Comparing Israel to Apartheid for Israel Apartheid Week
Apartheid – The Facts
Apartheid was a system of racial oppression imposed by a minority on a majority in South Africa. The basis of this heinous system was the notion that White people were superior to Black people and that a minority of White people had the right to deprive Black people of access to land, the economy, education and the right to vote. Apartheid was originally introduced into South Africa by British colonialists but the election fo the National Party to power in 1948 ensured that this system of racial segregation was codified into law and carried out with brute force.
Israel – The Facts
Israel is a free and democratic society. The majority of its citizens stem from North Africa and the Middle East. The country is a full democracy with all citizens over the the age of 18 permitted to vote. The majority of Israelis are Jewish of all races and cultures. Minority Arabs, Christains and Druze have full democratic rights. The vote in elections, serve in Parliament, sit on the Supreme Court etc. The country is a vibrant democracy full of social protests, a vocal free press and a vigorous opposition and NGO movement.
Why the comparison of Israel & Apartheid
In 1967, after Jordan attacked Israel, Israel captured the area from Jordan known as the West Bank. This Area had been designated by the United Nations as a Palestinian Homeland, but in 1948 Jordan had conquered the area and annexed it to itself. Israel also captured an area known as the Gaza strip from Egypt. This area, also originally designated by the United Nations as part of a Palestinian state had been captured by Egypt in 1948 and although never annexed was subject to Egyptian rule.
In 1967 Israel immediately offered the West Bank back to Jordan and the Gaza strip back to Egypt in return for people. Both countries refused and both countries refused to even negotiate a truce with the Jewish state.
Israel has held these territories since 1967. Israel has attempted to return these territories on a number of occasions. The Oslo Accords negotiated between Yasser Arafat, President Shimon Peres and former Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin were the first step in this process. Further attempts to give up this territory was made by former Prime Minister Ehud Barak at Camp David and former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. All have failed.
In 2005 former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon decided to unilaterally withdraw from the Gaza strip. In the last 9 years since withdrawal Israel has been met by a barrage of rocket fire, leading many Israelis to believe that peace with Palestinians may be impossible. The Gaza strip is controlled by the radical fundamentalist Palestinian group Hamas who refuse to recognize the right of Israel to exist.
A process of negotiation between Israel and Palestine has been going on for nearly a year. The Israeli team in headed by Justice Minister Tzipi Livni the Palestinians are represented by President Abas. The negotiations are facilitated by American Secretary of State John Kerry. The Kerry proposals are meant to address all issues between the parties including land, boundaries, security, the status of Jerusalem, economic development, Israeli settlements, recognition of Israel as a Jewish state. Matters are made more complex by the fact that the Palestinians have no democratically elected government and the two factions, Hamas and Fatah hold very divergent views on the peace process.
Until the peace process is resolved, Palestinians in the West Bank live in a state of limbo, their government is undemocratic and corrupt. They are subject to Israeli security measures aimed at stopping Palestinian attacks against Israeli civilian targets and they remain without an independent state of their own.
What does Israel Apartheid Week aim to Achiever
The organizers behind Israel Apartheid Week claim that that their intention is to put pressure on Israel to end its occupation of the West Bank. By doing so they invoke the analogy to Apartheid in South Africa despite the fact that the issue of Israel and Palestine has noting to do with race or separation. The analogy is incorrect an insults the millions of South Africans who suffered under the brutal oppression of race based deprivation.
The powers behind Israel Apartheid week use this campaign as a tactic to try destroy Israel. When asked if Israel Apartheid Week would end if Israel ended its occupation, the organizers were emphatic – the answer was – NO.
Israel Apartheid Week is a tactic to destroy Israel – it is a tactic to delegitimize the Jewish state because the radical Islamists do not believe that Jews have any right to self determination or a right to live within their historical and biblical home in the Middle East.
The supporters of Israel Apartheid Week are opposed to the peace process, they are the stumbling block to the Palestinian right to self determination.They oppose the United Nations resolutions on Palestine and they debase the memory of Apartheid and dishonor its victims.