Within Israel, politicians, academics, journalists and activists frequently describe the state’s treatment of Palestinians as apartheid. South Africans who lived through the apartheid era have also accused Israel of committing the same crimes, if not worse. Archbishop Desmond Tutu said, “If I were to change the names, a description of what is happening in Gaza and the West Bank could describe events in South Africa.” The Congress of South African Trade Unions and the Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa both declared that Israel is practising apartheid in the Occupied Territories.
The takeaway: there’s a substantial body of opinion suggesting that the “apartheid” label is appropriate. If some people find that uncomfortable or odious … too bad.
… there are deeply distressing echoes of apartheid in the occupied territories: the colour-coded IDs and travel permits, the bulldozed homes and forced displacement, the settler-only roads. Ronnie Kasrils, a prominent South African politician, said the architecture of segregation he saw in the West Bank and Gaza was “infinitely worse than apartheid”. That was in 2007, before Israel began its full-scale war against the open-air prison that is Gaza.