Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘apartheid regime

With no roadmap for peace, Israel risks being compared to the old South Africa

‘There is a serious argument about injustices to be had’. An Israeli border guard gestures at a Palestinian protester in July 2020.

‘There is a serious argument about injustices to be had.’ An Israeli border guard gestures at a Palestinian protester in July 2020. Photograph: Jaafar Ashtiyeh/AFP/Getty Images

It was a deliberate provocation by B’Tselem, Israel’s largest human rights group, to describe the Palestinians in the Holy Land as living under an apartheid regime.

Many Israelis detest the idea that their country, one they see as a “democracy” (that excludes the occupied people from voting and restricted rights) that rose from a genocidal pyre, could be compared to the old racist Afrikaner regime.

Yet figures such as Desmond Tutu and Jimmy Carter have done so. (And thousands other political figures and organizations)

There is a serious argument about injustices to be had. Palestinians – unlike Israeli Jews – live under a fragmented mosaic of laws, often discriminatory, and public authorities which seem indifferent to their plight.

Apartheid is a crime against humanity.

It is a charge that should Not be lightly made, for else it can be shrugged off. Some might agree with the use of such incendiary language, but many will recoil.

The crime of apartheid has been defined as “inhumane acts committed in the context of a regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups with the intention of maintaining that regime”. (Definition that applies entirely to how Israel laws treats Palestinians)

There are nearly 5 million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, all without Israeli citizenship.

In the West Bank, Palestinians are bereft of civil rights, while Israelis in the occupied territory enjoy the full support of the state.

Hamas won Gaza’s election in 2006, but the blockade that Israel imposes means it is in charge.

Egypt has sealed its border, but nothing and nobody can get in or out without Israeli permission.

Meeting the needs of Gaza’s growing population, say relief agencies, is at the whim of Israel. About 300,000 Palestinians in the areas formally annexed in 1967 – East Jerusalem and surrounding villages – do not have full citizenship and equal rights.

Last year, the Israeli NGO Yesh Din found that Israeli officials were culpable of the crime of apartheid in the West Bank. Such a finding can only be a tragedy for all, including this newspaper, who wish the state of Israel well.

B’Tselem argues that Palestinians are afforded various levels of rights depending on where they live, but always below Jewish people. The group says it is becoming impossible to insulate Israel from its prolonged occupation project, leading it to run an apartheid regime not just outside its sovereign territory but inside it.

There are about 2 million Palestinian citizens of Israel, a minority under pressure not to antagonise the Jewish majority. Within Israel, discriminatory policies are not difficult to find.

National security is invoked to justify often racist citizenship laws. Jewish-only communities have admission committees that can legally reject Palestinians on the grounds of “cultural incompatibility”. A web of land and planning laws squeeze Palestinians into a shrinking space. There are Israeli Arabs whose prominence in society belies the poverty of the majority.

Israel has a problem of historic discrimination. But under Benjamin Netanyahu’s government there has been the enactment of the nation state law that constitutionally enshrines Jewish supremacy and a plan to formally annex parts of the West Bank.

Some prominent Jewish intellectuals, such as the writer Peter Beinart, have given up on the idea of a Jewish state. No government formed after the forthcoming election will support genuine Palestinian statehood or have a viable peace plan.

This begs B’Tselem heretical question: what if there is only, in reality, one regime between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, rather than one political power that controls the territory in which there are distinct regimes? (What is the difference in an apartheid regime and extremist right wing political reality?)

A system of separate and unequal law and systemic discrimination against Palestinians has been justified because it was meant to be temporary.

But decades have passed and the situation worsens. If this is a twilight for democracy and equality in the Holy Land, one can only hope that the night will be short.

Israel is an ‘apartheid’ regime

By JOSEPH KRAUSS January 12, 2021

A leading Israeli human rights group has begun describing both Israel and its control of the Palestinian territories as a single “apartheid” regime, using an explosive term that the country’s leaders and their supporters vehemently reject.

In a report released Tuesday, B’Tselem says that while Palestinians live under different forms of Israeli control in the occupied West Bank, blockaded Gaza, annexed east Jerusalem and within Israel itself, they have fewer rights than Jews in the entire area between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River.

“One of the key points in our analysis is that this is a single geopolitical area ruled by one government,” said B’Tselem director Hagai El-Ad.

“This is Not democracy plus occupation. This is apartheid between the river and the sea.”

That a respected Israeli organization is adopting a term long seen as taboo even by many critics of Israel points to a broader shift in the debate as its half-century occupation of war-won lands drags on and hopes for a two-state solution fade.

Peter Beinart, a prominent Jewish-American critic of Israel, caused a similar stir last year when he came out in favor of a single binational state with equal rights for Jews and Palestinians. B’Tselem does not take a position on whether there should be one state or two. (And why Not taking a position?)

Israel has long presented itself as a thriving democracy in which Palestinian citizens, who make up about 20% of its population of 9.2 million, have equal rights.

Israel seized East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in the 1967 war — lands that are home to nearly 5 million Palestinians and which the Palestinians want for a future state. (Gaza is 80% of it transferred Palestinians since 1948)

Israel withdrew troops and settlers from Gaza in 2005 but imposed a blockade after the militant Hamas group seized power there two years later. (Not after Hamas took control, but because it was no longer a tenable occupation).

This apartheid regime of Israel considers the West Bank “disputed” territory whose fate should be determined in peace talks. (Israel flaunted all “peace negotiations” with the Palestinians, even in the Oslo Accords. Israel just want “security” management deals)

Israel annexed East Jerusalem in 1967 in a move not recognized internationally and considers the entire city its unified capital. Most (you mean a few?) Palestinians in east Jerusalem are Israeli “residents,” but not citizens with voting rights.

B’Tselem argues that by dividing up the territories and using different means of control (about 250 checkpoints), Israel masks the underlying reality — that roughly 7 million Jews and 7 million Palestinians live under a single system with vastly unequal rights. (Palestinian youths are detained administratively , with no charges, every night)

“We are not saying that the degree of discrimination that a Palestinian has to endure is the same if one is a citizen of the state of Israel or if one is besieged in Gaza,” El-Ad said. “The point is that there isn’t a single square inch between the river and the sea in which a Palestinian and a Jew are equal.”

Israel’s harshest critics have used the term “apartheid” for decades, evoking the system of white rule and racial segregation in South Africa that was brought to an end in 1994. (What about the White racial divide in the US, which is still being demonstrated today?)

The International Criminal Court defines apartheid as an “institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group.” (Actually, there is No racial reasons, just a colonial rule to rob the Palestinians of their wealth and lands)

“There is no country in the world that is clearer in its apartheid policies than Israel,” said Nabil Shaath, a senior adviser to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

“It is a state based on racist decisions aimed at confiscating land, expelling indigenous people, demolishing homes and entire towns to establishing settlements.”

In recent years, as Israel has further entrenched its rule over the West Bank, Israeli writers, disillusioned former generals and politicians opposed to its right-wing government have increasingly adopted the term.

But until now B’Tselem, which was established in 1989, had only used it in specific contexts.

Israel adamantly rejects the term, saying the restrictions it imposes in Gaza and the West Bank are temporary measures needed for security.

Most Palestinians in the West Bank live in areas governed by the Palestinian Authority, but those areas are surrounded by Israeli checkpoints and Israeli soldiers can enter at any time. Israel has full control over 60% of the West Bank.

Itay Milner, a spokesman for Israel’s consulate general in New York, dismissed the B’Tselem report as “another tool for them to promote their political agenda, based on a distorted ideological view.” He pointed out that “Arab” citizens of Israel are represented across the government, including the diplomatic corps.

Eugene Kontorovich, director of international law at the Jerusalem-based Kohelet Policy Forum, says the fact that the Palestinians have their own government makes any talk of apartheid “inapplicable,” calling the B’Tselem report “shockingly weak, dishonest and misleading.”

Kontorovich said the use of the word “apartheid” was instead aimed at demonizing Israel in a way that “resonates with racial sensitivities and debates in America and the West.”

Alon Pinkas, a former Israeli consul general in New York, rejects the term. “Occupation, yes. Apartheid, absolutely not.”

But he acknowledged that critics of Israel who had refrained from using the term, or who had used it and been attacked, “will now conveniently say, ‘Hey, you know, Israelis are saying it themselves.’”

Rabbi Rick Jacobs, head of the Union for Reform Judaism, which estimates its reach at more than 1.5 million people in 850 congregations across North America, says the situation in the West Bank and Gaza is a “moral blight” and an “occupation but Not apartheid, which is an existential critique“)

El-Ad points to two recent developments that altered B’Tselem’s thinking.

The first development was a contentious law passed in 2018 that defines Israel as the “nation-state of the Jewish people.” Critics say it downgraded Israel’s Palestinian minority to second-class citizenship and formalized the widespread discrimination they have faced since Israel’s founding in 1948. Supporters say it merely recognized Israel’s Jewish character and that similar laws can be found in many Western countries.

The second development was Israel’s announcement in 2019 of its intention to annex up to a third of the occupied West Bank, including all of its Jewish settlements, which are home to nearly 500,000 Israelis. Those plans were put on hold as part a normalization agreement reached with the United Arab Emirates last year, but Israel has said the pause is only temporary.

B’Tselem and other rights groups argue that the boundaries separating Israel and the West Bank vanished long ago — at least for Israeli settlers, who can freely travel back and forth, while their Palestinian neighbors require permits to enter Israel.

There have been no substantive peace talks in more than a decade. The occupation, which critics have long warned is unsustainable, has endured for 53 years.

“Fifty years plus, that’s not enough to understand the permanence of Israeli control of the occupied territories?” El-Ad said. “We think that people need to wake up to reality, and stop talking in future terms about something that has already happened.”

1 of 7 FILE – In this Tuesday, June 30, 2020, file photo, a view of the West Bank Jewish settlement of Ma’ale Efrayim in the Jordan Valley. Israel’s premi

Do you feel dancing like mad, occasionally? Or reciting poetry?

Is there any connection for dancing hard and reciting poetry?

Are the two activities an urge to change, a liberation of a rotten situation that endured too long?

Are the two activities basically initiated by women?

Why do we dance?

Gillian Schutte posted:

Dance is used in protest in many parts of the world.

In South Africa, dance and song has always been intrinsic to protesting for human rights – and is often led by women.  Dance was considered the most performing rebellious/revolutionary act to display in front of the apartheid regime precisely because it said to them that no matter what they do they will never restrain the human spirit, the ability to dance and be.

Dance denotes a freedom of body, mind and soul.

It is both a celebratory and a rebellious act in that it speaks of a freedom of movement, a non-restricted relationship to body and is the … antithesis of an oppressed, restrained and violated body.

Dance is essentially non-patriarchal and it rebels against patriarchal control over the female body.

It is a misnomer to think of celebration as non-revolutionary. Celebration is the ultimate rebellious act in a world that is dictated to us by non-celebratory forces.

It is every women’s right to live in a celebratory world – one that celebrates her sexuality, her beauty, her wisdom, her body, her right to be orgasmic and free. To not recognize that urge is to remain in the clutches of the austere and patriarchal ethos.

To pooh pooh dance in protest also speaks of a western superiority as dance is used in protest in non-western culture naturally – why should we then not include it in a global movement?

Perhaps it is time for dissenters to consider what celebration and contemporary protest have in common, to wonder what such ritualized display of dissent may be able to do in a dynamic process of social change.

Dance, carnival and celebration has been used throughout history to destabilize restrictive leadership and government and it is destabilizing in that it cannot be contained or categorized as aggressive. This is not about women playing dance, it’s about revolution. You have the choice to rise, strike or dance.

Those who would like to dance should be free to do so!”

Why we are dancing:</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>"Dance is used in protest in many parts of the world. In South Africa for example, dance and song has always been intrinsic to protesting for human rights - and is often led by women.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Dance denotes a freedom of body, mind and soul. It is both a celebratory and rebellious act in that it speaks of a freedom of movement, a non-restricted relationship to body and is the<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
antithesis of an oppressed, restrained and violated body. It is essentially non-patriarchal and it rebels against patriarchal control over the female body.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>It is a misnomer to think of celebration as non-revolutionary. Celebration is the ultimate rebellious act in a world that is dictated to us by non-celebratory forces.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
In South Africa, again, dance was considered the most performative rebellious/revolutionary act to display in front of the apartheid regime precisely because it said to them that no matter what they do they will never restrain the human spirit, the ability to dance and be.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>It is every women's right to live in a celebratory world - one that celebrates her sexuality, her beauty, her wisdom, her body, her right to be orgasmic and free. To not recognise that is to remain in the clutches of the austere and patriarchal ethos. Furthermore to pooh pooh dance in protest also speaks of a western superiority as dance is used in protest in non-western culture naturally - why should we then not include it in a global movement?</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Perhaps it is time for dissenters to consider what celebration and contemporary protest have in common, to wonder what such ritualised display of dissent may be able to do in a dynamic process of social change. Dance, carnival and celebration has been used throughout history to destabilize restrictive leadership and government and it is destabilizing in that it cannot be contained or categorized as aggressive.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
This is not about women playing dance, it's about revolution.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>You have the choice to rise, strike or dance. Those who would like to dance should be free to do so!"</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>- Gillian Schutte

The Poetry of Creatures

A poetry reading in Lebanon.

Nath Halawani posted a review of a poetry evening at Dar Bistro:

It’s one of those evenings that make me content with the choice I made over a year ago: to come back to Lebanon.

I had promised both poets I’d make them look like legends.

Matter of fact they didn’t need my help, they were there. I already hold deep admiration to Sara Sibai’s performance.

In fact I was just thinking of asking her later on to send me one of the poems she recited that night.

The idea got kicked out by the fact that a few lines won’t simply do, I’d need a video recording, better yet, I’d need to watch her performing live.

Sara Sibai

As for Omar, he shone like I’ve never seen a person shine before.

I’m known for my bluntness, my abstention to compliment people; Omar was truly an energetic human, whose light was reflected within the letters of every word he recited.

Omar BR

I felt a bit uncomfortable though, embarrassed with the noise my camera’s shutter kept making, such noise that broke the serenity of Dar Bistro.

The scene I was having pictured in mind needed to be caught on camera. I knew everyone would excuse me and understand.

Throughout the evening, both poets invited the audience for some contribution as well, and what contribution that was!

Last thing I expected was to witness the rogue dance of both emotions and reason in front of my eyes whenever a poem was screamed out loud.

The amount of sorrow, hatred, love and peace kept popping out dandling tenderly on the coffee tables

A few heads were looking up onto one direction, others were simply reaching out for an unseen world where the poem was taking place.

I hold but pure respect to both Sara and Omar, for their initiative replenished my faith in my choice and this tiny country, all drenched in chaos.

Most Israeli Jews support Apartheid regime? Why?

Based on a sample of 503 interviewees, most of the Jewish public in Israel supports the establishment of an apartheid regime in Israel if it formally annexes the West Bank.

The survey shows that majority also explicitly favors discrimination against the state’s Arab citizens. The survey was conducted by Dialog  and commissioned by the Yisraela Goldblum Fund.

 published on Oct.23, 2012 in the daily Haaretz:

“The questions were written by a group of academia-based peace and civil rights activists. Dialog is headed by Tel Aviv University Prof. Camil Fuchs.

1. 59% of the Jewish public wants preference for Jews over Arabs in admission to jobs in government ministries.

2. 49% of the Jews want the State of Israel to treat Jewish citizens better than Arab ones;

3. 42% don’t want to live in the same building with Arabs

4. 42% don’t want their children in the same class with Arab children.

5. 33% of the Jewish public wants a law barring Israeli Arabs from voting for the Knesset

6. 69%  objects to giving 2.5 million Palestinians the right to vote if Israel annexes the West Bank.

7. 74% is in favor of separate roads for Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank. (24% believe separate roads are “a good situation” and 50 percent believe they are “a necessary situation.”

8. 47% want part of Israel’s Arab population to be transferred to the Palestinian Authority

9. 36% support transferring some of the Arab towns from Israel to the PA, in exchange for keeping some of the West Bank settlements.

Although the territories have not been annexed, most of the Jewish public:

1. 58% already believes Israel practices apartheid against Arabs.

2. Only 31% think such a system is not in force here.

3. 38% of the Jewish public wants Israel to annex the territories with settlements on them, (while 48 percent object).

The survey distinguishes among the various communities in Israeli society – secular, observant, religious, ultra-Orthodox and former Soviet immigrants.

The ultra-Orthodox, in contrast to those who described themselves as religious or observant, hold the most extreme positions against the Palestinians. An overwhelming majority (83 percent ) of Haredim are in favor of segregated roads and 71 percent are in favor of transfer.

The ultra-Orthodox are also the most anti-Arab group :

1. 70 percent of them support legally barring Israeli Arabs from voting,

2. 82 percent support preferential treatment from the state toward Jews,

3. and 95 percent are in favor of discrimination against Arabs in admission to workplaces.

The group classifying itself as religious is the second most anti-Arab. New immigrants from former Soviet states are closer in their views of the Palestinians to secular Israelis, and are far less radical than the religious and Haredi groups.

However, the number of people who answered “don’t know” in the “Russian” community was higher than in any other.

The Russians register the highest rate of satisfaction with life in Israel (77 percent ) and the secular Israelis the lowest – only 63 percent.

On average, 69 percent of Israelis are satisfied with life in Israel.

Secular Israelis appear to be the least racist:

1. 68 percent of them would not mind having Arab neighbors in their apartment building,

2. 73 percent would not mind Arab students in their children’s class

3. and 50 percent believe Arabs should not be discriminated against in admission to workplaces.

The survey indicates that a third to half of Jewish Israelis want to live in a state that practices formal, open discrimination against its Arab citizens.

An even larger majority wants to live in an apartheid state if Israel annexes the territories.

The survey conductors say perhaps the term “apartheid” was not clear enough to some interviewees.

However, the interviewees did not object strongly to describing Israel’s character as “apartheid” already today, without annexing the territories. Only 31 percent objected to calling Israel an “apartheid state” and said “there’s no apartheid at all.”

In contrast, 39% believe apartheid is practiced “in a few fields”; 19 percent believe “there’s apartheid in many fields” and 11 percent do not know.

The “Russians,” as the survey calls them, display the most objection to classifying their new country as an apartheid state. A third of them – 35 percent – believe Israel does not practice apartheid at all, compared to 28 percent of the secular and ultra-Orthodox communities, 27 percent of the religious and 30 percent of the observant Jews who hold that view.

Altogether, 58 percent of all the groups believe Israel practices apartheid “in a few fields” or “in many fields,” while 11 percent don’t know.

Finally, the interviewees were asked whether “a famous American author [who] is boycotting Israel, claiming it practices apartheid” should be boycotted or invited to Israel. About half (48 percent ) said she should be invited to Israel, 28 percent suggest no response and only 15 percent call to boycott her.

Note 1: Apartheid originated from the liberal Israelis  https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2012/08/17/so-many-of-such-minorities-only-in-israel-counting-is-a-sacred-business/

Note 2Visualizing the Occupation: Israeli and Palestinian children in the eyes of the law
Photo: Visualising the Occupation: Israeli and Palestinian children in the eyes of the law

 


adonis49

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