Guess who else fears that Israel will be labeled an Apartheid state?

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With all the ruckus around Kerry’s Apartheid gaffe and his pathetic apology, one would think that his statement attests to radical anti-Semitism or at least an anti-Zionist sentiment. As a matter of fact, the logic and vocabulary of Kerry’s statement is shared by no other than Naftali Bennett – head of Israel’s religious and far right-winged party.

In a 2012 ad, featured in his YouTube page and titled “Naftali Bennett’s stability initiative”, the narrator calls for the partial annexation of the West Bank to Israel and for allowing the Palestinians “self-rule” (though not a state) over what is left. This plan also entails granting Israeli citizenship to those Palestinians living in the would-be annexed territory and building overpasses between the islets of Palestinian self-rule which the plan would create.

The video (above) claims that this plan, although not utopian, will “greatly improve the situation.” What is wrong with the situation today? According to the video (1:27), if Israel does nothing then the arena is left open for Palestinian initiatives such as Boycott Divestment and Sanctions. (Notice that even Bennett believes BDS is not a form of anti-Semitism but rather a logical political strategy derived from Israel’s politics.) Then the video goes on to tell us (2:47) that this plan will “take the wind out of the sails of those who accuse us (Israelis) of being an Apartheid state.”

One logical conclusion from this last statement is that if the current legal status of the West Bank and its residents does not change, then the claims of Israel being an Apartheid state will have merit. Even right-wing politicians such as Bennett understand that as many differences one can find between post-1967 Israel and Apartheid South-Africa, the analogy between the two regimes will be reasonable so long as Israel holds within its sovereign territories a population which has no access to equal citizenship due to it being of non-Jewish faith and/or ethnicity.

The video also proves that the comparability of Apartheid South Africa with Israel is something that one can suggest and not have to ward off accusations of being an anti-Semite or even an anti-Zionist. What would be interesting to ask both pre-apology Kerry and 2012 Bennett is why they think Israel “might” become an Apartheid state versus it being an Apartheid state now? Really, why?

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Disappointed in this analysis – or lack thereof. Why didn’t the author delve into the plan in more detail and offer his view of whether it would be doable politically and secondly, whether it would be able to ward off the Apartheid dagger of Democles. I certainly think it is doable politically. The second question is much harder to answer, because it is largely a social question; i.e., how far have we actually come in… Read more »

For how long (how many years?) must a state exhibit certain apartheid-like behaviors before it becomes proper to describe that state as “apartheid” (instead of: “gonna be”, “might someday be”, “seems likely to become, someday”). And who decides when it is “proper” to call the shots as you see them? Gosh, so many terms: “apartheid”, “proper”. What next? I guess it’s like bugs which are larvae, pupae, etc., and then adults. Stages of development. Baby… Read more »

Speaking of Bennett’s plan for Palestinian “self-rule”, here’s an interesting paragraph from the Wikipedia article on Bantustan:

Four of the South African Bantustans—Transkei, Bophuthatswana, Venda, and Ciskei (the so-called “TBVC States”)—were declared independent, though this was not officially recognised outside of South Africa. Other South African Bantustans (like KwaZulu, Lebowa, and QwaQwa) received partial autonomy but were never granted independence. In South West Africa, Ovamboland, Kavangoland, and East Caprivi were granted self-determination.

You say ‘Tomato’ Israel is not ‘An Apartheid State’ in the sense that Bill Clinton ‘did not have sex with that woman.’ Just saying. The push back against Kerry’s use of the ‘A’ word is predictably swift and brutal. As the right wing World Net Daily states In their piece titled: JOHN KERRY IN BED WITH TERRORISTS: “his utterance of the term evokes the position of Palestinian leaders and allies in academia and the United… Read more »

Considering that his plan is pretty much the definition of apartheid as it was practiced after 1970 I’m not sure I’d take his word on much in that department.