What was Apartheid?
- Apartheid is an Afrikaans words and the literal translation is “the state of living apart”.
- Apartheid was a state of racial segregation that was legislated into South African law by the ruling National Party from 1948 to 1994.
- The system of Apartheid ensured the rule of a minority “white” population over a majority “Non-whites” citizenry.
- The Apartheid laws governed all aspects of life from education, to freedom of expression and movement, where you could live, who you could marry and many more.
- South Africa’s racist Apartheid policies resulted in the African state being isolated internationally through campaigns of boycotts, divestment and sanctions.
Why does the BDS movement compare Israel to Apartheid South Africa?
- The intention of the BDS movement is to bring about the collapse of the Jewish state by calling into question Israel’s sovereignty.
- It is a campaign of de-legitimatization and it must be noted that while South Africa’s racist laws were opposed, the right of the country to exist was not questioned, unlike the policies of the current BDS movement.
- The BDS movement ONLY targets Israel.
- By painting Israel as a pariah state, comparable to South Africa during the Apartheid era, it creates an environment of hatred and isolation and allows for calls of boycotts, divestment and sanctions to grow.
Is there Apartheid in Israel?
The simple answer is NO – while there is racism, just like every other country in the world, all of Israel’s citizens are fully franchised and can vote, hold political office, travel on the same public transport, gather in crowds, express themselves freely including harshly criticize the state, be a Member of Knesset (MK), receive education at the same universities, serve in the army and more.
Is there Apartheid in the Palestinian territories?
- Gaza is controlled by Hamas and the West Bank by the Palestinian Authority.
- Once could argue that a policy of Apartheid is carried out by Hamas in Gaza. The Hamas Charter www.hamascharter.com has policies that are discriminatory and genocidal. Political opponents have been eliminated, Hamas has declared homosexuality a crime punishable by death, there is no freedom of religion. In fact, Hamas is accused of forcing Christians to convert to Islam under threats of violence, including rape.
- There are no women’s rights or freedoms of expression.
But what about the “Apartheid” wall?
- The sole purpose of the Security Fence, as stated in the Israeli Government decision of July 23rd 2001, is to provide security and NOT keep two populations apart , which is the accusation by those who call Israel an Apartheid State.
- The Security Fence is a central component in Israel’s response to the horrific wave of terrorism emanating from the West Bank, resulting in suicide bombers who enter into Israel with the sole intention of killing innocent people.
- The Security Fence is not a formal border as that still needs to be negotiated.
- The route of the fence has changed many times and Palestinians have recourse at the Israeli Supreme Court, which has more often than not ruled in their favour if it cuts through their land. Rent is also offered to land owners for loss of land or crops.
- Maintaining humanitarian efforts is a priority of the IDF.
- Since the inception of the fence, suicide bombings have dropped dramatically and very rarely, if ever occur.
Is the term “Jewish State” racist?
- The most important principle in the U.N. Charter is the right to self-determination. Jews who want autonomy, as well as Palestinians, have that right.
- A Palestinian State would be an Islamic entity. Nobody questions the right of Iran to be called the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Article of interest:
The Israeli Ministry of Defense: www.securityfence.mod.gov.il