil be in the international community, though having blockaded Gaza for 3 years, they can hardly complain.

        Of course, you keep delibetrately pretending that Israel can end the boycott by doing the right thing.

        “I don’t see it. Not with you guys as model.”

        It’s OK Witty. We’re not asking for your blessing. You’re a relic.

      • sherbrsi
        April 26, 2010, 7:03 am

        Maybe BDS will make them suddenly accept and appreciate their Arab neighbors that have orchestrated a boycott, an isolation of their community. Maybe it will say to them, “I now see that we have treated you badly. We trust that you will treat us well, and affirm democracy in practice in the subsequent single state.”

        Do you rather prefer Israel’s methods of “building trust”? Through violence, military occupation and ethnic cleansing?

        Do you prefer that or the non-violent approach of BDS?

        In any case your opinions are worthless unless you offer a viable alternative and course of action.

      • Richard Witty
        April 26, 2010, 7:06 am

        I prefer that all parties shift from offending each other, to assisting each other, to actually proceed to being good neighbors, which is implied in whatever structure of state is proposed.

        Can you imagine a peaceful or just civil single state with 51% majority ruling over 49% minority?

        Why propose that fantasy, especially if you have no intention of pursuing the work that would make it possible and consented.

      • Richard Witty
        April 26, 2010, 7:08 am

        Shingo,
        I will not arbitrarily yeild my sensitivities and reasoning.

        The landing has to be Jews not persecuted. If you can guarantee that landing, then the plane can take off.

        If you can’t, then the plane can’t.

        And, as you don’t take any care to even identify what landing would mean, you strike me as a suicidal pilot.

      • Shingo
        April 26, 2010, 7:12 am

        No one is asign you to yield anything Witty,

        Just stop assuming that you are the arbiter of what is acceptable.

        “The landing has to be Jews not persecuted. If you can guarantee that landing, then the plane can take off.”

        Stop with the stupid and assinine analogies. Israel have been given a blank cheque and a free hand for 43 years, and thigs have gotten worse, not better. Only a monumentla fool would believe that they would turn themseves around without a bit of pain.

      • Chaos4700
        April 26, 2010, 7:14 am

        The landing has to be Jews not persecuted.

        But everyone else is fair game, huh? When it comes down it it, Witty, you’re just like eee — you really do love other people’s children less.

      • sherbrsi
        April 26, 2010, 7:22 am

        I prefer that all parties shift from offending each other, to assisting each other, to actually proceed to being good neighbors, which is implied in whatever structure of state is proposed.

        First of all what you proposed is not a course of action. I’m sure everyone would like that the Israelis and Palestinians join hands and sing together in unison but that isn’t happening. So unless you provide a reasonable and actionable alternative to non-violent BDS or militant Zionist expansionism, these campaigns will be followed by their adherents.

        Can you imagine a peaceful or just civil single state with 51% majority ruling over 49% minority?

        A population compromising 49% of the state cannot be described as a “minority.” In fact these numbers should be a reinforcing asset since it means that the so-called “minority” is guaranteed an active and just representation solely due its great numbers.

        Why propose that fantasy

        It’s not a fantasy but a plan of peace. And you oppose it due to your own partisan beliefs, without any alternative, which makes you irrelevant.

      • RoHa
        April 26, 2010, 7:28 am

        “The landing has to be Jews not persecuted. If you can guarantee that …”

        No guarantees, but Jews are a lot less likely to be persecuted if they stop pissing off everyone else.

        It’s clear that Israelis don’t really want the two-state solution, and you tell us they won’t accept the one-state solution, yet you insist that they should be the ones to have the final decision.

        Well, they are making their decision right now by their brutal occupation, persecution, and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians. They have decided that they will take over the rest of Palestine, and reduce the Palestinians to a few left-overs.

        And we should just let that happen, because any action might be persecution of Jews?

      • Shmuel
        April 26, 2010, 7:43 am

        Do you honestly believe that anything is “inevitable”.

        I believe it is inevitable that an ethno-religious state will discriminate against citizens who do not belong to the dominant group. And no, that does not describe France (or Italy, or Spain, or Germany or any other liberal democracy you care to mention).

        Do you think that Israelis will willingly (even after BDS or even after armed struggle) accept a single-state approach?

        Willingly, without external and internal pressure? No. That is why I support non-violent action such as BDS to convince them that it is not in their best interest to continue to deny equal rights to Palestinians. The key is in the approach. Once the principle of equality has been accepted, I believe a 1ss would be the most logical conclusion, but if anyone can come up with anything else that is mutually acceptable and upholds the principle of equality, that’s fine too. It is the failure of non-violent action against Israeli apartheid – attacked and sabotaged by faux liberals – that will lead to gross war, not the failure to renounce Palestinian rights.

      • Ael
        April 26, 2010, 8:14 am

        Well, Belgium (mostly) gets along with a 60/40 split. Canada also mostely gets along, with a 80/20 split.

        A 51/49 split is probably easier because shifting coalitions would mean that one group does not always end up on top.

      • thankgodimatheist
        April 26, 2010, 8:58 am

        “It is parallel to the question of whether France can offer equal rights to all of its citizens.

        It can if people demand that it do, and that legal institutions compel it to. Or, it can slip from that if people neglect to speak up for themselves, and for their neighbors in sympathy.”
        —————–
        It’s very arduous to try to make sense of what you’re saying here but for your information, France health care system is for all its citizens, not because “people demand that it do”(!) but because its embedded in the system and is not questioned on a regular basis. It’s part of what is called, “Les acquis sociaux” or aquired social benefits that are not questioned.

      • Shmuel
        April 26, 2010, 9:08 am

        TGIA,

        This is a standard Zionist defense of “Jewish and democratic” (“no different from French and democratic”), and a personal favourite of RW’s. Pointing out how basically dishonest and flawed such a claim is doesn’t seem to deter the apologists. Maybe that is the true meaning of Herzl’s maxim “if you will it, it is not a fairytale”.

      • Richard Witty
        April 26, 2010, 10:16 am

        Shmuel,
        So you do think it is inevitable that a state that defines itself as haven for a social group will persecute minorities?

        I don’t.

        And, I do believe that France is a model of that, in that there is tension internally between the will of many in France, to exclude African and Arabs that were part of the former French empire from favored immigration to France, and to force them out, or provide less than equal services.

        The reason that it continues is that for periods (mostly following WW2, and the late 60′s), there is a continuing commitment to French and democratic. French is still the official language, regardless of how many speak Arabic.

        France is a bad example for both of us, in that the French HAVE formed discrimminatory laws about Muslims’ dress for example, in schools.

        Formerly, France was French AND Catholic.

        I believe that the effort to support Palestinian rights is part of the agenda of the BDS movement. To the extent that it includes the single-state in any current time frame as a goal, it is threatening to the existing state of Israel, which is accepted and supported by the vast majority of Israelis.

        You can’t then really call it “democracy” within Israel to assert that should change. You have the right to advocate for it, but you exagerate when you call it not democracy, as in one-person one-vote.

        Do you think the Palestinian solidarity movement seeks equality or possibly dominance, even if electoral?

        Why do you think that the jurisdiction of river to sea is the appropriate jurisdiction?

      • Mooser
        April 26, 2010, 11:06 am

        Only Witty could offer a “some of my best friends are ——” defense in 2010!
        So basically, Witty you are ready to stop the atrocities if enough Palestinians suck your dick?

      • aparisian
        April 26, 2010, 11:13 am

        to exclude African and Arabs that were part of the former French empire from favored immigration to France, and to force them out, or provide less than equal services.

        Only laws in France force people out when they are in France illegally, judges decide not gov. Provide less than equal services? show me examples Witty if you have one.

        France is a bad example for both of us, in that the French HAVE formed discrimminatory laws about Muslims’ dress for example, in schools.

        The French law on secularity and conspicuous religious symbols in schools bans wearing conspicuous religious symbols in French public whether that is Islamic or Jewish dress.

        I don’t deny the growing anti-Islamic sentiments these days in Europe, but Witty it is strange that almost all European Zionists are supporting discrimination against non whites in Europe read some Bernard-Henri Lévy.

      • Citizen
        April 26, 2010, 11:38 am

        Enlightenment France, long ago now, came up with the governmental imperative phrase, “100% support for the Jew as
        an individual citizen of France, 0% for the Jew as a member of the Jewish collective/nation.”

        Dreyfus, after all, was defended in a French Court, yes?

      • Citizen
        April 26, 2010, 11:44 am

        “I believe that the effort to support black South African rights is part of the agenda of the BDS movement. To the extent that it includes the single-state of equal rights in any current time frame as a goal, it is threatening to the existing state of apartheid South Africa, which is accepted and supported by the vast majority of white South Africans.”

        PS: Current actual control by Israel of land posits a 45% Arab
        population. What was the white apartheid South African percentage, less than 10%?

      • Mooser
        April 26, 2010, 11:49 am

        “So you do think it is inevitable that a state that defines itself as haven for a social group will persecute minorities?
        I don’t.”

        Gee, I wonder why? So Wittila, why don’t you come up with a list of those who haven’t? Got any?
        And of course, whatever you do, don’t attach any importance to say, what actually happened in Israel, what the Israeli laws are, what the news tells us every single day. That doesn’t count, Richard, considering that some of your best friends are “Arab”

      • LeaNder
        April 26, 2010, 2:06 pm

        Yes, I thought about that when I read it, Shmuel, but this time it has a really peculiar twist. It makes my head spin in locating his brainwaves in time and space. Especially in time I think. The people of Israel have to demand that they are equal, isn’t it more that “others” are equal? Or institutions have to compel them? Now what is it?

      • LeaNder
        April 26, 2010, 2:33 pm

        I used the wrong reply button, it seems. I agree with Shmuel RW’s comparison of Israel and France is a standard pattern by now. Doesn’t really matter that I missed to put my reply were it belongs.

        But I have to agree with aparisian on the issue. It was in fact rather startling to watch what specific circles try to turn up the heat with e.g. the term Eurabia among many other things. Maybe in this context lies his attraction to France versus the “Londonistan” link? …

      • aparisian
        April 27, 2010, 4:36 am

        Thanks LeadNder, thats the term i was looking for.

        Eurabia is Zionist invention because Zionists feel the growing influence of Muslims in the European foreign policies especially toward Israel.

      • Citizen
        April 28, 2010, 9:12 am

        Hey, Witty, we all know you want an eternal ROR for all Jews around the world, and a ROR for Palestinians limited to the geezers who might live for another few years. And that your justification has to do with what Europeans, not Palestinians, did to Jews in the past. We get it. Your’re a bigot, a rascist, an unfair to the core. Not to mention, a guy who never served the US or IDF military. Parasite.

      • Richard Witty
        April 28, 2010, 9:20 am

        Comparisons between countries will ALWAYS be “standard”. There are only few options, with few features.

        The big quetion is whether you and/or other will come to an attitude of acceptance of the other, and still work for reform, or only rejection and contempt.

        Rejection of the other is not a particularly democratic, progressive, humane approach.

        Its the supporting reasoning that many Israeli policies are not democratic and demand reform, but also the reason that Israeli existence is valid.

        Using terms like bigot, racist, parasite, don’t speak well for you, even as you’ve obviously found at least a couple people to support your odd definitions of what those terms mean.

      • potsherd
        April 26, 2010, 7:31 am

        The Bedouin areas are particularly discriminated against in matters of health care, as part of the Israeli policy of driving them off their land and into urban reservations.

    • eee
      April 26, 2010, 9:54 am

      WJ,

      The schools in Princeton are orders of magnitude better than the schools in Trenton. Even though the districts are geographically located right next to each other. The average SAT score in Trenton is in 300 range while in Princeton it is over 1200.

      Also, the Trenton school district is predominantly black while the Princeton one is predominantly white. There are many such examples in the US. Is this apartheid?

      • potsherd
        April 26, 2010, 9:58 am

        The word we use here is “segregation”.

      • aparisian
        April 26, 2010, 10:05 am

        eee, if you ever learn to read that would make it easier for everyone.

        The point everyone is trying to make here is that Apartheid policy is part of the institution in Israel which has nothing to do with the segregation created in almost all countries around the world between rich and poor communities.

        In Israel the discrimination is part of the institutions, for ex: the emigration laws, the proprieties legislation etc..
        I will give you an example, in France for ex: if you build Jewish only roads, you are out of legality, if its proven that you sell your house to Jews only then you are out of laws which is not the case in Israel.

      • eee
        April 26, 2010, 10:19 am

        But in Israel the Jews are richer than the Arabs, so why then according to your logic it is not ok to have differences in education?

        I put it to you that the social differences between the Jews and the Arabs in Israel are much smaller than the differences between the Jews and African Americans in the US. Which country then is more of an “apartheid” state?

      • aparisian
        April 26, 2010, 11:15 am

        But in Israel the Jews are richer than the Arabs, so why then according to your logic it is not ok to have differences in education?

        My point was about the Israelis discriminator laws ex the properties, the emigration laws, the Jewish only settlements etc… and will be glad to hear you on that.

      • aparisian
        April 27, 2010, 4:37 am

        i am still waiting for a reply triple e

      • Citizen
        April 27, 2010, 7:17 am

        eee, Low-income blacks, Latinos, whites (“rednecks,” Appalachians, etc), Laotians, for examples, are not explicitly forbidden from attending more affluent, majority-white schools because of their race, they are forbidden from attending because they are unable to secure housing in districts where affluent, high-functioning schools exist. Further, many governmental benefits and privileges are accorded those who serve in the IDF, but most Palestinians are not allowed to join the IDF; in comparison, any American can apply to join the US Military; absent a significant criminal record or pretty low IQ, all our accepted.

      • aparisian
        April 26, 2010, 10:06 am

        I love the fact that eee recognise that discrimination against the indigenous people of Palestine is common.

      • Citizen
        April 26, 2010, 11:51 am

        Eee, there is a difference between racial/ethnic/religious discrimination enforced by the state police and legal power (“under color of law”), and economic discrimination. Nobody on this blog is defending the ever-growing disparity between the haves and have-nots in the USA. White Christian Appalachia, for example, is part of the have-nots.

      • Citizen
        April 26, 2010, 11:55 am

        PS, eee, the disproportionate bulk of federal funding (and very often state funding) of schools is given to minority schools. It’s the same for Medicaid.

      • Avi
        April 26, 2010, 3:56 pm

        eee,

        I would suggest you contact the Sikkuy Foundation and ask them to mail you a copy of their annual report for 2008 on equality, which I happen to have on my desk right now. Their phone number is 02-6541225. They are located in Haifa.

        It includes statistics and comprehensive data sets on every aspect of government and social services, from education and health to housing and employment.

        Read it, then get back to me about the lack of discrimination.

  3. pabelmont
    April 26, 2010, 4:51 am

    Is discrimination by Jews against Palestinians “racism”? For guidance, consider “Racism in the United States has been a major issue since the colonial era. Historically, the country has been dominated by Whites. The heaviest burdens of racism in the country have fallen upon Native Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans, Mexican Americans, American Jews, Irish Americans and some other immigrant groups and their descendants.” (emphasis added) (link to en.wikipedia.org).

    Some people consider the Irish to be part of a “white race”. Others regard “race” as whatever the people doing the discriminating use as the basis for that discrimination. “Race” is a social construct. I have no idea what the treaties imagined they meant by “race” and “racism” but I’d include Israel’s anti-Palestinianism and many people’s anti-Semitism (anti-Jewish discrimination).

    • Mooser
      April 26, 2010, 11:09 am

      Funny isn’t it? 3e doesn’t believe in God, but he believes in “race”! I always thought the two went together.
      Let’s see, if there’s not a spiritual difference between the “Jewish nation” and the rest of the world, maybe 3e could tell us the biological differences between the “races”.

      • Citizen
        April 26, 2010, 12:15 pm

        He likes gifilte fish? Dry crackers? Certain deli sandwiches? Can’t be circumcision or being anti-pork since that’s a Muslim thing too. Oh, that’s right, comfort foods and ritual surgery are not biological traits….
        Mooser, that’s a good question you ask 3e to respond to–how exactly does he see himself as different from you, or the same, and what exactly does 3e see as the core difference between, say an atheist or agnostic non-jew, and you, or his lordship, 3e? And where in any case, does 3e’s
        anti-universal basic human rights philosophy fit in? Is it somehow more than a mother bear protecting her cubs as first priority against any other? Should mama bears be given the right to vote ostensibly in behalf all living creatures on this earth? How about cockroach moms?

      • Mooser
        April 26, 2010, 3:00 pm

        eee would say he self-determined himself, I guess. I wonder if he circumcised himself?

  4. MHughes976
    April 26, 2010, 7:05 am

    The basic idea, I suppose, is that all those who are effectively subject to the same sovereign(which everyone in I/P is, as pabelmont says) should be equally protected by that sovereign, which must include enfranchisement on generally equal terms. Locke expounded most of this, though he accepted discrimination against Catholics a little too easily. If you construct the idea of ‘race’ in such a way one ‘race’ is plainly not enfranchised on equal terms then your set of ideas can surely only be ‘racist’ and the result can only be ‘apartheid’.
    I suppose that a sovereign could claim that the best way to protect its subjects is by way of partition, so that there will in future be two peoples and two sovereigns. This requires, if the claim is to be anything like plausible, fair distribution of territory and natural resources and also equally genuine sovereignty on both sides of the division, with control of borders, right to possess armed forces and form alliances.
    Everything is possible but, as St.Paul remarks, not everything is convenient.
    Mr.Ben-Artzi is a credit to his family.

    • Ael
      April 26, 2010, 7:57 am

      Yes, one person, one vote for everyone between river and sea is the first step towards resolution of the problem. After that, they will have a forum (the Knesset) to discuss whether there should be one or two states (and everything else).

  5. potsherd
    April 26, 2010, 7:37 am

    I like it that he used “segregation”.

    • MHughes976
      April 26, 2010, 8:02 am

      I understand why this clearly segregationist system prompts people in the United States to use the term ‘Jim Crow’ for the I/P situation – though outside the United States that term is very little known and would produce many blank looks. I for one looked it up only for the purposes of this discussion.

      • eee
        April 26, 2010, 9:58 am

        Segregation is alive and well in the US. It is now done according to where people can afford real estate. And because in the US economic classes and racial lines are highly correlated, you get de-facto racial segregation.

        The school districts of Princeton and Trenton in “liberal” NJ are a case in point. They are right next to each other. The average SAT in Trenton is around 300 and in Princeton around 1200. Apartheid anyone?

      • Colin Murray
        April 26, 2010, 10:06 am

        red herring…

        Are you seriously going to use this as an excuse for your state-sponsored and government-institutionalized racial segregation. The US gov. makes active efforts to combat racial discrimination. The Israeli government defines itself by its efforts to encourage and facilitate racial discrimination.

      • eee
        April 26, 2010, 10:16 am

        Absolutely not true.

        If it is ok in the US for students to get different educations based on property taxes collected, why is that not ok in Israel?

      • Mooser
        April 26, 2010, 11:12 am

        “If it is ok in the US for students to get different educations based on property taxes collected, why is that not ok in Israel?”

        Listen to the little egalitarian socialist!
        Hey stupid, why is it not okay for people to keep Jews out of their neighborhoods, or given a majority vote, to deport them all or intern them?

      • eee
        April 26, 2010, 11:16 am

        Is the US an apartheid state because it allows by law children to get a different education based on the property taxes collected in their school district?

        Yes or no?

      • Mooser
        April 26, 2010, 11:33 am

        You are a socialist, aren’t you?!? But you’re always complaining about the “left wing” which is driving criticism of Israel?
        But you are right, of course, and I’m glad to see those egalitarian left-wing socialist principles were ingrained into you at your kibbuts-cum-kindergarten!
        Yupp, eee, “from each according to his means, and to each according to his needs”, that’s the Jewish way!
        But I’ve always suspected a lot of Commie influence in Zionism, and I’m glad to see it confirmed, comrade.

      • Eva Smagacz
        April 26, 2010, 11:44 am

        eee
        You are constructing arguments using oranges to argue about lemons.

      • eee
        April 26, 2010, 11:50 am

        Not at all. People are arguing that Israel discriminates against its Arabs in education. I would like to know, how Israel is different from the US in this regard? Why the unfair criticism? Yes, there are differences. But if these differences are attributed to a lower tax base, and this is not considered discrimination in the US, why is it considered discrimination in Israel?

      • Eva Smagacz
        April 26, 2010, 12:10 pm

        eee,
        Equality in the eyes of the law is oranges and income inequality is lemons.

      • potsherd
        April 26, 2010, 12:13 pm

        In the US, we don’t have the “poor black” public school system and the “rich white” public school system.

        Israel has multiple public school systems, each separately funded.

      • Citizen
        April 26, 2010, 12:21 pm

        Again, eee, there’s a big difference between harnessing the power of the state for racial/ethnic/religious discrimination, and not allowing such, but, rather, leaving it up to the size of one’s pocket book–not that the US does not use the power of the state and its purse to pursue
        reverse discrimination to make up for historical wrongs. Israel is a long way from that- in fact it’s still in its Bull Conners period.

      • eee
        April 26, 2010, 12:47 pm

        There is no Israeli law that discriminates against Arabs in education. The inequality comes from economic inequality.

      • Shmuel
        April 26, 2010, 12:53 pm

        Significant discrepancies in state funding have absolutely nothing to do with economic inequality and everything to do with the racist character of the state.

      • eee
        April 26, 2010, 1:10 pm

        There is no law that discriminates against Arabs in education. Lower local tax bases are the core of the problem.

      • potsherd
        April 26, 2010, 1:15 pm

        The Israeli educational system allocates the funds for all sectors of schools. They don’t need a law to do it.

      • Shmuel
        April 26, 2010, 1:18 pm

        Lower local tax bases are the core of the problem.

        This is false.

        תקציב בתי הספר היסודיים אינו מחולק באופן שוויוני- כך עולה מדו”ח פנימי של משרד החינוך, אשר הגיע לידי עיתון “הארץ”. מוסדות החינוך שנהנים מרוב התקציב הם מוסדות החינוך של הזרם הממלכתי-דתי, אחריהם בתי הספר הממלכתיים היהודיים ובסוף הרשימה בתי הספר של המגזר הערבי. יש לציין כי משרד החינוך הוא האחראי לרוב חלוקת התקציב בין מוסדות החינוך.

        על פי כתבתו של אור קשתי ב”הארץ”, “בתי הספר בזרם הממלכתי-דתי נהנים מתוספת ממוצעת של 162 שעות שבועיות, השוות יותר מחמש משרות הוראה, בהשוואה ל-101 שעות בזרם הממלכתי היהודי ול-51 שעות במוסדת החינוך הערביים. בתי הספר הדתיים מקבלים כ-41% מכלל שעות הלימוד ממקורות נוספים – שיעור הגבוה פי 1.5 מחלקם במדגם שנבדק. בתי הספר הערביים מקבלים כ-6.5% מכלל השעות, בעוד שחלקם היחסי במדגם היה כ-18%”.

      • eee
        April 26, 2010, 1:32 pm

        Another Ha’aretz exclusive based on some secret report they obtained?

        What are the official Israeli government statistics? How much does Israel spend per Arab student in comparison to a Jewish student?

      • Cliff
        April 26, 2010, 1:35 pm

        You’re an Israeli aren’t you? Go look it up yourself and come back to us. Instead of begging the question like a goddamn coward.

      • Shmuel
        April 26, 2010, 1:41 pm

        3e – The bottom line is that most of the funding comes directly from the Education Ministry and is not determined by local taxes – as you falsely asserted. The discrepancy in funding is common knowledge and supported by countless studies, reports and statistics – which you can feel free to dismiss at your leisure.

      • eee
        April 26, 2010, 1:48 pm

        I know that most of the funding comes directly from the education ministry. Buy that does not explain why they cannot dispense it based on how much taxes a municipality has paid per capita. In fact, the argument is that Arabs receive services commensurate with the taxes they pay, just as is done in the US.

      • Shmuel
        April 26, 2010, 2:22 pm

        that does not explain why they cannot dispense it based on how much taxes a municipality has paid per capita …

        They don’t do that for Jews. There’s no reason they should do it for Palestinians. The system is not the same as in the US.

      • eee
        April 26, 2010, 2:28 pm

        Of course they do it for Jews also. That is why the periphery always complains about getting less of the budget.

      • Chaos4700
        April 26, 2010, 2:32 pm

        In fact, the argument is that Arabs receive services commensurate with the taxes they pay, just as is done in the US.

        What, you think that only wealthy people get Social Security, welfare and public assistance in the US?

      • eee
        April 26, 2010, 2:38 pm

        We are talking about education, genius. And yes, the more wealthy you are, the better education your kids get in the US.

      • Shmuel
        April 26, 2010, 2:50 pm

        3e,

        We were talking about Israel not the US, and although the principle that quality of education is related to parents’ income holds true in Israel as well (better education in Ramat Aviv than Sderot), that does not mean that Education Ministry funding is determined by parental income (it is not) – and ministry funding is absolutely skewed in favour of Jews (when it should in fact be skewed the other way).

      • eee
        April 26, 2010, 2:56 pm

        Shmuel,

        There is much to fix in Israel, but criticizing Israel in absolutist terms without the appropriate comparisons is just playing into the hands of the irrational Israel haters.

        It is a fact that the Israeli Arabs are the most educated, most healthy, most free and the most rich Arabs on average relative to Israel’s neighbors. That should be the starting point of the discussion. The Israeli government takes care of its Arab citizens much better than all its Arab neighbors.

      • Chaos4700
        April 26, 2010, 2:57 pm

        eee, wealthy people in the US generally send their kids to private schools. Hell, even middle class families might struggle and make a point of putting their kids through private school, like mine did.

        They still pay for the same public school, and that public school is the same for me as it would be for the kids of the single mother in the apartment down the road, proverbially speaking.

      • Chaos4700
        April 26, 2010, 2:58 pm

        It is a fact that the Israeli Arabs are the most educated, most healthy, most free and the most rich Arabs on average relative to Israel’s neighbors.

        False on multiple accounts. Also stinks of white man’s burden.

      • eee
        April 26, 2010, 3:01 pm

        True on all accounts. Check the statistics.

      • Mooser
        April 26, 2010, 3:03 pm

        “reverse discrimination”

        My, the Reagan years must have been hog heaven for you. I bet you thought the Republican “Southern strategy was genius, and long overdue.
        Anytime you want to tell us how the New Deal pushed America into the Depression, feel free! Or just provide the links and we’ll figure it out on our own.

      • Chaos4700
        April 26, 2010, 3:04 pm

        What statistics? You’ve cited nothing.

      • David Samel
        April 26, 2010, 3:05 pm

        eee, your comparison of “Israeli Arabs” to Arab citizens of other countries should be embarrassing to one who opposes the apartheid analogy. That very excuse was used to defend apartheid – SA blacks are much better off than blacks in every other sub-Saharan country. In the 21st century, we have a right to expect that Israel, like the Western countries it wishes to be identified with, should treat all citizens equally without regard to accidents of birth. Israel does not do so, and the problem cannot be fixed by tweaking. It is inherent in the nature of the Jewish State.

      • Shmuel
        April 26, 2010, 3:05 pm

        So there is institutionalised discrimination based on purely ethno-religious criteria in Israel, but “apropriate comparisons” must be made” and “Israeli Arabs” are the happiest darn second-class citizens in the world.

      • Avi
        April 26, 2010, 3:22 pm

        It is a fact that the Israeli Arabs are the most educated, most healthy, most free and the most rich Arabs on average relative to Israel’s neighbors. That should be the starting point of the discussion. The Israeli government takes care of its Arab citizens much better than all its Arab neighbors.

        On the one hand you claim that there is no discrimination against the Palestinians in Israel, but on the other hand you claim that a valid comparison should consider Arabs in neighboring Arab countries (which are outside Israeli sovereignty and jurisdiction) and those in Israel.

        This isn’t a valid comparison. You do see that, correct?

      • Judy
        April 26, 2010, 3:44 pm

        Actually, NJ is NOT a good example of educational disparities.
        NJ is a “home rule” state with 412 schools districts. Each community basically operates its own school district.

        In recognition of the disparty this created, in the late 80s the NJ Supreme Court ruled that the 31 poorest districts in the State (called “Abbot districts” …. I’m sure Trenton is among them) had to be funded to level of the highest achieving districts. So districts like Camden, Trenton and others do in fact receive state funding that brings their per pupil spending up to the level of schools like Princeton and Haddonfield.

        link to en.wikipedia.org

        The equality of funding hasn’t helped raise scores much, however.

        NJ definitely has segregated schools. In my view, as a New Jerseyan, it stems from being a “home rule” state. With the election of a radically right-wing governor who recently slashed the education budget, things are soon going to change!

        I live in NJ, eee, and let me say: New Jersey is no State of Israel!

      • Avi
        April 26, 2010, 3:46 pm

        Shmuel,

        How do you get that font in Hebrew?

      • Shmuel
        April 26, 2010, 4:01 pm

        Avi: How do you get that font in Hebrew?

        That’s the font my browser automatically gives me when I toggle to Hebrew keyboard (Hebrew keyboard installed in Windows language settings, browser encoding set on “automatic detect”).

      • Avi
        April 26, 2010, 5:11 pm

        Ahhh. I see. Good to know. Thanks.

        Does it work with cut-and-paste or just direct typing on the virtual keyboard?

      • Shmuel
        April 27, 2010, 12:31 am

        Works with cut-and-paste too.

      • Shmuel
        April 27, 2010, 12:33 am

        I don’t use a “virtual keyboard”, but a real one, that is my regular keyboard toggled to Hebrew.

      • Citizen
        April 27, 2010, 6:31 am

        Eee, do you think Obama’s parents or grandparents in the USA were/are wealthy? 40% of individual US citizens pay no federal taxes at all, and some states have no income state, while in others,
        a significant portion of the population pays no state income tax; as well, a significant percentage get governmental housing or vouchers, medicaid, food stamps, their children’s breakfast and lunch are paid for the the government, etc. That is part of the US context as well as the fact that in wealthy areas, the local property taxes pay for better schools and staff, etc.

      • aparisian
        April 27, 2010, 7:05 am

        i told you guys eee is programmed by the Israeli Zionist Habara machine, he can’t udnerstand the outside world, only them can upgrade his crazyness.

      • Citizen
        April 27, 2010, 7:39 am

        There’s a difference between a family not being able to afford to live in any given US school district, and a family being barred from living in any particular one because they are not born or converted Jews. Government-sponsored and enhanced racial/ethnic/religious
        discrimination is barred by law in the USA. Not so in Israel, let alone the Israeli OTs. Yes, or no, eee?

        Further, the USA has many federal and state programs to
        help low income students, e.g., Title 1, Head Start, and No Child Left Behind
        legislation. Nevertheless, the US is not yet a country that does not allow its citizens to benefit from the fruit of their labor (or inheiritance.) One such benefit is being able to place one’s children in top schools. The on-going debate in this context in the USA is where to draw the line. From each according to his/her abilities, to each according to his/her needs justifies
        the transfer of wealth; in contrast, few Americans I know are happy about the ever-spiking trend manifest in the US income gap. It was the Chinese and the Irish that physically built the first US transcontinental RR line, the former working from the West, the latter working from the East. The US is neither a pure socialist nor a pure capitalistic country.

      • potsherd
        April 27, 2010, 7:50 am

        We need a better class of zionist around here.

      • Shmuel
        April 27, 2010, 8:15 am

        We need a better class of zionist around here.

        Hear, hear.

      • sherbrsi
        April 27, 2010, 8:21 am

        I’m not sure the Zionists have anything better to offer.

      • Chaos4700
        April 27, 2010, 8:44 am

        Yep. I have to side with sherbrsi here. I’m guessing if any reasonable, rational Zionists do show up, they’ll be riding unicorns and carrying jars of phlogiston.

      • Shmuel
        April 27, 2010, 8:54 am

        I disagree. The only problem here is a selection bias, due to the fact that rational people – as curious and open-minded as they may be – generally don’t like to hang out in a hostile environment. So, for the most part, we get people who come here to fight and stick it to the “anti-Semites”, with no concern for honesty, consistency or any of the other things that make for good discussion.

      • Chaos4700
        April 27, 2010, 9:03 am

        Well, Shmuel, that’s been the story of Zionism for its entire existence. The loud, aggressive, bullying extremists shouting down the respectful, rational majority of Jews.

      • potsherd
        April 27, 2010, 9:05 am

        It’s true that this can be a hostile environment for Zionists, and I’d like to see a lot less of the insults and personal attacks on them, just for being Zionists.

      • Chaos4700
        April 27, 2010, 9:05 am
      • Chaos4700
        April 27, 2010, 9:06 am

        Hostile environment for Zionists? You’re saying this after yonira slandered you by saying you enjoyed watching Israel kill a thousand Palestinians, potsherd? And what did you do to provoke that comment, do you think?

      • sherbrsi
        April 27, 2010, 9:07 am

        Shmuel,

        You should check out some forums and social news sites which aren’t aligned to any specific political inclination.

        It’s invariably the similar scenario. The Zionists who are the loudest and who fill the Internet are made up of people like Julian and yonira. In fact the usual Zionist crowd makes them look reasonable, and I am not exaggerating by any accounts, considering my own extensive interaction with them.

        The Zionist simply has no case to make, not on legal grounds, most certainly not on moral grounds, so instead he resorts to deception (Witty), diversion (eee) and character assassination (Witty and Julian).

        There must be a reason why advocacy and promotion of Hasbara has almost become Israel’s national political education curriculum, so much so that it resonates with Zionists worldwide and directs debate even in other countries. The way I see it, it’s not simply a means of political tactics, but an admission of intellectual poverty.

      • Shmuel
        April 27, 2010, 9:15 am

        Sherbsi,

        I know Zionists pretty well – having been raised one and spent most of my life with them. Believe me, there are plenty of Zionists capable of honest, reasonable discussion. You can find some of them at moderate left-wing forums. You don’t have to agree with them or accept the validity of their arguments to recognise the fact that they are not intentionally dishonest or immoral. Based on my own experience, joining a predominantly anti-Zionist forum (I went for a Palestinian ROR group!) is neither pleasant nor easy. Most normal people have better things to do with their time.

      • Chaos4700
        April 27, 2010, 9:24 am

        If those honest, reasonable Zionists can’t be bothered to show up and make their position in the face of opposition (which, one should point out, will be far harsher from Zionists like eee, Julian and yonira than from any of us) that isn’t our fault.

        You know, not to be Chicken Little or anything but some of us are actually taking a big risk, as Americans speaking out against what Israel is doing. The “anti-Semitism” mudslinging is literally a career killer for a lot of careers — anything political, anything having to do with corporate media, and most associations of high-paying professionals.

        And that’s not even talking about the phony libel lawsuits that sometimes get wielded.

        So you’ll have to forgive me for not sympathizing with polite Zionists who fall silent because they think they’re above all of that.

      • Shmuel
        April 27, 2010, 9:43 am

        Chaos,

        I was simply trying to explain why we don’t get a better “class” of Zionist around here. Fault, risks and sympathy are beside the point.

      • Citizen
        April 27, 2010, 4:11 pm

        Well, actually, eee, what CM says is absolutely true. There’s a difference between racial/ethnic/religious discrimation under color of state law, as is the case in Israel, and economic de facto discrimination, as in the USA. We keep telling you this. It bounces off you. What don’t you understand? Please, get somebody with a higher IQ to help you. You are making a fool of yourself. And you are very boring.

      • Citizen
        April 27, 2010, 4:21 pm

        Why is that, Shmuel, because, as you say, they have better things to do with their time? Please think about what you are saying.

      • Citizen
        April 28, 2010, 9:20 am

        Eee, anyone can check and find out that Israeli state funding of Jewish schools is way more than that state funds Arab Israeli schools. Why do type such ignorance? It does not give you any credibility.

      • Citizen
        April 28, 2010, 9:44 am

        Mooser, WTF do the pros and cons of subsequent US reverse discrimination have to do with FDR’s New Deal? I have no clue who’s comment you are addressing here. I, for one, never voted for Reagan. Why would I vote for a living hair piece atop a dead body? I do think that WW2 is the thing that got the US out of the Great Depression, not FDR’s public works projects. Pretty drastic remedy, yes?

        PS, Mooser why do you put reverse discrimination in quotes?
        Are you suggesting there’s no zero sum aspect to affirmative action legislation? I’m not asking if you think it’s justified, just asking if you think no racial discrimination is built in to said legislation.

  6. David Samel
    April 26, 2010, 11:00 am

    Maybe I just missed it, but I see no indication here that the author of this article, Jonathan Ben-Artzi, is Netanyahu’s nephew. That should make for some ineresting family dynamics.

    There is overwhelming evidence of state-sanctioned discrimination against Palestinian citizens in Israel, despite protestations that similar inequality exists in the US. In the US, this is considered a problem that needs to be rectified, and the law unambiguously provides equal protection to all. Neither of these things are true in Israel. It is of course theoretically possible for the Israelis to diminish the extent of this discrimination, although after 62 years, one might wonder what they are waiting for. In any event, it is impossible to theoretically eliminate different classes of citizenship in a Jewish State.

    Anyone who thinks that non-Jewish citizens of Israel should meekly accept their second-class fate should consider a proposal to declare the US a Christian state. Let’s say the proponents would argue that non-Christians retain their right to vote, and in fact nothing else changes at all. The only difference would be that the US is considered a Christian State. Is there a single Jewish American who would find this acceptable, even though Jews would still enjoy far superior status than the Palestinian minority has in Israel? Indeed any Christian American who would accept such an idea would rightly be considered a bigot and perhaps a lunatic. If it’s not acceptable here in the US, it should not be acceptable in Israel, where such ethno-religious distinctions are the very basis of the state.

    • eee
      April 26, 2010, 11:15 am

      Fact:
      1) In the US it is acceptable and lawful that property taxes determine the expenditure on education. That is not considered apartheid.
      2) In Israel, it is not acceptable that property taxes determine expenditure on education. This makes Israel an apartheid state.

      In short, this is just a unfair criticism.

      • Mooser
        April 26, 2010, 11:44 am

        eee, you really need to get a grasp on the rules you want to play by. There’s no law at all forbidding unfair criticism of states. Anybody can do it. Where the hell would you guys be if you couldn’t criticise Iran unfairly? Unfair criticism is part and parcel of bringing down an undesirable state. Now, almost all civilised people agree that bigotry against religion (and just religion) is not in good taste, but states? Fair game!
        As I have said many times, given what I have seen in my lifetime, unfair and even untrue criticism will be much, much more useful in reducing Israel’s intransigence than anything else. Anti-Semitism has a big role to play, too. Sorry pal, but those are the rules you (and your ilk) were so eager to play by, so learn to love ‘em!

        And BTW, a bunch of weeny-titty-babies screaming “Mommy, it’s not fair!” doesn’t give me confidence the “Jewish State” will prevail. And I don’t invest in losers. You have got to present a picture of confidence!
        I mean, where would you be if we had to go back to just being a religion, instead of a state? Sort of leaves atheists out in the cold, huh.
        Jeez, what does an atheist Jew do if he wants to demonstrate his devotion to the “Jewish nation”? Have surgery to make his nose bigger? It’s an interesting question, huh?

      • eee
        April 26, 2010, 11:55 am

        Mooser,

        Thanks for admitting that this criticism is unfair.
        It should make people wonder how much of the criticism Israel is subjected to on this site is fair.
        As you point out, unfair criticism is fair game in fighting Israel. I just want people to realize that and I appreciate your help.

      • Citizen
        April 26, 2010, 12:30 pm

        True, eee, I for example, have a large part of my property taxes given to
        non-white minorities in my tax district; I have no child in school in my tax district. It would really be strange to call this fact “apartheid.”

      • Mooser
        April 26, 2010, 3:35 pm

        “True, eee, I for example, have a large part of my property taxes given to
        non-white minorities in my tax district”

        Good Lord, how did you survive? And this in America?

      • Citizen
        April 27, 2010, 7:46 am

        I’m just looking at my property tax bill allocations, Mooser. No need to be snide. I’m not exactly living in clover.

      • David Samel
        April 26, 2010, 1:55 pm

        eee, aside from the refutation that Shmuel made on your education argument, your argument is unfair and misleading. You well know that Israel brazenly discriminates in favor of Jews and against Palestinian citizens in employment, housing and virtually every other public sphere as well as education. Yet you construct a questionable defense of the education differential as if you are disproving discrimination altogether. The source of the discrimination is not a natural consequence of different tax bases or incomes, but represents the society-wide conviction that in the Jewish State, Jews are “more equal” (a la Orwell) than other citizens.

        If you want to argue that it is OK, or a necessary evil, for Israel to have different classes of citizenship for some reason or another, make your case. But don’t pretend that official, state-sanctioned discrimination does not exist.

    • Mooser
      April 26, 2010, 11:29 am

      David, you do not understand the concepts you are dealing with. When a man is baptised, and embraces the saving power of Jesus Christ, he is changed, Glory Hallelujah, CHANGED! His sins are washed away, and he accepts Jesus into his heart. Now, there may be a lot of people who are ignorant of the true religion, but there is only one people who have consciously, knowingly, and stubbornly REJECTED Him, and His Saving Power, THE JEWS!!! Given that appalling fact, how can any Christian in good conscience countenance giving them full rights and all the privileges of citizen ship? If a man will reject Jesus, what else won’t he do? It’s not that Christians don’t like Jew, but Jeez, they gotta protect their children!

      Yes sir, there’s a whole world of goodness and tolerance in this religions as nations schtick. One small caviar or quail though: I would suggest having at least a replacement birth-rate, before you go all “me and Jews against the world”

      • Eva Smagacz
        April 26, 2010, 12:32 pm

        Relax Mooser, USA will be Christian but Democratic.

        It will just wish to preserve it’s Christian character. It will instigate passports and driving licences with christian and non-christian status for information purposes only, and it will have, understandably, some jobs only for people who completed 2 years service as altar boys and akolytes.

        It will allow people to stipulate in covenants and by-laws clauses that allow them to maintain the Christian character of communities, county clubs, apartment blocks and local districts, but in reality, nothing will change.

      • MHughes976
        April 26, 2010, 1:05 pm

        Very witty! Greetings from this Christian kingdom.

      • Mooser
        April 26, 2010, 3:17 pm

        Whoa, Eva, I’m not sure the unshriven and unnanealed should have drivers licences. What if the pointlessness of life sans Jesus hits them on the freeway. On the other hand, are people who believe way too strongly in an afterlife good prospects for a driver’s license?

        In a creepy way, it’s too bad that the great age of European self-self-determination (you know, the nations which self-determine themselves) is over, and that way of life, with each state enforcing different degrees of ethnic or religious supremeacy under the guise of “self-determination” is passing from memory. So Israel uses its very uniqueness of its intransigence as an excuse.

        But look, you gotta admit, the though of Zionists doing this Jews an’ me against the world schtick while their entire religion and “nation” dissolves around them, is laughbable. Like I say, it helps to have at least a replacement birth rate, and some sort of disciplining mechanism in place, and we ain’t got ‘em.
        If the Zionists think they are going to reverse the out-ward boundness of the Jews, which has been pent up for so many years, they better think again. And if they think the Jews of the world will trade Israel for their place in the world, they better think again. Why is there no Jewish state in America? We had more than enough opportunity and resources to make one. Instead we chose to be ruled by the Gentiles!

      • Avi
        April 26, 2010, 3:41 pm

        It will instigate passports and driving licences with christian and non-christian status for information purposes only

        Let’s talk about symbolism too:

        Passports bear the Hanukkia, the flag bears the star of David, the Knesset comes from the Hebrew root Keness, state police has an insignia inspired by the star of David, coins and bank notes bear the names and symbols of Jewish or Zionist figures. The design of the Knesset chamber was inspired by such Jewish structures as the Western Wall.

        In essence, the Palestinians have been erased from existence in that regard.

        And this, yet again, goes to the heart of the problem. As a matter of state policy, the Palestinians in Israel have no rights as a national minority, they are merely granted individual rights while possessing no rights as a collective.

      • Citizen
        April 27, 2010, 7:49 am

        Did and do all the residents of Utah choose to be ruled by the Mormons?

      • Citizen
        April 26, 2010, 12:53 pm

        Of course, we all know, Mooser, that while it may be that only the jews as a formal collective have officially rejected Jesus (not the same as rejecting his
        ethical/moral preaching content–or is it?), many non-Jews over the centuries have rejected either God or both God & his only son, as such, not to even mention The Holy Spirit. So what’s that mean? It’s not like everyone, Christian, Jew, other religious ilk, and non-religious ilk, don’t have to protect their children! Remember, triple e says protecting you kids is the #1 priority–even at the sacrifice of the Other’s kids.

      • Mooser
        April 26, 2010, 3:24 pm

        Citizen, you gotta admit, since Jesus grew up a Jew, and all of His Acts, Sayings, and Miracles were performed right in front of us, we bear an especially heavy burden for rejecting Him. You can’t wail on some guy in the middle of China for not knowing the true God, what does he know. But we Jews rejected with our eyes wide open and in the full knowledge of the Scripture which made His coming known to us! We is sooooo bad!
        And let’s not even go into the Jewish guilt concerning that cross on Golgotha!
        No Christian nation can tolerate the presence, or at least the presence in full equality, of that kind of person.

        I’m sure zamaaz could help me out on this.

      • Mooser
        April 26, 2010, 3:32 pm

        “(not the same as rejecting his
        ethical/moral preaching content–or is it?),”

        As every Christian knows, the two cannot possibly be separated! C’mon Citizen, if Jesus wasn’t Son O’ God, he would just be a guy who said a lot of stuff that the Gnostics, the Stoics, and a bunch of other nuts were saying at the time.
        And what the hell kind of Christian nation would the US be if they treated non-Christians as equals? What the hell kind of example would that be for young people. “Being a Christian is the most important thing in the world, but if you’re not, that’s okay too”?

      • Don
        April 26, 2010, 3:53 pm

        Mooser…”No Christian nation can tolerate the presence, or at least the presence in full equality, of that kind of person.”

        Mooser, that is sooo unfair. I would be proud to have you as my next door neighbor! (assuming, of course, you wouldn’t mind, you know, wearing one of those little yellow star things…would you?)

      • Citizen
        April 27, 2010, 7:55 am

        Mooser, as you know, Jewish writings come with a full complement of false messiahs–Jesus would be just another one. It wasn’t Jesus who preached to the Gentiles, but Saul aka St Paul. At least that’s the story I read. And how many Christian sects exist? Wonder what G-D thinks about all these different groups speaking in his or her name?

    • Citizen
      April 26, 2010, 12:26 pm

      At the very least, DS, it should not be acceptable to US taxpayers, who give way more to Israel (no strings attached) than to any other nation; even when what they give to Egypt and Jorden is given to indirectly support Israel first. Add it up, and tack on the constant US UN Sec Council veto immunizing Israel from any international accountability.

      • Walid
        April 26, 2010, 4:21 pm

        Citizen, I disagree with your part about the no strings attached. The US isn’t doing all of this out of love for Israel and the holocaust-guilt thing wore off years ago. Israel is America’s eyes and ears as well as its bouncer in the area and is being paid for it. When it will no longer need it, America will dump it. America does what it thinks is good for America and these days, it’s having second thoughts about the usefulness of the monster it has created.

      • Citizen
        April 27, 2010, 7:59 am

        Walid, it’s been awhile since the collapse of the USSR. Too, Truman said he had no domestic Arab constitutency, but a large Jewish one.
        He didn’t seem to be very worried about his own State Department’s concerns about the Arabs overseas. And he did read the entire bible, what 15 times before he was age 15?

      • potsherd
        April 27, 2010, 9:01 am

        Walid, I think there would be a very strong resistance to any attempt to dump Israel. Charles Schumer isn’t just one isolated guy, he’s part of a very powerful force that does, in fact, love that shitty little country a lot.

      • Citizen
        April 27, 2010, 4:32 pm

        Gee, Walid, what foreign country other than Israel gets tons of US money and material with no strings attached? Name one. The US is doing this out of love for Israel and the Holocaust guilt thing–the USA Congress is fed by AIPAC. This means the real reason for the Gentile congress members is–they simply want the power and perks of being a US congree member.

  7. potsherd
    April 26, 2010, 2:42 pm

    Straight from the ultimate authority:

    South Africa likens Israeli restrictions to apartheid

    April 26, 2010

    CAPE TOWN (JTA) — The South African government has compared new Israeli military restrictions on the movement of Palestinians in the West Bank to apartheid laws.

    The South African Department of International Relations and Cooperation issued a statement condemning the restrictions as “a gross violation of an individual’s human rights,” saying that the military order “further exacerbates the already fragile situation in Palestine,” according to a report in the daily Cape Times.

    This is like official.

  8. MHughes976
    April 26, 2010, 3:03 pm

    This restriction on individuals is a form of ‘petty apartheid’, but it would be good to hear South African endorsement of the view that the existence of the Palestinians in their disfranchised state, a form of grand apartheid, is the basic problem.

  9. potsherd
    April 27, 2010, 8:17 am

    Jonathan Cook on Israeli apartheid: link to counterpunch.org

    There are, for example, some 30 laws that explicitly discriminate between Jews and non-Jews — another way of referring to the fifth of the Israeli population who are Palestinian and supposedly enjoy full citizenship. There are also many other Israeli laws and administrative practices that lead to an outcome of ethnic-based segregation even if they do not make such discrimination explicit.

    I don’t think this is going to go away. If Jimmy Carter published his book today, people would just say, “So?”

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