Trending Topics:

Do Americans Have a Say About Apartheid in Hebron?

on 18 Comments

M.J. Rosenberg of the Israel Policy Forum has a fine piece this week about Hebron (all but endorsing my view that the situation in the West Bank is worse than apartheid).

This week 200
settlers in Hebron grabbed another building inside the Arab old city.
As Shimon Peres said, the Hebron settlers – who have
essentially instituted a reign of terror in the Biblical city
– are creating an "unbearable situation."
It’s been unbearable for Palestinians for decades.

I was there not long ago and was horrified at the way the local
population has been pushed out of their homes and shops, is
continuously assaulted by settlers, and generally subjected to
treatment that can be likened to Mississippi’s treatment of
African-Americans between the civil war and the civil rights movement.
Jimmy Carter was wrong to use the term "apartheid" in a general way,
but that term understates the ugliness inflicted on Palestinians in
that city. 

Yitzhak Rabin wanted to remove the settlers from inside old Hebron but
was assassinated before he had the chance.  The Israeli
government is unlikely to take any such action in its current weakened

The difference I have with Rosenberg is the suggestion that Americans should care what the Israeli government’s paralyzed position on these settlers is. Should Freedom Riders who were appalled by segregation in the American south have cared what the position of the government of Alabama was? Hell no. We are Americans. We are allowed to form our own ideas about how Middle Eastern societies work, whether it’s Islamicists stoning adulterers or religious Jews throwing stones at Arab kids trying to go to school in Hebron.

The facts are simple. The second largest city in the West Bank has been colonized by religious, racist nuts, empowered (for whatever bad reason) by their government. This is morally repugnant, and Americans should denounce it and not worry about Israel’s internal politics, just pressure Israel to remove the settlers now…

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of

Other posts by .

Posted In:

    Leave a Reply