|Israel and Apartheid: The Big Lie
Apartheid Analogy Fails for West Bank and Gaza
Posted: August 29, 2005
Neither does the apartheid analogy hold water in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, despite the undoubted hardships which Palestinians face in their day-to-day lives. Given the sizeable number of Israelis who support a withdrawal from some or all of these areas, as well as Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s decision to disengage from all settlements in Gaza and parts of the West Bank, it is abundantly clear that Israel does not want to indefinitely rule over the Palestinian population of these territories. Israel’s stance in that regard was confirmed by its decision to sign the Oslo Accords, which created the Palestinian Authority, and in its peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan.
The world is rightly concerned about the humanitarian impact of checkpoints and curfews on the Palestinians. Such measures are driven not by a racist ideology, but, in the main, by legitimate security concerns on Israel’s part. These measures, along with the security fence, are the consequence of a campaign of terror by Palestinian groups such as Hamas and the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigade, which, in deliberately targeting civilians, have claimed over 1,000 innocent Israeli lives.
Some analysts argue that Israeli policy is also informed by its need to secure a Jewish majority within defined borders. It is perhaps more accurate to say that Israel wishes to safeguard its democratic character and its status as a haven for the Jewish people. Permanent occupation of another people who wish to rule themselves is, therefore, not an option, which is why Israel has committed itself to disengagement and future negotiations.