Israel and Apartheid

This is the Sixth Annual Israeli Apartheid Week. This article by Tony Karon in Rootless Cosmopolitan is a couple of years old, but still worth reading:

IAW_2010poster_Toronto … the comparison with the essence of apartheid remains valid — in South Africa, black people lived under the control of a state over which they had no control even as they participated in a shared economy, on the West Bank and Gaza Palestinians live under a state over which they have no control which seeks to keep them out of a shared economy. But in both cases, they found themselves ruled by a state that denied them the rights of a sovereign people. Even now, after it has ostensibly withdrawn from Gaza, Israel still tightly controls Palestinian life there, determining whether the lights work and whether salaries are paid, who may enter and who may leave, and much of the time who will live and who will die. Sure, the Palestinians have an elected government (which the Israelis together with the U.S. are doing their best to subvert), but it isn’t allowed to govern — post-pullout Gaza, in fact, looks rather a lot like what the apartheid regime had in mind in its original Bantustan policy: A separate geographic state within which Africans could “exercise their political rights” while still remaining under effective sovereign control of the Pretoria regime. In the West Bank, Israel is the effective political authority, and there it creates restrictions on the movement of Palestinians every bit as odious — if not even more so — than those imposed on black people under apartheid. That’s because on the West Bank, Israel is not only maintaining overall sovereign control, as in Gaza, but is also trying to “cleanse” of Palestinians vast swathes of the best land illegally settled since 1967, and the networks of roads that connect them.

More here.