As the Israeli government breaks out in recriminations against Secretary of State John Kerry for saying Israel is headed toward “apartheid,” here are more voices saying that John Kerry was right or understated the case.
Josh Ruebner has a piece in The Hill, “Kerry is Wrong: Israel Already Is an Apartheid State,” that says the peace process has only cemented discrimination in the country and the occupied territories, and this discrimination meets the definition of apartheid.
More than forty years later [after the occupation began], Human Rights Watch concluded, in a report entitled “Separate and Unequal: Israel’s Discriminatory Treatment of Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories,” that Israel’s military occupation has resulted in policies which “harshly discriminate against Palestinian residents, depriving them of basic necessities while providing lavish amenities for Jewish settlement.”
This type of two-tiered system of law, based on factors such as race, ethnicity and nationality, was what the international community sought to end when it defined apartheid as a crime against humanity. Israel’s discrimination against Palestinians is so blatant that even the State Department grudgingly acknowledges in its latest human rights report that Palestinian citizens of Israel face “institutional and societal discrimination,” in addition to an extensive catalogue of human rights abuses suffered by Palestinians under Israeli military occupation.
Ruebner, the author of Shattered Hopes: Obama’s failure to broker Israeli-Palestinian peace, ends by calling for an end to the peace process:
But instead of ruing Kerry’s failure, the United States can finally stop trying to hammer the square peg into the round hole. Two decades of a failed “peace process” can now finally result in fresh and creative thinking about how to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian issue on the basis of human rights, international law and equality, rather than on the basis of Israel’s apartheid control over the Palestinian people.
A half-page ad appears in Haaretz this weekend:
Shurun: The Organization for the Prevention of Racism and Apartheid in Israel
John Kerry was right! There is no other word!
Without a just two-state solution Israel will become an apartheid State
Among the 129 signatures are many Israelis on the lib-left:
Colette Avital, Bernard Avishai, Larry Abramson, Haim Oron, Oudeh Basharat, Akiva Eldar, Nimrod Aloni, Rachel Eliur, Steven Ascheim, Yehuda Bauer, Yoram Bilu, Michael ben Yair, Uzi Baram, Ora Basharat, Lili Galili, Yael Dayan, Ariel Hirshfeld, David Harel, Naomi Chazan, Menachem Yaari, Ran Cohen, Sami Michael, Yisha Menuhin, Joshua Sobol, Michael Sfard, Dan Ofer, Mose Tzimerman, Menachem Klein, Fraches Raday, Tzali Reshsef, David Shulman, Dmitri Shumsky, Hillel Shocken, Zev Sternhell, Yossi Sarid,
And a month ago, Haaretz ran this article by Carolina Landsmann saying it’s apartheid now. Why isn’t this stuff in the U.S. press?
Blindness enables Israelis to see themselves as living in a democracy, while it is in fact an apartheid regime…
We confess that we are unable to define the meaning of the state’s Jewishness, but are confident in our understanding of what is a democratic state.
Only this split in consciousness can enable the Israeli to see himself as a democrat who is living in the only democracy in the Middle East, despite its apartheid regime…
But if Arabs are human beings, Israel cannot call itself “democratic.” The fact that Israelis have internalized the status quo into the narrative of normalcy, and have bought the lie they sold themselves, is a crime.