A few quick thoughts on the B'Tselem report, calling Israel an Apartheid State:
2/ B'Tselem are right to characterise Israel/Palestine as one political unit, in which there is a permanent, well-entrenched political system based on Jewish-Israeli privilege, and only Israeli Jews enjoy full political rights.
3/ International actors prefer to ignore this reality, and to continue speaking about the West Bank (and Gaza, with caveats) as under military occupation, which can be undone. This is more convenient than coming to terms the fact that the West Bank has been effectively annexed.
4/ It is necessary to wake up to the reality: as far as Israel is concerned, this is, effectively, one state, and the prospects of a viable, sovereign Palestinian state are nil. The Oslo process is not going to lead to statehood.
5/ This, however, does not tell us how to proceed forward - how to transform the current reality to an equitable one, in which Palestinian political rights would be recognised and upheld, while providing secure future to Israeli Jews.
6/ One thing is clear that the anti-Apartheid struggle in South Africa cannot be simply "copied" to Israel/Palestine. There are really crucial differences in terms of political economy, international law, and the question of Palestinian refugees.
7/ So B'Tselem's report may point to a shift to one-state framework for democratic transformation, but it is not inevitable. And it should be said that what really makes "one state" inevitable is Israeli de facto annexation, and failures to respond to it.
9/ But whatever your preferred vision for Israel/Palestine (and you don't need to have one!), it is vital to recognise that there is, in effect, one unequal state there, and it is, for now, a permanent political situation. /END

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More from @YairWallach

13 Jan
1/ One of the risks of using the term "Apartheid state" is that it could create the impression that Israel is an unusual anachronism - like South Africa was. A relic of a bygone age of colonialism. But Israel is not an anachronism in 2021; it's very much cutting edge.
2/ It's no accident that hard-right populists from all over the world look up to Netanyahu. For them, Israel represents a success story, of how to maintain economic growth and some democratic credentials while promoting exclusivist citizenship and unequal domination.
3/ While Israel is unusual in many ways (which make it interesting) I have always maintained that regarding it as an aberration is profoundly wrong. I think it should be clear to anyone watching world events.
Read 6 tweets
13 Jan
The question is not whether Israel is a replica of Apartheid South Afirca - because it isn't. The question is whether there is a well-entrenched, permanent political system of clear domination of one group over another, extending throughout Israel/Palestine.
To claim otherwise would be to say that the current reality is a temporary occupation - even after 53 years, hundreds of settlements, billions of dollars of investments, and incredibly well developed legal architecture that binds the West Bank to Israel.
You don't like the word Apartheid? You could call it "a well entrenched regime of discrimination, segregation and domination". Does it sound any better?
Read 4 tweets
5 Jan
The debate on Israeli responsibility on COVID vaccines in West Bank and Gaza is an opportunity to think of the competing and overlapping frameworks: occupation vs. apartheid.

2/ On vaccines, Israel's responsibility as an occupying power towards the occupied population is clear, based on the 4th Geneva convention. The Palestinian Authority, the Oslo agreements, or claims for Palestinian statehood do not change that.
3/ Israel could meet its obligation through the PA, but it is ultimately its obligation.

And this shows the strength of the occupation paradigm. On some things - like responsibility towards local population, or settlements - it's very clear.
Read 14 tweets
5 Jan
Is Israel obligated to provide Palestinians in the Occupied Territories with the same level of COVID vaccination it provides its own citizens? The answer is yes
Read 4 tweets
3 Dec 20
Given its weaknesses, I can see two reasons to promote the IHRA. The first, primarily as a symbolic gesture; the second, because if its "edge" on defining anti-Israel discourse as antisemitic.
If your reason is the first, consider carefully the IHRA's weaknesses; the message that it sends, that antisemitism is substantially different from other racisms; and that it pits directly diaspora Jews against Palestinians and Palestine advocacy. theguardian.com/news/2020/nov/…
As for "anti-Israel discourse", this is what the Jewish Chronicle called "political antisemitism" in its famous front page editorial. The IHRA was needed because Labour would only address "racial antisemitism" but not "political antisemitism".
Read 6 tweets
3 Dec 20
Four reasons why imposing the IHRA definition on universities is bad for Jews:

(It's also bad for Palestinians and for academic freedom, but I'll focus on Jews)

1. The core definition is poorly phrased and is very restrictive. It defines antisemitism as hatred - that is, an emotion - but does not mention discrimination, prejudice, or other forms of anti-Jewish racism which do not necessarily manifest as "hatred".
The CST website, in its page on Antisemitism definition, starts with the sentence

"Antisemitism is hatred, bigotry, prejudice or discrimination against Jews."

Three of these terms do not appear in the core IHRA definition.

Read 9 tweets

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