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Posts tagged ‘colonialism’

Israel as a ‘Jewish’ state will legalise discrimination against Palestinians

As the US-led Israeli-Palestinians peace process heads towards the buffers, one of the core aims and assumptions of the two decade-long negotiations – preserving a Jewish state in the majority of Mandate Palestine – has been forced into the spotlight.

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s demand that Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas recognises Israel as a “Jewish state”, a call taken up by other Israeli politicians and lobby groups internationally, has garnered a lot of attention. But ultimately, it is the explicit expression of what has been the implicit assumption of talks since the Oslo process began. Read more

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Boycotts that aid the Palestinians

As governments and civil society groups around the world increase their efforts to target goods produced in Israel’s illegal settlements, the Israeli government and BDS critics are stepping up the propaganda counter offensive.

One of the main tactics adopted by those seeking to stem the boycott tide is to state that these measures actually harm Palestinians. Read more

Gaza to Galilee: The colonial context

Framing events in Gaza in the colonial context is vital for understanding the nature of the violence, argues author.

While it is common knowledge that a majority of the population of the Gaza Strip are refugees, it is less well understood where they came from. The shocking reality is that many of the inhabitants of the Gaza Strip are a few miles away from the land of their ethnically cleansed former villages, across the border fence in southern Israel. Like so much else with Palestine, you can’t understand Gaza if you don’t understand the Nakba. Read more

Israel is an apartheid state (no poll required)

A poll of Jewish Israelis published last week in Ha’aretz newspaper created headlines round the world with its findings of support among the public for discriminatory policies. Some greeted the survey’s results as vindication of claims made by critics of the Jewish state; others pointed to what they said were flaws in the methodology and how the statistics were being presented.

There is, however, no need for such a poll in order to reach the conclusion that Israel is guilty of apartheid: The facts speak for themselves.

Firstly, a clarification about terminology. To talk about Israeli apartheid is not to suggest a precise equivalence with the policies of the historic regime in South Africa. Rather, apartheid is a crime under international law independent of any comparison (see here, here, here, and here). As former UN Special Rapporteur John Dugard put it in the foreword to my first book: “It is Israel’s own version of a system that has been universally condemned.” Read more

Goldstone’s ‘apartheid’ denial sparks strife

After his famous article earlier this year on Gaza, Judge Richard Goldstone has written a new op-ed, this time seeking to defend Israel against charges of apartheid.

There are numerous problems with Goldstone’s piece, but I want to highlight two important errors. First, Goldstone – like others who attack the applicability of the term “apartheid” – wants to focus on differences between the old regime in South Africa and what is happening in Israel/Palestine. Note that he does this even while observing that apartheid “can have broader meaning”, and acknowledging its inclusion in the 1998 Rome Statute. Read more

Not Enough is Being said About the Inequality for Palestinians in Israel

In a Middle East country, a minority is threatened. Around 30,000 face forcible relocation by the government, while elected officials talk of the need to change ‘demographics’. Public racism is routine, and the nation’s security services are clear that they will subvert even nonviolent dissent.

This is Israel, although you wouldn’t know it from reading the article published this week by BICOM’s Alan Johnson. In order to argue that a recent attack on a mosque in northern Israel “says nothing” about “deeper trends in Jewish-Arab relations in Israel”, Johnson omits and distorts in a way that is unhelpful for understanding the reality of the Palestinian citizens of Israel. Read more