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Hagel reportedly said Israel headed toward apartheid; ‘American Prospect’ says it’s already there

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Two items in today’s news on apartheid. In “It’s Time for Some Israel Real Talk,” in The American Prospect, Jaclyn Friedman states that she loves Israel and endorses Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions targeted at the occupation.

I believe that “both sides” have committed atrocities, but that the current balance of power is so lopsided that the word “apartheid” is appropriate. (I didn’t believe that last part until I saw it with my own eyes.)

Alana Goodman reports for the Washington Free Beacon on a 2010 speech by Chuck Hagel at Rutgers:

Kenneth Wagner, who attended the 2010 speech while a Rutgers University law student, provided the Washington Free Beacon with an email he sent during the event to a contact at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. The email is time-stamped April 9, 2010, at 11:37 AM.

“I am sitting in a lecture by Chuck Hagel at Rutgers,” Wagner wrote in the email. “He basically said that Israel has violated every UN resolution since 1967, that Israel has violated its agreements with the quartet, that it was risking becoming an apartheid state if it didn’t allow the Palestinians to form a state. He said that the settlements were getting close to the point where a contiguous Palestinian state would be impossible.”

“He said that he [thought] that Netanyahu was a radical and that even [former Israeli foreign minister Tzipi] Livni, who was hard nosed thought he was too radical and so wouldn’t join in a coalition [government] with him. … He said that Hamas has to be brought in to any peace negotiation,” Wagner wrote.

It is important to use the word “apartheid” for the West Bank because it is accurate and descriptive. As Friedman says, if you have eyes in your head and go there, you see apartheid. And remember: Jimmy Carter was smeared for using the word apartheid in a book title in 2006… Charney Bromberg said, it’s apartheid, three years ago at Columbia… and the Nation published a piece called “Apartheid on Steroids,” by Israel supporter Stephen Robert 2 years ago. 

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40 Responses

  1. pabelmont
    February 20, 2013, 4:37 pm

    All to the good, but Hagel will have tough sledding on account of saying the unacceptable. After all, any Senator could say, “Some of my best financers are Zionist Jews.” Carter only said “Apartheid” (BTW, rhymes with HATE, not HEIGHT — Nederlands, not Deutsch) after he was long out of office. Just as all those ex-Mossad fellahi only complained about Israeli occupation after they left office. Hagel is trying to say (or, more accurately, to have said) these things BEFORE coming into office.

    We all wish him good luck.

  2. Clif Brown
    February 20, 2013, 5:21 pm

    I’m reading Ilan Pappe’s Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine. If only Hagel had taken a copy of this book to his hearing and to each questioner about Israel responded with, “Senator, have you read this book?”

    Time and again in my reading, I come across some episode that could come right out of today’s news from Israel. The project of Zionism has never deviated, only the words spoken to distract the outside world have changed. This book, along with the confirmation provide by Mearsheimer and Walt, leaves no room for doubt that the United States has abetted a historic injustice. If only Hagel had used his time to confront it head on. At some point, someone in power will. In the meantime all of us little folks have to keep up the fuss.

    • Kathleen
      February 21, 2013, 12:29 am

      But how could Hagel have confronted it head on which I believe he would have if he had had the freedom to do so but allegedly he had been asked to publicly roll over. They must have known in the long run they would have the numbers.

  3. pabelmont
    February 20, 2013, 5:26 pm

    The American Prospect article has a valuable concept that fits NRA and Israel and probably much more (e.g., the growing wealth-gap, drone-warfare, torture).

    What changed, in large part, was that the horror of the Sandy Hook killings somehow pierced what sociologists call our “pluralistic ignorance”—a dynamic in which most of us privately reject a cultural norm, but none of us speak up because we erroneously assume that everyone else accepts it.

    • thetumta
      February 20, 2013, 9:27 pm

      So you agree that an eventual Palestinian State should be disarmed and subdued. Jim Crow. Only resist with a vote they and you don’t have? Occupied people have the right to resist by any means possible with deadly force until they are gone?

      How will you or anyone else resist the powers that be, unarmed? I would just bayonet you as you are irrelevant. End of discussion. The Zionists now this, you don’t. Come back when your not wearing short pants.

      Hej! Tumta

      • sardelapasti
        February 21, 2013, 11:52 am

        thetumta – Read the paper, it only compares one feature with the respect to the NRA and that isn’t this one

  4. Kathleen
    February 20, 2013, 5:34 pm

    If Hagel did actually say all of this good for him but basing a post on someone’s email is damn flimsy. As Levin said at the last committee hearing “where is the hard evidence?” But millions would agree that if this is what Hagel said well he got it right.

    Please more than a “basically” email. Transcript of the talk. Has to be a transcript. Man the next few days horseshit is going to be flying about Hagel. Those against Hagel are trying like mad to see what shit sticks. So far it is all flying back into their faces

  5. justicewillprevail
    February 20, 2013, 6:05 pm

    Stephen Walt tweets on Hagel:

    “The more Hagel told the truth, the more trouble he was in. How can you run a country when straight talk is punished and lies are rewarded?”

    As succinct an observation re the israel lobby as you could wish.

  6. ivri
    February 20, 2013, 6:23 pm

    You can call the Israeli-Palestinian setting anyway you want but the S. African scene of a small minority governing a country where the majority works for them, in mines, factories or as home-servants, it is not.

    • Hostage
      February 21, 2013, 12:01 am

      but the S. African scene of a small minority governing a country where the majority works for them, in mines, factories or as home-servants, it is not.

      The international crime of apartheid has nothing to do with the demographic size of the persecuted group or if they perform labor on behalf of those who dominate and oppress them.

      International criminal responsibility applies, irrespective of the motive involved for any of the following acts:

      For the purpose of the present Convention, the term “the crime of apartheid”, which shall include similar policies and practices of racial segregation and discrimination as practised in southern Africa, shall apply to the following inhuman acts committed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group of persons and systematically oppressing them:

      (a) Denial to a member or members of a racial group or groups of the right to life and liberty of person:

      (i) By murder of members of a racial group or groups;

      (ii) By the infliction upon the members of a racial group or groups of serious bodily or mental harm, by the infringement of their freedom or dignity, or by subjecting them to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment;

      (iii) By arbitrary arrest and illegal imprisonment of the members of a racial group or groups;

      (b) Deliberate imposition on a racial group or groups of living conditions calculated to cause its or their physical destruction in whole or in part;

      (c) Any legislative measures and other measures calculated to prevent a racial group or groups from participation in the political, social, economic and cultural life of the country and the deliberate creation of conditions preventing the full development of such a group or groups, in particular by denying to members of a racial group or groups basic human rights and freedoms, including the right to work, the right to form recognized trade unions, the right to education, the right to leave and to return to their country, the right to a nationality, the right to freedom of movement and residence, the right to freedom of opinion and expression, and the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association;

      d) Any measures including legislative measures, designed to divide the population along racial lines by the creation of separate reserves and ghettos for the members of a racial group or groups, the prohibition of mixed marriages among members of various racial groups, the expropriation of landed property belonging to a racial group or groups or to members thereof;

      (e) Exploitation of the labour of the members of a racial group or groups, in particular by submitting them to forced labour;

      (f) Persecution of organizations and persons, by depriving them of fundamental rights and freedoms, because they oppose apartheid.

    • ritzl
      February 21, 2013, 12:46 am

      No, just in plastics factories (Keter), cosmetic material mining (Ahava), wine production (Golan, and I’m not going to go look it up), settlement construction, [green, what a laugh] fizzy liquid production (Soda Stream), and lest we forget, forgoing any kind of normal life so Israelis can have their water, etc. etc. etc. …

      Palestinians are there, by Israeli intent and guns, to serve Israelis in exactly the sense you pretend to disclaim.

      If you even want to isolate Israeli involvement to the WB, it’s 500K settlers plus another 50K IDF to overlord a few Million Palestinians. It’s exactly like South Africa. And getting worse.

      I won’t post any characterizations of your view, they’re much too obvious, but your total lack of self-awareness will be your undoing.

    • seafoid
      February 21, 2013, 4:30 am

      Exactly Ivri. The Blacks in SA had jobs while the palestinians don’t. It’s worse than apartheid.

      • James Canning
        February 21, 2013, 2:21 pm

        And “the blacks” knew they ultimately would emerge in control of the country’s infrastructure, organs of state, etc etc.

    • Cliff
      February 21, 2013, 6:27 am

      You’re right, because Israel Palestine is worse.

      Israeli apartheid is worse.

      • seafoid
        February 21, 2013, 9:16 am

        Israeli apartheid is also worse because it is given legitimacy by one of the major global belief systems.

  7. David Samel
    February 20, 2013, 6:33 pm

    Hagel apparently said that Israel “was risking becoming an apartheid state if it didn’t allow the Palestinians to form a state”? A big deal will be made about this, even though the two PM Ehuds – Barak and Olmert – have said precisely the same thing. In fact, it seems to me that the only way to reasonably dispute this claim is by saying it already is an apartheid state. The West Bank surely is apartheid, Israel proper seems to qualify under the Rome definition – what else needs to happen? Some say that when the number of non-Jews is greater than the number of Jews between the river and the sea — an event that is imminent, if it has not already occurred — Israel will be an apartheid state. That never made sense to me. This outnumbering thing has never been a requirement of apartheid. South Africa still would have been an apartheid state if whites outnumbered blacks. In any event, Hagel’s mild criticism of Israel is bound to be exaggerated as an unacceptable departure from mainstream permissible pronouncements, with some insisting: “Let’s hold up the confirmation process until we obtain a transcript or videotape of the Rutgers speech!” Oy vey!

  8. W.Jones
    February 20, 2013, 6:57 pm

    How could they be offended by apartheid if one of their main allies was South Africa? If the concept of Apartheid was so offensive, why not ally with a different country, like, say, Ethiopia?

    • seafoid
      February 21, 2013, 4:38 am

      “Shimon Peres, the wheeler-dealer who served as David Ben-Gurion’s right hand on arms procurement before stepping into the political limelight himself, takes a bigger beating than P.W. Botha for his “customary sanctimony.” In private, he could laud South Africa’s white leaders, telling them that they shared “a common hatred of injustice.” In public, he called apartheid “the ultimate abomination” and “the cruelest inhumanity.” Having ascended to the post of prime minister, he assured the president of Cameroon that “a Jew who accepts apartheid ceases to be a Jew. A Jew and racism do not go together.”

      When they killed the 2 SS they killed hasbara

      • W.Jones
        February 23, 2013, 10:17 pm


        Isn’t this basically what being a P.E.P. is all about anyway? Their supporters are pretty much like this in the US and hold political positions and are major donors to liberal causes. They say one thing when it comes to human rights elsewhere and say and do another when it comes to the State dedicated to only their own group.

      • seafoid
        February 25, 2013, 2:41 pm

        It is but when they killed the 2ss they collapsed the rhetorical ground beneath their feet.

      • James Canning
        February 25, 2013, 6:02 pm

        seafoid – – 2ss has been “killed”? Sheldon Adelson sure hopes this is true.

    • James Canning
      February 25, 2013, 6:00 pm

      Signficant, powerful Jewish presence in SA.

  9. James Canning
    February 20, 2013, 7:21 pm

    Hagel does Israel a good service by speaking the truth. As Hagel has done in the past, and one hopes in future.

  10. James Canning
    February 20, 2013, 7:25 pm

    Jimmy Carter has been a true friend of Israel, even if Obama was afraid to acknowledge this fact (when Obama would not allow Carter to address in person, the Democratic National Convention).

    • Kathleen
      February 21, 2013, 12:31 am

      That was disgraceful of Obama. Carter has been a good friend to Israel

      • James Canning
        February 21, 2013, 2:19 pm

        Yes, disgraceful and cowardly. But brutal testimony to the state of American politics.

  11. southernobserver
    February 20, 2013, 8:08 pm

    Every disaster is unique in its own way. It was apartheid + 67 years ago and inside the 1948 ceasefire lines. In the rest of Istratine, this is now so much worse than apartheid that I am no longer comfortable with this description. This is the internment and progressively expel strategy. Neither was really part of the ‘original’ apartheid.

    Some time ago, I helped patch people up after the protests against the springbok tours, in Wellington. Red squad were brutal idiots. Fine. The worst of it is that I know that the people in the stands _wanted_ them to be brutal. It was a pretty small minority who either protested or at least supported the protesters.

  12. American
    February 20, 2013, 9:07 pm

    There is only one cure for runts like Shapiro. ..since he thinks it’s fine to ‘transfer’ the Palestine out of Palestine…..I see no reason for not transferring him out of the US.

    Prominent Hagel Detractor Endorses Fascistic Vision of Israel
    By Jeffrey Goldberg

    Feb 20 2013, 1:55 PM ET

    One of Chuck Hagel’s most vociferous critics is a Breitbart writer named Ben Shapiro, who is responsible for this bit of immortal journalism:
    On Thursday, Senate sources told Breitbart News exclusively that they have been informed that one of the reasons that President Barack Obama’s nominee for Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, has not turned over requested documents on his sources of foreign funding is that one of the names listed is a group purportedly called “Friends of Hamas.”
    There is, of course, no group called “Friends of Hamas,” and Chuck Hagel did not receive funding from this group, which, as I just mentioned, does not exist. (Dave Weigel did the hard work of proving its non-existence, and Dan Friedman, from the New York Daily News, subsequently explained that he may have inadvertently introduced, in a joking fashion, the idea that such a group did, in fact, exist.)

    I bring this up not to question the quality of journalism perpetrated by writers associated with the Breitbart site. (Full disclosure: has argued that I am a “court Jew” who has been “obsequiously bending over for Barack Obama for some time.”) Instead, I bring this up to note the remarkable fact that Mr. Shapiro, who has positioned himself as a stalwart defender of Israel and of the Jewish people, has expressed views that place him squarely in the fascist camp. Not only is he to the right of Chuck Hagel and Barack Obama, he is to the right of the mainstream pro-Israel community; of the right-wing Zionist Organization of America; the Likud Party; and the governing body of the West Bank settlement movement.

    In a column published in 2003, Shapiro explicitly endorsed the idea of forcibly expelling the Palestinians from the West Bank. This was the position of the extremist Meir Kahane, who was banned by the Israeli Supreme Court from participating in Israeli politics because of his racist views. Here is an excerpt from one of Shapiro’s columns, entitled “Transfer is Not a Dirty Word,” which, to the best of my knowledge, he has never renounced, not that it would matter particularly much:
    The Jews don’t realize that expelling a hostile population is a commonly used and generally effective way of preventing violent entanglements. There are no gas chambers here. It’s not genocide; it’s transfer. It’s not Hitler; it’s Churchill.

    After World War II, Poland was recreated by the Allied Powers. In doing so, the Allies sliced off a chunk of Germany and extended Poland west to the Oder-Neisse line. Anywhere from 3.5 million to 9 million Germans were forcibly expelled from the new Polish territory and relocated in Germany.

    British Prime Minister Winston Churchill was pleased with the result. In 1944, he had explained to the House of Commons that “expulsion is the method which, so far as we have been able to see, will be the most satisfactory and lasting. There will be no mixture of populations to cause endless trouble … a clean sweep will be made. I am not alarmed by the prospect of the disentanglement of populations, nor even by these large transferences, which are more possible in modern conditions than they ever were before.” Churchill was right. The Germans accepted the new border, and decades of conflict between Poles and Germans ended.

    Arab-Jewish conflict is exponentially more volatile than German-Polish conflict ever was. And the solution is far easier. If there was “room in Germany for the German populations of East Prussia and of the other territories,” as Churchill stated, there is certainly room in the spacious Muslim states of the Middle East for 5 million Palestinians and Israeli Arabs. If Germans, who had a centuries-old connection to the newly created Polish territory, could be expelled, then surely Palestinians, whose claim to Judea, Samaria and Gaza is dubious at best, can be expelled.

    It’s time to stop being squeamish. Jews are not Nazis. Transfer is not genocide. And anything else isn’t a solution.
    Shapiro has argued that Jews who support Barack Obama (the majority of American Jews, in other words) are, in essence, self-haters and “Jews in name only.” But Shapiro is the one who seems completely divorced from Jewish values. His leadership role in the dump-Hagel movement reflects well on Barack Obama.

    • K Renner
      March 8, 2013, 6:14 am

      Just as an interesting side-note, historians usually agree that the “population transfer”- ethnic cleansing if you will- of all ethnic Germans and German nationals from countries east of Germany proper resulted in at least half a million deaths (remember, the old, the sick, children, women, etc.) due to environmental conditions, starvation, and revenge killing.

      The only reason I bring this up is because it’s funny that the monstrous and evil Shapiro considers this method to be “Churchilian”. More like Stalinist.

  13. DICKERSON3870
    February 20, 2013, 9:25 pm

    RE: In “It’s Time for Some Israel Real Talk,” in The American Prospect, Jaclyn Friedman states that she loves Israel and endorses Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions targeted at the occupation. ~ Weiss

    JACLYN FRIEDMAN (from “It’s Time for Some Israel Real Talk”):

    [EXCERPT] . . . I love Israel. As an American Jew, the dream of Israel has held me in thrall since I was a small child. The day I wept at the Wailing Wall was one of the most transcendent and emotional of my life. But loving someone doesn’t mean helping them do whatever destructive thing they want. Call that enabling or co-dependence, but it’s not love. I love Israel like I’d love a drunk friend who wants their car keys. . .

    SOURCE –

  14. jimmy
    February 20, 2013, 10:56 pm

    isnt that the piont of israel…it is suppose to be for jews only

  15. jimmy
    February 20, 2013, 10:58 pm

    ya know phil you could be wealthier than god if you just changed sides

  16. Deblonay
    February 21, 2013, 6:23 am

    The similaritiesd between Israel now and the old South Africa are chilling

    • James Canning
      February 21, 2013, 2:24 pm

      One big difference: demographics. Blacks in SA went from about equal numbers to whites, in early 19th century, to outnumbering whites ten to one a century and a half later.

  17. MHughes976
    February 21, 2013, 7:03 am

    As ever, something depends on what you mean by the crucial word. If by Apartheid you mean a policy whose nature and intention is to assign people (objectively or not) to different racial groups and to concentrate power overwhelmingly in the hands of one of these groups then there has been A in Israel for some time, even when the Jewish group was the majority from river to sea, which I understand it no longer is. If you add that A is intended to last for all the foreseeable future, with the subordinate group indefinitely supplying cheap labour, then A did exist in SA but has never existed in Israel except in a modified, intended to be temporary, form. Zionist ideology ascribes to the Palestinians the sad condition of being born where they had no right to be, this situation to be met with what in Zionist terms is sympathy and generosity, with harsh measures used only when the ungrateful wretches resort to violence and murder. Southernobserver speaks of progressive expulsion but I’m sure a grand internationally-funded relocation programme, after which hands can be shaken and friendship resumed, would be, with total sincerity, much preferred. The Z determination to insist on restoring the situation (what they say was the situation) of ancient years makes it different from, creepier than, A – a term with which, like Southernobserver, I’m uncomfortable.

  18. mcohen
    February 23, 2013, 3:43 pm

    the sole strategic objective of jordan is to secure access to a port on the meditterean by linking the west bank and gaza. this will cut israel off from dimona and eilat.that is the only real obstacle to peace and a 2 state solution.obama has to somehow convince israeli leaders that giving up land in the south will gain permanent borders in the north.and peace with its arab neighbours. now is the time to secure a deal while syria and lebanon face uncertainity and the west bank and gaza face ongoing and increasing israeli aggression

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