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Israel declares itself apartheid state, and gov’ts must hold it accountable — Omar Barghouti


This statement was released today by the Palestinian Boycott National Committee. “Israel effectively declares itself an apartheid state. Palestinian Civil Society Reacts to Israel’s Jewish Nation-State Law.”​

Today, Israeli lawmakers gave their final approval to the “Basic Law: Israel as the Nation State of the Jewish People” bill that unambiguously defines Israel as a state that belongs exclusively to the “Jewish people.” This is despite the fact that one in five citizens of Israel is an indigenous, non-Jewish Palestinian.

Palestinian members of the Israeli Knesset condemned the law, which enjoys constitutional power, as an “apartheid law.”

Adalah, a leading Palestinian human rights organization in Israel, describes how the law “affirms the principle of apartheid in housing, land and citizenship.” It concludes that “this law constitutionally sanctions institutionalized discrimination.”

Najwan Berekda, a Palestinian citizen of Israel, reacted:

As a Palestinian citizen of this state, this bill entrenches my third-class citizenship on the land where generations of my family have lived since long before the state of Israel even existed.

The Jewish-Israeli majority is loudly reminding us indigenous Palestinian citizens of Israel that we are not welcome in our own ancestral homeland. My people have always suffered from legalized racism by the state of Israel and its institutions, but this law makes our apartheid reality the law of the land like never before.

As “non-Jews” we are already not allowed to buy or rent land on 93% of the area controlled by the Israeli state, and many of our communities are declared to be “unrecognized” and bulldozed out of existence by Israeli forces. I received a racially segregated and inferior education in a school system that conspicuously privileges Jewish-Israelis.

Israel is now stripping us of any semblance of equal rights based solely on our ethno-religious identity. It’s even demoting our language from one of the state’s two official languages.

Omar Barghouti from the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) commented:

Israel has dozens of racist laws, including some which strikingly fit the UN definition of apartheid. But with the constitutional power of this Basic Law, Israel is effectively declaring itself an apartheid state and dropping its worn-out mask of democracy.

From now on, it will not just be legal to racially discriminate against the indigenous Palestinian citizens of the state. It will be constitutionally mandated and required. This should stir people, institutions and governments to take effective action to hold Israel accountable.

Omar Barghouti concluded:

If ever there was a time for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel’s system of oppression, it is now. Israel’s official adoption of apartheid opens the door for the Palestinian people, Arab nations and our allies around the world to pressure the UN to activate its anti-apartheid laws and impose serious sanctions on Israel like those imposed on apartheid South Africa.

We shall double our efforts to further grow the BDS movement for Palestinian rights to hold Israel accountable for all its crimes against our people. No Israeli law will erase our right to self-determination in our homeland or the right of our refugees to return home. No Israeli far-right government, with all the blind support it receives from xenophobic and outright fascist forces in the United States and Europe, will ever extinguish our aspiration for freedom, justice and equality.

Palestinian BDS National Committee

The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) is the largest coalition in Palestinian civil society. It leads and supports the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. For more information, visit

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18 Responses

  1. Maghlawatan on July 19, 2018, 3:21 pm

    Fabulous Fitzsimmons cartoon{2C4FB360-8F7F-4ABD-8243-B440D7D542E4}

  2. Maghlawatan on July 19, 2018, 4:09 pm

    BDS is now vital. Hit Israel where it hurts. People of conscience from all over the world can bring this sick system down.
    The argument that BDS should not apply to Israel itself is now dead in the water.
    the fight for justice for Palestinians is the fight for justice everywhere,.

    Saving Judaism is an aftertaste

    • Misterioso on July 20, 2018, 10:07 am


      “The argument that BDS should not apply to Israel itself is now dead in the water.”


      However, “the argument” has never been valid.

      • Maghlawatan on July 20, 2018, 12:29 pm

        Who cares? The whole Israeli economy is now a valid target.

        They got the US sponsored guns but we got the numbers

      • Abe Bird on July 21, 2018, 5:55 am

        In other words, hit the Jew in his pocket ?!
        The Nazis also said that in the 1930s, but today the Jews are strong and they have own state and economic power, and they also have an army. You lost 80 years if you wanted to prevent Jews from having their state.

        It is a problem to boycott Israel:
        On the one hand you will have to boycott the high-tech, cyber, technologies developed in Israel, drugs and disease researches on the front-line of science, desertification, water desalination, creating water from air and air from water, and your cell phone and computer that you use to call for a boycott of Israel. In short, even if you want to boycott you can not really do so with hardly harming yourself. You can practically do so only on the margins, in newspaper headlines’ blogs and twitter.

        On the other hand, a boycott of Israel would harm the PA and Gaza first and stronger and all their exports and imports will immidiatelly stop, because it pass through Israel. A severe blow to the Arabs in the territories will lead to a graet crisis and flow of large migration to Egypt and Jordan and from there, with the encouragement of the authorities, to Europe and the United States. At least you will earn some good people to live with you. The mass immigration of Arabs out of the territories will make a tremendous contribution to peace.

        So I really do not think it’s important how you behave, and if you boycott how effective you are in boycotting the Jew. But since the Jewish today are stronger than the 1930’s Jews, I really do not care what you say or what you threatening to do.

        The future is in the hands of Allah, as they say.

      • Talkback on July 21, 2018, 11:23 am

        Abe Bird: “It is a problem to boycott Israel:”

        Yes, yes. Every technology that Israel produces can be only produced by Israel. ROFL. And if you boycott the occupier Israel, you boycott the people Israel keeps occupied, too. Sounds like the same ideocies, Apartheid South Africa produced.

        Abe Bird: “So I really do not think it’s important how you behave, and if you boycott how effective you are in boycotting the Jew.”

        Nobody is boycotting “the Jew” or any other of your antisemitic constructions. Only those Jews who can’t behave and commit crimes against Nonjews.

  3. Kay24 on July 20, 2018, 5:51 am

    So Jared Kushner (as criticized by Hamas) blames Hamas for the plight of the Palestinians (you are supposed to forget that he gave the occupier Jerusalem on a golden platter). He is just like his father in law, who expects you to forget “wouldn’t” and think it was “would”.
    If devious Kushner and Hamas vanished, the Palestinian people might stand a better chance.

  4. Ossinev on July 20, 2018, 7:31 am


    “The argument that BDS should not apply to Israel itself is now dead in the water”
    Agree 100%. Every and anything produced by Israel and sold in the West should be boycotted by consumers in the West.The message must also go out as never before that any interraction of any kind with this racist colony be it trading,cultural,sporting,tourism or academic is an endorsement of Zionist Apartheid. Yes it will punish those few remaining Israeli Jews who despite the right wing takeover have stood up for true Jewish values and Palestinian rights and it will hurt those Palestinians who have had no choice but to take on Zionist work in order to feed themselves and their families but as with South Africa that is the price which will have to be paid.

    Start with the basics. Visit the BDS website to get information and updates on Israeli produced goods and on Western companies operating in Israel or supplying Israel. Boycott these in any way that you can . On a day to day basis eg check when shopping in supermarkets if goods are produced in Israel especially fruits of any kind and go for the non Israeli varieties. Encourage your family and friends to do the same. For those people you know who who are planning holidays in Israel quietly point out that they will be holidaying in an Apartheid country where there is state organised discrimination and oppression of over 20% of its citizens.

    Write to your political representatives to query their views on this Apartheid state system and make it clear that they risk your vote and the votes of your family and friends if they fail to speak out against it or fail to support actions against it in your elected assemblies.

    Remember little acorns.

    • Maghlawatan on July 20, 2018, 12:51 pm

      Netanyahu is all triumphalist over this law but he isn’t strategic.
      BDS has been blessed.

      Until now Israeli capitalism has avoided any association with the settlement project. The big companies are all targets now

      So are Israel bonds

      It’s time to start pushing the investment community. They HATE uncertainty and tail risk.

      • Rusty Pipes on July 21, 2018, 2:44 am

        A lot of Union pension funds and States’ funds are invested in Israel Bonds (even in States where it is against the law to invest in other countries). Warren Buffet has been pushing Israel Bonds as a good investment. While many of these funds have gotten strong Zionist pressure to invest in the bonds, once Israel’s brand is tarnished as an Apartheid State, keeping Israel Bonds in the portfolio may be perceived as contrary to the fiduciary responsibility to the pension holders (after all, who wants to be the last one holding chips in a Ponzi scheme?)

      • Maghlawatan on July 21, 2018, 4:10 pm

        Apartheid would definitely expose Israel to serious liabilities and reduce the sustainability of the bonds, reducing bond prices and demand for the bonds .
        Investors HATE any uncertainty.

  5. Misterioso on July 20, 2018, 10:55 am

    “The ‘ultimate deal’? For Israel, maybe. We Palestinians will never accept it”
    By Hanan Ashrawi

    “A US-backed deal to bring ‘peace’ to the Middle East would just legitimise Israeli aggression – and oppress my people further.”
    Thu 19 Jul 2018, The Guardian.

  6. CigarGod on July 20, 2018, 7:17 pm

    So I guess that hot deal Kushner had for I/P peace and equality is dead?

  7. Abe Bird on July 21, 2018, 5:19 am

    Why do Palestinians want a Judenrein Palestinian state, all over the land of Israel from the sea to the river, but are shocked and angry when Israel defines itself as the state of the Jewish people?

    Why the Palestinians are not apartheid racists people [see the example of the State of Gaza] by the same tes and judget?

    Just because everything is politics and liberated from truth and facts. Israel was declared and rose a state of the Jewish people, as written in its Declaration of Independence. Therefore, there is nothing new in this law in terms of the legal status alongside one state. The Arabs already have 22 states and another 1 or 2 states waiting for them [Gaza and the West Bank together or separately] as long as they abandon terror and surrender to peace.

    The Arabs of Israel, in terms of their national identity, are already seethemselves as Palestinaisn and regard the PA, the future state of Palestine, as their nationals state. They said it time and again since 1976. Some of them even consider Syria, Jordan, Egypt as their nation-state [from where each one ancestor had come]. Civilly, personally, they are equal to any other citizen, whether he is a Jew, a Druze, or a non-Arab Christian. So what exactly bothers the enemies of Israel?

    What bothers them is that Israel is getting economically, politically, morally stronger as far as the Palestinian cliche revealing its shallow. As long as Israel alive and getting stregthened she more and more shatters the Palestinians’ dream of destroying her and establishing an Islamic state on its ruins.

    • eljay on July 21, 2018, 8:46 am

      || Abe Bird: Why do Palestinians want a Judenrein Palestinian state, all over the land of Israel from the sea to the river, but are shocked and angry when Israel defines itself as the state of the Jewish people? … ||

      1. There is no “Land of Israel”.

      2. A “Judenrein Palestinian state” – something that does not currently and may never exist – would be an unjust and immoral construct. A religion-supremacist “Jewish State” – something which currently does exist – is an unjust and immoral construct.

      I agree with you that the former must not be allowed to emerge. Because you are a Zionist hypocrite, you do not agree with me that the latter must be dismantled.

    • Mooser on July 21, 2018, 12:46 pm

      Gosh, “Abe Bird”, when you say stuff like that, so obviously independently arrived at and not at all simply what Zionist would say, your sincerity is soooo persuasive.

  8. Talkback on July 21, 2018, 11:51 am

    Abe Bird: “Why do Palestinians want a Judenrein Palestinian state, all over the land of Israel from the sea to the river, but are shocked and angry when Israel defines itself as the state of the Jewish people?”

    Says the supporter of an Apartheid state which wants an Arabrein Jewish state all over “the land of Israel” (your term).

    But in 1964 the PLO defined who is a “Palestinian”. Regarding Jews it says: “Article 7: Jews of Palestinian origin are considered Palestinians if they are willing to live peacefully and loyally in Palestine.” So unlike Jews Palestinians are a constitutive people, a real nation. One can become a “Palestinian” by acquiring the citizenship of Palestine. And the PLO want’s a state within 1967 borders.

    Contrary to your beloved neo theocratic Apartheid Junta which does not only control “the land of Israel” (your term) but has allready driven out about 1,500,000 Nonjews.

    Abe Bird: “Why the Palestinians are not apartheid racists people …”

    Because they don’t need to keep Nonjews expelled to maintain a Nonjewish majority. And in their state it’s like in any other Non-Apartheid state: The state is the state of all citizens. Unlike in your neo theocratic Apartheid Junta which even differentiates between citizens and nationals like the Nazis did.

    Abe Bird: “… as long as they abandon terror and surrender to peace.”

    You mean as long as they peacefully surrender to Israel’s “Eretz Israel” project and the terror and disfranchisement that comes along with it.

    Abe Bird: “So what exactly bothers the enemies of Israel?”

    Yeah. So what bothered the enemies of Germany when they declared Germany to be the state of “volkish Germans”, Jews excluded. You obviously didn’t learn everything from the past. Or maybe you did. How to treat Nonjews like Jews were treated with at least international repercussions.

    Abe Bird: “As long as Israel alive and getting stregthened she more and more shatters the Palestinians’ dream of destroying her and establishing an Islamic state on its ruins.”

    Says the supporter of an Apartheid state which LITERALLY destroyed Palestine and LITERALLY established a Jewish state on its ruins. What a hypocrit.

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