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« Closing date to register for 'special vote' in 2009 elections | Main | President Motlanthe to Muslim community - not cutting of ties with Israel »

March 04, 2009



Mike, your post is a caricature of a caricature, you have argued against those who make the most extreme connection:
"Certain Israeli commentators and Palestinian rights advocates extend this analogy to include Arab citizens of Israel, describing their citizenship status as second-class".

and have not addressed the narrower:
"Those who use this analogy argue that a system of control including separate roads,[3] inequities in infrastructure, legal rights, and access to land and resources between Palestinians and Israeli residents in the Israeli-occupied territories constitutes an apartheid system."

I agree entirely with you that false denunciations are counterproductive. But responding to the most extreme critics and ignoring the subtler, complexer arguments is also counterproductive.

quotes taken from the wiki: Israel and the apartheid analogy

Religious Fundamentalist 1

Benjamin has a reasonable point, but in general you're not dealing with "reasonable" people.

To counter the apartheid analogy you might consider for example the headline today (jpost) about E jerusalem arabs preferring to be Israeli's than palestinians in order to enjoy the (free & equal) social benefits.

What this also goes to show is how idiotic Israel's policies are in feeding, clothing and educating our sworn enemies all in an effort to sleep easy at night by proving we're not racist. Mercy in the wrong place will simply result in cruelty. It's Absurd!


Not only that RF 1 but the money used by Israel is immense in supporting those who want our people dead i.e the PA 'Palestinians'.
100 000 PA children are being supported by the Israeli government.
Meanwhile over 25% of Jewish children in Israel do not have enough food to eat.

Brian Barker

The only thing I am unhappy about, with the Eurovision Song Contest, is that the use of English, in the Contest, increases year by year. May I say, as a native English speaker, that this unfair.

The time has come to break this habit of "language imperialism", in the Eurovision Song Contest, and use a song, sung in Esperanto instead!

This is a serious suggestion, as you can see from the Esperanto music which is already available at or at

There's even cheesy Esperanto music available! See as well as

Empress Trudy

Though to be fair, Awad has said openly she hates "Hatikva" and it makes her cry because Israel's "Jewish-ness" is repugnant to her.


Empress Trudy, do you have the links to those quotes?


Benjamin, I am pleased you agree that Israel within the 1967 borders in not Apartheid. I am happy to address the territories but would like to make 1 comment first. I see no value besides for propaganda for the Palestinians to use this analogy. I don’t think it is useful to try understand 1 conflict through the prism of another. Comparisons are useful yes but not to claim wholesale they are the same. This is a very simplistic and lazy analyst. Moreover say I am able to prove that what is happening in the territories is not apartheid? So what? Does that take away from the actual suffering that the Palestinians face? I think it’s a stupid debate. I wish we could rather focus on the actual situation rather than debating how the facts fit or don’t fit those that happened in South Africa.
Now about the territories. I would argue that their legal status is very different to that of South Africa. The classic mistake of the apartheid comparison is that they are not and have never been sovereign Israeli territory. South Africa was of course a unified state with sovereignty over the entire territory. Moreover, Israel captured the territories in a war and their legal status is disputed. According to UN resolutions 242 AND 338 their fate is to be determined by the parties through negotiation. This was never the case in South Africa. I don’t know if you have specific concerns about certain practices in the West Bank that may be similar to those used during Apartheid. I would be happy to address those if you supply them.
I think an important point to keep in mind always is the purpose. I would argue that most measure adopted by Israel are not race inspired but security orientated.


Mike, I also think the Apartheid analogy is lazy and leads into pointless debates. I agree with Denis Davis:

"But I think it's incredibly unhelpful to say you can simply take this to be apartheid and therefore the South African struggle is the same and the South African solution is the same. That's a very lazy form of reasoning."

I object to your post, not that I agree with the Apartheid analogy or wish to defend it. But because I find your argument just as stupid as the arguments used by those who try to make the broad case that Israel is acting exactly like Apartheid SA. A caricature of a caricature. Lets focus on the actual situation rather than anecdotes.

In terms of my specific concerns re the West bank: I would much rather have a debate over the settler's movement and reported planned addition of 73'000 homes.


How do you propose we respond to the apartheid charge? It is a serious accusation and is being used to delegitimise Israel completely. It kills any chance of a debate on any specifics. It is being rammed into the heads of students on campus. It does serious damage.

Perhaps you are too far away from the battlegrounds to see this.

There certainly is space to debate the report you mention. Settler attacks on Palestinians and IDF soldiers have been discussed on this blog. I am personally opposed to any settlement expansion east of the barrier. I accept there are still problems that lie west of the barrier with the seam zone in particular. These issues are discussed.

Benjamin, I always enjoy reading your thoughts and views which are always considered and thoughtful - but I cannot take you seriously on this one.


Not to fall into the same lazy arguments. I don't want to fall into a debate over the analogy but would answer, say a Tutu when he uses the analogy: What you are really critiquing is the treatment of Palestinians, the security measures and the inevitable result of using soldiers to police a population. I would have that debate.

If I meet someone who is trying to argue that Israel is an exact mirror to Apartheid SA, well I would treat that person in the same way I would treat a flat earth member. There is no point in trying to reason with the unreasonable.

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