Apartheid: any system or practice that separates people according to color, ethnicity, caste, etc.

tshirt“Jimmy Carter, the former president of the USA and member of the group of elders published a book called Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid. This brought into the mainstream something that was known to people close to Palestine and Israel for a while. Palestinian Christians and Muslims are living as second class citizens under an apartheid regime. Here are some examples:

  • – Palestinians inside of Israel are often moved out from their homes forcibly to make way for Jewish settlements. 30,000 Palestinian bedouins, who are legally citizens of Israel, are undergoing this right now, despite it being against international law.
  • – Systems are in place to favour heavily financial help for Jewish Israelis over and above Christians and Muslims. This includes money for housing and education.
  • – land is regularly confiscated from Palestinian Christians and Muslims and allocated to the Jewish National Fund. This quasi-governmental organisation allocates that land to Jews only. The UN branded its activities as constituting “an institutionalised form of discrimination”. It carries on regardless.

It is interesting that when the US recognised Israel as a state, Truman explicitly refused recognition of it as a “Jewish state” on the grounds that this violated the US first amendment which gives greater rights of one group over another. A great book on the topic is Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner’s Guide.

Although apartheid has come to be identified with the old South African regime, the word apartheid is defined as “any system or practice that separates people according to race, caste, etc.”. Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu have both been very direct in calling Israeli treatment of Palestinians apartheid. And they should know.

Apartheid is not dead. It is alive and well in Israel.”

This article appears on the ‘Hope & Play’ web site here.

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