Israel Apartheid Policies Enacted Egainst Palestinians

From It Is

In Israel, Jews and Palestinians are labeled from birth and treated differently throughout their lives. They have unequal access to social and economic privileges including land, education, employment and social welfare. 1, 43

Separate is never equal 
The descendants of Palestinians that remained in Israel after the 1948 war are now over 1 million people, approximately 20 percent of the population. These Palestinians face rampant discrimination. The discrimination is sometimes from individuals and other times, systemic and codified in law. 2, 44

Israel is a very segregated society. Most Israeli Palestinians and Israeli Jews live in separate communities, go to separate schools, and shop at separate stores. 3, 44 The Israeli Ministry of Education said in June 2009 that it spends $1,100 per Jewish student but only $190 per non-Jewish student per school year, according to Haaretz newspaper.

The state also categorizes Jews and Arabs separately: The Population Registry Law (1965) requires all residents of Israel to register their ethnic group and religion with the population registry and to obtain identity cards, that usually indicate these differences. 48 This discriminatory policy fits the United Nations' definition of Apartheid.

Separate and unequal application of the law to Jews and non-Jews

Beginning with the rights of residence and citizenship, the Law of Return grants immigrant and residency rights to anyone who claims a Jewish identity (defined as a child or grandchild of a Jew, the spouse of a Jew, the spouse of a child of a Jew, and the spouse of a grandchild of a Jew) but refuses the right of return to Palestinians and their descendants who were expelled in 1948 and 1967. 2, 3, 4, 44

While Jews receive Israeli citizenship for just being Jewish, even Palestinians who marry Israelis are denied citizenship and even the right to live with their family in Israel under a 2003 law.

70 percent of prisoners in Israel are Palestinian. Under a 1979 emergencypower law, people in Israel may be arrested and held without charge for 6 months. This law is almost exclusively applied to Palestinians.37

“A dual system of law discriminates between Jewish Israelis and indigenous Palestinians based on a constructed status of 'Jewish nationality'. This prejudicial application of law is apparent in all processes of the legal system, from the rights to information and fair trial to detention and prison treatment.” Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.5

Apartheid started with ethnic cleansing and land expropriation

  • Palestianins ethnically cleansed in 1948. 47
  • Between 1947-49: At least 700,000 Arabs were displaced and ethnically cleansed and their villages were destroyed.
  • More than 80 percent of the total Palestinian population was expelled from their country.
  • More than 530 Palestinianvillages were depopulated and completely destroyed.
  • Many Jewish settlements were then built on top of the destroyed villages. 9
  • Approximately 30 percent of the 150,000 Palestinians who remained in Israel were expelled from their homes and became internally displaced refugees. 10
  • In 1945, Palestinians owned 85 percent of arable land. The U.N. Conciliation Commission estimated that about 80 percent of the land in what is today Israel is property formerly owned by Palestinians that was confiscated by Jewish organizations like the Jewish Agency. Until recently Palestinians were forbidden by Israeli law from owning it or leasing it. 15
  • Today, Israeli Palestinians are largely landless -- they own about 3 percent of the land in Israel. Since 1948, the Arab population has increased by a factor of 6.6 but it has lost 84 percent of its land reserves. As of 1947, Jews in Palestine owned under 7 percent of the Palestinian lands, and after 1948, 80 percent . 16

Palestinian land rights are taken away and restricted

Unrecognized villages: Today, 140,000 Palestinian Arabs live in more than 100 unrecognized villages, mainly in Galilee and the Negev desert.

The National Planning and Building Law (1965) retroactively re-zoned the lands on which many Arab villages sit as non-residential. The consequence of this is that despite the existence of these villages prior to the establishment of the state, they have been afforded no official status. 17

Unrecognized villages are not on any map, receive no running water, electricity, have no connection to sewer systems, no schools or health care. Residents are denied the ability to build homes and other public buildings. The authorities use a combination of house demolitions, land confiscation, denial of basic services, and restrictions on infrastructure development to dislodge residents from these villages. 17

Housing segregation and discrimination in funding for Arab communities

Palestinian Israelis have been ghettoized in a small section of Israel. Most land in Israel must be leased. It is not privately owned. Until recently, Israeli Arabs were not permitted to lease land from the Israeli Land Administration, which controls 93 percent of the arable land in Israel. This land is either state-owned (80 percent) or owned by the Jewish National Fund (13percent). Much of it was expropriated from Arabs.While Jewish neighborhoods grow unchecked, segregated Palestinian communities have not been allowed to expand. No new Arab areas have been created while hundred’s of Jewish areas have been. 18,19

Institutional discrimination is in community development plans, where Palestinian neighborhoods are held to existing land allocations. In the Arab city of Nazareth, for example, the population of 13,000 Palestinians in 1947 lived on 3,000 acres. In 2007, with a population of 70,000, the city occupies only 3,100 acres, with strict limitations on any expansion. 1

Israel's planning authorities continue to disregard the development needs of Arab towns. Due to lack of official planning procedures, thousands of houses have been built without the necessary permit and face possible demolition. The families living in houses built without permits are deprived of basic services by the state such as water, and electricity, and face eviction and demolition, etc. 27

Housing demolitions

Even in the present day, Palestinian homes are being taken or demolished. One example is 500 Palestinian families in Jaffa, an ancient Palestinian city, are facing eviction. The purpose is Judaization of the city. 2

The development needs of Arab towns are continually disregarded by the Israeli government. Due to lack of official planning procedures, thousands of houses have been built without the necessary permit and face possible demolition. The families living in houses built without permits are deprived of basic services by the state such as water, electricity, and face eviction and demolition, etc. 27 Each year, the state demolishes dozens of houses belonging to Arab-Bedouin families in unrecognized villages in the Negev. Each time this happens, dozens of families, including children, are abandoned and left without shelter. This ongoing policy breaches the Bedouins’ right to dignity, privacy, and security. 28

Economic and social privilege given to Jews

Military service, which confers many social and economic benefits—including mortgages subsidies, partial exemptions from course fees, and preferences for public employment and housing-- is compulsory for Jewish Israelis. Ninety percent of Arabs are exempt from service and thus are denied these benefits. Orthodox Jews are also exempt but still receive benefits. 8

Segregation Allows for Unequal Funding Between Jew and Non-Jew Discrimination in funding for Arab towns

Arab towns and villages are systematically given less funding than Jewish neighborhoods. Arabs are 20 percent of the population of Israel but between 2000 -- 2004, Arab citizens received less than 5 percent of the overall regular budget of Israel. An average of $1,415 is spent on each Jewish citizen but only $310 is spent on each Arab. As a result, in Arab communities in Israel, such vital services as garbage collection, water and sewers are often unavailable. 20

Segregation and discriminatory funding of schools

Schools for Arab children are completely separate and inferior to schools for Jewish children.

In 2009, the Israeli Ministry of Education said it spent $1,100 per Jewish pupil but only $190 per non-Jewish student.

Human Rights Watch states: ‘The funding disparities between the two systems are enormous….” Palestinian schools lack computers, science equipment, remedial programs for disabled children and kindergartens. Arab schools are in disrepair; the teacher: student ratio is 1:20 for Arab but 1:16 for Jewish children. The situation for Bedouin children is particularly appalling .” 22

Teaching Arab history: Teachers are not allowed to teach students in public schools about Arab history. Israeli textbooks do not show the “Green Line” or the internationally recognized border between Israel and the occupied territories. “Teachers for the Arab schools have to be approved by the state security service, the Shin Bet, and the curriculum is designed to remove references to Palestinian history and culture.” 23

Wide spread racial profiling

Arab citizens of Israel are often discriminated against through denial of access to recreation spaces, swimming pools, water parks and other publicplaces frequented by its Jewish citizens.38

Arabs are frequently taken aside at Israel’s airports and train stations and searched, often invasively. They are more likely to be detained or accompanied to the plane by security personnel. 39

Other forms of state-sponsored discrimination

Poisoning, Uprooting of Bedouin Israeli Citizens’ Crops The government of Israel has sent planes to spread poison on Bedouin crops, poisoning livestock and causing health problems among the population. By some accounts, this practice was halted in 2006. More often now these crops are destroyed by Israeli authorities turning them under. 40

Failure to protect Arab citizens during wartime
Almost all Arab towns and villages in the northern part of Israel lack public bomb shelters or air raid sirens, even though they have been constructed in most Jewish communities. As a result, people in Arab villages died in the streets during the Lebanon war while most Jews waited out the war in shelters. 41

Failure to compensate Jewish and Arab citizens equally for war damages 
After the Lebanon war, Arab villages were denied compensation for damages, thoughmany Jewish neighborhoods received funds. Interest-free loans of up to $10,000 were available, but only to Jewish businessmen or those who had served in the Israeli army, which excludes almost the entire Arab population. 42


1. 2.;l=1




6. Haaretz, Jan. 13, 2009

7. Haaretz, Jan. 13, 2009









16. Palestine Conciliation Commission- Progress Report to the United Nations General Assembly- A- 1985- November 1951 volumes 1-2: 1947-1974





























45. image on left ohter two images are Badil Photos




General Sources;l=1

- Apartheid and Discrimination in the State of Israel -


Facts About Israeli Apartheid | Apartheid in Israeli Occupied Jerusalem