A “moment of moral clarity” in Israel

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Early last week, in a short, incisive report, Israel’s largest and most respected human rights group, B’Tselem, declared the situation in Israel/Palestine as apartheid.

The landmark report entitled “A regime of Jewish supremacy from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea: This is apartheid” lays bares the reality of life across the entire area of historic Palestine – all of which is occupied and/or controlled by Israel.

It’s the first time B’Tselem has used the “A” word saying..

“the terms we have used in recent years to describe the situation – such as “prolonged occupation” or a “one-state reality” – are no longeradequate

In eight pages B’Tselem details the “four major methods the Israeli regime uses to advance Jewish supremacy” as: “Immigration – for Jews only”; “Taking over land for Jews while crowding Palestinians in enclaves”; “Restriction of Palestinians’ freedom of movement” and “Denial of Palestinians’ right to political representation” and concludes:

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“These accumulated measures, their pervasiveness in legislation and political practice, and the public and judicial support they receive – all form the basis for our conclusion that the bar for labelling the Israeli regime as apartheid has been met”

and

“A regime that uses laws, practices and organized violence to cement the supremacy of one group over another is an apartheid regime…”

Apartheid didn’t happen overnight. The report explains…

“Israeli apartheid, which promotes the supremacy of Jews over Palestinians, was not born in one day or of a single speech. It is a process that has gradually grown more institutionalized and explicit, with mechanisms introduced over time in law and practice to promote Jewish supremacy”

Israel denies it is running an apartheid regime. It claims to be a democracy and the occupation of all historic Palestine is a temporary and necessary security measure, pending negotiations. However, the 50-year Israeli occupation, the on-going theft of Palestinian land (what a UN report refers to as “occu-annexation”), the sheer brutality of the Israel military against unarmed Palestinian protestors, the siege of Gaza and the abuse directed at United Nations and international law by Israeli leaders tells another story.

The report identifies two recent developments leading to the B’Tselem reassessment. Firstly, Israel’s Nation State basic law, enacted in 2018, which enshrines the Jewish people’s right to self-determination but specifically excludes the same rights for Palestinians. In other words, the 17% of Israeli citizens who are Palestinian Israelis are automatically second-class citizens in the land of their birth. As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, in a self-declaration of an apartheid state, “Israel is not a state for all its citizens”.

Secondly last year’s Israeli proposals, endorsed by US President Donald Trump, to formerly annex vast areas of Palestinian land on which Israel has built some 280 settlements – illegal under international law – for more than 600,000 Jewish settlers.

In releasing the report Executive Director of B’Tselem, Hagai El-Ad, points out differences from South African apartheid:

“Unlike South African apartheid, the application of our version of it – apartheid 2.0, if you will – avoids certain kinds of ugliness. You won’t find “whites only” signs on benches. Here, “protecting the Jewish character” of a community – or of the state itself – is one of the thinly veiled euphemisms deployed to try to obscure the truth. Yet the essence is the same”

Labelling Israeli policies as apartheid is not new but coming from such a principled and high-profile organisation within Israel, it marks a significant change in the way New Zealand and the world should relate to the Middle East. There will be some who will automatically and predictably attempt to smear the report as anti-semitic but there is plenty here for New Zealanders and our government to reflect on.

Most importantly the report is positive and forward-looking:

“Calling things by their proper name – apartheid – is not a moment of despair: rather, it is a moment of moral clarity, a step on a long walk inspired by hope. See the reality for what it is, name it without flinching – and help bring about the realisation of a just future”.

Indeed.

62 COMMENTS

      • And you won’t find any in Israel. As per usual, Minto strips all context, the underlying truth being the Arabs’ war on the Jews and Israel’s right to self-defence.

        • Oh dear.

          Someone denying the words of Jewish Organisations, Journalists and Individuals.

          Then te words of a man who saw, lived through and survived Apartheid – Desmond Tutu.

          Gaby really needs to take on opened minded review of the ongoing literature and then decide that Apartheid is Not acceptable today. As it Never was back in South Africa.

          What we see is Propogandists for Israel coming out to defend the Jewish Supremacist state of Israel.

          To their Shame!

        • Be honest you’re not talking about the rights of those of us who are Jewish, you are attempting to advance the cause of US imperialism by claiming that the millions of humans who practiced judaism in eastern & central europe and whose heritage is not Semitic but Khazar.
          The Khazar originated from central Asia & were driven from their traditional lands by the Mongol mob settled in the Black Sea region around 650AD for about one century.
          After wiping out the local clans living in and around that area Khazars decided that choosing judaism from the three individualistic abrahamic religions would provide the best option for the leadership to continue exerting control without the culture being beholden to either Byzantium whose home base was Constantinople, or the Islamic indigenous population to the east of Constantinople who had recently settled upon Islam as their established religion.

          It worked for a while until the Rus (descendants of the Swedish vikings who had been compelled to settle the western region of what we now call Russia by famine, expanded down the Volga river, then getting into a major conflict with the Khazars.
          Khazars lost the blue so shifted South West aways to the Ukraine, Southern Russia & Poland. This region became known as ‘ The Pale’.

          The practitioners of Judaism in central & eastern europe, who came to be known as Ashkenazi were nearly wiped out by the nazis.
          They decided to use their jewishness to steal Palestine, a region which they had neither a common heritage, much less a shared culture with.
          They stole the land, committed acts of terror and even subjugated the jews of the ME who were known as Mizrahi or Sephardic Jews that US and Ashkenazi jews forced to move to Israel by paying off the corrupt western puppet leaders of Morocco, Yemen & Algeria.
          These were the people who had worked with the Islamic Empire of Iberia and were always regarded as essential members of society until a norman christian pogrom aka the Spanish inquisition drove them from europe.
          Sadly once the Mizrahi people had been forced to shift to Occupied Palestine, sometimes caled israel, they were treated as second class citizens, paid badly forcibly discouraged from participating in the economy and whose children were blatantly stolen by childless ashkenazi couples see right here .
          Ashkenazi culture has too often been an acquisitive, uncaring for others way of life, which appears to consider all other humans who haven’t the shared heritage to be lesser human beings, not chosen people as they themselves are and therefore to be unentitled to the rights of a citizen.

          As bad as the Mizrahi cop it, the indigenous population of Palestine have been treated 1000 times worse by a racist, elitist culture.

          • 1. Not all European Jews are from the Pale.
            2. Those from the Pale do not have the same (or even a predominant male line) male line Y chromosome, which they would have if Khazars.
            3. the European Jews AND Pale Jews include Y chromosome lines found in Sephardim and Mizrahi Jews.
            4. Jews from the Pale were settling Palestine from 1870, they were called Redeemers of Zion.
            5. Arab nations which expelled Jews after 1948 did not do so under Zionist or western influence, but because they were pissed off that the state of Isrtael were not allowing Palestine Arab refugees back into their homes in Israel.

            The case against Israeli apartheid is strong enough, it does not need any misrepresentation.

    • Well done Gabby, as per usual, you have found something written by a Yoseph Haddad who no doubt, you can prove (but again not provide evidence) speaks for all Arabs who are subject to Israel’s laws and occupation. It is noted that you have again provided a second or subsequent link. Going back to the source, it was first on a site that clearly spells out its agenda and acknowledges its US Zionist philosophies and financing, including funding from the likes of the late Sheldon Adelson.

      When will you stop splattering your racist apartheid propaganda and bile on this site? You are convincing no-one with your thinly disguised dishonesty.

    • This is a load of apologist twaddle… The script of all these “articles” consists of nothing more than racist memes and specious logic, promoted as “truth”.. This is exactly the same bullshit that every single Israeli apologist has used to justify that black is actually white and anyone who disagrees, or can see through it, are “enemies of the state”… Same old same old… It’s not even original.. Every failed and corrupt regime has used these tricks before, without exception… Whatever the reality, the day that the authorities in that country stop playing us for fools, is the day we start giving them credit for trying…

    • It’s now called a Jewish state.

      Given its a Jewish homeland nation state that prioritises immigration by Jews that is somewhat tolerable. All nations prioritise migration (Eire and Spain allow their disapora to return, many Kiwis with UK grandparents have rights of return etc and most nations allow those with one national parent citizenship).

      That land for new residential settlement in Israel is reserved for Jews (often immigrant Jews and others of the Law of Return) is unusual. This limits where Arab Israelis can live.

      It has been 75 years and how many Arab Ministers, how many Arab MK’s in government coalitions?
      Governments are formed by over 60 Jewish MK’s (Knesset of 120), with Arab MK’s always in opposition.

      Given the patronage/cronyism shown by parties is coalition governments – this means that the electoral spoils go to Jews all the time – often religious Jewish groups.

      As someone who called for better treatment of Israeli Arabs back in 2000 (when the peace talks failed leaving only the possibility of a reponsible disengagement – abstaining from the apartheid effort to acquire West Bank land without Arab people), it’s good that some Israel Arabs can now identify as such. But is this because their status is now one of equality: or because they see Palestinians as a broken, defeated and bereft people?

  1. Speaking truth to power. The NZ government risks being on the wrong side of history with their continued acquiescence to current Israeli policies and practice. Lange stood up to French nuclear testing, Helen Clark stood up to Israeli passport theft – it’s time Jacinda et al stood up to Israeli apartheid.

    • Julie – there is a now a Minister of Foreign Affairs who has shown she is ready to fill the shoes of Lange, Clark and even Murray McCully at the UN. It is a pity Nanaia Mahuta is under the reins of Jacinda Ardern who so far has demonstrated that NZ Muslins are worthy of her affection but buy inertia, shows that Palestinians are undeserving of the country’s moral support.

  2. Bishop Desmond Tutu was left in no doubt about Israel’s practice of apartheid when he visited the Occupied Territories in 1989.

  3. Absolutely correct. Many of us have known for years that this is apartheid but we struggle to get our politicians to acknowledge this just as we did for the black people of South Africa.

  4. Some thoughtful comments re B’tselem’s announcement:

    From mondoweiss.net

    Apartheid is too mild a concept
    BY HATIM KANAANEH  JANUARY 17, 2021

    AND
    The Jewish supremacist state
    BY NORMAN G. FINKELSTEIN  JANUARY 15, 2021

    AND from informationclearhouse.info
    Not ‘apartheid in the West Bank.’ Apartheid
    By GIDEON LEVY January 17, 2021
    ” For just six months of its 73 years was Israel a democracy. Six months, and not one day more. This shocking fact, which most Israelis and the wider world repress and truth-seekers have no way of denying, must resound in every civics lesson and every debate in Israel.”

    ps, from Lois, The phrase ‘apartheid’ makes one think of South Africa. But the Zionist agenda is much more brutal.

    • Norman Finkelstein? Gideon Levy? Seriously? Neither you, Minto, nor any of your fellow Israel bashers even know what ‘apartheid’ means. In South Africa it was an institutionalised system of political and economic segregation of the black majority by the white minority enforced by law. None of this applies to Israel. There are no race based laws on a par with those in South Africa in Israel and no separate facilities enforcing any type of segregation. There is no brutality (Minto’s and your favourite word). Name one law in Israel that enforces segregation of Jewish and Arab citizens. Show us some signage that proclaims separate facilities like transport, restaurants, public toilets etc. You can’t. You always confuse Israel’s legitimate right to self defence against those sworn to her destruction with apartheid. You are very confused, one might say, addled people. Perhaps deranged is a better word.

  5. Awesome news John. Netanyahu is the same kind of idiot as Trump. In meeting no resistance to his siege on Palestinians he interpreted this as victory little realising that in the same way that Trump undid the USA in the international community he has undone Israel. Thankfully, it is now no longer possible to ignore the apartheid that is the state of Israel.

  6. I’m inclined to go with Gabby on this issue. Most New Zealanders don’t know where Israel is and they have no idea of the conflict or what its like to be surrounded by countries who want you all dead.

    • Most New Zealanders would not have know where South Africa was if it weren’t for the boer war & rugby …

      South Africa had designated areas to live, different rights,,,, and anti-miscegenation laws,, all features Israel has.

      ************************************************************
      I Inform New Zealanders about ‘Miscegenation ,,, and the laws against it. Because laws against ‘mixing of the races’ do not sit well with New Zealanders,,,, and the overt racism behind such laws reveal the motivations and true feelings of those who have them.

      The Christchurch white supremacist mass murderer is / was against this mixing and ‘weakening’ of the races ,,, and supported the ethno-nationalisim / apartheid state of Israel.

      examples from history and the company Israel shares with its anti miscegenation laws are the Slave era Usa,,,,, Nazi Germany and South Africa.

      I’m not sure how much the media used to cover up, censor and minimize for the crimes of Apartheid era South Africa ,,, but a near media black out on the crimes of Israel contributes to the ignorance of New Zealanders regarding Israel and conflict in the middle east …

      Israel Continues Bombing Campaign on Syria https://youtu.be/0fG15meLbk4
      7 minute mark to hear how Israel patched up and provided medical treatment to Al-Quada extremists / terrorists fighting Syrian government troops….

      Bidens been quietly picking blood muppet appointees while everyone fixated on a trump impeachment to fire the clown ,,,, at the very very end of his employment.

      Israel always wins in usa elections
      Syria Warmonger Samantha Power to Head USAID https://youtu.be/2j3OYJE-u5s

    • DS
      So do you go with stealing land, bombing hospitals and schools, shooting children for throwing rocks, demolishing homes still occupied by their rightful owners, attacking farmers who try to defend their crops, en-caging a nation so they cannot move within their rightful borders or fish at sea in their territorial waters, trade or get medical supplies, nor defend themselves from attack.

      DS Gaby has the chicken and egg myopia and you seem to be willing to support his racism.

    • Having lived in Gaza through two Israeli offensives, I (like all Palestinians, many Syrians and most Lebanese) know EXACTLY what it feels like to be surrounded just one (rogue and illegitimate) state that wants you all dead – and it’s name is APARTHEID ISRAEL

  7. In an interview with John Pilger Nelson Mandela declared: “We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.” He told John Pilger that justice for the Palestinians had become “the greatest moral issue of our time.” The power of small wins.

  8. Strange, isn’t it, how Minto, intrepid human rights warrior that he is, never has any posts about the egregious human rights abuses (genuine ones) in countries like North Korea, China, or Russia. The genocide of the Uighurs, the millions in concentration camps, being murdered for their organs, dissidents being poisoned etc. Of course, these countries are all (nominally) left wing putting them beyond censure in Minto’s twisted universe. Instead, he tirelessly targets the one and only true democracy in the ME. Why? Well, it’s full of Jews!!!! Bishop Tutu got it completely wrong, but the black South African churchman in the link, Reverend Kenneth Mashoe, has got it completely right.
    https://honestreporting.com/false-israel-south-africa-apartheid-libel/

    • Are we now into the Gaby Joke Season. How much more blatant can a racist propagandist site be? One used to get more credible information from the Ex US Presidents Twitter feed or more honest representations from the sites of the US Pro-Trump dark money groups that organized the rally that led to deadly Capitol Hill riot. Some serious US Zionist Jewish money involved there too according to the Guardian.

  9. While this domestic Israeli group is doing that there are many more international ones networking to place pressure on governments to end funding to UNRWA.

    Current targets are Canada and Australia.

    This campaign and adoption of the international standard on anti-semitism in hate speech law appears to be next step in isolating Palestinians from economic support and preventing international solidarity against apartheid (calling this hate speech).

    This would explain why the focus is on UNRWA’s educational activity (Palestinian nationalism as anti-semitic hate).

    https://twitter.com/i/topics/news/e757055508?cn=ZmxleGlibGVfcmVjcw%3D%3D&refsrc=email

  10. Who better to kill the Israel apartheid myth than black South Africans themselves? Two young men who supported BDS and believed their lies were invited to visit Israel and see for themselves. Now they hold forums telling the truth, that there is no apartheid in Israel and they no longer support BDS. I’d say that’s pretty conclusive.
    https://www.standwithus.com/post/killing-the-israel-apartheid-myth?gclid=CjwKCAiA6aSABhApEiwA6Cbm_znSg1U4vIokonfKa0JVK7RFbN61bVUf0zoabFdjAbLYmWsL_A7I1BoC-zUQAvD_BwE

      • Um, Palestinians are not Israeli citizens. They are governed by the PA or Hamas. Minto, you, and everyone else claim the apartheid is in ISRAEL Jeez. Thanks for endorsing my point that none of you even know the facts on the ground in Israel.

        • Im happy to go with that. That Palestinians are not Israeli citizens and governed by PA or Hamas.

          Would you agree that these are sovereign entities or do you use a more elaborate definition different from some some other type of ruler?

          Please sharpen up, learn English and try make sense.

    • Is this today’s joke Gaby? ‘Stand With Us’ makes no pretences of what its agenda is despite a bland mission statement, ‘Supporting Israel And Fighting Antisemitism Around The World’. If there are any doubts, the write up you link to by Robert Weinbaum is the 2018-19 StandWithUs Emerson Fellow (paid propagandist?) soon removes doubts. Ithas all the hallmarks of your numerous lightweight links for uncritical readers.

      This time you have highlighted the ‘BDS awakening’ of two South African students who were offered a ‘fact finding’ trip to Israel. This was obviously funded in the same way as the trips that US politicians are expected to undertake in fealty to the Zionist state (unless of course – they are the wrong sort of person). These arranged trips, like one might usually expect of a country like North Korea are very well crafted to ensure the ‘guests’ don’t go near occupied territories or the open prison of 2,000,000.

      What was the substance cited from the presentation of the two students? Try evidence (1) – ‘He asked an airport employee for the “blacks-only bathroom.” He was surprised to receive a silent stare in response.’ This has already been explained to you before on this site. Israel learned from the experience of the South African apartheid regime how to subdue the messages so that people don’t get hit in the face with the obscenity of the regime. Of course, racism comes in many guises so where, when and how one relieves oneself becomes immaterial.

      Evidence(?) 2: ‘After visiting Israel, he says he can’t classify it as an apartheid country because he simply does not see the same kind of overt and systemic racism. “I find none of that in Israel,” he said.’ If one’s classification is based in identicality, of course the student, on a paid jaunt, wouldn’t see like with like, especially on a guided tour.

      That is the substance of the item as the rest is taken up with reasonably soft propagandist commentary by the ‘Stand With Us’ supporters. You really need to up your game if you want to have any credibility other than within your own little racist bubble with your Zionist fuelled rants.

      • Joke? Organisations or people that defend Israel are immediately suspect in your warped world, while kapo bogus Jews who admit they are unqualified to judge, like Pappe, and Israel bashing organisations like Minto’s group and B’T selem are beyond reproach.You are a perfect example of the old saying: the mind of the bigot is like the pupil of the eye. The more light you shine on it, the more it contracts. You’re the joke, mate.

        • You are the obvious counter argument to your charming ocular quote! By now, you should have been blinded with the light that has been shone on the numerous examples of shallow propagandist support for your agendas. In the end, your main driver is a blind belief in the righteousness and supremacy of the Zionist project, irrespective of its demonstrably appalling human rights (No! don’t respond with the non-sequitur that others are worse). You consistently resort to abusive name calling of critics of the Israeli states human rights abuses even to the extent of denial of people who presumably are no less devout in the religious beliefs they have in common with you. The best indication of your extremism are your inabilities to coherently analyse views that are contrary to your own, then provide a substantive justification for your position.

          For example, “Organisations or people that defend Israel are immediately suspect in your warped world, while kapo bogus Jews who admit they are unqualified to judge, like Pappe, and Israel bashing organisations like Minto’s group and B’T selem are beyond reproach” does not reinforce your earlier assertion that ‘Stand With Us’ had been able to conclusively, ” kill the Israel apartheid myth.” AS an aside, when did any of the critics you instance ever, “admit they are unqualified to judge…”

  11. About bloody time! The chosen race can always rule the rest of us non chosen ones. Zionists are not reasonable people and need to be dealt to accordingly. Hopefully, now that orange head has left nethanyahu might learn a smidgeon of humility. What is the difference between the Rohingya and myanamar, apartheid, and israel?
    ZILCH

  12. The Israeli Government has banned B’Tselem from all presentations and activities in publicly funded schools in Israel, and rightly so. The link below is for an article that fully exposes B’Tselem’s bogus nature and feeble record in human rights. That’s because this phony group has nothing to do with advancing human rights for anyone; their sole mission is to malign Israel. The same mission espoused by Minto and his minions.
    https://www.camera.org/article/is-btselem-israels-leading-human-rights-organization/

    • Hang on Gaby, isn’t it a basic tenet that in a functioning democracy that freedom of speech is sacrosanct? It sounds as though you are now an advocate for something of a more fascist complexion. Also, wasn’t B’Tselem founded by Jews who actually put their idealism and bodies on the line to establish the state of Israel. They must be doubly aggrieved that a pathetic bunch of mainly US students who have been brainwashed with Zionist exceptionalism are defecating all over their principles.

  13. “It’s high time for SJP chapters to understand a simple fact: In a world of nation-states, many of which are organized around ethnic identity (including religion in numerous cases), maintaining that only the Jewish state is too evil to exist is an anti-Semitic double standard. More to the point, revering those who purposely kill civilians in pursuit of such a discriminatory and destructive goal is not righteous, it’s an expression of bigotry.” – CAMERA on Campus’s Zac Schildcrout Your thought for the day.

    • Good one Gaby. The comment, “More to the point, revering those who purposely kill civilians in pursuit of such a discriminatory and destructive goal is not righteous, it’s an expression of bigotry.” Since you are the frequent apologist for killings of civilians by Zionist indoctrinated Israelis, the cap must be fitting very snuggly.

  14. John, you helped overthrow apartheid South Africa, but after it was our loss you didn’t focus on internal affairs, though you were correct about them. It’s so easy to kick and punch others sins, especially Israel’s, being empire in the 20th century.

    Israel is bullsh, since it relies on ideas officially , rather than the cut and burn that’s the real basis of their conquest.

    • Another fuck-witted contribution Gaby. Did you check out the background of The Algemeiner? More to the point, did you bother to look at the work of Mitchell Bard? At least we know that there is one person who mentally masturbates on such blatant, ill-informing propaganda.

    • Another of your dodgy links Gaby! This outfit is under a cloud for its disinformation and support of conspiracy theories. Even the choice of name is a bit dodgy as it appears to be trying to establish an unconscious association in the mind of the reader. Ever heard of the Federalist Papers? You should also check out the credentials of Dexter Van Zile. There is more than enough there to raise questions regarding his veracity, that’s if his bluster and lack of evidence doesn’t turn one off.

      Obviously, being longer that two sentences, it was beyond your reading capacity. However, the thing that stands out for the propagandist spiel is that your Zionist mates are shit scared of what will happen now that Trump is in the wilderness and his replacement is not totally Israel-centric.

  15. WHat,last nights tele, wit see, wonder,seen it in the past,why them saying, The Pashion of THe Christ,and the christians sayin no not this violence,and the picture was ultra violent, why,Christ, is gods son,and able ,the lashes beyond human indurance.

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