May 29, 2014

De Klerk ought to know that apartheid is not simply about numbers

But apparently Mr De Klerk doesn't know that if this Jewish Telegraphic Agency headline is anything to go by:

De Klerk: Israel not an apartheid state, but could become one

We know where this is going but let's take a look anyway:
Israel could become an apartheid state without the creation of a Palestinian state, former South African leader F.W. de Klerk said on Israeli television.

 De Klerk, the last president in his country under apartheid, said in an interview Tuesday on Israel’s Channel 2 that it was “unfair” to call Israel an apartheid state now.

In Israel to receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Haifa, de Klerk said Israel may have to contend with one state for two peoples.

“The test will be does everybody living then in such a unitary state, will everybody have full political rights?” he said. “Will everybody enjoy their full human rights? If they will, it’s not an apartheid state.
So far, so bad.  Palestinian Arabs within Israel's pre-67 boundaries do not have the same rights as Jews in a variety of areas.  And even if they did, the Palestinians under occupation have endured their inferior status for nearly fifty years now. What will happen in the future to make that apartheid that hasn't been happening these last almost five decades.

And then there's the major issue of the people of Palestine who have been forced to leave their homeland since 1947.  Jews from all around the world have more right, under Israel's racist laws, to live in Palestine than the native non-Jewish population who have been forced to leave.  And if we do choose to live there we have more rights there than those who have managed to remain.

Many aspects of Israel's governance within its pre-1967 boundaries qualify for the apartheid label since apartheid is not about the quantity of the unjustly governed but the quality of the governance.  But of course it's chutzpah to describe Palestinians simply as a minority.  Taking all of them together, West Bank, Jerusalem, Gaza, the bits in between and those in exile, Palestinians are a majority and zionists subject them to minority rule.

Having said all that, the apartheid label has its limitations.  I already mentioned something far worse: it's the ethnic cleansing, stupid!

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