Friday, July 20, 2018

Israel's Latest Apartheid Law

Still not convinced that Israel is an apartheid state?

No, I'm not talking about Israeli apartheid in the occupied West Bank, for details of which you can scan my 21/9/09 post Israeli Apartheid: The Jury's In. I'm talking about Israeli apartheid west of the Green Line, in Israel itself.

As the Israeli scholar and activist Uri Davis points out in his seminal/must-read book Apartheid Israel: Possibilities for the Struggle Within (2003) (claims to being 'the only democracy in the Middle East' notwithstanding), Israel is "probably the last remaining apartheid state member of the UN." This, he asserts, arises from "the regulation of racism in law through Acts of the Israeli Parliament (the Knesset), resulting in 93% of all the territory of pre-1967 Israel being designated in law through Acts of the Knesset for cultivation, development and settlement by, of and for Jews only." Davis goes on to explain, in contrast to South African apartheid, that "the key legal distinction in Zionist apartheid legislation in Israel is between 'Jew' and 'non-Jew'." This distinction, "as institutionalized in the Constitutions and Articles of Association of all the bodies affiliated to the World Zionist Organization, is incorporated into the body of the laws of the State of Israel, notably the body of strategic legislation governing land tenure." (pp 39-42)

Davis lists this apartheid legislation as follows:

*1950: Absentees' Property Law; Law of Return; Development Authority Law;
*1952: World Zionist Organization - Jewish Agency for the Land of Israel (Status) Law;
*1953: Keren Kayemeth Leisrael (Jewish National Fund) Law; Land Acquisition (Validation of Acts and Compensation) Law;
*1954: Covenant between the Government of Israel and the Zionist Executive, also known as the Executive of the Jewish Agency for the Land of Israel;
*1958: Prescription Law;
*1960: Basic Law: Israel Lands; Israel Lands Law; Israel Lands Administration Law;
*1961: Covenant between the Government of Israel and the Jewish National Fund.

To this "mainstay of Israeli apartheid," as Davis calls it, can now be added Israel's newest apartheid law, The Basic Law: Israel as the Nation State of the Jewish People, which "describes Israel as 'the national home of the Jewish people' and says the right to exercise national self-determination there is 'unique to the Jewish people'." (Jewish nation state: Israel approves controversial bill,, 20/7/18)

But don't expect Australia's corporate media to call a spade a spade and invoke the A word. There was nothing whatever on the matter in today's Sydney Morning Herald, and the Associated Press report in The Australian could do no better than cite critics to the effect that the new law was "racist" and would "marginalise the country's Arab minority." (Knesset votes for Jewish nation state)

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