Israel and the apartheid analogy

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Israel and the apartheid analogy is a comparison between Israel's treatment of the Palestinians and South Africa's treatment of non-whites during its apartheid era, or a comparison of the Israeli concept of Hafrada with the South African concept of Apartheid.

Quotes[edit]

  • As somebody who understands the pervasive evil of apartheid, to say 'Israel is an apartheid state' is not only false and prejudicial to Israel, but it undermines the real struggle against apartheid and the integrity of that movement.
    • Irwin Cotler, as quoted in the Jewish Chronicle, 27 November 2015, p.34
  • You have Palestinians living in Israel with full political rights. You don’t have discriminatory laws against them, I mean not letting them swim on certain beaches or anything like that. I think it’s unfair to call Israel an apartheid state. If Kerry did so, I think he made a mistake.
    • F. W. de Klerk, as quoted in "South Africa's de Klerk: Israel not an apartheid state", The Times of Israel [1], May 27, 2014.
  • 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.
  • However, in contrast to both residents of the OPT and the apartheid Bantustans, Israel has allowed its Arab minority (comprising about 21% of its population) to take up Israeli citizenship. Arab Israelis have their own political parties and many have become notable citizens, taking up positions in the Knesset, cabinet, Supreme Court, foreign service, police and Israeli Defence Force (IDF), as well as the Israeli men’s national football team. Thus Israeli Arabs today enjoy far more rights than blacks ever did within apartheid South Africa.
  • The "Left" repeatedly calls for boycotts of Israel because it is, they claim, "an apartheid state." Israel is so totally free of apartheid that anyone who has spent ten minutes there knows the accusation to be an outright lie. So why keep on saying something untrue? That is anti-Semitism.
  • I grew up in South Africa, so believe me when I say: Israel is not an apartheid state ... The difference between the two countries could scarcely be more stark. Under apartheid, a legal structure of racial hierarchy governed all aspects of life. Black South Africans were denied the vote. They were required by law to live, work, study, travel, enjoy leisure activities, receive medical treatment and even go to the lavatory separately from those with a different colour of skin. Interracial relationships and marriages were illegal. It was subjugation in its rawest form. Contrast that with Israel, a country whose Arab, Druze, Bedouin, Ethiopian, Russian, Baha’i, Armenian and other citizens have equal status under the law. Anyone who truly understands what apartheid was cannot possibly look around Israel today and honestly claim there is any kind of parity.
  • 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.
  • I know about apartheid. I was born in South Africa and spent 26 years as a journalist specialising in reporting apartheid; I have also written several books about it. I only left South Africa because my newspaper, the Rand Daily Mail, of which I was then deputy editor, was closed down by its commercial owners under pressure from the government. We paid the price for being the country's leading voice against apartheid.

    I also am familiar with Israel. I have lived in Jerusalem since 1997 and for more than 12 years was founder director of the Yakar Center for Social Concern whose purpose was to promote dialogue between Jews and Christians, Jews and Muslims, and Israelis and Palestinians. ...

    Why do I dismiss the apartheid analogies so emphatically? Because I straddle both apartheid South Africa and Israel today and have knowledge of the good and the ill in both societies.

    • Pogrund, Benjamin. "Israel has moved to the right, but it is not an apartheid state", The Guardian, Friday 26 October 2012 [2]
  • 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 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.

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