Einstein on Palestine.
Puts the pin in the false-equivalence balloon rather nicely, I think. (h/t Sabina Becker)
How many times have we seen this movie before? It starts and ends the same way, and everything in the middle never changes except for little details. Israel will pound the crap out of Gaza which, if you haven’t ever been there take my word for it, is one of the hellholes of the world. Hamas will breathe defiance; the other Arabs (and now Turkey) will rhetorically support Gazans. And then, the status quo ante. Of course, if Israel would seriously negotiate with the Palestinian Authority and try to reach an agreement, it would further maginalize Hamas, but the Netanyahu government and its harder-line coalition partners don’t even want to talk. A recent interivew by Abbas, the PA leader, was stunning in that he said he didn’t want to live in his old city, which undercut the Palestinians long-held and ridiculous demand for the “right of return.” Moderate voice in Israel saw this as a serious step; Netanyahu, predictably, dismissed it.
Wake me up when it’s over. This Israeli=Palestinian story is the most over-covered in the world. Things happen, but nothing ever changes. Talk to me about the rest of the Arab world; anything but this crappy, endless dispute, and our over-the-top, Israel always right government of ours, backed by the editorial pages of all the major newspapers.
Not some marginal Jew-hating loon, mind, but pretty much the ultimate Establishment Insider.
It is no longer acceptable that disruptive groups like Kulanu and B’nai Brith (and their crony supporters at city hall and the Toronto Sun) can threaten this massive, diverse, 32-year-old celebration and protest simply because they don’t agree with the legitimate message of some participants.
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.
Israel’s occupation: Apartheid on Steroids | The Nation
What I witnessed in the West Bank—home to about 2.5 million Palestinians and 400,000 Israeli settlers—exceeded my worst expectations. While the world’s statesmen have dithered, Israel has created a system of apartheid on steroids, a horrifying prison with concrete walls as high as twenty-six feet, topped with body-ravaging coils of razor wire. Spaced along these walls are imposing guard towers that harbor bunkers from which trespassers can be shot by Israeli soldiers. From this physical segregation—one land for Israelis; another, unequal land for Palestinians—flows a torrent of misery, violence and human rights abuses. The West Bank suffers from acute shortages of water, housing, jobs and healthcare. Palestinian children are separated from their parents, denied access to hospitals and stoned and beaten by Jewish settlers. Human rights sanctioned by international law, including the right to health, the prohibition on transferring populations into occupied territories and equal treatment before the law are routinely violated.
David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first Prime Minister, once said that Israel will be judged by how it treats the Arabs. This is a moral test Israel now resoundingly fails—a failure that threatens to undermine all of its accomplishments and, as is increasingly clear, its future.
Guess this makes Stephen Robert an anti-Semite, doesn’t it? And me, for linking to it?