The Apartheid Lie Against Israel

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The use of the term “apartheid” to describe Israel is “unfair and inaccurate slander,” wrote Richard Goldstone in an op-ed article for the New York Times that was published on November 1st.

“It is important to separate legitimate criticism of Israel from assaults that aim to isolate, demonize and delegitimize it,” Goldstone wrote.

The Palestinian propagandists and their supporters will no doubt reject Goldstone’s thesis as the one-sided product of a committed Zionist. However, Goldstone is no stranger to leveling criticisms at Israeli policies. He led the United Nations fact-finding mission on the Gaza war of 2008-09 and produced a highly critical report, which bears his name. Although Goldstone later recanted the Goldstone Report’s specific accusations that Israel had intentionally targeted Palestinian civilians and possibly committed war crimes, he has not recanted the Goldstone Report’s sharp criticisms of Israeli military operations.

Goldstone, a South African jurist with first-hand knowledge of South Africa’s pre-1994 apartheid policies, wrote in his op-ed piece that any comparison of those policies to Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians was an “offensive analogy.”

Goldstone reminded the Times’ readers that under South Africa’s apartheid policy, which was an inherent part of its legal system and harshly enforced, “human beings characterized as black had no rights to vote, hold political office, use ‘white’ toilets or beaches, marry whites, live in whites-only areas or even be there without a ‘pass.’ Blacks critically injured in car accidents were left to bleed to death if there was no ‘black’ ambulance to rush them to a ‘black’ hospital. ‘White’ hospitals were prohibited from saving their lives.”

By contrast, Goldstone points out, “Israeli Arabs — 20 percent of Israel’s population — vote, have political parties and representatives in the Knesset and occupy positions of acclaim, including on its Supreme Court. Arab patients lie alongside Jewish patients in Israeli hospitals, receiving identical treatment.”

Palestinians who live in the so-called “occupied” East Jerusalem see how well their fellow Palestinians are living in Israel proper. According to a poll released earlier this year by Pechter Middle East Polls, in partnership with the Council on Foreign Relations, 30% of Arab East Jerusalem residents said that if given a choice they would choose Palestinian citizenship with the rights and privileges of other citizens of Palestine; 35% would choose Israeli citizenship with the rights and privileges of Israelis; and 35% either declined to answer or said they didn’t know. When asked if they would move to a different location inside Israel, if their neighborhood became part of Palestine, 40 percent said they were likely to move to Israel, and 37 percent said they will not move. When asked why they chose one citizenship over the other, those who chose Israeli citizenship emphasized freedom of movement in Israel, higher income, better job opportunities and Israeli health insurance.

When and if the Palestinians do actually achieve an independent state, Palestinian leaders have already signaled that they will conduct their own version of apartheid and ethnic cleansing, and force Jews living in the new state to leave.

Goldstone conceded that conditions are tougher for Palestinians living in areas that remain under Israeli control in the absence of a peace agreement. The security wall, road blocks and check points are daily obstacles to a normal life. But contrary to the Palestinian propaganda, which is amplified at the United Nations and by Islamist and left-wing groups on college campuses, there is no apartheid in the West Bank. And Hamas-controlled Gaza, from which Israel withdrew in 2005, has since been used by jihadists to launch rocket attacks against Israeli civilians.

Goldstone noted the critical distinction between Israeli measures that have impinged on Palestinian life in the West Bank as well as Gaza, which are designed to defend Israeli citizens from jihadist terrorist attacks, and South Africa’s apartheid policies which were intended to permanently subjugate the black population:

South Africa’s enforced racial separation was intended to permanently benefit the white minority, to the detriment of other races. By contrast, Israel has agreed in concept to the existence of a Palestinian state in Gaza and almost all of the West Bank, and is calling for the Palestinians to negotiate the parameters.

But until there is a two-state peace, or at least as long as Israel’s citizens remain under threat of attacks from the West Bank and Gaza, Israel will see roadblocks and similar measures as necessary for self-defense, even as Palestinians feel oppressed. As things stand, attacks from one side are met by counterattacks from the other.

The security wall, for example, was built only after a succession of suicide bombing attacks that increased significantly during the Second Intifada.

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  • Cynic

    “Yet Jordan, which is host to the largest population of Palestinian refugees, has not integrated the refugees within Jordan ”

    and don’t forget that the “refugees in the Balata Camp in Nablus, under PA control (Abbas & co.), refuse to integrate them into Palestinian life in Nablus.

    The Israelis don’t punish them; it is because the Arab League in its Khartoum “3 No’s Resolution” resolved not to permit any peaceful outcome.
    As early as the 1950s British General Galloway, in charge of UNWRA, told a senate committee that the Arab States were sacrificing the refugees on the political altar in not allowing a resolution to the conflict.

    “It is perfectly clear than the Arab nations do not want to solve the Arab refugee problem. They want to keep it as an open sore, as an affront against the United Nations, and as a weapon against Israel.”

    “Committee on Foreign Relations, Palestine Refugee Program, Hearings before the Subcommittee on the Near East and Africa of the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate, Eighty-Third Congress, First Session on the Palestine Refugee Program, May 20, 21, and 25, 1953 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1953), p. 103.”

  • Flipside

    Israelis were offended at the insinuation that they would let Palestinians live beside them as second class, or even first class citizens. And they were positively infuriated at the idea that they would place Palestinian toilets anywhere near Israeli toilets.

    • Ben Cohen

      This Apartheid allegation is completely unfair. Israel has no desire to rule over Arabs, they have on many occasions offered the Palestinians their own independent state.

      I strongly disagree with the settler movement and those who want to annex the west bank (it would be a disaster for Israel), but it is absolutely false to claim that Israel desires hegemony over the Palestinians.

      Peace is obviously in Israel's best interests, the Palestinians have the combined diplomatic, military and economic clout of 1.5 billion Muslims on their side. This is why Arafat felt he could walk away from the negotiating table and launch the second intifada. It would be criminally stupid for Israel, a tiny nation in the heart of the Arab world to abuse it's Arab minority.

      So no Israel whatever her faults is not an Apartheid state.

      • Flipside

        I agree with your statement. I consider this to be the reasonable ground in the debate. I think if this became the commonly held view, and also people satisfied themselves with statehood and a little road connecting the West Bank to Gaza that would be a giant step.

        • Ben Cohen

          Glad to hear it!

  • aspacia

    FP Trolls are large, dull, particularly ugly creatures that live in caves or other subterranean dwellings along with slugs and other slimy creatures.

    • WilliamJamesWard

      Beastly vermin destroying sanity and peace of mind, repugnant, defiling all
      they come into contact with, smelly and foul of spirit, dead souls without any
      light. I think we are almost there except for a fitting dunce cap with and Obama
      smiley face…………….a real bunch of charmers………………..William

  • Ben Cohen

    I don't agree with the South African comparison, obviously Israel is not an Apartheid state. It does face concerted pressure from the 1.5 billion strong Muslim world, and the international left that sees the anti-apartheid struggle as a template for their own efforts. As such I think it behooves Israel and her supporters to consider the factors that led both F.W DeClerk and Ian Smith to enter into agreements that left the whites in such a vulnerable position.

    The major problem was that the leaders of those two countries lacked both resolve and realism. They lacked the resolve to stand up to the international community and the realism to realize that the situation that existed was unsustainable.

    Permanent occupation is going to be a constant headache and a drain on Israel's resources. Realistically it could be sustained for a long time, but it isn't in Israel's best interest to do so. This is why I told David Horowitz that even though I agree with his assessment of Muslim/Arab attitudes toward Israel if the chance for a stable agreement with Abbas exists he has to take it.

    • aspacia


      If Israel does as you hope, Israel will have more rockets raining down on her. The UN is composed of hopeless oil whores who are easily purchased. Regardless of any concessions Israel makes, Muslims will continue attacking and the UN will be silent during any Muslim atrocities, just as they were silent during the Fogel family massacre.

      Appeasers never survive, and Ben, you are an appeaser.

  • BS77

    Help support the Israeli version of the Red Cross…Magen David Odom…which supplies emergency medical care for ALL Israelis, Jews, Christians, Muslims and ANYONE……victims of rocket attacks, bombings, mortar shells, and natural disasters. Check it out and send your donation to this great organization.