The �Israel above all� defenders, such as Harvard University
Professor Alan Dershowitz and New Republic magazine Editor-in-Chief, Martin
Peretz, have opened a �bag of worms� that defeats their cause. Their criticism
of former President Jimmy Carter�s use of the word apartheid in the title of
his new book,� Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid,� falls flat and raises a question: Does Israel practice
Their criticism of Carter�s book
Criticizing the use of a word in a title rather than a
book�s contents reveals the paucity of rebuttal to a book�s arguments. Focusing
on one word rather than the entire content is a means to establish a
controversy that detracts from a proper examination of the book�s thrust. Since
Carter referred to the separation of Palestinian and Jewish communities in only
the West Bank, it is obvious that some critics didn�t even read the book.
A misleading representation is that the word apartheid is
only defined by the actions of the previous South African governments towards
its black population. Houghton Mifflin�s thesaurus has a more general
definition for �apartheid:�
The policy or
practice of political, legal, economic, or social discrimination, as against
the members of a minority group.
Given this definition, does Israel�s government practice
Israel is a state that separates its citizens. This
separation is apparent in how Israel and the United States regard nationality.
The United States passport reads:
The Secretary of State of the United States
of America hereby requests all of whom it may concern to permit the
citizen/national of the United States named herein to pass without delay or
hindrance and in case of need to give lawful aid and protection.
All Americans have both United States citizenship and
nationality. Israelis have Israel citizenship, but not Israel nationality.
There is no Israel nationality. Israel�s citizens have either Jewish, Arab,
Druze, Samaritan, Circassian, Kara'ite or foreign nationality. Don�t these
prescribed nationalities show a definite separation among Israel�s citizens?
Although there might be some mixture of Arabs and Jews in
major cities, there is a clear separation of these nationalities in all cities
The entire Jewish population left Nazareth many years ago
and established a �new� Nazareth. The �new� Nazareth has received substantial
benefits from the government and has grown prosperous and modern. The �old�
Nazareth remains old.
In Haifa, the Arab population lives by the sea, while the
Jewish population lives in the hills.
Few Arabs live in West Jerusalem, although many Palestinians
might actually own property in that part of Jerusalem.
In Acre, immigrant Jews are able to acquire property but are
not allowed to sell the property to Arab citizens.
Tel Aviv has contiguous populations but not mixed
Few, if any Arabs, have been able to purchase property in
government sponsored housing.
The separation of populations results in the separation of
activities, recreation centers, schools and education. That�s not all.
Israel�s regulations show segregation and
Although some Arabs are able to obtain college scholarships,
the large majority of these scholarships require previous military duty. Since
Arabs are not allowed to serve in the Israeli army, not too many Arabs can
obtain college scholarships.
Arabs don�t obtain many housing loans.
Whenever the Israeli army wants to construct a military base,
Arab lands are expropriated for the endeavor.
Since marriages are performed by a rabbi, a Jew cannot marry
a non-Jew within the boundaries of Israel.
The state of Israel owns more than 90 percent of the land.
Non-Jewish citizens cannot, except in rare occasions, purchase land.
The Law of Return allows Jews to immigrate to Israel; other
persons are not accommodated.
The facts describe Israel�s apartheid. Even without the evidence,
doesn�t Israel�s declaration of itself as a Jewish state indicate a separation
of Jews from non-Jews?
Two questions: (1) Is apartheid too soft a description of
Israel�s policies towards its minorities?
Talk by some Knesset members of eventual transfer of Arab
population is a sinister aspect, which goes beyond apartheid.
(2) Why aren�t world bodies, which debated apartheid in
South Africa and implemented sanctions, not discussing apartheid in Israel and
The principal reason is because there is no organized
insurrection against the Israel government as there was in South Africa.
The next questions are:
doesn�t Israel modify its policies before the apartheid policies result in an
doesn�t a government that considers itself democratic correct the
The answer: Israel might invite an insurrection as an excuse to deport
The world community and Israel�s supporters are once again slow to react
to eventual tragedies for Israel�s Palestinian and Jewish populations.
Dan Lieberman is the editor of Alternative Insight, a monthly web based newsletter, and the writer
of many posted articles on the Middle East conflict. Contact him at email@example.com.