Nine years ago when Jimmy Carter said that Israel was imposing apartheid on Palestine, he was angrily grilled by Wolf Blitzer and Terry Gross on their influential TV/radio shows. The next thing Carter was wandering the moors like King Lear, and exiled from the Democratic Party.
Conditions haven’t changed much in apartheid Palestine since then, but a big change happened in Israel last week, the reelection of Benjamin Netanyahu, and suddenly the apartheid label is no longer verboten in our mainstream media. I saw the word apartheid on the front page of the International New York Times the other day on my plane coming home: it was printed in the reefer (bottom left hand corner promotion) of Yousef Munayyer’s op-ed piece saying Netanyahu’s victory is good for Palestine. In the piece, Munayyer stated bluntly that Israel is an apartheid state:
the political dynamics in Israel and internationally mean that another term with Mr. Netanyahu at the helm could actually hasten the end of Israel’s apartheid policies. The biggest losers in this election were those who made the argument that change could come from within Israel. It can’t and it won’t.
And yesterday on CNN, Rula Jebreal from Jerusalem told Michael Smerconish that Israel/Palestine is one state, and an apartheid state at that.
It’s already de facto a one state with separate sets of rights… So we have an apartheid state on one hand [in Jerusalem and the West Bank] and I would say an ethnocracy rather than a democracy [in Israel].
Smerconish didn’t push back, though Aaron David Miller was visibly upset and tried to argue that you could have the two state solution again with a click of your fingers.
And look at this. James Besser was the longtime DC correspondent for Jewish newspapers. Now retired, he declares in Haaretz that Israel has chosen the path of apartheid.
In my quarter century as Washington correspondent for Jewish newspapers, I frequently defended Israel against charges that it had created an apartheid system in the West Bank. But this week’s election, with Benjamin Netanyahu poised to serve another term with an even more hardline coalition, means that apartheid is the path Israeli voters have chosen. The inevitable results will include even greater international isolation for the Jewish state, a boost to efforts to apply boycotts and sanctions, diminished support from American Jews and endlessly intensifying cycles of violence…
Because apartheid is apartheid, and that’s exactly what Israeli voters chose this week as a course for their nation.
This is a trend, folks. It is becoming fashionable to state the truth about the place in mainstream media, calling a spade a spade; and that is a very good thing indeed.
Thanks to Max Blumenthal: Jim Besser, the unofficial dean of Washington Jewish press corps, declares: “Israel chooses the path to apartheid”