I just completed Former US President Jimmy Carter’s book titled “Palestine: Peace, Not Apartheid” for my book discussion group. Carter has gotten a lot of criticism for his use of the term “apartheid”. Anyone who takes a look at Israel’s policies towards the Palestinians will agree that they indeed are a form of apartheid.
Jimmy Carter won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 for his decades of efforts of seeking peaceful solutions and promoting social and economic justice, and also, is the only US president to have successfully negotiated a peace agreement between Israel and an Arab country (with Egypt in 1979).
But he is not the only person nor the first person to call Israeli policies towards the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories as “apartheid”. It is silly to simply dismiss such criticism as “anti-semitism”.
1. Former Israeli Knesset member and Jewish peace activist, Uri Avnery, gives a striking and detailed comparison:
“The “vision” of Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert amounts to the establishment of a “Palestinian state” that would be nothing more than a string of Palestinian islands in an Israeli sea. It is easy to detect a similarity between the planned enclaves and the “Bantustans” that were set up by the White regime in South Africa–the so-called “homelands” where the Blacks were supposed to enjoy “self-rule” but which really amounted to racist concentration camps.”
2. Israeli Jewish professor Oren Ben-Dor who teaches law and politics in the UK, calls Israeli Apartheid “Core of the Crisis”:
“It is no accident that the barrier being built by Israel in the West Bank is called by Israelis the “gader hafrada”. Like the Afrikaans word “apartheid”, the Hebrew word “hafrada” means “separation”. The Israeli barrier separates Jewish settlements from Palestinian villages, usually also separating those villages from their farmland.”