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The comparison has been made and not without some grounds between the treatment of Palestinians in Israeli occupied territories and the treatment of black South Africans during apartheid. Palestinians involved in commemoration demonstrations for Nelson Mandela this weekend certainly drew the comparison.
According to a report in pro-Palestine newssite Mondoweiss, Israeli forces opened fire on the West Bank Mandela commemorations (which were also protests against the Israeli occupation and expansion in the embattled terrain). Dozens of Palestinians were injured and one detained as Israeli forces opened fire to disperse protests against the Israeli occupation and commemorating Nelson Mandelas death across the West Bank, Mondoweiss reported, noting:
Demonstrators raised slogans and posters of South African anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela in many villages, commemorating the legacy of the freedom fighter who passed away on Thursday In Nabi Saleh, Israeli forces dispersed demonstrators who marched throughout the village raising Palestinian flags as well as photographs of Mustafa Tamimi, who was shot dead by Israeli forces at a similar rally in 2011. Israeli forces opened fire on the demonstrations throughout the day with tear gas, stun grenades, and rubber bullets.
Israel and the apartheid analogy is a comparison between Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians to South Africa’s treatment of non-whites during its apartheid era.
The analogy has been used by scholars, United Nations investigators, human rights groups and critics of Israeli policy, some of which have also accused Israel of committing the crime of apartheid. Critics of Israeli policy say that “a system of control” in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, including Jewish-only settlements, the ID system, separate roads for Israeli and Palestinian citizens, military checkpoints, discriminatory marriage law, the West Bank barrier, use of Palestinians as cheap labour, Palestinian West Bank enclaves, inequities in infrastructure, legal rights, and access to land and resources between Palestinians and Israeli residents in the Israeli-occupied territories resembles some aspects of the South African apartheid regime, and that elements of Israel’s occupation constitute forms of colonialism and of apartheid, which are contrary to international law. Some commentators extend the analogy, or accusation, to include Arab citizens of Israel, describing their citizenship status as second-class.
Opponents of the analogy claim it is intended to delegitimize Israel. Opponents state that the West Bank and Gaza are not part of sovereign Israel, they are governed by the elected Palestinian Authority and Hamas leaders, so they cannot be compared to the internal policies of apartheid South Africa. In regards to the situation within Israel itself, critics of the analogy argue that Israel cannot be called an apartheid state because unlike the South African apartheid racist laws, Israeli law guarantees Arab citizens of Israel the same rights as other Israeli citizens without distinction of race, creed or sex.
In 1961, the South African prime minister, and the architect of South Africa’s apartheid policies, Hendrik Verwoerd, dismissed an Israeli vote against South African apartheid at the United Nations, saying that “Israel is not consistent in its new anti-apartheid attitude… they took Israel away from the Arabs after the Arabs lived there for a thousand years. In that, I agree with them. Israel, like South Africa, is an apartheid state.” Since then, a number of sources have used the apartheid analogy in their examination of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In 1967, after the Six Days War, David Ben-Gurion stated that unless Israel managed to ‘rid itself of the territories and their Arab population as soon as possible,’ it would become an apartheid state. In the early 1970s, Arabic language magazines of the PLO and PFLP compared the Israeli proposals for a Palestinian autonomy to the Bantustan strategy of South Africa. In 1979 the Palestinian sociologist Elia Zureik argued that while not de jure an apartheid state, Israeli society was characterized by a latent form of apartheid. The analogy emerged with some frequency in both academic and activist writings in the 1980-90s, when Uri Davis, Meron Benvenisti, Richard Locke and Anthony Stewart employed the analogy to describe Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. In the 1990s, the analogy has gained prominence, after Israel, as a result of the Oslo Accords, granted the Palestinians limited self-government in form the Palestinian Authority, and established a system of permits and checkpoints in the Palestinian Territories. The analogy has gained additional traction following Israel’s construction of the West Bank Barrier. By 2013 the analogy between the West Bank and Bantustans of apartheid-era South Africa was widely drawn in international circles. Also in the United States, where the notion had previously been taboo, Israel’s rule over the occupied territories was increasingly compared to apartheid.
Heribert Adam of Simon Fraser University and Kogila Moodley of the University of British Columbia, in their 2005 book-length study Seeking Mandela: Peacemaking Between Israelis and Palestinians, apply lessons learned in South Africa to resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
They divide academic and journalistic commentators on the topic into three groups:
In part, analysts like Adam and Moodley argue, this controversy over terminology arises because Israel as a state is unique in the region. Israel is perceived as a Western democracy and is thus likely to be judged by the standards of such a state. Western commentators, too, may feel “a greater affinity to a like minded polity than to an autocratic Third World state.” Israel also claims to be a home for the worldwide Jewish diaspora and a strategic outpost of the Western world which “is heavily bankrolled by U.S. taxpayers” who can be viewed as sharing a collective responsibility for its behaviors. Radical Islamists, according to some analysts, “use Israeli policies to mobilize anti-Western sentiment”, leading to a situation in which “(u)nconditional U.S. support for Israeli expansionism potentially unites Muslim moderates with jihadists.” As a result of these factors, according to this analysis, the West Bank Barrier nicknamed the “apartheid wall” has become a critical frontline in the War on Terrorism.
Adam and Moodley note that Jewish historical suffering has imbued Zionism with a subjective sense of moral validity that the whites ruling South Africa never had: “Afrikaner moral standing was constantly undermined by exclusion and domination of blacks, even subconsciously in the minds of its beneficiaries. In contrast, the similar Israeli dispossession of Palestinians is perceived as self-defense and therefore not immoral.” They also suggest that academic comparisons between Israel and apartheid South Africa that see both dominant groups as “settler societies” leave unanswered the question of “when and how settlers become indigenous,” as well as failing to take into account that Israeli’s Jewish immigrants view themselves as returning home. “In their self-concept, Zionists are simply returning to their ancestral homeland from which they were dispersed two millennia ago. Originally most did not intend to exploit native labor and resources, as colonizers do.” Adam and Moodley stress that “because people give meaning to their lives and interpret their worlds through these diverse ideological prisms, the perceptions are real and have to be taken seriously.”
Adam and Moodley argue that notwithstanding universal suffrage within Israel proper, if the occupied Palestinian territories and settler presence are considered part of the entity under analysis, the comparison between a disenfranchised African population in apartheid South Africa and the Palestinians under Israeli occupation gains more validity.
Adam and Moodley also argue that “apartheid ideologues” who justified their rule by claiming self-defense against “African National Congress(ANC)-led communism” found that excuse outdated after the collapse of the Soviet Union, whereas “continued Arab hostilities sustain the Israeli perception of justifiable self-defense.”
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Clippers star Chris Paul suffered a nasal fracture last week, and has been forced to join Kobe Bryant in wearing a mask as he plays. His son was jealous so Chris made him a mask out of a paper plate. Thanks to the magic of Photoshop you can now wear that awesome mask.
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Chris Paul Is An Awesome Father
“The people are the city!” That line appears just once in Shakespeare's play detailing the rise and fall of fifth-century B.C. Roman war hero and politician Caius Martius Coriolanus (Ralph Fiennes), just as public opinion is turning ugly towards him and his anti-populist attitudes
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