isreali apartheid palestine

What do the neo-fascist elements of South African apartheidism of the past and Israeli apartheidism of the present have in common: Afrikaner Nationalism and Jewish Orthodox Nationalism? Black phobia and Palestinian phobia? White Supremacy and Jewish Supremacy? White Separatism and Jewish Separatism? Afrikaner Storm Troopers and Likud Storm Troopers? All of the above or none of the above?

THUMBNAIL HISTORICAL SKETCH OF SOUTH AFRICAN & ISRAELI APARTHEID STATES

South Africa was a criminal apartheid state from 1948 to 1991. During that period its system of governmental legislation upheld segregationist or ‘apartheid’ policies, that in the language of Afrikaans means “apartness”. Up until 2021, South Africa was the only country ever formerly labeled to be an Apartheid State. But that, perhaps, is in the process of changing in Israel.

Seven-long, brutal decades of oppression and heinous apartheid practices have been allowed to persist against Palestinian people by Israel politicians and Jewish settlers alike; brought on by decades of Israel’s growing illegal presence and continued encroachments in Occupied Palestinian Territories that have been allowed by the United Nations of the World who have chosen to look the other way; while Israel continued to enact its basic raison d’etre that declares Israel as the Nation State of the Jewish People, to the exclusion of the Palestinian people, that it has assiduously sought to expand through a racist two-tiered bureaucratic system, where a multitude of abuses have occurred; such as the severe abuses of Palestinian peoples fundamental human rights, where an  ever-growing Jewish majority have been allowed to continue to flourish, while everywhere Palestinians have continued to become cut off and boxed in their own homelands, where their living conditions have steadily continued to deteriorate and that of Jewish people have continued to flourish.

But now some light may be beginning to show at the end of a very long, ugly, despicable tunnel. Israeli criminal gangs, roaming Palestinian communities, and even the one-time Holy City of Jerusalem at will, chanting “Death to the Arabs”, may finally be forced by history and a modicum of renewed higher human and awareness of what is intrinsically-right and decent human behavior. Just maybe the perpetrators of the dark soul of the human heart will be forced to retreat back under the rocks and shadows from whence they first slithered, like so many predecessors before them in a once Afrikaner South Africa or Nazi Germany. Every government, every politician, every corporate head of every financial institution, every academic in every higher place of learning that first sought to destroy the original Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) movement that began in a rotten, misguided Afrikaner world until it became a footnote in South African history, may now be forced to do the same thing as the once faltering BDS movement in Israel gains ever more respectability and credibility.

Signs that the darkness within the human soul may once again be coming to a close have grown in strength and possibility ever since B’TSELEM, a highly-respected and trusted Jewish Human Rights Watch Organization, for the first time in its 31 year-long history, recently issued a well-documented, cataclysmic bombshell of an earth-shattering  report titled, “A Threshold Crossed: Israeli Authority and the Crimes of Apartheid & Persecution”;  that charges Israel with the high crime of Apartheid against Palestinian peoples under the 1973 Apartheid Convention and 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal l Court that now has been put before the United Nations for its deliberation.

For years, human rights advocates and organizations from around the world have sought to call upon every government and financial institution to support a non-violent BDS campaign against Israel until its architects of Apartheid are forced to their knees the way South Africa was many years ago.

Not surprisingly, Israel’s PM Netanyahu, its Likud Party and all their political and financial allies in the world, especially those in the United States like President Joe Biden, VP Kamala Harris and hosts of other politicians and lobbyists within the Democratic and Republican Party’s, as well as their citizen supporters, who, since the inception of the entity of Israel within the once sovereign nation of Palestine, have provided the financial, moral and ideological backbone to Israel to continue with impunity its policies of Apartheid.

But, of course, not remotely surprising, is the fact that Israel’s PM Netanyahu, his Likud Party and all their political, military and financial allies in the world, especially in the United States, will seek to label all such claims as preposterous and frivolous.

But Israel now will be forced to address before the United Nations International Criminal Court the three key elements of what constitutes Apartheidism: (1) the intent to maintain the domination by one racial group over another (2) the systemic oppression by one racial group over another, and (3) one or more inhumane acts committed by one racial group against another, as part of that systemic domination and oppression. Israel will also be forced to respond to the report by B’Tselem  that accuses not only Israel’s PM Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud Party, but the Jewish Israeli people themselves, of methodically privileging Jewish Israeli’s and oppressing Palestinians, often with unconscionable, grossly inhumane, violent acts. Kenneth Roth, executive director of B’Tselem, warns that, “Prominent voices have warned for years that apartheid lurks just around the corner if the tragedy of Israel’s rule over Palestinians does not change.”

Israel’s PM Benjamin Netanyahu recently added fuel to the fire of this apartheid controversy when, in 2020, in an interview with the Israeli newspaper Hayom, Netanyahu made a serious faux pas, with enormous international repercussions, when he referred to those Palestinians opposed to his Likud Party’s intentions to annex a large part of the West Bank for further illegal Jewish settlement. Netanyahu arrogantly and imperiously declared during the interview, “WE (the Jews) ARE THE ONES DICTATING THE SECURITY ROLES, THEY (the Palestinians) WILL REMAIN SUBJECTS.”

In South Africa, prior to the 1940’s, some aspects of apartheid already had reared its ugly head in the form of minority rule by white South Africans and the socially-enforced separation of Black Africans from other races, which gradually became formal laws and land appointments that legalized the artificial separation of Blacks and Whites, similar to what a White-dominated United States historically implemented against its own Black Americans.

At the same time, in 1948, that South Africa was establishing its own apartheid state, Israel was waging its own budding war of apartheid against the Arabs and Palestinians in Palestine that led to what Palestinians then, and to this day, refer to as AL-NAKBA: The Palestinian Catastrophe 1948. This catastrophe led to the creation of 800,000 and more Palestinian refugees in their own once sovereign lands that, since 1948-1949, has continued to this day ever since Israel, in constant violation of one international law after another after another, declared itself a new, independent state that a sophisticated Jewish propaganda system, ever since, relentlessly has sought to glamorize and sanitize its dishonorable establishment.

But over the years, since 1948, many courageous newspapers, reporters, activists, like the sometimes pounding, sometimes lapping, waves against an intransigent stone shoreline, have sought, with varying degrees of success, to call world attention to such apartheid outrages being waged against the inherent human rights of Palestinians, who, God only knows how they have managed to survive all these decades and still remain a strong and defiant force of resistance. They are a testament to the indefatigable nature of the human spirit no matter what outrages are waged against it.

. As early as 1961, the Johannesburg South African newspaper, Rand Daily Mail, a once outspoken anti-apartheid voice, bravely took its own steps of defiance when it boldly declared to the world, “Israel, like South Africa, is an apartheid state”. But when the Rand Daily Mail finally broke the story in 1979 about South Africa’s ‘Muldergate’ Political Scandal, that involved everyone in South Africa’s apartheid government, from then PM Vorster to General van den Bergh, Head of State Security, South Africa’s security forces clamped down on the Daily Mail like a load of bricks until it was forced to turn off its presses and close its doors.

Many other voices over the years, in all quarters of the globe, sometimes weakly, sometimes strongly, have continued to speak out against Israel’s own peculiarly-heinous brand of Apartheidism. In 1979, the Palestinian sociologist Elia Zureik, amidst Israel’s brutally-hostile academic and political world, tentatively argued, “Israel, while not a de jure apartheid state (accorded rightful entitlement), Israel is characterized by a latent form of apartheid.” Whereas, the South African diplomat Clinton Swemmer, speaking at a review of Israel’s human rights record at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva in 2017, cautiously remarked, “We remain deeply concerned at the denial of self-determination to the Palestinian people in the absence of which no other human right can be exercised or enjoyed”. Again, more recently, in January 2018, at a standard review of Israel’s human rights record, again at the United Nation’s Human Rights Council in Geneva, South African officials once more reiterated the term ‘Apartheid’, formerly used to describe the Black’s disenfranchisement in South Africa, that “could now be applied to Israel because of its policies towards Palestinians and other non-Jews.”

LIKE THE BDS MOVEMENT IN SOUTH AFRICA B’TSELEM COULD DO THE SAME THING IN ISRAEL

The Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions Movement (BDS) frames itself as a global social movement that challenges neoliberal Western hegemony and struggles against racism, sexism, poverty and other related causes. It therefore is an anti-racist movement that rejects all forms of racism, including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. According to BDS, “All forms of international intervention and peace-making until now have failed, and so the international community should impose punitive measures, such a broad-based boycotts and divestment initiatives against Israel, like those against South Africa during apartheid, and it compares the Palestinian’s plight to that of an apartheid-era Black South African.

While Global South leaders in South Africa, Chile, India and Argentina call for the United Nations to investigate Israel’s apartheid and impose sanctions, thousands of other creative artists, worldwide, continue to  endorse the academic and cultural boycott of Israel while prominent signatories to the Global South call on the former U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay and international trade unions to support a military embargo as well as create a bond of Trade Union Solidarity. Numerous world churches, as well, have voted to support non-violent acts to end Israel’s military occupation of Palestine.

Yet, the reality is that despite the BDS movement’s strong and consistent opposition to apartheid within and outside of South Africa, its apartheid government stayed in power for the better part of 50 years until 1991, when President de Klerk finally began to repeal most of its apartheid legislation that provided the basis for apartheid and eventually brought it to its knees.

Since 2005, Palestinians and their allies around the globe have called upon every country and its people to support a non-violent Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel’s illegal occupation and colonization of Palestinians and their former homelands, similar to what happened to Black South Africans during the country’s apartheid-era. Yet at every turn Israel’s BDS movement has been deemed and vilified by Israel and the United States, its chief ally in the world. Yet, by 2021, even U.S President Joe Biden has finally had to weakly admit that “Palestinians are entitled to a sovereign state, so long as they renounce their inherent right to protect its borders and sovereignty”, which is as much as still essentially saying that, “Prisoners shouldn’t ever get so uppity to think they have the same rights as every other free human being to self-dignity and determination.”

B’Tselem and its officials have stated the situation more bluntly. Hagai El-Aid, B’Tselem’s executive director has declared, “Israel is not a democracy that has a temporary occupation attached to it; it is one regime from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, and we must look at the full picture and see it for what it is: APARTHEID.” The B’Tselem human rights watch dog has now bluntly charges that “the Israeli regime implements laws, practices and state violence designed to cement the supremacy of one group – Jews over another – Palestinians!”

Apartheid is an extraordinary accusation for B’Tselem to make against any country because there exists an international crime called The Crime of Apartheid, as well as an international treaty against the crime of apartheid. No country has ever been deemed by the international community as an apartheid state since South Africa, not even China, Russia or Iran. Israel could prove to be the second such country to be so branded and stigmatized.

It’s vitally critically at this point, as Israel’s chief accuser, that readers know something more about who and what B’Tselem and its staff of writers and researchers are all about. Writer Mitchell Plitnick, recently published in the Nation magazine an article to this effect ( “Biden Must Face the Facts: Israel is an Apartheid Regime”, the Nation, Jan 21st, 2021). Plitnick was responsible for originally opening, in 2008, the office of B’Tselem, Israel’s chief civil society human rights NGO group, in Washington D.C. and worked for it for two years. As a result, B’Tselem, has become a leading human rights organization, whose reputation is commonly said to be “unassailable”.

 For years, as the U.S. Vice-President under Barak Obama, and now as President, Biden, like so many U.S. Presidents before him and their State Department officials, have relied on B’Tselem for their annual human rights evaluations of Israel and the Occupied Territories.

 Plitnick himself, says “B’Tselem’s research is often used by other human rights organizations and governments, including the United States, in developing reports on the human rights situation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.” Formerly, according to Plitnick, B’Tselem’s reports over the years have allowed other organizations to focus upon and reinforce the commonly-held perception that Israel, though a much-touted ‘democratic country’ was also engaged in a military occupation of Palestinians and their refugee areas, no different than places like Myanmar, that violate international law and human rights norms.

Plitnick, as a writer, researcher, political analyst, academician and civil rights specialist on Jewish-Palestinian issues, comes with an illustrious pedigree. An former honor graduate of U.C. Berkeley’s Middle East Studies Program, he is the co-author with March Lamont Hill, of the book “Except for Palestine: The Limits of Progressive Politics. Plitnick also is the president of Rethinking Foreign Policy/ in the Middle East and Beyond (www.rethinkingforeignpolicy.org). Plitnick, as well, is the former co-director of the organization Jewish Voice for Peace, based in Berkeley, and Director of the U.S. Office of B’Tselem. The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories.

With B’Tselem’s latest report on Israel’s Apartheid State, politicians and nations around the world, and especially U.S. President Biden, his VP Kamala Harris and American citizens themselves will have to somehow walk back and reconcile their previous many statements of support on behalf of Israel’s now undeniable apartheid rule over the Palestinian people.

AMERICAN SOCIETY & CULTURE SUPPORTS ISRAEL’S APARTHEID GOVERNMENT, BUT WHY

The 1998 Rome Statue of the International Criminal Court lists three key elements in its definition of Apartheid: the domination by one racial group over another; systematic oppression by one racial group over another, and; one or more inhumane acts as part of that oppression. Under the Rome Statute persecution is made up of two primary elements: a discriminatory intent, leading to severe deprivation of fundamental rights of a racial, ethnic or other group. On the basis of the ground established by the Rome Statute one could make the argument that White America’s treatment of its Black American citizenry at the very least raises some serious questions as to whether or not the treatment of Black Americans meets these criterions, as well. It might also explain why American society and culture in general, and its politicians and those within its law enforcement and justice systems in particular, have historically mis-perceived America’s treatment, vis a vis its Black American citizenry, as falling within the same broad definition of the kind of democratic society and values it attributes to itself that it also would be inclined to attribute to Israel’s similar treatment of its Palestinian citizenry. In other words, America can’t see the forest for the trees and has the same inherent blind spot whether it comes to accurately and fairly judging its own mis-treatment of Black Americans or Israel’s mis-treatment of Palestinians. It’s a vicious, insidious cycle for which, at every turn, Black Americans and Palestinians pay the ultimate physical, mental and emotional price.

The question now is what will the United States do to completely overhaul its own entire ‘American Dream’ and raison de’etre in the aftermath of the George Floyd-Derek Chauvin murder trail. In light of the B’Tselem’s report to the U.N.’s International Criminal Court, many Republican and Democratic politicians will have to try to walk back not only their past statements of the gross fallacies of American Truth & Justice regarding the realities that Black American daily face, but also the many previous statements of support they’ve made for Israel’s undeniable form of apartheid rule over the Palestinian people.

Vice President Kamala Harris is but one of many such prominent American politician who has previously clearly expressed her views of Israel as a beacon of human rights in the Middle East. When once asked by the New York Times if she thought Israel meets the international standard of human rights, Harris unequivocally answer was a firm and emphatic, “Yes, I think Israel is dedicated to being a democracy, and that we should understand the shared values and priorities that we have as a democracy.” Vice President Harris’ 10-year record reveals she is a typical traditional, pro-Israel Democrat who supports Israel’s security, self-determination, and opposes the BDS Movement. (CBN News, the Christian Perspective, www1.cbc.com/cbnew/Israel/2020/august/where-does-Kamala-Harris-stand-on-Israek?)

Speaking in 2019 at the American Jewish Committee’s (AJC) global forum, Harris said, “Israel is a critical friend” of the United States and support for the Jewish homeland should never be a partisan issue.” Harris further declared at the AJC global forum, “I stand with Israel both because of our shared values, which are so fundamental to the founding of both our nations, and I believe the bonds between the people of the United States and the people of Israel are unbreakable and we can never let anyone drive a wedge between us.”

The first resolution Kamala Harris sponsored after being elected a U.S. Senator condemned the passage of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334, which labeled Israel’s settlement activities ion 2334 as a “flagrant violation of international law.” In a later letter to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guiterras, Harris urged Guiterras to stop the UN’s unfair bias against Israel when she asserted, “When any organization delegitimizes Israel, we must stand up and speak out for Israel to be treated equally.”

Again, in 2016, Harris strongly condemned the BDS Movement against Israel’s apartheid, when she told the Jewish News of Northern California, “Israel was the only democracy in the region” (“Candidates vying for Barbara Boxer’s seat on Israel, Anti-Semitism & BDS” ,June 3rd, 2016)

As recently as March 2021, Harris declared to Pm Benjamin Netanyahu her opposition to an International Criminal Court probe of Israel’s possible war crimes in the Palestinian Territories (“U.S. Opposed to ICC probe of Israel, Harris tells Netanyahu”, Emerging Markets, 3/4/21)

Smiling Joe Biden, or “the Cheshire Cat”, as some call the President because you can never exactly tell what he’s thinking, is another politician who speaks AIPAC lingo as fluently as many other Democratic and Republican politicians over the past seven decades, who know which side of their kosher bread is buttered.

During an American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Annual Policy Conference in the U.S. Capitol in 2002, Biden, a long-time friend of Benjamin Netanyahu, once said if he wasn’t an American Christian he would be a Jewish Israeli.

At one point during the AIPAC conference, Biden invoked just enough Judaism to suggest cultural “this Year in Jerusalem”, when he visits this spring.” Biden knew that those at that AIPAC conference were proud of Israel’s many astonishing technical achievements and what thy are most critical about – the homeland in Jerusalem. Biden said to them, “It’s critical to remind your children that the preservation of an independent Jewish State is….the only certain guarantee of freedom and security for the Jewish people”.

Biden knew back then that AIPAC’ers want to wield political influence when he stated, “Many of you in this hall have been my teachers, my mentors and my educators.”. But Biden also knew that, paradoxically, those AIPAC’ers also wanted to believe that most American Christians are instinctive Zionists already when he made the point of saying, “My father was what you would have called a righteous Christian.”

At that moment, those diehard AIPAC’ers assembled near the U.S. Capitol, eating kosher food and being pampered by the most powerful gentiles in the land, represented more than just American-Jewish success. They represented an almost biblical American-Jewish redemption. If that moment could be considered the Purim Story, Biden, at that moment, was King Achashverash in the story and the AIPAC audience ,collectively, was Queen Esther: loved by the gentile kind and emboldened to use that love to wave here people in their homeland.

On one level, the yearning to use American-Jewish power – the world’s collective nations of Jewish power – to protect the Jews and survival of their world faith is totally understandable and central to Israel’s very existence. But on another level, central to this conversation, is the avoidance of the clashing reality as things now stand in the language that has so far been used to justify the continued existence of the Jewish state that is so dependent upon the on-going proliferation of the apartheid Jewish State at the expense of millions of Palestinians, who are left to try to survive any way they can, as now hated, stateless non-citizens in a racist Jewish State, at the mercy of ruthless Jewish power and whim.

Instead of a Biden or some other world politician speaking to the United Nations about “Palestinian desire for statehood”, or a “false unilateral narrative of ultimate Jewish hegemony”, world politicians need to instead talk about the insanity of Israeli government’s policy only subsidizing Jewish settlement building in the West Bank as the actual false unilateral narrative that it is to yet be discussed. Instead of world politicians using any attempt to “delegitimize” Israel’s existence and right to exponentially expand throughout Palestine’s Occupied Territories there needs to be open discussions about why that topic is characterized as “anti-semitism” thought.

Finally, world politicians need to call the demise of Palestine, Palestinians and their former way of life what it is, from the perspective of Zionists and Zionism –A Plan for the Total Extermination -The Final Solution – for the Palestine Race.

Jerome Irwin is a Canadian-American writer who once upon a time in university was a Criminology student while working in one of America’s local police departments. For decades, Irwin has especially sought to call world attention to problems of environmental degradation and unsustainability caused by a host of environmental-ecological-spiritual issues that exist between the conflicting world philosophies of indigenous and non-indigenous peoples. Irwin is the author of the book, “The Wild Gentle Ones; A Turtle Island Odyssey” (www.turtle-island-odyssey.com), a spiritual odyssey among the native peoples of North America that has led to numerous articles pertaining to: Ireland’s Fenian Movement; native peoples Dakota Access Pipeline Resistance Movement; AIPAC, Israel & the U.S. Congress anti-BDS Movement; the historic Battle for Palestine & Siege of Gaza, as well as; the many violations constantly being waged by industrial-corporate-military-propaganda interests against the World’s Collective Soul Email – jerome_irwin@yahoo.com


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