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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2967

Israel – the Apartheid State – Part 4

By Habib Siddiqui


Nearly half a century ago, a South African newspaper Die Transvaler that covered matters of apartheid had this to say: “Is there any real difference between the way that the people of Israel are trying to maintain themselves amid non-Jewish peoples and the way the Afrikaner is trying to remain what he is?” The then Prime Minister Verwoerd’s answer is quite revealing: “Jews took Israel from the Arabs after the Arabs had lived there for a thousand years. In that I agree with them. Israel, like South Africa, is an apartheid state.”

From the brief analysis above, it is obvious that despite their initial differences, the Zionist state of Israel and the apartheid South Africa have become similar since June 1967, and especially so with the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993. As a matter of fact, the Israeli apartheid state is more dangerous and more racist than the Apartheid regime ever was in South Africa. The Palestinian bantustans are of course neither as clearly defined nor as large as those of South Africa. Thanks to influx of some quarter million Jewish workers from outside, Israel has less need of the Palestinian labor force. As Dr. Farsakh has rightly recognized, if the current situation continues, the two-state solution is in peril. The disappearance of that option would definitely condemn Israel to being an apartheid and bi-national state,

The Zionist settler leaders know it very well that they are running out of options. The settlements and segregation wall that they built to grab Palestinian land in the West Bank are illegal per international laws. There is no denying that Israel has always put confiscation of Palestinian land ahead of peace. Back in the Bush Sr. era, such land-grabbing provoked an official White House statement: “The United States has opposed, and will continue to oppose, settlement activity in territories occupied in 1967, which remain an obstacle to peace.” From the State Department, Secretary Baker added, “I don’t think there is any greater obstacle to peace than settlement activity that continues not only unabated but at an advanced pace.” The US government, in spite of being Israel’s most trusted ally, has consistently maintained that settlements are illegal. That position has not changed with the current Obama Administration either, which already has advised Netanyahu to stop all settlement activities in the Occupied Territories.

Given the kind of sympathy Israel enjoys amongst the Christians because of their collective guilt for causing the Jewish Holocaust, and afraid of being dumped as anti-Semites for speaking out against Zionist savagery that is responsible for on-going Palestinian Holocaust since 1948, it is going to be very difficult to dismantle the apartheid character of Israel. Nor should we forget that while the neocons were defeated in the 2008 election, they still wield enormous control in how American policy makers think and act. Many of the high-level advisers to the Obama Administration are pro-Israel Jewish hawks, whose unwavering allegiance to the pariah state in the past have only highlighted America’s hypocrisy and worsened her image abroad. The Amen Corner within the U.S. Congress is still willing to nod and dance with the Israeli tune and do bidding for the rogue state. Christian Zionism still raises much passion amongst intellectually disadvantaged Americans who are continuously mesmerized by radio junkies like Rush Limbaugh. And, then, as rightly pointed out by Professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, there is the all-powerful Jewish Lobby and let’s not kid about their influence in the USA. No politician in the USA today can afford to be viewed as anti-Israel.

Thus, it should come as no surprise that in his Fiscal Year 2010 budget, sent to the Congress in May, President Obama requested a near-record $2.2775 billion in military aid to Israel, which is an increase of $225 million in aid to Israel compared with this year’s budget. This increase in funding is quite interesting given the fact that the United States is currently in its gravest economic crisis since the Great Depression. Lest we forget, according to Congressional Research Service, the United States has provided Israel with more than $100 billion in direct military and economic aid since 1949.

In a recent article John Chuckman writes, “Israel, it is a nation which has attacked every neighbor that it has, at one time or another. In the last two years alone, it has killed more people in Lebanon and Gaza than the number who perished in 9/11. It is also a secret nuclear power, having broken every rule and international law to obtain and assist in proliferating nuclear weapons.”

Israel killed more than 3,000 innocent Palestinian civilians, which included more than 1,000 children, often with U.S. weapons, during the George W. Bush Administration. Yet the State Department did not notify Congress even once that Israel had violated these laws which are supposed to sanction countries that commit human rights abuses with U.S. weapons.

On July 1, Israel committed an act of piracy by kidnapping 21 human rights activists and journalists in international waters who were sailing on the Free Gaza Movement boat “Spirit of Humanity” and who had hoped to deliver badly-needed humanitarian supplies to the besieged and collectively-punished people of the Gaza Strip. These 21 people included former Representative Cynthia McKinney. Lest we forget, Israeli authorities have no jurisdiction to arrest them in international waters. As I write this essay, Ms. McKinney has still not been released by the Israeli government. I am not sure if Secretary Clinton or her staffs are doing anything to see the former Congresswoman released.

As I have noted many times, the Zionist state possesses no legitimacy whatsoever – Biblical, moral, historical and juridical – to have been established as a state in historical Palestine. Much in common to the wishes of its ideologue Theodor Herzl, Israel has remained a rampart of the West. Its behavior is that of a settler apartheid state that is continuously at war with its natives and is bent upon dehumanizing them. And its Zionist leaders know its evil character too well. Thus, it wants to force the robbed and maimed Palestinians into recognizing the rogue state of Israel unconditionally. For the Palestinian leadership that would be like writing its own suicide note with a gun pointed to the head!

Can a workable solution be still found that allows the Jews and Palestinian Muslims and Christians to live as equals in the same land? As common sense dictates even a bastard child born of gang rape does not deserve to be killed.

For too long the Zionists have said that it is impossible to share the territory with the Arabs who want to “drive them into the sea.” We know better. It is a filthy lie. If past behavior is any guide, we can safely conclude that it is these settler Zionists who are actually drowning the Palestinians. In a meeting with President Carter in 1990 Chairman Arafat said, “The PLO has never advocated the annihilation of Israel. The Zionists started the ‘drive the Jews into the sea’ slogan and attributed it to the PLO. In 1969 we said we wanted to establish a democratic state where Jews, Christians and Muslims can all live together. The Zionists said they do not choose to live with any people other than Jews… We said to the Zionist Jews, all right, if you do not want a secular, democratic state for all of us, then we will take another route. In 1974 I said we are ready to establish our independent state in any part from which Israel will withdraw.”

As noted by experts like Roger Garaudy and others, the solution to the Palestinian-Israeli problem can come only from the international community. The solution must be as fair as possible given the level of injustice already inflicted upon the native Palestinian people in the last 62 years. Given the birth of the bastard state of Israel that the UN itself sanctioned, it would be unfair, although not unjust, today for the Palestinians to claim territorial rights over the entire Palestine. Its own leadership has duly recognized the complexity of the problem and has therefore compromised showing willingness to accept the truncated territories based on the pre-1967 border. The Arab proposal put forth in the last few decades has also echoed the same sentiment. The objection thus far has come only from the Zionist expansionists who still are locked in their unfounded myths. If they are wise and prudent, they must change that poisonous mindset, shun their violent means to subdue the native population and let the Palestinians live freely and securely without being violated. The world community, including the Arab League, will ensure the security of the Israeli state within the pre-1967 border.

As the most powerful nation on earth and Israel’s greatest benefactor, the United States has a very critical role to play in finding a peaceful solution to the crisis. America needs to take a bold stand that is moral, just and fair. She cannot afford to have her national interest mortgaged to Israel or to her pro-Israel lobby within. As Professors Mearsheimer and Walt had said, “Powerful states can maintain flawed policies for quite some time, but reality cannot be ignored for ever. What is needed is a candid discussion of the Lobby’s influence and a more open debate about US interests in this vital region. Israel’s well-being is one of those interests, but its continued occupation of the West Bank and its broader regional agenda are not. Open debate will expose the limits of the strategic and moral case for one-sided US support and could move the US to a position more consistent with its own national interest, with the interests of the other states in the region, and with Israel’s long-term interests as well.”

The Israeli leaders must answer this existential question now: what is better - the prevalent apartheid character of the Zionist state or a peaceful solution with the native Palestinians that allows them to live in peace with their neighbors within the pre-1967 border? Before answering this crucial question, they may like to reflect that the days of Bantustan are over. It did not work in South Africa and it won’t work in today’s Israel. Israel gains more from a viable and functioning Palestinian state than without, and surely not with its horrible apartheid apparatus intact.

The Israeli leaders may also like to listen to former President Carter who said, “Peace will come to Israel and the Middle East only when the Israeli government is willing to comply with international law… It will be a tragedy – for the Israelis, the Palestinians, and the world – if peace is rejected and a system of oppression, apartheid, and sustained violence is permitted to prevail.”


- Asian Tribune -

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