During February and March over 250 cities sponsor Israeli Apartheid Week events such as rallies, lectures, cultural performances, music shows, films and workshops that raise awareness of Israel’s Apartheid policies toward the indigenous Palestinians and in support of the Nonviolent Palestinian led call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israeli Apartheid policies and violations of international law.
One of the worst crimes against humanity in the 20th century was the apartheid regime in South Africa, under which nonwhites were systematically oppressed and deprived of basic human rights.
President Carter imposed sanctions and restrictions on South Africa and publicly criticized the South African government many times.
But President Ronald Reagan changed course and vetoed a bill to impose sanctions.
Reagan was overruled by Congress, led by Republican Senator Nancy Kassebaum who admitted that the United States was culpable in the oppression and that the apartheid regime in South Africa was not going to change unless forced to.
Reagan’s attitude didn’t changed, but American policy did because Congress voted for sanctions that cut off the flow of American Taxpayer dollars that supported South African Apartheid.
In 1984, South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and he nailed Reagan’s policy as “immoral, evil and totally un-Christian.”
On April 29, 2002, while in Boston, Tutu spoke about how he was “very deeply distressed” by what he observed in a recent visit to the Holy Land, adding, “It reminded me so much of what happened in South Africa. The humiliation of the Palestinians at checkpoints and roadblocks, suffering like us when young white police officers prevented us from moving about.”
Referring to Americans, Tutu added, “People are scared in this country to say wrong is wrong because the Jewish lobby is powerful—very powerful. Well, so what? The apartheid government was very powerful, but today it no longer exists.”
An apartheid society is much more than just a ‘settler colony’. It involves specific forms of oppression that actively strip the original inhabitants of any rights at all, whereas civilian members of the invader caste are given all kinds of sumptuous privileges. 
“The truth, which is known to all; through its army, the government of Israel practices a brutal form of Apartheid in the territory it occupies. Its army has turned every Palestinian village and town into a fenced-in, or blocked-in, detention camp.”– Israeli Minister of Education, Shulamit Aloni quoted in the popular Israeli newspaper, Yediot Acharonot on December 20, 2006.
A Little History of WHY it is APARTHEID in Israel Palestine
On July 5, 1950, Israel enacted the Law of Return by which Jews anywhere in the world, have a “right” to immigrate to Israel on the grounds that they are returning to their own state, even if neither they nor their families have ever been there before.
On July 14, 1952: The enactment of the Citizenship/Jewish Nationality Law, results in Israel becoming the only state in the world to grant a particular national-religious group—the Jews—the right to settle in it and gain automatic citizenship.
In 1953, South Africa’s Prime Minister Daniel Malan became the first foreign head of government to visit Israel and returns home with the message that Israel can be a source of inspiration for white South Africans.
In 1962, South African Prime Minister Verwoerd declared that Jews “took Israel from the Arabs after the Arabs had lived there for a thousand years. In that I agree with them, Israel, like South Africa, is an apartheid state.”
On August 1, 1967, Israel enacted the Agricultural Settlement Law, which bans Israeli citizens of non-Jewish nationality [Palestinian Arabs] from working on Jewish National Fund lands, which is over 80% of the land in Israel.
Knesset member Uri Avnery stated: “This law is going to expel Arab cultivators from the land that was formerly theirs and was handed over to the Jews.”
On April 4, 1969, General Moshe Dayan is quoted in the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz telling students at Israel’s Technion Institute that “Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages. You don’t even know the names of these Arab villages, and I don’t blame you, because these geography books no longer exist. Not only do the books not exist, the Arab villages are not there either… There is not one single place built in this country that did not have a former Arab population.”
On April 28, 1971: C. L. Sulzberger, writing in The New York Times, quoted South African Prime Minister John Vorster as saying that Israel is faced with an apartheid problem, namely how to handle its Arab inhabitants. “Both South Africa and Israel are in a sense intruder states. They were built by pioneers originating abroad and settling in partially inhabited areas.”
On September 13, 1978, in Washington, D.C. The Camp David Accords are signed by Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and witnessed by President Jimmy Carter.
The Accords reaffirm U.N. Resolutions 242 and 338, which prohibit acquisition of land by force, call for Israel’s withdrawal of military and civilian forces from the West Bank and Gaza, and prescribe “full autonomy” for the inhabitants of the territories.
Prime Minister Begin promises President Carter that he will freeze all settlement activity during the subsequent peace talks. Once back in Israel, however, Israel continues to confiscate, settle, and fortify the occupied territories.
On September 13, 1985, Rep. George Crockett (D-MI), after visiting the Israeli-occupied West Bank, compares the living conditions there with those of South African blacks and concludes that the West Bank is an instance of apartheid that no one in the U.S. is talking about.
In July 2000, President Bill Clinton convenes the Camp David II Peace Summit between Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat. Clinton—not Barak—offers Arafat the withdrawal of some 40,000 Jewish settlers, leaving more than 180,000 in 209 settlements, all of which are interconnected by roads that cover approximately 10% of the occupied land.
Effectively, this divides the West Bank into at least two non-contiguous areas and multiple fragments. Palestinians would have no control over the borders around them, the air space above them, or the water reserves under them. Barak calls it a generous offer. Arafat refuses to sign.
On August 31, 2001, in Durban, South Africa, up to 50,000 South Africans march in support of the Palestinian people. In their “Declaration by South Africans on Apartheid and the Struggle for Palestine” they proclaim:
“We, South Africans who lived for decades under rulers with a colonial mentality, see Israeli occupation as a strange survival of colonialism in the 21st century. Only in Israel do we hear of ‘settlements’ and ‘settlers.’ Only in Israel do soldiers and armed civilian groups take over hilltops, demolish homes, uproot trees and destroy crops, shell schools, churches and mosques, plunder water reserves, and block access to an indigenous population’s freedom of movement and right to earn a living. These human rights violations were unacceptable in apartheid South Africa and are an affront to us in apartheid Israel.”
On October 23, 2001, Ronnie Kasrils, a Jew and a minister in the South African government, co-authors the petition “Not in My Name.”
Some two hundred members of South Africa’s Jewish community sign the statement because, “It becomes difficult, from a South African perspective, not to draw parallels with the oppression expressed by Palestinians under the hand of Israel and the oppression experienced in South Africa under apartheid rule.”
Three years later, Kasrils goes to the Occupied Territories and concludes, “This is much worse than apartheid. Israeli measures, the brutality, make apartheid look like a picnic. We never had jets attacking our townships. We never had sieges that lasted month after month. We never had tanks destroying houses. We had armored vehicles and police using small arms to shoot people but not on this scale.”
In November 2005, I attended a lecture in Gainesville, Florida, given by two Anarchist’s Against the Wall. Jonathon Pollak, an Israeli activist and organizer for Anarchist’s Against the Wall, explained they are a collaborative NONVIOLENT resistance and civil disobedience group led by Palestinians and supported by Israelis and Internationals dedicated to bringing the separation wall down and ending the occupation of Palestine.
Pollak said, “Although Israel marketed the Wall as a security barrier, logic suggests such a barrier would be as short and straight as possible. Instead, it snakes deep inside the West Bank, resulting in a route that is twice as long as the Green Line, the internationally recognized border. Israel chose the Wall’s path in order to dispossess Palestinians of the maximum land and water, to preserve as many Israeli settlements as possible, and to unilaterally determine a border.
“In order to build the Wall Israel is uprooting tens of thousands of ancient olive trees that for many Palestinians are also the last resource to provide food for their children. The Palestinian aspiration for an independent state is also threatened by the Wall, as it isolates villages from their mother cities and divides the West Bank into disconnected cantons [bantusans/ghettos].
“The Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem conservatively estimates that 500,000 Palestinians are negatively impacted by the Wall.
“We believe that, as with Apartheid South Africa, Americans have a vital role to play in ending Israeli occupation – by divesting from companies that support Israeli occupation, boycotting Israeli products, coming to Palestine as witnesses, or standing with Palestinians in nonviolent resistance.” [Ibid]
Jonathan Ben Artzi, a nephew to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, went to jail for 18 months as a conscientious objector against the Military Occupation of Palestine for refusing to serve in the IDF said:
“Sometimes it takes a good friend to tell you when enough is enough. As they did with South Africa two decades ago, concerned citizens across the US can make a difference by encouraging Washington to get the message to Israel that this cannot continue. If Americans truly are our friends, they should shake us up and take away the keys, because right now we are driving drunk, and without this wake-up call, we will soon find ourselves in the ditch of an undemocratic, doomed state.”
In October 2012, a public opinion poll of Jewish Israelis found that 47% support the ethnic cleansing of Palestinian citizens of Israel. 58% believe Israel practices apartheid toward Palestinians, and 69% favor denying Palestinians the right to vote if Israel annexes the West Bank.
People have RIGHTS. Governments have Obligations.
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