Yaba Yaba

what? another blog? you must be joking.

No to Apartheid

with 3 comments

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.


Written by yishaym

February 13, 2007 at 1:58 pm

3 Responses

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  1. Sounds reasonable, but is the US really “systematically racially discriminant” like SA used to be, or suffering from “acute social inequality, institutional discrimination, prejudice, cultural and political marginalization” similar to Israel? I’m not one to jump to the defense of the US, but I’m not so sure about this point…


    February 14, 2007 at 1:33 am

  2. Sorry, maybe I wasn’t clear.
    The US was an apartheid state until the late 1960’s. The American Civil Rights movement used methods of mass mobilization and civil disobedience to change that.

    Today, given evidence such as the ratio of black to white inmates in US prisons, I would say it is suffering from cultural and institutional inequality en par with Israel, but as in the case of Israel there are legal provisions for resistance and reform.


    February 14, 2007 at 12:18 pm

  3. […] did you call me? Imsin calls me a lefty refusenik, who usually has very few positive things to say about the way things […]

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