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Israelis Use the A-Word. Can Americans?

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To its great credit, The Times has a piece today on Route 443 in the West Bank, a modern highway Palestinians can’t use.  Based in part on Gershom Gorenberg’s research, the piece twice uses the a-word:

The Association for Civil Rights in Israel told the Supreme Court
that what was happening on the highway could be the onset of legal
apartheid in the West Bank — a charge that makes many Israelis recoil…

“There is already a separate legal system in
the territories for Israelis and Palestinians,” said Limor Yehuda, who
argued the recent case for the civil rights association on behalf of
six Palestinian villages. “With the approval of separate roads, if it
becomes a widespread policy, then the word for it will be ‘apartheid.’ ”

Many Israelis and their supporters reject the term, with its implication of racist animus.

The only problem with this report is that it confines the "apartheid" discourse to Israel, not the U.S. And yes, many Israelis use that word. But I want that discussion to happen here. Do Americans think it’s apartheid? After all, it didn’t matter so much what the South African whites thought of apartheid; it was what the world thought.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of and founded the site in 2005-06.

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