Israel Heading Toward Apartheid, Say Many Israelis – OpEd
By Paul Woodward - War in Context
The Washington Post‘s Jennifer Ruben quotes the Free Beacon, which quotes an email which says that in a speech delivered at Rutgers University in 2010, Chuck Hagel “basically said that Israel … was risking becoming an apartheid state if it didn’t allow the Palestinians to form a state.”
“Does this fundamentally shift the playing field?” asks Ruben.
No. It just means Hagel was echoing several former Israeli prime ministers and many other Israelis.
“If the day comes when the two-state solution collapses, and we face a South African-style struggle for equal voting rights (also for the Palestinians in the territories), then, as soon as that happens, the State of Israel is finished.” Israel’s Prime Minister Ehud Olmert speaking to Haaretz, November, 2007.
“The simple truth is, if there is one state” including Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, “it will have to be either binational or undemocratic. … if this bloc of millions of Palestinians cannot vote, that will be an apartheid state.” Defense Minister and former Prime Minister Ehud Barak, April, 2010.
“Jewish self-righteousness is taken for granted among ourselves to such an extent that we fail to see what’s right in front of our eyes. It’s simply inconceivable that the ultimate victims, the Jews, can carry out evil deeds. Nevertheless, the state of Israel practises its own, quite violent, form of Apartheid with the native Palestinian population.” Shulamit Aloni, Minister for Education under Yitzhak Rabin, January, 2007.
“[In 1967] We enthusiastically chose to become a colonial society, ignoring international treaties, expropriating lands, transferring settlers from Israel to the occupied territories, engaging in theft and finding justification for all these activities. Passionately desiring to keep the occupied territories, we developed two judicial systems: one – progressive, liberal – in Israel; and the other – cruel, injurious – in the occupied territories. In effect, we established an apartheid regime in the occupied territories immediately following their capture. That oppressive regime exists to this day.” Michael Ben-Yair, Israel’s attorney general from 1993-96, March, 2002.
“Israel must decide quickly what sort of environment it wants to live in because the current model, which has some apartheid characteristics, is not compatible with Jewish principles.” Ami Ayalon, former Israeli admiral and former Labour member of Israeli Knesset, December, 2000.
“These dots are growing evidence of the lack of the spirit of freedom and the emergence of apartheid and fascism. If you look at each dot separately you might miss the bigger picture. Like a child watching a military brigade march, and after seeing the battalions, the batteries and the companies, asking: ‘And when is the brigade finally coming?’ the answer is that while he watched the marching of the battalions, batteries and companies, he was actually watching the brigade. So is the situation in Israel. You do not have to ask where the apartheid is. These events, which are accepted with silence and indifference, together create a picture of a terrible reality.” Yediot’s legal affairs editor, Judge (ret.) Boaz Okon, June, 2010.
“The historical background of the Israeli apartheid state-in-the-making that is emerging before our eyes should be sought in 1967. It is part of a process that has been going on for about 44 years: What started as rule over another people has gradually ripened – especially since the latter part of the 1970s – into a colonialism that is nurturing a regime of oppression and discrimination with regard to the Palestinian population. It is robbing that population of its land and of its basic civil rights, and is encouraging a minority group (the settlers ) to develop a crude, violent attitude toward the Arabs in the territories. This was exactly the reality that, after many years, led to the establishment of the apartheid state in South Africa.” Prof. Daniel Blatman, Holocaust researcher and head of the Institute for Contemporary Jewry, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, April, 2011.
“As it is today, it is an Apartheid state, a full apartheid in the occupied territories and a growing apartheid in Israel – and if this goes on, it will be full apartheid throughout the country, incontestably.” Uri Avnery, Israeli peace activist, November, 2012.
“The spokesmen of the dovish camp [in Israel] tell us horror stories about a future binational state. But the binational state is already here. It has a rigid apartheid legal system, as the High Court of Justice fades away.
“The system preserving this apartheid is more ruthless than that seen in South Africa, where the black were a labor force and could therefore also make a living. It is equipped with the lie of being ‘temporary’.” Yitzhak Laor, November 2009.
“Israel’s apartheid movement is coming out of the woodwork and is taking on a formal, legal shape. It is moving from voluntary apartheid, which hides its ugliness through justifications of ‘cultural differences’ and ‘historic neglect’ which only requires a little funding and a couple of more sewage pipes to make everything right – to a purposeful, open, obligatory apartheid, which no longer requires any justification.” Zvi Bar’el, October, 2010.