Archive for February 13th, 2007
It’s “Israeli Apartheid Week”. I have a lot to say about the wrongs of Israeli goverment and society, but Apartheid it ain’t. So I’m out.
An Apartheid regime is systematically racially discriminant. It is a non-democratic regime, which oppresses a segment of its own population and does not offer this segment any legal means of challenging their oppression. It is therefore a regime which needs to be dismantled, even by use of extreme measures. A population that is not given legal tools to ensure its rights has the moral right to act outside of the law. In the case of South Africa, the ANC adopted a “4 pillar” strategy, which included mass mobilization (civil disobedience), establishment of alternative administration structures, international pressure and armed resistance. In India Gandhi led a similar campaign with the exception of armed resistance.
Such is not the case on Israel. Israel is a functioning democracy that needs mending. It is not a rouge state that needs to be demolished. All citizens of Israel have equal standing before the law and equal voting rights. Arab citizens are not excluded from Academia, Sports or public transport – as was the case in South Africa (and for the matter, the US). It is true that Arab citizens of Israel suffers from acute social inequality, institutional discrimination, prejudice, cultural and political marginalization. They – and we – need to confront these in every legal tool afforded by the civil system. Israel needs to change, not disappear.