Ep04: The Reality of Israeli Apartheid

What is Apartheid? Zionist talking points will tell you it’s whatever existed in South Africa, and anything outside of that is not Apartheid. Let’s dispel that myth. 

First, The acts committed in South Africa are illustrative and inclusive rather than definitive and exclusive. South Africa is not the standard for what Apartheid is, it’s merely an example.

Second, the cornerstone of Apartheid is intentionality. The intention here being to establish and maintain racial domination. This racial domination must exist within a context of an “institutionalized regime of systematic oppression.” This is the definitional standard of Apartheid. 

The existence of a system of racial segregation and discrmination is not enough, there must be an intention to systemeically oppress another racial group. Mere acts of racism will also not suffice; such racism must be purposeful and institutionalized with the intention of maintaining racial domination. Under international law, Israel is obligated to “prevent, prohibit, and eradicate” apartheid in any territory that she controls. 

One of the most pervasive Zionist responses to the Apartheid charge is that racism exists everywhere and therefore every state is an Apartheid regime. This is part of a larger Zionist tactic of trivializing Israeli crimes. The goal is to reduce Apartheid to instances of racism, rather than referencing the international standard.

It’s important to note that Apartheid is a Crime Against Humanity, and is prohibited under customary international law. This means that States are bound by the Convention even if they are not parties to it, and must therefore adhere to its obligations. 

The term apartheid is an Afrikaan term for “separateness,” and was adopted by the white Afrikaner nationalists who came to power in South Africa in 1948. For nearly 5 decades, South Africa was marked by an Apartheid regime that finally experienced its fall in 1994. 

Israel is operating an apartheid regime throughout all of historic Palestine, that is, the entire area from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. There are 3 distinct areas that encompass historic Palestine:

  1. The West Bank
  2. Gaza
  3. And modern day Israel (i.e. 1948 Palestine)

In the context of Apartheid, Zionists generally will focus on the label “Apartheid State,” as opposed to “Apartheid regime.” The difference is crucial, because they want the audience to focus on the Internationally recognized border of Israel, which does not include the West Bank and Gaza. They feel they can make the “democracy” argument in Israel, and therefore undermine the Apartheid label. However, even in the Internationally recognized border of Israel, an apartheid regime operates. 

Since Israel’s establishment in 1948 until 1967, the Palestinian citizens of the State have lived under Martial Law, and subjected to institutional discrimination. There’s a host of laws that discriminate against the Palestinian citizens. This Palestinian community experience inferior services and limited budget allocations, and are subjected to restrictive zoning laws, among other things. In Zionist discourse, they’re not even referred to as Palestinians, but instead as “Israeli Arabs,” completely removing their national identity, because in Israeli law, national rights are reserved for the Jewish people only. Moreover, Israel maintains racial domination in Israel by creating and reinforcing the distinction between citizenship and nationality. Palestinians are citizens in Israel, but they’re not nationals of the state. 

Israeli has officially constitutionalized Apartheid by defining itself as the “nation state of the Jewish people.” Under Israeli Law, self-determination is unique to the Jewish people. Jews born anywhere in the world can come to Israel and obtain immediate citizenship, whereas Palestinian refugees are prevented from returning. Moreover, national institutions such as the World Zionist Organization, the Jewish National Fund, and the Jewish Agency, operate as arms of the State to further Jewish settlement, immigration, and growth at the expense of the Palestinians. These institutions work to benefit the national interest, that is, Jewish interests. Therefore, the national identity of the state must remain Jewish, and Palestinians in Israel are the real demographic threat to the racial identity of the state. Israel will prioritize preserving a Jewish majority over ensuring “democracy.” Now unlike in South Africa, where black Africans weren’t allowed to vote, Palestinians in Israel can vote, and some are members of the Knesset and even serve on the Supreme Court. Zionists love to emphasize this fact in order to deemphasize the racial domination that exists. In South Africa, the black population were the numerical majority, whereas in Israel the predominant group, the Jewish people, are the numerical majority. 

Palestinians make up approximately 20% of the population in Israel, so the exercise of the franchise will minimally impact the Zionist enterprise. Zionist talking points intertwine predominant group with majority group. This is a false dichotomy. Why? Because you can be the numerical minority, as in South Africa, and still not be the predominant group. Predominance is indicative of power or control. In South Africa, the Afrikaner government was the predominant group, and in Israel, the Zionist government is the predominant group. 

In Israel it is illegal to challenge Jewish supremacy, for it is an attack on the State itself. We have an international standard the defines and identifies apartheid, which Zionist discourse attempts to undermine and remove from our current discourse. The apartheid label fits perfectly with Israel. And it is our job to dismantle the Zionist narrative of evasion and trivialization, and emphasize facts on the ground. 

Ep04: The Reality of Israeli Apartheid