26 October 2012

Israelis endorse apartheid

For those supporters of Israel who gamely continue to insist that Israel is not an apartheid state, a recent poll published in the Haaretz newspaper should offer second thoughts.

The poll was relentless: If the West Bank were annexed by Israel, over two-thirds of Israeli Jews say that the 2.5 million Palestinians living there should be denied the right to vote. Furthermore, a third want Arab citizens within Israel to be banned from voting. Almost sixty per cent want Jews to have preference over Arabs in government jobs, and over 40 per cent do not want to live in the same building as Arabs and do not want their children going to school with Arabs.

As for apartheid, the clincher is that 58 per cent of Israelis believe their country already practices it. The headline in Haaretz read, "Apartheid without shame or guilt." If the Israelis believe apartheid is being practiced and are OK with it, who is anyone else to say it isn't so?

1 comment:

  1. Yes, Bill, you're right, it should fuel second thoughts. It won't.

    Haaretz published this survey, I believe it was on Monday. The Guardian picked it up, of course, but I don't recall seeing any mention of it in Canadian papers. Even supposed "progressive" bloggers gave it a wide berth.

    The survey confirms what many of us have already known for some time. But it also is vitally important if we're ever to find peace in this region.

    The divide is unbridgeable at least in the immediate future and most likely for a good many years down the road. There is not enough goodwill to build a lasting peace.

    What the Israeli people back is blatant apartheid and we cannot stand for that.

    Everyone knows the solution - a return to Israel's pre-1967 borders, something that Israel will plainly not accept on its own. Who then can restore the degree of order necessary to nurture a viable peace in the long run? Only the international community and by that I mean the West.

    Israel must be pushed back to its pre-67 borders and a substantial demilitarized zone established and heavily-manned by international forces for decades, probably three or even four. Jerusalem, wrongfully taken and occupied, has to be transformed into an open city shared equally by Israelis and Palestinians.

    Above all else, the West Bank has to be cleared of settlements and restored to the Palestinians complete with unfettered access to the aquifer that underlies it.

    Israel must be pushed back and pushed just as hard as is necessary. That has to begin with very heavy sanctions.