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Should we call it apartheid?

on 60 Comments
Apartheid SA
(Image: Carlos Latuff)

Among informed and honest observers, there is no dispute that Israel is imposing a separate and grossly unequal system of ethnic discrimination on the Palestinians, most blatantly in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). Setting aside the complex system of discrimination within Israel itself, one cannot look at the separate road systems in the OPT, the unequal distribution of water, the systematic denial of Palestinian building permits while Israel expands illegal settlements, and so on, and fail to see that that this is, indeed and by definition, apartheid.
But there remains a dispute over the political and rhetorical utility of using the word “apartheid” to describe the system imposed by Israel on Palestinians in the OPT. When Jeffery Goldberg asked former U.S. Special Envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell if he believed “apartheid-like conditions prevail” in the West Bank, Mitchell replied:

The issue and conflict is complex enough without the use of inflammatory words and phrases whose only result, I won’t say intention in every case, is to create aggravation and hostility. If you can say something two ways, and one way is bound to antagonize your opponent, and the other way can get your point across without antagonizing your opponent, why do you choose the inflammatory way if you really do want to accommodate their concerns and reach an agreement?

Here, Mitchell clearly acknowledges that the West Bank is ruled by Israel under apartheid-like conditions, but wants to steer clear of using the term because it is “inflammatory,” and is said to aggravate rather than help resolve the conflict. In a recent article, Hussein Ibish of the American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) took a similar position, describing “apartheid” as a “conversation stopper” in the United States. Because Americans do not know what life under occupation is like for Palestinians, he argues, when hearing the charge of apartheid they will “simply assume that they are being exposed to hyperbolic anti-Israel propaganda and stop listening before they hear the facts.”

He goes on to say:

It is infinitely more powerful to show rather than tell. Rather than leading with an announcement that Israel practices apartheid, it is much more effective to simply describe the realities: Every aspect of daily life in the occupied Palestinian territories for every individual is defined by whether the Israeli government categorizes them as an Israeli settler, and therefore a citizen of the state with all the rights and responsibilities accruing to citizenship, or a Palestinian noncitizen living under occupation. If you simply describe life under occupation, audiences will draw their own parallels between the occupation and apartheid in South Africa or Jim Crow laws in the segregationist American south.

While Ibish’s and Mitchell’s concerns are valid, they are hardly sufficient grounds to abandon the use of the term apartheid. This is indeed an inflammatory word, but one which accurately describes an inflammatory, intolerable and unsustainable reality. It is also true that it is of course, when possible, preferable to thoroughly describe Israel’s utterly discriminatory treatment of Palestinians. But in the media world of sound bites, and limited opportunities to grab people’s attention, there is typically not the time to explain these details.

In response to Israel’s false buzzwords that claim it stands for “freedom,” “peace,” and “democracy,” Palestinians are in need of compelling and truthful keywords that encapsulate life under Israeli rule, like “occupation” and “apartheid.” If using shorthand for describing Israel’s oppression of the Palestinians is really a “conversation stopper,” then we need to work on changing that by making the case for such terms, not abandoning them.
Furthermore, many academic institutions divested from South Africa during the apartheid era, and some of them still have policies that forbid investing in any system of “apartheid.” If Israel’s policies in the OPT become widely and correctly identified as apartheid, then the potential increases dramatically for spreading the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign that’s aimed at ending Israel’s occupation of Palestine further into mainstream American discourse.
Recently, Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) recommended resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by creating a single state in which Palestinians would have “limited voting power” (imagine how he would react if anyone suggested his own ethnic group be denied full voting rights). With American politicians now officially recommending what can only be described as apartheid as a long-term “solution” for Israel and the Palestinians, it is rather important to be blunt about what that exactly means.
For all these reasons, our task is to mainstream the term “apartheid” in describing the reality in Israeli-occupied Palestine. This job is half-done for us already by  former American president Jimmy Carter, who wrote a book called Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid. Being categorically assertive in describing the ongoing injustice in Palestine in simple, straightforward terms is an essential component in our effort to end that injustice.

Omar Baddar

Omar Baddar is Deputy Director of the Arab American Institute. He is a political scientist and human rights activist.

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60 Responses

  1. HarryLaw on June 11, 2012, 6:35 pm

    The International Legal study funded and co-ordinated by the Government of South Africa, found that the practices of Israel in the West Bank including East Jerusalem and the Gaza strip constitute both Colonialism and Apartheid
    Also The Russell Tribunal last year found that Israel practiced Apartheid, so we have considered legal opinions from respected jurists all saying the same thing, many South African leaders who knew Apartheid in South Africa, say that Israels is worse, The Apartheid regime in South Africa at least wanted black South Africans as cheap labour, whereas the Israelis just want the Palestinians to disappear, the method they have chosen is ethnic cleansing bordering on genocide. So when confronted with a “conversation stopper” just refer to the opinions above.

  2. American on June 11, 2012, 7:02 pm

    Yes, use it.
    Palestines are dying from all of this ‘non inflammatory’ rhetoric mincing and truth aversion disease.

  3. piotr on June 11, 2012, 9:16 pm

    Accommodating minorities that grow in size in the political system is often tricky.

    One approach of dealing with minorities is to give them token positions. For example, for decades the post of Minister of Tourism in Israel was reserved for total idiots. However, with growing numbers and political activity of that demographic group it was necessary to create more and more special ministerial posts, some “without portfolio”, some with vague portfolios like “strategic affairs”, and finally they got a decisive majority (still keeping Tourism).

    One can see that Israeli model must be very attractive to Rep. Joe Walsh. He is not your run of the mill idiot. I checked his op-ed, and the fuller quote is “Those Palestinians who remain behind in Israel [the est would be “raptured” to Jordan] will maintain limited voting power but will be awarded all the economic and civil rights of Israeli citizens. They will be free to raise families, start businesses and live in peace, all of which are impossible under current Arab rule.”

    (1) current Arab rule ?!?! aren’t they currently under a non-Arab rule? or he means “rules for Arabs”?

    (2) so under the current rule (Arab? for Arabs?) the Palestinians are not free to “start business” or “raise families” or “leave in peace”.

    I wonder what “limited voting rights” would entail: voting for PTO representatives?

    Walsh opus is so mediocre that one can see that he proudly rejected any help penning it. And he was published in a big city newspaper. Are non-idiots reduced to a minority in one more country?

    • Eric on June 14, 2012, 2:17 pm

      Israel is not “accommodating minorities”. From the Mediterranean to the Jordan River, the Palestinian population is roughly equal to the Jewish one. The demographic and net (Jewish) emigration trends mean that Jews will be the minority in a few short years. The Apartheid label will become increasingly appropriate going forward, which makes Israel’s refusal to conclude a peace agreement perplexing, on the surface. Unless they have other solutions in mind, such as population “transfers,” which would make Apartheid positively delightful by comparison.

  4. Parity on June 11, 2012, 9:40 pm

    A South African think tank did a detailed study of the two sets of laws governing Israelis and Palestinians in the territories and concluded that Israel is indeed practicing apartheid. See where you can order or download a condensed version of the study. Also, see this website: which has the Russell Tribunal’s conclusion that Israel is practicing apartheid. Apartheid is a crime against humanity, as opposed to discrimination. Hence, terminology makes a difference.

    • giladg on June 12, 2012, 4:58 pm

      How do you expect balance from this organization if everyone on the board is, what do you now, on the Left. Show us where the money comes from and I’ll show you just how prejudiced they are.
      And are you telling us that a website named “itisapartheid” is impartial as well?

      • Hostage on June 13, 2012, 6:08 am

        giladg, in the 2004 Wall Case, a number of the interested state parties and Palestine filed written statements which cited the prohibition of apartheid in international law and the constituent acts of apartheid listed in the various international conventions. The parties said that Israel had committed those same acts against the Palestinian people. Israel is not a party to the Apartheid Convention, the Rome Statute, or the 1st Additional Protocol.

        However the ICJ had ruled in the Namibia case that a policy of apartheid violates a member state’s obligation to respect the right of self-determination of peoples contained in the UN Charter. In the Barcelona Traction case the Court had noted that a state’s obligation with regard to the basic rights of the human person, including protection from slavery and racial discrimination, are conferred by international instruments of a universal or quasi-universal character. The Court explained that all States can be held to have a legal interest in their protection; they are obligations erga omnes.

        The Court’s findings repeated the lists of constituent acts of the crime of apartheid contained in the written briefs and noted that they were violations of non-derogable rights enumerated in the UN Charter and UN human rights treaties, including the ICCPR, ICESCR, and CRC. The Court’s findings of fact stated that Israel had violated obligations of an erga omnes character regarding the right of self-determination and that is had also violated fundamental human rights and protections related to land confiscations, house demolitions, the creation of walled enclaves, and restrictions on movement and access to supplies of water, food, education, health care, work, and an adequate standard of living. Those are all examples of the crime of apartheid.

  5. Shingo on June 11, 2012, 9:52 pm

    Miko Peled made a very good point when I heard him speak. Those who try to argue that apartheid is only taking place in the OT, and that this means Israel itself is not apartheid, are kidding themselves.

    As he says, look at any Israeli map and it designates all of Palestine as Israel. Therefore it is irrelevant whether apartheid strictly only applied to the OT or Israel proper – it’s all Israeli policy in the end.

  6. Linda J on June 11, 2012, 10:05 pm

    The truth shall set you free.

  7. Basilio on June 11, 2012, 10:20 pm

    I think one cannot constantly worry about the sensibility of some Americans. George Mitchell was constrained by the influence of a certain lobby and Israel on American foreign policy. He couldn’t easily say the truth about what he thought about what Israel was doing and how he felt about Israel’s policies. Nor could Zinni for that matter when he was there. We don’t have much time to explain what’s going on TV. And if people hear the word apartheid enough times, they may decide to probe deeper to decide if it’s true or not, and it’s true that Israel is an apartheid, Jim Crowe state.

  8. DICKERSON3870 on June 11, 2012, 10:37 pm

    RE: “Recently, Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) recommended resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by creating a single state in which Palestinians would have ‘limited voting power’ (imagine how he would react if anyone suggested his own ethnic group be denied full voting rights).” ~ Omar Baddar

    FROM WIKIPEDIA [Three-Fifths Compromise]:

    (excerpt) The Three-Fifths Compromise was a compromise between Southern and Northern states reached during the Philadelphia Convention of 1787 in which three-fifths of the enumerated population of slaves would be counted for representation purposes regarding both the distribution of taxes and the apportionment of the members of the United States House of Representatives. . .

    SOURCE –

  9. piotr on June 12, 2012, 6:06 am

    I wanted to answer Omar questions methodically, with some research. A quick google search yields this:

    If you’re not familiar with antisemitism, you probably don’t know that each year, Israel’s enemies and those of her own people known as self-loathing or Liberal Jews, visit campuses around the world with the express purpose of delegitimizing Israel. This article is long, but thoroughly explores the history of antisemitism.

    Apartheid/Antisemitism Week Throughout the World
    Published: Monday, February 27, 2012 8:28 AM
    License To Murder: The Enduring Threat of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion is the author’s most recent book. Here he traces the history of anti-Semitism. An important read.

    I skimmed quickly through the article using “search function”, apartheid is in the title and in the conclusion, ONLY. The gist seems to be that since Tsarist secret police created “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”, Israel Apartheid Week is vile.

    However, to someone raise to the east of Elbe, the premise “if you are not familiar with anti-Semitism” is weird. There is a wealth of quotes, jokes, children rhymes etc. in which Jews are viewed less than favorable. Example 1, a comedy written 200 years ago, a nobleman dictates a letter and instantly quarrels with his servant who writes his words:

    “What is it!” “A Jew, but I will make it into a letter.” (Rorschach test before Rorschach, if you will.)

    Example 2: a rhyme

    Warszawa i Krakow to miasta Polakow, a wszelkie Beduiny won do Palestyny

    Warsaw and Cracow are cities of Poles and assorted Beduins get out to Palestine.

    So your ordinary anti-Semite of 1930s was perfectly happy with segregating Semites with Semites in Palestine and totally indifferent as to what happens between the Semites. And as the inkwells are not used anymore, making Jews when you write is not a problem anymore. Paying attention to the region where assorted Semites live is not really part of the old and rich tradition of anti-Semitism.

    By the way, the quote I found is from a Messianic Jews web site, and it seems that this is a particularly masochistic group: to avoid anti-Semitism of “the nations”. which is sufficiently mild that they need reading materials to know what is it, they go to Israel where they are despised as heretics. This seems to be a general paradigm of small sects: we are the only pure ones and we suffer because of it. Lack of suffering or of persecution means that something is wrong. Perhaps… the persecution is there if we look closely enough! Just read Arutz Sheva, all is explained. This is still the masochistic model, but much improved: while it retains the feeling of righteous superiority, the factual suffering that prove that superiority is quite easy to bear.

    If we look around, that paradigm can be improved further. A majority of righteous sufferers oppressed by a small powerless minority (like The Left) and dark forces far away. Rep. Joe Welch is oppressed by The Liberals and is natually understanding Zionists who suffer from the same dark forces.

    Further improvements from masochistic superiority entail sadomasochism. And this is the origin of Apartheid, price tag or inhumane prison-industrial complex in USA.

  10. justicewillprevail on June 12, 2012, 7:17 am

    People who worry about ‘upsetting’ Zionists, always end up making apologies for them. Fine, make some accommodations, but this will only work if your target is actually willing to engage and progress towards a solution. There is no evidence of this, despite the innumerable attempts at getting them to behave in a civil fashion. Zionists don’t care about your attempts to placate them, or your efforts at peacemaking. They are engaged in the slow dispossession and destruction of Palestine, and to that end are only interested in the constant deployment of propaganda (hasbara) in covering the fact up. As such, calling what they have created ‘apartheid’ is a short and accurate way of describing an enormous raft of crimes against an indigenous civilian population, in a way which people will readily understand. It also underscores the racist, separatist nature of their project. No wonder they get hot under the collar, not because it is inaccurate, but because it goes to the heart of the problem, and exposes their mendacious, racist system. If you refrain from using the term, and instead describe the conditions as they are, then they really don’t care, and will just deny everything, content that their agents everywhere will minimise the media exposure. The Palestinians are largely invisible, thanks to their multi million dollar funded harassment of the media, so it won’t register. Call it apartheid, then explain why – anyone who has been there will find it irrefutable.

  11. Quagmire on June 12, 2012, 7:24 am

    The only reason there’s any kind of ‘dispute’ about the term is that the zionists, in the sheep’c clothing of ‘pwogwessives’ like MECA, IJAN, etc., have successfully wormed their way into every discussion, organization, and listserve, where they, as quietly as possible, try to suppress any phrases that might get most people upset with Israel..such as the words ‘genocide’ and ‘apartheid’, but not limited to those terms.

  12. seafoid on June 12, 2012, 8:23 am

    The Jewish peace organization J Street has announced that it intends to contribute $1.5 million to 60 Democratic candidates who support the two-state formula adopted by Prime Minister Netanyahu three years ago. It is a modest sum in comparison with the tens of millions that AIPAC is pouring into the coffers of candidates who do not dare utter a bad word about the settlements. But J Street has not given up on its efforts to challenge the notion that only candidates with hawkish views on Israeli policy and security are worthy of the title “pro-Israel.” And so for example, J Street is supporting Democrat Tammy Duckworth in the Illinois eighth congressional district. She is running against Republican Joe Walsh, who recently proposed in the Washington Times that Palestinians who aspire to establish an independent country move to Jordan.

  13. MHughes976 on June 12, 2012, 9:35 am

    I’ve never thought that ‘apartheid’ was quite the right word. The old SA regime was designed to exploit the cheap labour of the disadvantaged race, the current regime in the Holy Land is designed to get rid of the disadvantaged race for ever and ever. And there is the unique idea of reclaiming ancient rights, which can fluctuate so advantageously between a religious and a secular form.

    • ahadhaadam on June 12, 2012, 12:11 pm

      Yes, Israel’s intentions are more sinister and its brutality by far exceeds S. Africa, but Apartheid – a system of separateness of one group on the expense and exclusion of another group of people using a dual legal system – is still Apartheid.

      • Quagmire on June 12, 2012, 9:09 pm

        Does anyone think for one minute that the South African apartheid regime wouldn’t have ethnically cleansed the black population if that had been feasible, demographically?

        Trying to draw a distinction because of Israeli ethnic cleansing is just more zionist hide-the-ball games.

      • MHughes976 on June 13, 2012, 5:20 am

        Well, I must admit that I don’t think that apartheid was designed for ethnic cleansing. The intention to exploit and the intention to eliminate are two very different things though they may for a time use the same methods. The same people may switch from one to the other, of course, though that is still a considerable switch. I’m worried about the idea that the Israeli system is just more apartheid and therefore has just the same weaknesses, which may be quite misleading.

      • homingpigeon on June 13, 2012, 6:26 am

        I agree that there is something to be said about not using the word “Apartheid” for Israel. Apartheid was much milder and thus makes for an imprecise analogy. Yes, plenty of black Africans were displaced here and there for white settlements, but at no time were they driven out of South Africa en masse as were the inhabitants of Palestine or massacred on the scale of natives in Australia or US. They were kept for their labor. Even the apartheid army was overwhelmingly black African.

  14. yourstruly on June 12, 2012, 9:47 am

    apartheid whether by another name or by definition is still apartheid.

  15. giladg on June 12, 2012, 12:14 pm

    For any of you who are interested in the truth, this is what went down:

    Yasar Arafat, and his successor, have never been interested in the compromises needed for real peace, therefor they have never been true peace partners with Israel. It started with Arafat when he was told how apartheid was ended in South Africa. He decided, or was led to believe, that the same tactic could be applied to Israel. Arafat went to negotiate with Israel in 1992/1993 and signed the Oslo Agreements, knowing that he would extract all that he could under the guise of peace seeker, while knowing that Israel would not give him what he was really after, control over Jerusalem, something that the Palestinians have never had. Never having controlled Jerusalem, Arafat reckoned that the world will jump over Israel when the peace talks broke down and that economic pressure on Israel would follow, like what happened in South Africa. He felt, and Abbas still feels, that they can grab Jerusalem with the aid of their supporters. So by hook or by crook, the Palestinians and their supporters are selling the lie about Israel being an apartheid state. Without wholesale buy into this lie, the tactic won’t work. Part of this tactic is also to show the Palestinians as non-violent. So they chose the village of Bill’in to be their center piece and focus to sell this as the face of the Palestinians.
    The Palestinian propaganda machine has achieve success in many areas. Israel and Jews has been unjustly attacked by the Palestinians and their Arab and Muslim brothers for the past 120 years. Ultimately they will fail in their evil plan and the fate of Abbas will be like Mubarak.

    • Real Jew on June 12, 2012, 1:50 pm

      Gilad, you are either incredibly misguided or just another yapping mouth for the zio propaganda machine. I suspect the latter. What you failed to address in your post, which in fact is the main point this article discusses, is it appropriate to label Israel an apartheid state. Your irrelevant rambling about Arafat and some conspiracy of “Arabs trying to control Jerusalem” will persuade very few that Israel is not practicing colonialism and apartheid. In light of the overwhelming evidence supporting the notion Israel is in fact an apartheid state politicians, experts, academics, jurists, and practically every other person of integrity concurs.

      • giladg on June 12, 2012, 4:03 pm

        Whatever the situation is in the West Bank, it is not apartheid. Call it what you want, but don’t call it apartheid. But the Palestinians need this to fit their model, as I described above. They have taken the position that if they say it enough times, then enough brain dead people will believe it.
        If you are a person who cares about the truth, then you must visit pro-Israeli sites as well, sites that refute the apartheid lie. Study these sites and only then will you be in a position to make a call. If you refuse to visit such sites, then you fit the bill of those the Palestinians are successful in convincing, which is not hard to do.

      • Shingo on June 13, 2012, 4:50 am

        Whatever the situation is in the West Bank, it is not apartheid. Call it what you want, but don’t call it apartheid.

        As I explained earlier, there are some hasbrats who are willingto admit that it’s worse than apartheid just to argue that it’s not apartheid. Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandella, who know apartheid when they see it, say it’s apartheid, so that’s all we need to know.

        No pro-Israeli sites have ever been able to offer an argument to refute this obvious fact. All of Israel is apartheid, not just the West Bank, which it far worse.

    • justicewillprevail on June 12, 2012, 7:11 pm

      Ha, that is so twisted it is totally delusional. You have a talent for altering every known fact to suit your victim mythology. Incredible, does anybody take this stuff seriously, or is it the drugs talking? Apparently you are ignorant of the numerous peace plans, all of which gave East Jerusalem to Palestine. These issues could have been settled years ago, but for Israeli intransigence and refusal to even discuss what everybody else in the world believed. Instead of settling, Israel has erected a mind boggling sadistic apartheid state, which it maintains with all the zeal of the gulags.

      • giladg on June 13, 2012, 12:35 am

        Correct Justicewillprevail, they discussed sharing Jerusalem at Camp David 2000. Guess who rejected Bill Clinton’s plan? Arafat.
        By the way, have you been to Ramallah or Jenin recently? Life is pretty good there. The Blacks in apartheid South Africa, who lived under apartheid, would laugh at you if you try to compare. Of course there are those who are on board with the Palestinian struggle who will say anything. There are others who know the truth.

      • Shingo on June 13, 2012, 12:45 am

        Guess who rejected Bill Clinton’s plan? Arafat.

        How about you stop peddling that BS? Barak offered nothing at Camp David and there was no suggestion of Jerusalem.

        The Blacks in apartheid South Africa, who lived under apartheid, would laugh at you if you try to compare.

        Desmind Tutu and Nelson Mandella, who were both black and spent much time in prisons during apartheid South Africa woudl disagree.

      • giladg on June 13, 2012, 4:30 am

        Two books published in 2004 placed the blame for the failure of the summit on Arafat. They were My Life by President Clinton and The Missing Peace by Dennis Ross.
        Now go and read Bill Clinton’s book. And please, don’t speak for Nelson Mandela. Tutu maybe, but not Mandela.

      • Shingo on June 13, 2012, 4:54 am

        Now go and read Bill Clinton’s book.

        Shlomo Ben Ami, debunks Clinton’s book. Clinton’s views and poor knowledge were all manipulated by Dennis “Israel’s lawyer” Ross.

        And please, don’t speak for Nelson Mandela.

        No need to. Mandelaalso says it’s apartheid. Here, Mandela explain why to Tom Friedman.

        Israel is an apartheid state.

      • Shmuel on June 13, 2012, 5:56 am

        Here, Mandela explain why to Tom Friedman.

        It was not written by Mandela, but by Arjan El Fassed, imitating Thomas Friedman’s “mock memo” style.

      • Cliff on June 13, 2012, 6:55 am

        Mandela authored this tho:

      • giladg on June 13, 2012, 9:24 am

        Please leave Mandela alone. We all respect him too much. He paid a short visit to the region and is fed one sided information from those who surround him. Comparing the two situations is to diminish the struggle the Black South African went through, and therefore it diminishes Mandela’s image.

        View this video for another perspective

      • Hostage on June 13, 2012, 9:45 am

        It was not written by Mandela, but by Arjan El Fassed, imitating Thomas Friedman’s “mock memo” style.

        True enough, but in Joshua Muravchik, “Mandela in America”, Commentary Magazine, October 1990 the author and various American Jewish leaders, including Abe Foxman and Henry Siegman vented over the comments Mandela had made in the past and in televised interviews during his visit to New York. That included the fact that Mandela was unapologetic about his past and present support for the PLO and his condemnation of the government of Israel:

        Mandela, by contrast, has not merely accepted help from tyrants, he has praised, endorsed, and flattered them. . . . Of Arafat he says: “We are in the same trench struggling against the same enemy: the twin Tel Aviv and Pretoria regimes, apartheid, racism, colonialism, and neocolonialism. . . . Mandela had only expressed “regret” for the distress his earlier comments might have caused. (Those comments included his remark that “there are many similarities between our struggle and that of the PLO,” and that “if the truth alienates the powerful Jewish community in South Africa, that’s too bad.”)

        Obviously that’s still a good piece of advice. If the truth about the twin apartheid regimes in Tel Aviv and Pretoria alienates the powerful Jewish community in the USA, that’s just too bad.

      • Woody Tanaka on June 13, 2012, 9:58 am

        “Two books published in 2004 placed the blame for the failure of the summit on Arafat. They were My Life by President Clinton and The Missing Peace by Dennis Ross.”

        You’re quoting Israel’s lawyers?!? LOL. And I’m sure you believe every third-rate lawyer who says that his client, the rapist, didn’t do it.

      • Woody Tanaka on June 13, 2012, 9:59 am

        “Please leave Mandela alone. We all respect him too much.”

        No you don’t. You judeo-fascists spit on him every single day with your ethno-racist filth.

      • Shmuel on June 13, 2012, 10:01 am

        View this video for another perspective

        MP Meshoe may know a lot about apartheid, but he seems to know very little about the situation “in Palestine, in Israel” (as he puts it). I’m afraid the only ignorance exposed here is his own.

        [The Palestinians have] freedom of movement without being arrested

        What part of “Palestine” is the Honourable Kenneth Meshoe talking about? If he is only referring to Israel proper he is simply avoiding the issue (the HSRC report,* for example, only addresses the situation in the OPT), and why then does he call it Palestine?


      • giladg on June 13, 2012, 5:30 pm

        Shlomo Ben Ami was sidelined in Israel many years ago. Nobody takes him seriously. But by your logic, he knows more than Clinton about what went down in closed door discussions between Clinton, Barak and Arafat. More than Clinton himself, who just happened to be in the room? Nice going Shingo.

      • Shingo on June 13, 2012, 8:00 pm

        Shlomo Ben Ami was sidelined in Israel many years ago. Nobody takes him seriously.

        Non sequitir. Ben Ami was involved in the negotiations at Camp David.

        But by your logic, he knows more than Clinton about what went down in closed door discussions between Clinton, Barak and Arafat.

        As Barak’s foreign minister involved in the negotiations at Camp David, he would have been privy to everything. Clinton was being controlled from the get go by Dennis Ross.

        Also, Bem Ami’s account has been confirmed by Yossi Beilin, Israel’s chied negotiator at Taba. Let’s not forget that no one was there but Clinton and Monica Lewinski yet, we all know he lied about not havign secual relations with that woman.

      • Hostage on June 13, 2012, 8:51 pm

        Shlomo Ben Ami was sidelined in Israel many years ago. Nobody takes him seriously.

        Except of course those of us who appreciate eye-witness accounts of Oxford-educated people with earned PhDs in history. Just for the record, Barak never put any offer in writing and claimed afterward that he didn’t offer Arafat anything. Barak, facing elections, couldn’t have delivered on his promises even if he had. You may have noticed that Netanyahu has taken credit for killing the Oslo process, and Clinton has given him credit for killing the subsequent peace initiatives.
        Netanyahu admits on video he deceived US to destroy Oslo accord
        Bill Clinton: Netanyahu killed the peace process

      • Blake on June 13, 2012, 10:51 pm

        Life is pretty good there is zio speak for “we have not carried out any massacres there for a few months or so but they still are subjected to roadblocks and cannot travel freely in their open air prison”.

        How bloody patronizing of the impostor enjoying 80% of Palestine at their expense!

      • Djinn on June 14, 2012, 10:35 pm

        You respect him so much that presume he’s unable to ascertain blatant truths about Israel? Interesting. As for the ‘need’ to visit pro Israel sites for balance, thanks but I think I’ll pass. Prefer the evidence of my own eyes. None of it reflected well on your colonialist apartheid state.

      • piotr on June 13, 2012, 4:19 am

        Far from being delusional, giladg gives good synopsis if standard Israeli position. If anything, he underplays the degree of Arafat intransigence. Not only he coveted Jerusalem, i.e. the part that was under Jordanian control until 1967, but also Jordan Valley and the settlement blocks that “everybody agrees will stay with Israel”.

        If you disagree with the common sense that Jordan Valley, settlements and the connecting roads should remain part of State of Israel then you are irrelevant — another standard term.

        And Abbas, true heir to Arafat, continues that tradition, rejecting such sensible demands like recognizing the right of Israel to exists as a very, very Jewish state, and shows no delight that Israel deigns to spread the light like a beacon throughout the region, so Palestinians should be profoundly grateful to live just next to that beacon. Abbas also fails to recognize that settlements are not the problem, but something that offers a resource and ideas to Palestinians. Just more shining beacons.

        On the second thought, this makes no sense.

      • tim9arkwell on June 13, 2012, 3:25 pm

        Indeed, the more extreme members of this faction of Israelis are flirting with what can only be described as fascism.

    • Inanna on June 13, 2012, 3:41 am

      This comment is a warning to us all about the effects that ziocaine has on your brain. Just say no, for the love of God, just say no!

  16. elephantine on June 12, 2012, 2:06 pm


    This is your brains on drugs.

    • elephantine on June 12, 2012, 2:10 pm

      (Btw I don’t think I posted my reply correctly but it was in response to giladg nonsense.)

  17. Graber on June 12, 2012, 8:12 pm

    I think it’s important to start conversations with this, and not to reach them at the conclusion of your conversation, as Ibish suggests. So instead of telling people that I do work on Israel-Palestine, I often say that I work to end the ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

    The next session of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, which will be this Fall in New York City, will begin to address the term sociocide – the systematic elimination of Palestinian society. With speakers such as Noam Chomsky, Ilaan Pappe, Diana Buttu, Saree Makdisi, and Dennis Banks of the American Indian Movement, this session of the Russell Tribunal is going to be a good one.

    • giladg on June 13, 2012, 5:11 am

      The Russell Tribunal is a Kangaroo court. The same tactic was used against South Africa when the UN rejected imposing sanctions. So they bypassed the UN and set up self appointed, like minded, tribunals. They are a joke in that they never allow Israel to present its case in a serious manner. You cannot have 3 days of bashing Israel and then allocate half an hour at the end of the last day, as they did in Cape Town, for Israel. As I said, its a Kangaroo court. There is no justice in this “court”.

      • Shingo on June 13, 2012, 9:21 am

        The same tactic was used against South Africa when the UN rejected imposing sanctions.

        That’s funny comming from an Israeli apologist. Israel not only stands in violations of dozens of UN sanctions, but it has repeatedly argued against the UN getting involved in the Israeli/Palestine conflict.

        The Russell Tribunal was created to circumvent the UNSC veto so that countries on the security council (and those that the memebers defend with their veto) are held to account.

        You cannot have 3 days of bashing Israel and then allocate half an hour at the end of the last day, as they did in Cape Town, for Israel. As I said, its a Kangaroo court.

        Israel has had plenty of opportunity to present it’s case, including to the ICJ. It hasn’t failed becasue of time, it fails becasue it’s case has no merit

      • giladg on June 13, 2012, 10:35 am

        Please enlighten us on the “plenty of opportunity” afforded to Israel to present it’s case. I suppose you include the BBC, Guardian, Independent, Scotsman, New York Times, Washington Post, Al Jazeera, Le Monde, Der Spiegel, Russia Today, LA Times, Chicago Tribune, MSNBC, ABC, CBS? Should I go on? There are plenty more in Asia, Australia, Africa, South America. The General Assembly of the UN has an automatic pro-Palestinian block and the UN Security Council has consistently been anti-Israel. I scratch my head trying to think of those plentiful opportunities. Or are you referring to the violent manner in which pro-Israeli speakers are consistency bullied on campuses in the US, the UK and Europe?

      • Shingo on June 13, 2012, 8:05 pm

        Please enlighten us on the “plenty of opportunity” afforded to Israel to present it’s case.

        Alan Baker presented his case before the ICJ and all 15 justices rejected it.

        I suppose you include the BBC, Guardian, Independent, Scotsman, New York Times, Washington Post, Al Jazeera, Le Monde, Der Spiegel, Russia Today, LA Times, Chicago Tribune, MSNBC, ABC, CBS?

        Not sure what you’re trying to prove here. The BBC, New York Times, Washington Post,MSNBC, ABC, CBS are all pro Israeli outlets.

        The General Assembly of the UN has an automatic pro-Palestinian block and the UN Security Council has consistently been anti-Israel.

        Sure they are pro Palestinian. 135 of them recognize Palestine and your fasciat apartheid state is blocking Palestinian self determination.

        Or are you referring to the violent manner in which pro-Israeli speakers are consistency bullied on campuses in the US, the UK and Europe?

        How has it been violent?

      • Hostage on June 13, 2012, 8:09 pm

        Please enlighten us on the “plenty of opportunity” afforded to Israel to present it’s case.

        Okay. Here is an example. The UN Goldstone fact finding mission cited the 2004 ICJ findings of fact and Israel’s illegal legislative measures:

        Despite prohibitions under international humanitarian law (IHL), Israel has applied its domestic laws throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory since 1967. . . . .[T]he application of Israeli domestic laws has resulted in institutionalized discrimination against Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory to the benefit of Jewish settlers, both Israeli citizens and others. Exclusive benefits reserved for Jews derive from the two-tiered civil status under Israel’s domestic legal regime based on a “Jewish nationality,” which entitles “persons of Jewish race or descendency” to superior rights and privileges, particularly in land use, housing, development, immigration and access to natural resources, as affirmed in key legislation. Administrative procedures qualify indigenous inhabitants of the Occupied Palestinian Territory as “alien persons” and, thus, prohibited from building on, or renting, large portions of land designated by the Government of Israel as “State land” (para 206). . . . . From the facts available to it, the Mission believes that in the movement and access policy there has been a violation of the right not to be discriminated against on the basis of race or national origin (para 1548).

        The Goldstone Mission also noted that a Court could reasonably conclude that such measures amounted to the crime of persecution (para. 1936).

        Israel was not only given the opportunity to provide its side of the story, it was tasked to conduct an independent investigation and reply in writing to a panel of legal experts established for that purpose by the UN Human Rights Council. It was given not just one, but two opportunities to address those findings about legally entrenched racial discrimination and persecution. See:
        *Report of the Committee of independent experts in international humanitarian and human rights laws to monitor and assess any domestic, legal or other proceedings undertaken by both the Government of Israel and the Palestinian side, in the light of General Assembly resolution 64/254, including the independence, effectiveness, genuineness of these investigations and their conformity with international standards ; and
        *Report of the Committee of independent experts in international humanitarian and human rights law established pursuant to Council resolution 13/9

      • Hostage on June 13, 2012, 7:42 pm

        The Russell Tribunal is a Kangaroo court. . . . So they bypassed the UN and set up self appointed, like minded, tribunals.

        LOL! The Russell Tribunal was listening to evidence contained in UN reports on the situation in Palestine provided by the original officials who had conducted the UN fact finding missions, e.g.

        John Dugard is a member of the Institut de Droit International. He served as a Judge in the International Court of Justice, as Special Rapporteur for the UN International Law Commission, and as Special UN Rapporteur for Human Rights on the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. His fact finding reports were part of the 1000+ page UN dossier that was submitted to the ICJ in the 2004 Wall case. The Court affirmed Dugard’s conclusions in its own findings of fact and rejected Dr. Alan Baker’s arguments and conclusions that were contained in a 230 page written brief submitted by the State of Israel.

        Dugard gave a presentation to the Russell Tribunal on how “the apartheid regime operated in law and policy in South Africa, and an overview of Israeli law and policy with respect to the prohibition on apartheid.” That information is also reflected in the concluding observations of the responsible treaty monitoring body on the State of Israel’s reports on its own compliance with the ICERD convention, i.e. the 1998, 2007, and 2012 reports of the UN CERD – Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

        The CERD observations confirm the conclusions and recommendations contained in Dugard’s 2007 report as UN Rapporteur. He said that elements of the occupation had violated the prohibitions on apartheid and colonialism and recommended that another ICJ advisory opinion be obtained on the legal consequences for other states on those specific questions. Those conclusions were also shared by the South African, Israeli, and British experts on international law who consulted with Dugard on the SOAS/HSRC study Occupation, Colonialism, and Apartheid?”

      • giladg on June 15, 2012, 1:27 am

        Did Dugard express strong anti-Israeli sentiments prior to having been invited to attend the meetings? Yes or No?

      • Hostage on June 15, 2012, 6:00 am

        Did Dugard express strong anti-Israeli sentiments prior to having been invited to attend the meetings? Yes or No?

        LOL! No, of course not. Dugard held a legal mandate from the UN organization to report on violations of international human rights laws in the occupied territory. I noted in my comment above that his written observations and legal conclusions concerning the international responsibilities of the government of Israel were affirmed in the findings of fact contained in the ICJ advisory opinion and by independent CERD panels of legal experts. Those fact finding missions were the basis of his presentation to the Russell Tribunal.

  18. piotr on June 13, 2012, 5:29 am

    What Arafat, Grand Mufti and Haman did does not change what Israel does now, so it is not particularly relevant, and neither is the question if ever impartial Dennis Ross wrote one book or twenty.

    The current arrangements seems to be that Gaza serves Israel as a shooting gallery, West Bank for contact sports — beating up, demolishing, depriving of water, kicking sheep, chopping trees, veritable harassment Olympics with numerous competitions, domestic Arabs are placed in ghettos, and domestic opposition, however tiny, is subjected to amazing verbal abuse, while their foreign visitors, to amazing humiliations. Perhaps it is not Apartheid. So should we call i: ADSISFAN, A Despicable System In Search For A Name?

    • Woody Tanaka on June 13, 2012, 10:20 am

      “Perhaps it is not Apartheid. So should we call i: ADSISFAN, A Despicable System In Search For A Name?”

      That particular form of apartheid is called “zionism.” The UN had it right: zionism is racism.

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