Israel and the apartheid analogy

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These are quotes related to claims of Israeli apartheid, that draw an analogy between South Africa's treatment of non-whites during the apartheid era and Israel's treatment of Arabs living in Israel.


  • The law prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, gender, marital status, political beliefs, disability, or age, and the government effectively enforced these prohibitions.
    • U.S. State Department Report, 2010.[1]
  • I loved South Africa, but I loathed the apartheid system. In Israel, I saw a fresh start for a people rising from the ashes of the Holocaust, a place of light and justice, as opposed to the darkness and oppression of apartheid South Africa.
    • Hirsh Goodman, New York Times, 31 January 2014
  • I think my appointment is the example and answer for those who accuse Israel of being an apartheid state. It shows minorities have equal rights and we are part of the government, the state and the parliament.
  • The difference between the current Israeli situation and apartheid South Africa is emphasised at a very human level: Jewish and Arab babies are born in the same delivery room, with the same facilities, attended by the same doctors and nurses, with the mothers recovering in adjoining beds in a ward. Two years ago I had major surgery in a Jerusalem hospital: the surgeon was Jewish, the anaesthetist was Arab, the doctors and nurses who looked after me were Jews and Arabs. Jews and Arabs share meals in restaurants and travel on the same trains, buses and taxis, and visit each other’s homes. Could any of this possibly have happened under apartheid? Of course not.
  • Those who use the apartheid accusation employ the old anti-Zionist arguments. These constitute a multi-layered construct of fundamental ideological positions and analytical constructs, one of which is the purposeful displacement of the real nationalist context for historical comprehension of Zionism with the vilifying label of colonialism. Many anti-Zionists, but not necessary all of them, apply identifiable double standards of judgment to Israel traceable to the characteristic anti-Semitic premise that all things Jews do are inherently evil, including their nationalism.
  • Comparing Israel to apartheid, which most consider slander and simply part of the assault on Israel, is especially sensitive in South Africa where apartheid was born, grew and died.
    • Geoff Sifrin, Jewish Chronicle, 28 February 2014, p.36
  • It reminded me so much of what happened to us black people in South Africa. I have seen the humiliation of the Palestinians at checkpoints and roadblocks, suffering like us when young white police officers prevented us from moving about. Many South Africans are beginning to recognize the parallels to what we went through.


  • I was shocked to see these walls, it's a new apartheid, barbaric behavior: How can you impose such a collective punishment and separate people? After all, we are all living on the same planet. It seems to me the world should have already learned from what happened in South Africa.
    • Nigel Kennedy|[2]


  1. Librarians for Fairness Accessed 23 June 2008.