"For decades it has ignored all appeals to stop its illegal unjust and inhumane treatment of Palestinians both within Israel and the Occupied Territories," continues the leaflet.'As the South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu has said, Israel is practising apartheid in its policies towards the Palestinians. "It reminds me so much of what happened to us black people in South Africa."
Economic pressure might be the only thing left to persuade Israel to change. By refusing to buy Israeli goods and services, millions of ordinary people around the world might together succeed where politicians have failed. It worked once with apartheid South Africa. We must try and make it work with Israel.'That sort of talk, also of course encountered on numerous high streets and campuses during the recent "Israel Apartheid Week," cuts no ice with a number of African-American students attending historically black colleges who belong to an initiative called the Vanguard Leadership Group. Many have been to Israel, and they know that the analogy between that country and South Africa during the apartheid era is an unwarranted slur.
Declared the advertisements:
"SJP has chosen to manipulate rather than inform with this illegitimate analogy. We request that you immediately stop referring to Israel as an apartheid society and to acknowledge that the Arab minority in Israel enjoys full citizenship with voting rights and representation in the government."For more details: http://www.jpost.com/International/Article.aspx?id=215811
and see also: http://israelmatzav.blogspot.com/2011/04/black-students-diss-students-for.html
As Canadian Danielle Kubes has observed:
Moreover, every citizen of Israel’s democracy has exactly the same rights. Arab Israelis — who make up roughly one fifth of the country’s six million people — vote, worship whomever they want, volunteer for the army and even make up roughly one-tenth of parliament. Sure, prejudice and discrimination exists in Israel. And in Canada. And in every country in the world. To be an apartheid state, the discrimination must be sanctioned and enforced by the government on the basis of race. Israel’s government often condemns prejudiced individuals and constantly denounces extremists. It cannot be held responsible for the actions of racist individuals.
But what about the checkpoints, fences and separate roads the government placed in the West Bank? Are they proof the government is inherently racist against Palestinians? Or did Israel create them to protect its citizens from a very real terrorism threat funded and encouraged by Iran and Syria? Security, not racism, is the motivation behind Israel’s policies in the West Bank.
Separate roads for Israelis and Palestinians exist because tensions are so intense that an Israeli found on Palestinian property is likely to be assaulted or killed, and vice versa.
Racism didn’t fuel the recent offensive in Gaza either; Israel’s government was taking military action against the nearly 3,500 rockets it says have been launched against Israel from the Gaza Strip since Israeli forces withdrew from the region in August 2005. Feel free to criticize Israel’s defence policies, but don’t be fooled into thinking the core of the conflict is institutional racism. Not only is there little evidence for that, but it also oversimplifies the conflict thereby drawing attention away from the real issues at hand such as water rights, demographic issues and extremism.
And what about the actions of Israel’s neighbours? Why didn’t people protest when Lebanon’s army killed hundreds of Palestinians in 2007 while fighting militants in a refugee camp? And why don’t people cry out when Syrian homosexuals have to flee into Israel to escape death? Perhaps Canadians don’t care when Arabs kill other Arabs. We must take care not to apply a different standard to Israel, which possibly has the best human rights record in the region."http://www.shalomlife.com/eng/14808/The_Hypocrisy_of_Israel_Apartheid_Week/
(hat tip: reader Shirlee)
See also http://palestinesentinel.wordpress.com/2010/03/05/the-gross-lie-of-israel-apartheid-from-one-who-experienced-the-real-thing/