What are your thoughts on calling Israel an 'Apartheid State'? Is the Barrier an 'Apartheid Wall' or a 'Security Fence'?

I am writing a paper at the moment for presentation in a conference in 12 days and I still can't coherently formulate my argument against Diasporas engaging in dialogue from the position that Israel is an 'Apartheid State'. My thoughts thus far are that while the occupation, the "Matrix of Control" as Jeff Halper calls it, is suffocating and inhibits Palestinian statehood, not to mention breaching human rights and human dignity, using the analogy of apartheid in South Africa obscures the historical context of the I/P conflict. This has two downsides. For one, it undermines historical reasons for the current state of the conflict and obscures legitimate Israeli security concerns, assumes that Israel's reasons for erecting the Barrier were for racist reasons, and in the process attributes the whole of the conflict to skin color or religion over territory and nationalism. Two, it overlooks the specificity of Palestinian suffering, and the use of 'rights discourses' of Apartheid doesn't fully do justice to the totality of the conflict, the refugees, and Israeli Arabs in particular. So what I'm trying to say, I believe, is that on the one hand it downplays certain factors that shouldn't be overlooked while sensationalizing 'Apartheid' as a loaded political term, utilizing its expedience, dehuminizing lives lost over causes overshadowed by the analogy, on the other. I think in the case of Diasporas and dialogue the 'Apartheid' analogy is unhelpful because it doesn't lead to mutual understanding but rather engages the 'Other' in a disposition empty of trust and full of anger and hatred. I don't see how anger and hatred will facilitate a starting point to dialogue. But what do you think?

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“What are your thoughts on calling Israel an 'Apartheid State'? Is the Barrier an 'Apartheid Wall' or a 'Security Fence'?”

I believe it is an Apartheid State using the barrier as a means to steal more land and cut off agriculture lands from the Palestinians in a vain effort to drive them out.

As someone who grew up in South Africa under apartheid (although as a "prvildged white" I do see some simlarities, but I agree that to call Israel an "apartheid state' simplifies the conflict which is certainly very different from the South African one in many ways. I do think lessons can be learnt from how Apartheid ended and wish Israelis would take it into account. I also think that in Israel itself (as apart from the occupied territories) with the rise of ideologies such as that of FM Lieberman there is a very real danger of an Apartehid like-system being established against Israeli Arabs.
It actually serves as both, so the either/or argument does not work. However, there are still plenty of similarities to apartheid. There are rules forbidding Muslim-Jewish marriages. unless one converts to the religion of the other. Those born of such unions are not considered legitimate. Arabs in Israel (not including Druze and Bedouins) are not allowed to serve in the IDF. Arabs who live in the occupied territories are not allowed to vote. The Palestinians, like the native South Africans, are the majority when you include the Arabs of both Israel proper, the West Bank and Gaza. So is this apartheid -- yes. The 6 Day War did a great disservice to the Palestinians who moved out of their homes and weren't allowed back. Why? Because of the prejudiced governing leadership of the surrounding countries. The ruling parties of the surrounding countries made the Palestinians guilty by distant association. However, if the security fence were to go down today, violence would errupt tomorrow. So it's not a one-or-the-other scenario. But it exists because of apartheid.

while citizenship in time of conflict is complex and have ethno-centric bias, there is no store that sell only to Jews and no area aloud only to Jews.

The concept of South AFrican seperation was much more deep then the problems we have in israel where the questions of citizenship is open to debates and may change in time.

calling Israel aparthide state is not accurate and just build a wall of hate toward the israelis.
this is a political statment and do not describe the complex reality we have.
"The "apartheid" accusation is just another in a long history of attempts by Arab nationalists and anti-Semitic leftists to dehumanize israeli and its people."

++ There is allways two sides in coin. Both sides of conflict must be heard.
Mika wrote: "There is always two sides in coin. Both sides of conflict must be heard."

Of course. Does that make false and emotive accusations and demonisation attempt appropriate? I doubt that that is what you are suggesting.

Mika: You mention that you served in Lebanon. When was that and what were you doing?

Be well...
Both sides are doing just that, demonisation and accusations. Wrong ? Of course, but thats the way unfortunately peoples in conflict do. It would be odd to hear that "we are fighting against the most wonderful and brilliant peoples in the world" ;)

I served in Lebanon 1991-1992, one year. I was stationed in pos. 9-36, and our duty was what mandate told us to do. That pos. doesn't exist anymore.
It's a wall. That's all.
Israel didn't WANT to put it up, they had to.
Maybe one day they'll have enough well-rooted confidence in long-standing peace to take it down.
It's not offensive, it's just a very sad reality.
Walls are not pretty or poetic, but they can be compassionate. I think that the wall is not up to "keep people out" but to protect those who are inside: both Jews and Palestinians. It causes problems for the innocent, I know. But it serves the innocent, as well.
Comparing it to the Berlin Wall and other regimes is getting old. There are VERY FEW similarities. The similarities are THERE, but they are insignificant.
Right. But the real question is WHY IS IT THERE???
Is it a "racism problem" like some people believe? or a "practical measure" for safety like some people believe?
Which persuasion holds the truth? How DOES a person get to the bottom of this rationally, fairly, and FINALLY?
I think it's in history and facts. Weighing things in the balance and not getting swayed by feelings and emotions. Emotions need to be line with the truth, not the other way around.
Israel didn't have to build that wall. Israel officials in time made study how those terrorists infiltrated to Israel, and surprise through checkpoints and borderstations. And as ICJ in it's advisory resolution said, it's quite legitimate to build that wall in green line, but problem is that about 80 % of that wall goes somewhere else than in that green line. So security and to who ? Security can only achieved through peaceagreement, not walls.
I don't think 'Israel' plans to become an "Apartheid State" but I wonder if its not going partly that way. The Wall I think is basically a security fence, put up reluntantly after years of the "Green (open) Border" policy. If it remains forever it will be a blotch (in my opinion) on the history of the Holy Land. ( I'm no expert on this wall, but I suppose as usual, the farmers are those most disturbed. ) My own views [ perhaps politically incorrect ] are that the Oslo Agreements are the root of the currently disturbed lives of the Palestinians. When I was younger I used to work in construction shoulder-to-shoulder with Arab workers (pouring cement, etc. ) and so it saddens me that they, the apparent silent majority, have recieved such a raw rotten deal. Yes for them it appears like apartheid in the Holyland. But I don't think it will be permanent. Hopefully not.
Basil you are 100% correct. Israel's motivations are pretty much what you state - create new realities on the ground, colonize, colonize, colonize. Unfortunately for the Palestinian population both on the West Bank and in Gaza, their own leaderships are complicit, intenionally or otherwise, in Israel achieving these objectives. The role of true leadership is that it leads - by good governance in the best interest of their constituents. This does not happen in Gaza and to a lesser extent in the West Bank. The on going civil war between between Fatah and Hamas and the many smaller groups that make up the Palestinian body politic should take a leaf out of that Israeli "terrorist" , Menachem Begin's book. Not long before the British forces left what was the British mandate of Palestine, the then Jewish Government under the leadership of David Ben Gurion ordered the "terrorist" group's arm ship, the Altalena to be blown up, with the loss of many lives. Ben Gurion feared that if Begin had received delivery of that shipload of weapons, Begin and his group would be in a position to militarily challenge the official new Government in waiting. Begin had always stated his intention never to commence a civil war once indepence was declared. Even after the provocative act by Ben Gurion in blowing up the Altalena, Begin did not seek revenge but merged the forces of the Irgun with newly formed IDF. He believed that for Israel to exist and to succeed it must do so in a Western style democratic manner.It was to be another almost 30 years till he and his political party, Herut were elected as the government of Israel. My point is this. Unless Palestinians unite, eliminate their internal squabling, adopt a unified platform of non violence and make the use of violence against civilians unacceptable and punishable by law,conduct genuine elections and commence to govern for the benefit of the people, then Israel will continue to do what all powerful nations do when they beleive their existence is under threat - effectively what they like. They will seize land, they will construct separation barriers and they will be able to justify all these actions in the interest of national security. Is it fair? Is it just? Might may not be right, but throughout history, in the short term it has always been applied.
the wall
isreal took alot of lands from farmers, in 2000 ,the second enifada happene since the tow leaders from /p reached to a close point so , sharoon built the wall according to the boundris of isreal this wall divied the people fromeach other , isreal took lands of farmers in name of security item this is unfair , why these farmers loose thier land for this issue.

another thing
settlers dont respect palestinian, according to thier sayings they said they are the chosen so if you looked to the mountains they are living in the mountian where there are the chosen, these settlers dont repsect poeple who are living in west bank, jerusalem, even Gaza.
palestinian who are living in isreali side;
isreal govermnet took from them the name of palestinian , these settlers said there is no exisistance to thi people, even if you looked to isreal how they treat arab1948 too bad they are in the third level, eduaction they arent the same. i know every person has the right to express him self the new govermnet within liberman, he prevented arab people from protesting since these days is the memory of second intifada, another thing i heared about the jweish nation, why should cris, moslims be loyal to this nation this is unfair issue he.

jursalem area

look to the people there how they are so poor, where the isreali government make thier living like a hill, look to the income of people thier the palesinian people dont take incmoe like the isreali so how can the palesinian one pay the arnnoa which is very high where the settlers have all the facilites to have a house agood salary so where is the fair in this issue.

how they can pay this money , so they cant so jersaulem municipality destory the houses of this poorness people who feel in them no one.

in camps in jrusalem

this area is not safe where you find drugs alkhol does the government care about this issue the answer no so now you have around 20000 took drugs in shvat area, if it is palestinian govenment something will change there.
the wall again;

do you know the best area foe wateris after the wall which is under the control of isreal , do you know in west bank people dont have enogh water, the averge consumption rate of water around 60 liter per day mena while the isreal people live in the heaven and we live in the hill they speant water around 300 liter per day is thi fair, after the wall all the good area for planting is within isreal, if you go to tubas area you will find 60000 dunms is under the control of isreal where farmers cant go these land for militry who pay the bill is not the palestinian.

do you know after 10 yaers or in the future the war will be water, not for palestine but for jordan too, they took evry thing water, sky, area, thw palestinain peole live from nothing.

look to Gaza what happend there they want to draw another wall there they cant be so quite in order to draw the isreal nation man we want to live like any other people but one some one come to your house cick you from it kill your family jsut bcoz he want to live insted of me is this fair, the last war in Gaza it was fro the elelction in isreal are they happy know that 1500 people died, amd now 1.5 million in prision no one stop this no one



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