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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Is Israel truly an apartheid state?

The following article may shed some light on the current situation within Israeli territory, and one can make up their own mind.
"Israel’s apartheid policies can best be exemplified by its treatment of the Palestinians living within Israel proper. Israel discriminates against its Palestinian minority—20 percent of the total population—by corralling them in ghettos, tying social benefits to military service in the Israel Defense Force, denying jobs to those without military ID, allowing landlords to rent to Jews only, effecting unequal marriage laws, and denying certain purchasing rights of property in the country to non-Jews. Furthermore, municipal services such as street lighting and trash collection are only provided in Jewish areas, and Jewish schools receive four times as much federal funding as Arab schools, which are often kept segregated. According to Amnesty International, 8,000 Palestinians are held in Israeli jails, which is made possible by Israel’s 1979 Emergency Law that states individuals can be held without charge “if the Israeli police or army find that ‘reasons of state security or public security require that a particular person be detained.’” Even Israel’s identification card system is segregated, as markers are used to distinguish Jewish citizens of Israel from Palestinian, Christian, or Muslim citizens. Most recently, Israeli legislators are working to remove Arabic as one of its official national languages, even though it is the native language of the land. They are also trying to pass a law that criminalizes Israeli citizens for supporting the Palestinian Civil Society call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions against Israel and speaking out against apartheid.

Israel is an apartheid state according to legal definition, but it doesn’t take legal expertise of international law to understand that what is happening to the Palestinians is anything but apartheid­—it just takes a simple examination of the situation. Hoping to blur the lines of ethics, some might like to call the conditions complicated... Racism, colonialism, and settler-states are not complicated and in fact have existed systematically for many years."
[http://www.columbiaspectator.com/2011/02/27/israel-practices-apartheid]

Another report describes a specific Arab village in Israel as follows:
Baqa al-Gharbiyya, Israel – This sleepy agricultural village, an hour’s drive northeast from Tel Aviv, feels worlds apart from Israel’s commercial capital. Garbage lines many of the narrow, rutted streets, symptoms of the lower level of government funding bestowed upon the town; unemployed men mill about, complaining that Israel’s policies have hurt the local economy.
Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s hard-right foreign minister, has proposed annexing this and other Arab villages to a future Palestinian state. Their inhabitants would be stripped of their Israeli citizenship unless they were willing to leave their land and swear a “loyalty oath” to the state.

His plan is deeply unpopular here and in nearby villages.
[http://english.aljazeera.net/palestinepapers/2011/01/2011124105622779946.html]

Another Al-Jazeera report talks about the Arab village, stating the following:
Baqa al-Gharbiyya used to be just Baqa, a name still used by many residents. The creation of the state of Israel split the village in half, with Baqa al-Gharbiyya on the west side of the 1948 armistice line and Baqa al-Sharqiyya on the east.

Residents regularly travelled back and forth between the two until six years ago, when the Israeli separation barrier was built. Several streets in the villages now dead-end at an eight-metre-high concrete wall topped with barbed wire.

Those who live in Baqa al-Gharbiyya face what they, and many Israeli and international human rights groups, describe as systemic prejudice. Israeli Arabs routinely face discrimination when applying for jobs, and their towns and villages often receive a lower level of government funding than Jewish communities.

In its 2009 report, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel described the discrimination faced by Arabs as "open and explicit", and warned that the government is threatening "their most basic rights – to equality, education and employment – as well as their very citizenship".

Moreover, Arabic is planned to be removed from schools, different funding schemes are provided for Arab populated villages compared to Jewish ones, and transport to and from Israel and the West Bank provides Jewish-only buses on Jewish-only highways to Jewish-only settlements.

Restaurants don't allow Arabic, and indeed two Arabs were fired for speaking the language.
McDonald's Confirms 'No Arabic' policy at its restaurants in Israel

The Soho restaurant in Rishon Letzion have a no Arabs policy.
No Arabs Allowed

Then there is the Law of Return, that only gives Jews the right of return and the right to live in Israel and to gain citizenship. This can only be extended to non-Jews with a Jewish grandparent.

There is also the Marriage Laws in Israel that provides no option for civil marriage or interfaith marriage, only those who are recognized as Jews according to Orthodox Jewish law can get married in Israel, and members of other religions can only marry spouses of the same religion.
Israel's "Jews-Only" Marriage Laws Explained

Despite this blatant ethnic discrimination, Israelis still use a lot of syntactic ambiguity to deny the apartheid regime that exists in their very own country. They will go as far as diverting the argument by mentioning Arab representatives in the Knesset.

But the real question is, could an Arab ever be elected Prime Minister of Israel if Zionism enforces the demographics to maintain the "Jewishness" of the state? Arab minority is deliberately invoked which is why Israel doesn't want to recognize the Right of Return of displaced Arabs as part of the UN Resolution 194 which would naturally change that demographics of the country.
So much for democracy if the rights of people in the region are denied because of their ethnicity.

Ultimately this mistreatment and discrimination falls under the meaning of apartheid. By definition it is the minority ruling over the majority based on race and ethnicity without the opportunity of equal rights. That is exactly the system Israel adopts... unless of course Israelis believe that an Arab could potentially run for Prime Minister of Israel one day.

2 comments:

  1. Well well, you see that Israelis are split quite evenly on the subject. That's very democratic I think.

    However when it comes to Palestinians, a new survey http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2011/07/15/new-poll-shows-real-cause-of-the-israeli-palestinian-conflict/#more-760481 yields the following sort of results:
    "Seventy-two percent backed denying the thousands of years of Jewish history in Jerusalem, 62 percent supported kidnapping IDF soldiers and holding them hostage, and 53 percent were in favor or teaching songs about hating Jews in Palestinian schools."
    Songs about hating Jews? what kind of education is that for children? Can you possibly agree with it?
    Here's another quote - please recall that we are talking about Palestinians - the people who are supposed to make 'peace' with Israel.
    "When given a quote from the Hamas Charter about the need for battalions from the Arab and Islamic world to defeat the Jews, 80 percent agreed. Seventy-three percent agreed with a quote from the charter (and a hadith, or tradition ascribed to the prophet Muhammad) about the need to kill Jews hiding behind stones and trees."
    80% of all Palestinians agree that Jews need to be killed? What kind of 'peace' would that be?
    and you want us to live in the same country as people who hold such murderous thoughts about us?

    Shame on you!

    "unless of course Israelis believe that an Arab could potentially run for Prime Minister of Israel one day." of course we do. We have a deputy speaker of the House who is an Arab. We have Ministers, Judges and any position you like who are Arabs. Meanwhile, Abbas doesn't want a Jew in his Palestine.

    I know that you will delete this Adel Helal but I hope you read it first.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Your statistics are inaccurate. Recent polls provided by a large sample of Palestinians directly from Palestinian territories will reveal a very different scenario: http://hubofmiddleeastpolitics.blogspot.com/2011/06/will-palestinians-accept-two-state.html.

    I would suggest you provide better sources than those talking about the Palestinian perspective from a non-Palestian source.

    Those quotes are also taken out of context because they are talking about Jewish oppressors not ALL Jews. That would be otherwise considered murder which is a prohibition in Islam.

    It is every persons right to fight against tyranny, and nothing can be further from the truth when describing Likud's current actions of ongoing land confiscations, home demolitions, settlement expansion, systematic deportations, civilian displacements, violent checkpoint misconduct, water resource reallocation, residency revocation, border blockades, airspace "no-fly" zones, and maritime seaport isolation, with a lack of regard for the International Community's request for Israel to adhere to the Fourth Geneva Convention.

    Shame on all those who support this violent regime.

    ReplyDelete