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New Jewish-state law makes Israel an ‘apartheid’ regime, says country’s leading newspaper

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Haaretz is Israel’s leading newspaper, published by the Schocken family and maintaining a global reputation. Today it has an editorial titled “The apartheid prime minister” that states bluntly that thanks to the new “nation state of the Jewish people” law that Netanyahu spearheaded, Israel under Netanyahu is an apartheid regime.

The vote on the law has updated the political fault line in Israel: the discrimination camp vs. the equality camp; the supporters of apartheid against the supporters of democracy. It is true that Israel’s Arab citizens have been discriminated against since the state’s establishment by the governments on both the left and right. But liberal basic laws and High Court of Justice rulings during the past generation advanced the drive toward equality and integrating the minority, which Netanyahu is now seeking to destroy.

The opposition, now headed by Tzipi Livni, must unite, as it did in the vote on the nation-state law, and present the public with a strong, simple message: equality. There is no more appropriate foundation for Israel’s future as a prosperous democratic society. Netanyahu must not be allowed to rip the Declaration of Independence to shreds and turn Israel into a whitewashed version of the occupation regime in the territories.

This is important because while many American voices have said Israel is built on an apartheid system, an understanding spurred on by the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights and the Institute for Middle East Understanding, the mainstream media here have denied this fact. Haaretz deserves international support for its position, but sadly it won’t get it from the lapdog US press. Let alone from liberal Zionist organizations that are struggling to keep Israel from becoming politicized in the U.S.

Wolf Blitzer and Terry Gross pummeled Jimmy Carter for using the A-word 12 years ago in his book, and the MSM’s denial of reality continues today despite the passage of this basic law declaring that in the “Land of Israel” — historic Palestine — Jews have the “exclusive” right of “national self-determination,” that the state will foster “Jewish settlement” of the land, that Arabic has a lesser status, etc.

The law is turning into a wrecking ball, generating anguish for Alan Dershowitz and the Anti-Defamation League and J Street. All have said the law was a mistake, and Dershowitz says it will make it harder for him to defend Israel.

The rightwing Zionist Carolyn Glick echoes Dersh in the Jerusalem Post, saying Israel was already the Jewish state, and so the law is empowering anti-Zionists.

Israel’s Jewish identity is under assault from post-Zionists and anti-Zionists in Israel and abroad. The problem is that far from protecting Israel’s Jewish character, the Nation-State Law serves as a red flag for Israel’s detractors, inviting them to attack it.

Glick reports that there is wide hemorrhaging in the American institutional establishment over the law. The Jewish Federations, the leading Jewish institutions in U.S. cities, “hate it,” she says.

The Jewish Federations of North America lobbied strongly against the bill. In an email to members, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the JFNA Richard Sandler said the Jewish Federations, “were disappointed with the law that ultimately passed.”

The Federation’s Israel office sent out a detailed explanation of the law to members. While the language was careful, it strongly intimated that the law is racist for making Israel’s Jewish character explicit.

The Philadelphia Federation’s letter to its members alleged that the law’s provisions “are a dangerous check on Israel’s democratic principles.”

Like the self-proclaimed Zionist Union’s condemnation of the law as racist, the American-Jewish response marks a stark departure from past responses of the Jewish Federations and other Jewish groups to Israeli laws and policies. For Israel’s first 60 years, the Federations, like the other major Jewish groups weren’t quick to air their disagreements with Israel’s elected officials. Their gut response was to support Israel and let others attack it.

Now the longstanding instinct has been turned on its head. Underlying the Federation’s reactions to the law is a profound discomfort with the fact that Israel is the Jewish state and intends to remain the Jewish state. This pronounced discomfort speaks to a profound shift in Federation values from Zionism to post-Zionism.

PS Here is Gideon Levy of Haaretz on apartheid in Israel.

The nation-state law marked out the path Israel is treading, defining in words, in law, what was known already: Israel is an apartheid state, from now on not just in the occupied territories, but in the entire country between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.

And here’s why Jeremy Ben-Ami of J Street is sure not to echo Haaretz:

“It is absolutely not in the state of Israel’s interest for Israel itself to become a partisan political football,” Ben-Ami said.

Thanks to Ofer Neiman.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of

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28 Responses

  1. Kay24 on July 30, 2018, 3:12 pm

    So it seems Jimmy Carter and the Rev. Desmond Tutu were right. They were able to see it years ago, and were attacked unmercifully by the apologists. This is also the prelude to the final push to take over the Palestinian territories.

    They have used terror, assassination, intimidation, and land confiscation…..

  2. Kay24 on July 30, 2018, 3:19 pm

    It seems Noam Chomsky is echoing what many have said. Israel has interfered in the US for decades, and AIPAC helps them control congress. I guess Israel is entitled to manipulate, interfere, and write our foreign policy bills.

    “Veteran activist Noam Chomsky has accused Israel of “brazenly” interfering in US electoral politics in a way that vastly outweighs any efforts that may have been carried out by Russia.

    In comments in which he accused much of the media of concentrating on stories he considered marginal and ignoring issues such as the “existential threat” of climate change, the 89-year-old linguist said in much of the world, the US media’s focus with Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 was “a joke”.

  3. pgtl10 on July 30, 2018, 3:43 pm

    Chicago native Carolyn Glick is another writer with who’s whole problem with the law is that it reveals the obvious. She denies the laws means anything but doesn’t state why. She instead complains that the law will make Israel’s detractors stronger. In Glick’s eyes, it is okay to be racist just don’t tell anyone.

    She then engages in the usual Zionist mantra of people denying “Israel’sright to exist” and Erdogan conspiracy theories.

    • Talkback on July 31, 2018, 12:38 am

      “Chicago native Carolyn Glick …”

      Please, there is no such thing. She is Jewish. That means she is a “native” of the land of Israel. She “returned” to her “historical homeland” in 1991.

      “She denies the laws means anything but doesn’t state why.”

      Irrational and politically motivated denial is something she learned way before serving as an assistant foreign policy advisor to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

    • Marnie on July 31, 2018, 7:43 am

      She needs serious help as do 99.9% of israel jews. The constant false narrative of eternal victimhood catches up sooner or later and it isn’t pretty.

      • druid on July 31, 2018, 11:40 am

        It should be in the DSM as a psychopathy

      • Marnie on August 1, 2018, 2:37 am

        “It should be in the DSM as a psychopathy”.

        I think it is. This might be it:

        ‘Narcissistic Victim Syndrome: What the heck is that?

        When a man or woman suffers from a condition named Narcissistic Personality Disorder, they display patterns of deviant or abnormal behaviour that is so bad, that it creates carnage on those people who are unfortunate enough to have a close relationship with them.

        The dysfunctional behaviour involves such callous exploitation of their victims that it has given birth to a new condition known as Narcissistic Victim Syndrome (or Narcissistic Abuse Syndrome). While plenty has been written medically about Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), little or nothing has been written about Narcissistic Victim Syndrome (NVD). The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), which is published by the American Psychiatric Association, and it is considered the “bible” for all professionals, covers NPD extensively. However DSM-IV has not written anything about the effects on those who live or work with the narcissist’s torturous behaviours, and the consequences of that behaviour on the mental health of the victim. Thanks to the dedicated work of many psychotherapists, it has become clear that a set of detectable characteristics occur when working with victims of narcissistic abuse. The good news is that American therapists are calling for the recognition of this syndrome to be included in the next Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-V, to be published in 2013), in the hope that all therapists will be given standard guidelines for formulating a way of working with this syndrome.’
        Narcissistic Victim Syndrome: What the heck is that?

        Abusive personality types classified as Cluster B in DSM-5…/abusive-personality-types-known-as-cluster-b-classified-…

        ‘Cluster B personality types include NPD, BPD, HPD, and ASPD. Symptoms include making everyone else’s lives MISERABLE.

        Narcissistic Abuse victims tend to unilaterally report when they first got involved with their abusers, they had no earthly idea what they were actually in for over the relationship’s course. People who are just waking up to the reality they are being abused currently or were abused by toxic friends, toxic family members, or abusive lovers in the past can jump start their healing process by doing a little “armchair diagnosis” of their Abuser with regard to a forensic psychology of the past.

        The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is an academic and professional themed work. Published by the American Psychiatric Association, the world renowned “diagnostic criteria” manual listing symptoms and comprehensive lists of hallmark affectations offers a common language and standard criteria for the classification of mental disorders. The manual was first published by psychology researchers back in 1952.

        In an effort to help doctors and mental health care providers have a way to understand their patient’s symptoms as well as personality types in such a way that they (as a healthcare field) could learn to more readily assess, treat, and help everybody, psychiatrists and behavioral specialists have continued to add to and revise the manual year after year. The DSM5 (also known as the DSM, the DSM-5, and the DSM V) is, as of the time of this publication, the most current cross-culturally accepted mental health guidebook used by global mental healthcare practitioners.

        Here’s a brief and factually accurate rundown of Cluster B personality types. The classification created in the DSM5 psychology manual used by mental health care workers and health practitioners globally groups roughly 12 percent of humans under the heading which includes Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), Histrionic Personality Disorder (HPD), and Anti-Social Personality Disorder (ASPD).’

        I didn’t realize there was so much written on this topic.

  4. VQTilley on July 30, 2018, 4:57 pm

    Very interesting to read about all the upset this law has caused. It did indeed only make more brazen what was already the case: that Israeli state laws and policies have always been aimed at establishing and maintaining a system of domination by the Jewish people over any other people and systematically repressing them. That’s the wording (slightly paraphrased) in the Apartheid Convention, in case anyone missed it. It was just a little harder to track before.

    The question is, what now? Whether or not the law is repealed, Israel’s apartheid character is exposed. So what are people going to do about this? If they still aim for a two-state solution, a Jewish state and a secular democratic Palestinian state, then they are endorsing apartheid because Jewish statehood requires apartheid policies for Israel to remain so. If they want to end apartheid, then there’s no need for a Palestinian state because who needs two secular democratic states side by side in tiny Mandate Palestine? I think the real significance of this law is to force people to face the music that’s already been playing. The only way out of this nightmare problem is unification.

    • Kay24 on July 30, 2018, 6:11 pm

      The question should also be why is the US accepting it so easily? Will
      it keep sending billions of dollars, weapons, and keep supporting an apartheid nation? Most probably yes.

      • Citizen on July 31, 2018, 6:07 am

        Obama’s promised gift of another $38 Billion + interest has already recently past the Senate & is about to be passed by the House.

    • echinococcus on July 30, 2018, 7:00 pm

      <blockquote The only way out of this nightmare problem is unification.

      Not the only one, Dr. Tilley. The other way out is Palestine.

      In fact, “unification” is not a way out, because it is the current situation, as all of Palestine is already under a single government. You surely mean normalization of the post-1967 occupation, with equal rights for both the owners of the country and the colonizers.

      That, to a good number of Palestinians, may sound no better than making Algeria a province of France sounded to the Algerians.

  5. jon s on July 31, 2018, 6:45 am

    So far it looks like this anti democratic, racist, law is having a huge boomerang effect, galvanizing the opposition into action. Even President Rivlin, whose duty it is to sign the law has said that if he has to sign it, he’ll sign in Arabic. Expecting a major demonstration in Tel Aviv this weekend.

    • Talkback on July 31, 2018, 8:04 am

      Yes, the presidenf of the Jewish Apartheid Junta in Palestine said that it is important to “feel equal’. Of course, he didn’t mean that equality should be legally enshrined.

  6. captADKer on July 31, 2018, 10:15 am

    israel’s leading newspaper is ISRAEL HAYOM.
    circulation is 1000% greater than HAARETZ.
    the position of ISRAEL HAYOM is totally supportive of National State Law.
    MW’s specious headline requires correction.

    • Talkback on July 31, 2018, 11:30 am

      It’s no surprise that the newspaper with the largest daily circulation is “totally supportive” of this Apartheid law. It tells you all you need to no about the Apartheid’s Junta society.

    • amigo on July 31, 2018, 11:37 am

      “MW’s specious headline requires correction.” captADKer

      Israel,s specious suicidal law requires correction.

      You should change your screen name to pvtADKer.

      Apologies to most Pvt,s.

    • genesto on July 31, 2018, 1:01 pm

      Thanks for pointing this out. I was going to if you hadn’t. Haaretz, a liberal Zionist newspaper, has become little more than an outlier publication in Israel, joining the position of liberal Zionists everywhere, i.e. on the fringe of relevance and acceptability and soon to be relegated to the dustbin of history.

  7. Misterioso on July 31, 2018, 10:52 am

    Roll Call – July 27/18

    “Divide Over Israel Widens in Democratic Party”

    “Party voices in favor of Palestinian rights, BDS are getting louder”

    By Rachel Oswald

    “On the surface, it looks like the U.S.-Israel relationship is having its best year ever. In May, President Donald Trump fulfilled Israel’s dream of moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem and his administration is preparing a Middle East peace plan that will almost certainly have Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s blessing. Congress, meanwhile, is poised to approve $3.3 billion in new defense assistance to Israel, a new high.

    “But there are political undercurrents that spell trouble for what has traditionally been unquestioned U.S. support for Israel, particularly within the Democratic Party on the eve of a midterm election that could swing the balance of power in one or both chambers of Congress and perhaps profoundly and permanently change the dynamic between the long time allies.

    “Democratic disillusionment with Israel, which has been quietly simmering for years, gained traction when Netanyahu spoke to a joint session of Congress urging lawmakers to oppose the Iran nuclear deal championed by the Obama administration. Dozens of Democrats defiantly boycotted the March 2015 speech.

    “The political division became even more apparent when Trump took office two years later and Netanyahu backed some of his most controversial domestic policies. And when Trump embraced cutting off aid to the Palestinians, many Democrats balked at the ongoing humanitarian disaster in Gaza, which the party had previously ignored.

    “In May, Kentucky Rep. John Yarmuth, the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee, condemned the Israeli government for the ‘horrific slaughter’ of more than 50 Palestinians protesting just inside the border fence of the Gaza Strip.

    “’We are witnessing the use of unabated brutality and force against civilians to stifle civil unrest,’ tweeted Yarmuth, who is Jewish. ‘America must expect and demand more from its close allies.’

    “It’s no accident that Democrats’ sharp criticisms of Israeli policies come as the influence of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee — the long time powerhouse among pro-Israel groups — has waned within the party. More liberals are turning to the left-of-center J Street, which was established a mere 10 years ago and gives Democrats some political cover to oppose Netanyahu’s policies while still backing Israel.”

    • Keith on July 31, 2018, 11:29 am

      MISTERIOSO- (Roll Call quote)- “Divide Over Israel Widens in Democratic Party”

      It is a shame that the “divide” doesn’t include a divide over empire and militarism. POOP (progressive only on Palestine) is not a good thing.

      • Mooser on July 31, 2018, 11:52 am

        “It is a shame that the “divide” doesn’t include a divide over empire and militarism. POOP (progressive only on Palestine) is not a good thing.”

        Neither is what-about-ism.

      • Keith on July 31, 2018, 3:25 pm

        MOOSER- “Neither is what-about-ism.”

        Oh, Jeez, have I offended you by pointing out that the Clintons have transformed the Democratic Party into the party of empire and militarism, throwing their blue collar constituency under the bus in service to Wall Street and neoliberal globalization? Holding the Democrats accountable is what-about-ism? Well, POOP on you!

      • Misterioso on July 31, 2018, 4:46 pm


        Setting aside your “what-about-ism” response to the Roll Call article I quoted from, I resent your flippant, childish use of the acronym “POOP” (“progressive only on Palestine”) in reference to the long suffering Palestinians.

      • Keith on July 31, 2018, 7:16 pm

        MISTERIOSO- “… I resent your flippant, childish use of the acronym “POOP” (“progressive only on Palestine”) in reference to the long suffering Palestinians.”

        Since I am not referring to the Palestinians, I can only assume that you are one of those who ignore the crimes of empire in order to focus exclusively on the Palestinians. The Palestinians wouldn’t be in the fix they are in if Israel didn’t enjoy the backing of empire. Likewise, the plight of the Palestinians is but a part of the big picture of imperial wrongdoing, which you and I are at least somewhat complicit in. Supporting the Palestinians doesn’t give you a get-out-of-jail-free card for all of the others crimes of empire. And do you object to the acronym PEP?

      • Mooser on July 31, 2018, 8:14 pm

        “I can only assume that you are one of those who…”

        Yup, that’s about all you can do. Maybe you could try something else for a change.

      • Keith on August 1, 2018, 12:03 am

        MOOSER- “Yup, that’s about all you can do.”

        Scraping the bottom of the barrel, are you? Amazing the depths to which you sink in defense of your posse. Has our Mondo homeboy abandoned all pretense to rationality?

    • druid on July 31, 2018, 11:44 am

      It’s all brouhaha and bluster and unfortunately will be gone post-election. This abominable law just enshrines what is already in place, and has been so for 70 years

  8. Stogumber on September 15, 2018, 7:03 pm

    Haaretz is not the country’s “leading” newspaper.
    I agree that Haaretz is for Israel what the New York Times is for the United States.
    But. East Coast intellectuals are indeed apt to intimidate and bluff stupid and (psychologically) insecure Americans.
    On the other side, the Israeli public is neither so stupid nor so insecure. It is far more difficult for the Israeli pendant of East Coast intellectuals to intimidate or to bluff them and thus to “lead” them.
    And that is, at last, a good thing – even if, in this case, it benefits the wrong side.

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