Monday, June 6, 2011

Yes, Q&A, Israel is an Apartheid State

Tonight's Q&A program raised the issue of Israel as an apartheid state, but unfortunately neither of the pro-Palestinians on the panel (The Greens' Lee Rhiannon and Fairfax journalist and author Paul McGeough) seemed particularly well equipped to explain exactly why Israel should be so described.

Allow me, therefore, to introduce (yet again*) the definitive study on the subject of Israeli apartheid: the Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa's report, Occupation, Colonialism, Apartheid?: A re-assessment of Israel's practices in the occupied Palestinian territories under international law.

In its report, the HSRC finds:

a) that, although Israel has clearly been in military occupation of the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs) since 1967, according to international humanitarian law it has no right whatever to annex or permanently control these territories;

b) that Israel's policy and practices in the OPTs (fragmenting, annexing, appropriating land and water, merging economies, dominating Palestinians etc) are colonialist and therefore violate the Palestinians' right of self-determination, one of the essential principles of international law;

c) Israel's laws and policies in the OPTs fit the definition of apartheid in the International Convention on the Suppression & Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid (aka the Apartheid Convention).

Here is that definition: "Inhuman acts committed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group of persons and systematically oppressing them."

In South Africa, apartheid had 3 key features:

1) laws which demarcated the population into racial groups and accorded superior rights, privileges and services to the white group;

2) the segregation of the non-white group into fragmented geographic 'reserves' (black homelands) and their confinement to same;

3) a matrix of draconian security laws and policies to suppress any opposition to the regime and reinforce the system of racial domination, by providing for administrative detention, torture, censorship, banning, and assassination.

In the OPTs, the privileged Jewish settlers are the 'whites' and the occupied Palestinians the 'non-whites'; the besieged, non-contiguous and invariably shrinking Palestinian enclaves (along with the blockaded Gaza Strip) are the new fragmented black homelands; and Israel's mantra of security, used to validate sweeping restrictions on Palestinian freedom of expression, assembly, association and movement, is designed to mask its intent to suppress resistance to its system of domination over Palestinians as a group.

To summarise, Israel has been found to be an apartheid state by South Africa's pre-eminent national social science council, the HSRC, because in the OPTs it privileges Israeli Jews over occupied Palestinians legally and materially; confines them to reserves; and, in the name of security, pauperises, humiliates, imprisons, tortures and murders them in order to keep them from challenging its rule.

And that's just Israeli apartheid in the OPTs. For apartheid within Israel (im)proper see my 16/7/10 post Howes: Apartheid? No Way!

[* See my 21/9/09 post Israeli Apartheid: The Jury's In]


Anonymous said...

This says it all. The rest is just huffing and puffing Zionist style.

And what a display it was on Q and A.
The Zionistas are really just a bunch of intellectual desperates, bullies and thugs, trying to buy time.

All assertion no evidence, the Zionist talking points are looking very threadbare.

Anonymous said...

Really clumsy responses from McGeogh and Rhiannon, it should have been pwnge central- a silverspoon ponce from the Liberal party, a Zio-shill from Labor and some loser who still thinks he's funny. Not much of an intellectual challenge.

We'll just have to hope Q&A get Chomsky on when he comes to Australia in November-get ready for the Limited News/team Zionist howling....

אראל סגל said...

In the Israeli parliament, 10 members (out of 120) are Palestinian.

In the Palestinian parliament, 0 members are Jewish.

Who said apartheid?

MERC said...

In Israel (im)proper, 93% of land area is reserved for 'Jews only'.

It's called apartheid.

"The core of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a conflict between the State of Israel as a settler colonial state in Palestine and the indigenous people of the country of Palestine, the Arab-Palestinian people. The core of the Israeli Palestinian conflict, like the core of the conflict in typical confrontations between a colonial settler state and an indigenous people, lies in the claim of the colonial settler state to legally set aside the land and the subsoil for the use of the settler society and to dispossess the native population of their right to national self determination, including their individual and collective property rights to the land and whatever underlies the land.

"The land laws of the State of Israel are apartheid laws, because they enforce preferences on the basis of tribal affiliation (religious, and/or ethnic and/or national), allocating in law privileged access to the land (including housing) and the subsoil (notably water) to persons defined in law as 'Jews', correlatively discriminating against those defined in law as 'non-Jews', in the first instance, against the Arab-Palestinian people. In other words, these are racist laws in the sense defined in the international conventions that Israel has signed and ratified, such as the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination of 1965, as well as Covenants which Israel has refused to join, such as the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid of 1973.

"With the apartheid divide in Israel being legally defined as 'Jews' versus 'non-Jews', 93% of the entire territory of the State of Israel within the borders of 4 June 1967 are defined as 'national lands' and are legally designated for 'Jews only'. The legal system by the apartheid powers of which this blatant discrimination is maintained in the territories under Israeli sovereignty has resulted in a land tenure system worse than that of the former apartheid Republic of South Africa, where the apartheid divide was legally defined as 'White' versus 'non-White' (At the height of the apartheid regime in South Africa 87% of the territory of the Republic was legally designated in law for the use of 'Whites' only)." (Uri Davis: Apartheid Israel: The Jewish National Fund,, 4/06)

אראל סגל said...

"In Israel, 93% of land area is reserved for 'Jews only'"

In the Palestinian-controlled territories, namely the Gaza strip and the "A" territories in Judea&Samaria, 100% of land area is for 'Arabs only'.

Is this also called apartheid?

MERC said...

Judea? Samaria? Can't find them in my atlas, hasbaroid. Please explain.

אראל סגל said...

"Judea or Judæa (from the Hebrew... Yehuda) was the name of the mountainous southern part of the historic Land of Israel, from the 8th century BCE (Assyrian rule) to the 2nd century CE, when Roman Judea was renamed "Syria Palaestina" following the Jewish Bar Kokhba revolt" (

"Samaria, or the Shomron (Hebrew...) is a term used for a mountainous region roughly corresponding to the northern part of the West Bank... The name was the only name used for this area from ancient times until the Jordanian conquest of 1948, at which point the Jordanian occupiers coined the term West Bank" (

But please do not divert. Do you think the Palestinian policy, which prohibits Jewish settlement in 100% (not 93%) of the territories ruled by them, is apartheid?

אראל סגל said...

... and please don't call me "hasbaroid". I am a simple Israeli Jew, and I personally suffer from the Arab apartheid all over the Middle East. I, as a Jew, cannot own land in over 95% of the Middle East, including Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Gaza, Ramallah, Nablus, etc. etc.

The only place where I can own land is the tiny state of Israel.

Leave my tiny state alone. There are much larger states with much worse apartheid.

MERC said...

OK Israeli simpleton Jew, you're right to say, 'But please do not divert'. Sorry about that. It's just that I couldn't find J&S in my atlas, honest. Probably the guy who put it together was anti-Semitic or something. So, let's get back on track, shall we? You accept then that 93% of Israel is reserved for Jews only, and that Israel is therefore an apartheid state? Please remember not to "divert."

אראל סגל said...

"I couldn't find J&S in my atlas, honest. Probably the guy who put it together was anti-Semitic or something" - don't be too harsh on him. He was probably sleeping in his history lessons. Anyway, back on track:

"You accept then that 93% of Israel is reserved for Jews only" - Can you please tell me, where exactly are these 93%? I cannot find them. I travel a lot in Israel, and I see Arabs everywhere.

Ah, now I recall. In 1995, a small Jewish settlement named Katzir tried to prevent two Arabs, Aadel and Imaan Qaadan, from buying lands in its western hill, claiming that it's intended for a homogenic Jewish community. The Qaadans appealed to the Israeli Supreme Court, and it ruled that this was illegal.

So, yes, there were some lands that were "for Jews only", some time in the past. The number 93% seems vastly exaggerated, though.

But for this discussion, let's take your word about the 93% figure.

So you say that it makes Israel an apartheid state? It's a strange conclusion, since in all most other Arab states, specifically in the PA, Jews are not allowed to own any land (in the PA, specifically, Arabs who sell land to Jews are sentenced to death), and nobody calls them "apartheid states". So, based on the same logic, you cannot call Israel an "apartheid state" either.

אראל סגל said...

(P.S. of course, "the Israeli Supreme Court, and it ruled that this was illegal" - meaning it's illegal to PREVENT Arabs from buying lands. Currently Arabs are allowed to buy lands anywhere).

MERC said...

For a simpleton Israeli Jew who gets around, you're surprisingly ill-informed.

To get around the 2000 Supreme Court decision, which was limited only to the Qaadan family, the Knesset passed a law on 23 March 2011 "authorizing rural Jewish-majority communities to reject Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel... for residency." (Israel: New Laws Marginalize Palestinian Arab Citizens,, 30/3/11 )

In addition "The Knesset... rejected [in 2010]... a bill proposed by Israeli Arab MK Ahmed Tibi which would enforce equal distribution of land between Jewish and Arab citizens." (Knesset rejects bill for equal Arab-Jewish land redistribution, Jonathan Lis, Haaretz, 6/1/10)

MERC said...

So we're back to square one: apartheid Israel.

And, considering the Supreme Court ruling on the Qaadans took place in 2000, can you please tell me how long it took before the Qaadan family took up residence in Katzir?

Anonymous said...

Surely the Hasbaroid is aware of, "the Constitutional Law [that is, a law overriding provisions of other laws, which cannot be revoked except by special procedure]{was} passed in 1985 by an enormous majority of the Knesset. By this law no party whose programme openly opposes the principle of 'a Jewish state' or proposes to change it by DEMOCRATIC MEANS, is allowed to participate in the elections of the Knesset"

"Jewish History, Jewish Religion, The weight of Three Thousand Years"

Prof. Israel Shahak, Second Edition.

Game set and match Hasbaroid,the only democracy in the Middle East,what a try on.

It has been my observation that the more countries, or in this case bandit states, protest their 'democracy' the less democratic they are in reality. Ditto for 'states' claiming some sort of implied 'legitimacy', the less legitimate they are in reality.

This pathetic and desperate display of word games, characteristic of hasbaroids, is the last line of defence of a decadent and failing ideology.

Don't come to Australia when you are rightfully booted out.

אראל סגל said...

MERC: The law you refer to explicitly forbids discrimination based on race or ethnicity.

And if you think, "That's de-jure, but what de-facto it's different?" then come visit the Galilee, you will see Arab houses everywhere, inside and outside their settlements. Jews concentrate in dense settlements, usually on hill-tops.

It's illegal to build outside settlements, but Arabs don't care about the law, and the authorities rarely do anything about it.

So, de facto, Arabs occupy much more land.

I, as a Jew, will have to work for 20 years before I can buy a house. An Arab at my age can just grab a land (illegally) and build a house.

Is that apartheid?

MERC said...

"That's de-jure... "? That's apartheid!

Anonymous said...

hello aparthied-zionist, palestinian government & instiuttions are same as "bantustans" ("black homeland"), so-called independent & DISPERSED & FRAGMENTED "countries" "independent" from South Africa, look at "free & independent" Bophuthatswana, it is (and i don't mince my words too much, frankly) bull-crap!!!! The zionist entity (much like "republika srpska" entity) occupied pre-1967 or pre-1948 (whichever) palestine, and are 100% CONFIRMED APARTHEID REGIME! from an concerned anti-PRC pro-ROC oversea chinese.