Israel’s Big and Small Apartheids

Israel’s apologists are very exercised about the idea that Israel has
been singled out for special scrutiny and criticism. I wish to argue,
however, that in most discussions of Israel it actually gets off
extremely lightly: that many features of the Israeli polity would be
considered exceptional or extraordinary in any other democratic state.

That is not surprising because, as I will argue, Israel is neither a
liberal democracy nor even a “Jewish and democratic state”, as its
supporters claim. It is an apartheid state, not only in the occupied
territories of the West Bank and Gaza, but also inside Israel proper.
Today, in the occupied territories, the apartheid nature of Israeli rule
is irrefutable — if little mentioned by Western politicians or the
media. But inside Israel itself, it is largely veiled and hidden. My
purpose today is to try to remove the veil a little.

I say “a little”, because I would need far more than the time
allotted to me to do justice to this topic. There are, for example, some
30 laws that explicitly discriminate between Jews and non-Jews —
another way of referring to the fifth of the Israeli population who are
Palestinian and supposedly enjoy full citizenship. There are also many
other Israeli laws and administrative practices that lead to an outcome
of ethnic-based segregation even if they do not make such discri… >>>

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