Website policy


We provide links to articles we think will be of interest to our supporters, informing them of issues, events, debates and the wider context of the conflict. We are sympathetic to much of the content of what we post, but not to everything. The fact that something has been linked to here does not necessarily mean that we endorse the views expressed in it.
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Leon Rosselson, letter to the Guardian, 28 July 2014

“Before the current round of violence, the West Bank had been relatively quiet for years,” writes Jonathan Freedland (Israel’s fears are real, but this war is utterly self-defeating, 26 July). According to B’Tselem, the Israeli human rights centre, 90 West Bank Palestinians were killed, 16 of them children, by the IDF or by settlers between January 2009 and May 2014. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, there have been 2,100 settler attacks since 2006, involving beatings, shootings, vandalising schools, homes, mosques, churches and destroying olive groves. According to Amnesty International, between January 2011 and December 2013, Israeli violence resulted in injuries to 1,500 Palestinian children. “Relatively quiet” for whom?
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Posts

Tutu urges Presbyterians to name Israel an apartheid state

The extraordinary Desmond Tutu has developed an understanding of forgiveness which is vigorous, liberating, and founded on the idea of justice. Naming Israel an apartheid state and divesting from its machines of oppression are thus steps towards his Christian idea of what liberation, forgiveness and reconciliation mean.

Naming Israeli rule: Occupartheid?

A word has been coined to step forward from the arguments about whether the governance of the Palestinians is apartheid, S. Africa-style, colonialism, European-style or occupation, war-time style. An editorial in the Abu Dhabi-owned The National calls it Occupartheid to name the unique means of dispossessing Palestinians.

Likud allies welcome making an apartheid state out of Israel and oPt

I want the majority of the land with the minimum of Palestinians on it says Danny Danon. Government policies are moving in the right direction – but not fast or completely enough. With the failure of the peace-talks, the brakes are off. It’s straight out of the South African playbook

No place for a reasonable discussion about Israel in Washington

There has been more reaction in the US to John Kerry’s use of the word ‘apartheid’, and his apology for that use, than there has been to the failure of the peace talks. Josh Rogin says he was ‘damn right’ to have taped the speech. John Cassidy (Kerry was wrong), and Ben White (he was right to defy the thought police), comment.

Call it ‘occupation’ – it annihilates more than apartheid did

beit jala settlement

Two writers from +972, one from Haaretz take up the debate on whether ‘apartheid’ is the correct name for Israel’s form of rule over non-Jews. In Israel, the separation is less absolute than it was in S.Africa; in the oPt the Palestinians are wholly alien, never to have their national political identity put into effect. Even colonialism – in which the ruled were thought to be in training for nationhood – is too kind a word. And occupation, as has been ruled, is assumed to be temporary. Lost for words?

Eternal peace talks, eternal Palestinian subjugation

The absence of any realistic ‘peace process’ may be a vacuum which pulls in any moving body, such as John Kerry. Or Kerry may be ‘addicted’ to the process, as Foreign Policy’s Aaron David Miller suggests. Or the Peace Process is emptied of all meaning because for Israelis the only peace is unconditional Palestinian surrender as Zeev Sternhell argues. Israeli supremacy will rule.

Duty of all states not to recognise as lawful Israel’s illegal acts

This is a very clear and useful publication from the law faculty at Birzeit university specifying the laws which Israel is (and is not) breaking in maintaining its rule over Palestinians. It argues that ‘occupation’ is the wrong term for Israeli rule (there are circumstances in which occupation may be, at least, not unlawful). More accurate is ‘settler colonialism’ which was outlawed in 1960 when the UN adopted the Declaration on Granting Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples. Too late for the indigenous Australians and Americans.

Apartheid label begins to stick

This is the first of two Op-Ed pages which the NY Times has given this weekend (Feb 1-2) to the opposition to Israel’s exceptional colonial rule and the weakness of the Israeli government’s position which cries ‘delegitimisation’, while building more housing and checkpoints on Palestinian land. The critic is Hirsh Goodman, ‘Liberal Zionist’ South African who at first decries the label apartheid for Israel. If it is intended to ‘balance’ Omar Barghouti (below), it fails.

Israel losing fight against ‘apartheid state’ label

The death of Nelson Mandela brought to the forefront the Palestinians’ identification with him and his identity as the leader of a battle against an apartheid state. Despite many protestations, and differences, that label is going to stick.

How to combat apartheid Israeli-style

For some time, South Africans resented the use of their word, apartheid (Afrikaans for separation), as a description of any other system. The oppression and exploitation of black Africans by a white minority seemed exceptional in its brutal, lethal, total oppression. In two articles, Ran Greenstein, Israeli Jewish South African, looks at what makes the Israeli and S.African systems of ethnic segregation different – and alike.

‘Apartheid’ says Nigel Kennedy at Proms. Not in BBC’s recording.

At the Proms, Nigel Kennedy and his jazz-infused playing of Vivaldi with the Palestine Strings and his Orchestra of Life delighted a packed Albert Hall. As he said, “giving equality and getting rid of apartheid gives a beautiful chance for amazing things to happen.” Except that in the BBC’s edited recording for TV he doesn’t say that. For all the BBC’s words about getting a new, less stuffy audience for the Proms, it doesn’t like it when that happens.

See apartheid being carved into Palestine. Hear the silence of the EU.

A strong article by Jonathan Cook on ‘apartheid by any other name’ is followed by articles, photos and diagrams which strongly suggest no other name is needed. If the very infrastructure, let alone services and amenities, are divided on ethnic lines, ethnic superiority (Israeli) is being physically constructed. Why the world that was outraged by S.African apartheid should remain so muted on Israel’s version is an urgent question.

A better strategy: dissolve the PA and demand equal rights

Palestinians are dispersed, support from Arabs has dwindled as their uprisings take centre stage, neither the PA nor 2-state negotiations can deliver full citizenship. Rather, argues Ghada Karmi, Israel/Palestine is already one state, albeit an apartheid one. Palestinians should junk the PA and demand full equal rights in the one state.

Humiliation by checkpoint

Every infringement of the freedom of Palestinians is enforced by Israeli agencies in the name of security. Israeli security. A party of visitors from American universities sees instead policies to humiliate Palestinians and force them into the slow restricted lanes which an apartheid state demands. Freedom of movement is a universal right.

The normal men who built the occupation and the normal people who benefit from it

There is a fond belief among Israelis and Liberal Zionists that the unacceptable policies of Israel – occupation, unjust imprisonment, ethnic discrimination – have been created by a minority of zealots. But it’s the ordinary architects, construction workers, lawyers, not to mention the ‘defence’ industry – whose USP is Israelis’ experience of operating systems of control – which make occupation and settlements possible says Haggai Matar.

How to tell Israeli and South African apartheid apart

If the South African model is followed and the distinct qualities of Israeli apartheid not recognised, Palestinians will not develop effective means of gaining their freedom says Samer Abdelnour. He cites such defining issues as Israel’s massive military production, subsidies from the US, the fact it does not depend on Palestinian labour, the sophisticated physical and bureaucratic paraphernalia of occupation and its foreign lobbies.

Stick with 2-state solution – it’s the only game in town

It may seem ridiculous to be discussing whether, ideally, Israelis and Palestinians should live together in one state or two. It’s pie in the sky while the occupation intensifies. But the idea of what could succeed colonialist Israel is vital in providing something to work for, and work on, to overcome the inertia, go beyond mere resistance , however vital that is. Which means the debate on one secular democratic state, a binational or a federal state or two states has to continue. Here Uri Avnery returns to his argument for two states. Like his critics, he says it depends on what models you generalise from.

Nakba denial and its consequence

Zvi Bar’el writes: “The nakba terrifies Israel. We cannot forgive the Arabs for exiling themselves from Palestine, for destroying their own villages, for becoming refugees and for causing the cleansing of the War of Independence. Neither can we forgive them for the fact that many of them remained in Israel, destroying its aspiration to be a pure Jewish state, not only a state for Jews… We may one day have “peaceful coexistence” with the Arabs of the West Bank and Gaza. With the Arabs of Israel, it will take much more. We need sincere reconciliation.”

Israeli apartheid puts people AND places into unequal camps

The Palestinian town of Nazareth is, in terms of amenities and facilities, ‘a village with work camps’ says Sami Abu Shehadeh. The Israeli districts in which Palestinians live are sharply marked off from Jewish ones by poorer amenities, services and infrastructure. But Palestinians in Israel do not get the outside attention of those in the oPt.

Can Palestinians save Israel from its march into apartheid?

In our last pre-election posting we offer a selection of comments on how social democrats are too weak and divided to prevent a victory for the ultra-right. All the articles suggest neither Israelis nor Palestinians have embraced active political participation; there is not an article outside Israel which views more years of a Netanyahu government with anything other than dismay.