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Canadian columnist is latest to say, Israel is ‘an apartheid state’

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Yesterday Neil Macdonald, a columnist and longtime DC and Middle East correspondent for Canadian Broadcasting, wrote that it’s time to call a duck a duck: “Israel already is an apartheid state.”

Macdonald’s evidence is hardly obscure. It includes Netanyahu’s declaration that Israel is never leaving the West Bank, the boom in settlement construction, Israeli officials bullying the Palestinians that they will never have a state, and the cruel joke of the peace process. Most importantly, he cites the two sets of laws based on ethnicity:

The roughly three quarters of a million Jewish settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem have complete freedom of movement and their own set of roads, effectively forbidden to the disenfranchised Palestinian underclass. Settlers suspected of crimes are entitled to full rights in Israeli courts; Palestinians endure military tribunals, indefinite imprisonment without charge (“administrative detention”) and collective punishment.

When are liberal Zionists going to be half this honest about a stark reality?

They won’t do it because they’re the firewall on American establishment support for Israel, and they know it. Macdonald notes that you get punished for pointing out this fact in the U.S. It’s “radioactive” to say apartheid:

It’s interesting that within the Israeli discourse, the assertion seems to have become routine, while it remains radioactive in the West, where energetic pro-Israel activists scrutinize the media, the academy and the polity, ready to declare anti-Semitism or incitement at any use of the word.

He points out that Jimmy Carter was pilloried and caricatured as a “dotty old man” for daring to say apartheid ten years ago– when Wolf Blitzer and Terry Gross went after him hammer and tongs for putting the word in the title of his book on Palestine.

Palestinians have of course told us it’s apartheid for a long time now. There is a special place in hell for Americans who deny apartheid when they’ve seen the West Bank and East Jerusalem. That goes for a lot of liberal Zionists who vacillate about what they’ve seen when they deplore the occupation. But that firewall is slowly cracking.

Here’s my list of folks in the US mainstream/Jewish world who have called a duck a duck:

Prof. David Shulman in New York Review of Books:

“In the end, it is the ongoing moral failure of the country as a whole that is most consequential, most dangerous, and most unacceptable.  This failure weighs heavily…on our humanity.  We are, so we claim, the children of the prophets… I still find it astonishing that we, of all people, have reinvented apartheid in the West Bank.”

John Mearsheimer said it on WBEZ last month: Israel has chosen “apartheid” over the two-state solution.

Orly Noy at +972 says Hebron is a city “under apartheid.”
Peace Now describes Hebron as a city with an “apartheid system.”

David Remnick quotes an Israeli journalist saying that Palestinians may soon say, “No more apartheid!” in the New Yorker.

Stephen Robert, Jewish leader, wrote in the Nation six years ago, Palestine is “apartheid on steroids.”

Charney Bromberg, liberal Zionist, said it at Columbia University seven years ago. Cross the Green Line and you might as well be in South Africa during apartheid times.

Jodi Rudoren of the New York Times told reporter John Lyons that Palestinians experience apartheid, though she never blessed the readers of the New York Times with this insight.

Caroline Morganti of Open Hillel put a list of Israeli pols who used the word “apartheid” in Haaretz more than a year ago:

Finally, an even longer list of Israeli politicians believe that Israel will become an apartheid state if the status quo continues: Shin Bet directors Yuval Diskin <> and Ami Ayalon <>; former Prime Ministers Ehud Barak <>, Ehud Olmert <>, and Yitzhak Rabin <>; opposition leaders Isaac Herzog <> and Tzipi Livni <>; and Yesh Atid MK Ofer Shelah <,7340,L-4391662,00.html>, to name a few.
Even Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud), known for her support for annexing the West Bank and desire to see an Israeli flag over the Temple Mount, said in 2013 <>, “Continuation of the status quo – there are some members of the Right who think it’s possible. I personally think it’s not possible. Over time, the State of Israel will truly become an apartheid state. I do not want that.”
Any American politicians? I guess not. We’d have to stop giving Israel all that money if we acknowledged the truth.
Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of

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8 Responses

  1. amigo on October 26, 2017, 5:34 pm

    “And they’ll tell their friends- and so on, and so on…” This commercial could also double as a lesson in multiplication.”

  2. JWalters on October 26, 2017, 7:02 pm

    A reporter with guts. Dan Rather should visit Neil Macdonald instead of Rachel Maddow.

  3. aloeste on October 26, 2017, 8:59 pm

    the fallacy here is the claim us mainstream/jewish world.

    certainly not us mainstream, and the jews totally out of the mainstream

    • Mooser on October 27, 2017, 2:24 pm

      “the fallacy here is the claim us mainstream/jewish world.

      certainly not us mainstream, and the jews totally out of the mainstream” “aloeste”

      More work for the bright kids at Bletchley Park.

  4. JosephA on October 27, 2017, 1:09 am

    I was shocked when Terri Gross had her freak out on Jimmy Carter. Otherwise, she is a great interviewer. So strange, these forces of apartheid…!

    • larick on February 12, 2018, 11:47 pm

      I agree she is a great interviewer, although……”they” have eliminated anyone else on NPR or anyplace but “60 Minutes”. Charlie Rose was a fake, Tavis was good but now gone. But you might want to know that Terry Gross interviewed Max Blumenthal when he had his hit book “Republican Gomorrah”. When he came back with “Goliath” about Israel, which is controverial and a great book, she booked him only to cancel him before show time. “NPR Thought Police?” Whether it was her or she caved…..same result.

  5. Misterioso on October 27, 2017, 9:58 am

    Another courageous Canadian:

    October 25, 2017


    “Dr. David Kattenburg, a resident of Winnipeg, Manitoba, has launched a proceeding in the Federal Court of Canada challenging the importation and sale of fraudulently labeled ‘Product of Israel’ wines.

    “An application for judicial review was filed in Toronto on October 24 regarding a decision of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to permit the importation and sale in Canada of wines produced entirely within unlawful Jewish settlements in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. The respondents in this filing are Canada’s Minister of Health, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Minister of International Trade.

    “Dr. Kattenburg — the son of holocaust survivors — complained in late March to the CFIA about the sale of settlement wine products at outlets of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO). In response to Kattenburg’s complaint, in early July, the CFIA instructed the LCBO to remove falsely labeled wine products from their shelves. Accordingly, on July 11, the LCBO directed its wine vendors to discontinue the sale of two wine products until further notice.

    “Within days of the LCBO’s directive — under intense pressure from the Israeli government and its Canadian lobbyists — the CFIA reversed itself. The rationale for the CFIA flip-flop, clearly originating from the highest levels of the Trudeau government, was that the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement (CIFTA) trumps both domestic consumer protection laws, and international laws the Canadian government is obligated to enforce, but opts not to.

    “On August 6, Dr. Kattenburg appealed the CFIA’s Reversal Decision. On September 28, the CFIA’s Complaints & Appeals Office informed Kattenburg that the CFIA stands by its decision to allow settlement wines to be sold on Canadian stores shelves.”

    “Accordingly, Dr. Kattenburg is now taking the Canadian government to court. Although a wide variety of products produced in illegal Jewish settlements are available to Canadian consumers, the legality of their importation and sale — bearing the patently false label “Product of Israel” — has never been challenged in court.”

  6. JLewisDickerson on October 27, 2017, 2:55 pm

    RE: Yesterday Neil Macdonald, a columnist and longtime DC and Middle East correspondent for Canadian Broadcasting, wrote that it’s time to call a duck a duck: “Israel already is an apartheid state.” . . . When are liberal Zionists going to be half this honest about a stark reality? ~ Weiss


    “Sometimes people hold a core belief that is very strong. When they are presented with evidence that works against that belief, the new evidence cannot be accepted. It would create a feeling that is extremely uncomfortable, called cognitive dissonance. And because it is so important to protect the core belief, they will rationalize, ignore and even deny anything that doesn’t fit in with the core belief.” ~ Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth (1961)


    Defence mechanisms
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia –

    [EXCERPTS] . . . In Freudian psychoanalytic theory, defense mechanisms are psychological strategies brought into play [primarily ~ J.L.D.] by the unconscious mind[4] to manipulate, deny, or distort reality in order to defend against feelings of anxiety and unacceptable impulses to maintain one’s self schema [and to minimize cognitive dissonance – J.L.D.].[5]

    These processes that manipulate, deny, or distort reality may include the following: repression, or the burying of a painful feeling or thought from one’s awareness even though it may resurface in a symbolic form;[3] identification, incorporating an object or thought into oneself;[6] and rationalization, the justification of one’s behavior and motivations by substituting “good” acceptable reasons for the motivations.[3][7] Generally, repression is considered the basis for other defense mechanisms.[3]

    Healthy persons normally use different defences throughout life. An ego defence mechanism becomes pathological only when its persistent use leads to maladaptive behaviour such that the physical or mental health of the individual is adversely affected. The purpose of ego defence mechanisms is to protect the mind/self/ego from anxiety and/or social sanctions and/or to provide a refuge from a situation with which one cannot currently cope.[8]

    Defence mechanisms are unconscious coping mechanisms that reduce anxiety generated by threats from unacceptable impulses.[9] . . .

    . . . The list of defence mechanisms is huge and there is no theoretical consensus on the number of defence mechanisms. . .

    ● Vaillant’s categorization of defence mechanisms [EXCERPTS]

    ♦ Level 1: Pathological

    The mechanisms on this level, when predominating, almost always are severely pathological. These six defences, in conjunction, permit one to effectively rearrange external experiences to eliminate the need to cope with reality. . .

    • Delusional Projection: Delusions about external reality, usually of a persecutory nature. . . [i.e., perceiving legitimate criticism of Israel as “Anti-Semitism” ~ J.L.D.]
    • Denial: Refusal to accept external reality because it is too threatening; arguing against an anxiety-provoking stimulus by stating it doesn’t exist; resolution of emotional conflict and reduction of anxiety by refusing to perceive or consciously acknowledge the more unpleasant aspects of external reality (for example, convincing oneself that all of the Palestinian/Arab prisoners in incarcerated by Israel are “terrorists”. . .
    • Distortion: A gross reshaping of external reality to meet internal needs.

    ♦ Level 2: Immature

    These mechanisms are often present in adults. These mechanisms lessen distress and anxiety provoked by threatening people or by uncomfortable reality. . .

    • Fantasy: Tendency to retreat into fantasy in order to resolve inner and outer conflicts. . . [i.e., the illogical belief that the interests of the U.S. and Israel are identical is a nice example of fantasy ~ J.L.D.]

    ♦ Level 3: Neurotic

    These mechanisms are considered neurotic, but fairly common in adults. Such defences have short-term advantages in coping, but can often cause long-term problems . . .

    • Intellectualization: A form of isolation; concentrating on the intellectual components of a situation so as to distance oneself from the associated anxiety-provoking emotions . . .
    • Withdrawal: Withdrawal is a more severe form of defence. It entails removing oneself from events, stimuli, interactions, etc. under the fear of being reminded of painful thoughts and feelings. . .

    ♦ Level 4: Mature

    These are commonly found among emotionally healthy adults and are considered mature . . .

    • Thought suppression: The conscious process of pushing thoughts into the preconscious; the conscious decision to delay paying attention to an emotion or need in order to cope with the present reality; making it possible to later access uncomfortable or distressing emotions whilst accepting them. . .


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