The Palestinian Territories constitute the real “apartheid state”

January 22, 2019 • 9:47 am

The New York Times is rapidly becoming an anti-Israel paper. For every Bari Weiss op-ed (and there’s a good one today), there are several anti-Israeli articles, often filled with lies and misconceptions, like the piece below that appeared Friday. As CAMERA wrote after seeing Alexander’s article:

The New York Times‘s disproportionate focus on criticism of Israel, including its very existence, is hardly a new phenomenon, despite Alexander’s assertion to the contrary. In her op-ed, she argues: “Not so long ago, it was fairly rare to hear this perspective,” i.e., that Israel is committing “horrific human rights abuses” and “legalized discrimination.” (Her position seems to contradict Levy’s [Haaretz columnist Gideon Levy], who argued that “it’s getting more difficult” to publish such views.) In fact, CAMERA’s comprehensive study (“Indicting Israel: New York Times Coverage of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict“) found that in the period from July 2011 through March 2012, six of seven editorials, five of six columns ,and four of seven op-eds about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict predominantly criticized Israel. None predominantly criticized the Palestinians.

Indeed, particularly at The New York Times, the suggestion that Michelle Alexander is breaking a “silence” regarding bad Israeli behavior is laughable. One only has to recall the stunning 2014 admission of then-New York Times op-ed editor Matt Seaton after a series of op-eds charging Israelis, but not Palestinians, with racism. He acknowledged that the paper holds a lower standard for Palestinian wrongdoings, exempting them from scrutiny due to their stateless existence.

I’ve intended to dispel some of Alexander’s misconceptions, but while reading her piece, and listening to Bari Weiss’s eloquent but not uncritical defense of Israel on the Joe Rogan show, I decided to take on another issue: is Israel an apartheid state? This is an oft-heard charge of the benighted Israel-haters.

The answer is “no”, but that the Palestinian Territories surely comprise far more of an apartheid state. Below I’ll list some reasons why.  This will dispel two of the Left-wing smears directed at Israel: that it’s an apartheid state that treats its Arab citizens unequally, and that gay rights in Israel were enacted only to “pinkwash” the state, making it look more tolerant in an effort to hide its malfeasance.

The “pinkwashing” claim is so ludicrous that it should be lumped with the claims of 9-11 truthers, and I won’t deal with it here. But what about the “apartheid state” charge?

First of all, using the term “apartheid” with respect to Israel implies that the state itself has a group of citizens (presumably Arabs, both Christian and Muslim) that has second-class status, that lack fundamental rights, and are treated abysmally. In other words, that Israel is pretty much like South Africa when the real apartheid system was in place. That’s arrant nonsense. This is combined with another claim: that Israel demonizes Palestinians who aren’t citizens far more than Palestinians demonize Israeli citizens and Jews. That’s not true, either. Here are some facts.

1.) No Jews are allowed to live in the Palestinian Territories (areas A and B of the West Bank and in Gaza). As far as I know, not one Jew lives in these areas. In contrast, there are many Arabs, both Muslims and Christians, living in Israel; they are citizens. No Jew can be a citizen in the Palestinian Territories—and presumably not in any future Palestinian State. (Mahmoud Abbas has officially announced that he will not allow any Jew to live in his future Palestinian state.)

2.) Gays and women are second-class citizens in Palestine and are oppressed. Apostates and infidels, of course, are killed. This is not the case in Israel, where women and gays have full legal equality, and atheists and Muslim citizens have full rights. (I’d venture to guess that a large fraction of non-Orthodox Jews in Israel are really “culturally Jewish” atheists like me.)

3.) The Israeli parliament, the Knesset, has Arab members, both Muslims and Christians. There are of course no Jews in the governing bodies of the Palestinian territories.

4.) It is a capital crime for any person in the Palestinian territories to sell land to Jews, though some Jews want to buy back ancestral homes that were taken over by Jordan and given to Arabs in East Jerusalem. While no Israeli can sell Israeli land to a Palestinian, it is not a capital crime. And, of course, Israeli Jews are completely allowed to sell land to Israeli Arabs.

5.) Muslim citizens of Israel have full legal rights: the right to vote, the right to go to any hospital for treatment, the right to work, to study, and to pray in the mosque. This doesn’t apply to Palestine because no Jews are allowed to live there.

6.) The Palestinian Constitution (presumably the document that will underlie a future Palestinian State) says that Islam is the official religion of the state, that it will be governed by sharia law, and that Arabic will be the official language (see Article 4).  In contrast, although Israel has no formal constitution, it is formally a secular democracy with no official religion and is governed by democratically passed laws and not religious sharia laws. According to the British Mandates, Arabic was the second language of the area, but had no official status under Israeli law. Since last year, Israeli law states that the official language of Israel is Hebrew with Arabic having the status of a “special language”; this will not impact the role of the Arabic language in Israel. Regardless, the Palestinian Territories are far more theocratic than is Israel, and I doubt that any readers would prefer to live under that theocracy than an Israeli-style democracy. The theocracy will persist even if the standard of living in a new Palestinian state should rise.

7.) Palestinians are allowed to visit Israel under certain circumstances, like praying in a mosque, working, or studying. In contrast, the rules against Israelis visiting Palestine are much stricter, allowing mostly official delegations and journalists.

8.) While this isn’t completely relevant to the actions of apartheid, it’s well known that official Palestinian state media, like newspapers and television, regularly portray Jews as demons and enemies who, according to concepts of Islamic/Palestinian duty, should be killed. (Martyrdom via killing Jews is of course considered a great good for a Palestinian Muslim and is celebrated by many citizens—even the mothers of suicide bombers.) There is no equivalent to this kind of hatred in Israeli media.

I will update and correct these points as needed, but it’s already clear that Israel is a long way from being an apartheid state, and that the Palestinian Territories conform far more to that characterization than does Israel. This is well known but ignored by the Regressive Left and by the media.

Why the disparity in calling out one group versus another? I’ve talked about the bigotry of low expectations before, but there is also an element of antisemitism involved. The government of Israel is far from perfect, but is infinitely better than the government in charge of Palestine. Yes, Palestine is an apartheid “state”, and, when there is a two-state solution—if there ever is one (and I do favor that solution)—let there be no doubt that the nation of Palestine will be far more repressive, far more “apartheid-ish”, than the State of Israel.



92 thoughts on “The Palestinian Territories constitute the real “apartheid state”

  1. “Why the disparity in calling out one group versus another?”

    Two reasons – all Israelis are assumed to be Jews and, worst of all, white.

    1. It is curious that Jews are now identified as white and therefore part of the oppressor class by those who want to find a rationale for anti-Semitism. For much of European history Jews were not considered white (often a synonym for Christian) and hence eligible to be discriminated against or worse. Of course, in Israel today, many Jews are not white, but the anti-Semites conveniently ignore this.

      In another NYT op-ed, Israeli Matti Friedman notes that if one just focuses on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict then the wider regional problem is obscured. While acknowledging the many mistakes Israeli governments have made toward Palestinians, he asserts that even if the conflict should be miraculously resolved, the Middle East would remain unstable. He states: “The fault lines have little to do with Israel. They run between dictators and the people they’ve been oppressing for generations; between progressives and medievalists; between Sunni and Shiite; between majority populations and minorities. If our small sub-war were somehow resolved, or even if Israel vanished tonight, the Middle East would remain the same volatile place it is now.” Critics of Israel rarely talk about these things; they content themselves to whine about Israeli “oppression.” They are the true bleeding hearts that allow emotion to overwhelm reason. This mindset does little to alleviate a geopolitical, cultural, and religious maelstrom that has existed since at least the end of World War II. It seems that positions of the various parties in the region have hardened in the last few decades. No one has the faintest idea how to bring peace to this troubled region. Intractable problems are not unique to this region. American slavery in the South was another. It take a horrific war to solve that one. Let’s hope that that is not the case here.

      1. “It is curious that Jews are now identified as white”

        I am French and I grew up in France. The Jews there arre always assumed to be white. It is only when I went to Israel that I saw some Jews who were not white.

        1. Well, until just after WWII nobody in Europe identified Jews as white or European. Even in France. This changed after the Holocaust.

          1. Are you positive ?

            It is the first time I heard that.

            I have read tales of the persecutions of the Jews, novels or memory recollections, and I have neveer read that the Jews were not considered to be white.

            Too bad all my grandparents are dead, because I’d have loved to ask them.

            The way my mother described it to me when I was a child, Indians (the inhabitants of the Indian subdcontinent, I mean) where also white people. She propbably had learnt it from her mother.

            1. Of course, they were not identified as blacks, but as “Asians”, non- white, non-Aryan etc. You can find the description of these strange “non-European” creatures who infiltrated Europe in literature, contemporary newspapers, history books.

              1. The Jews where identified as Asians ?

                That matches neither my experience nor my readings.

                For example : Primo Levi never says he was not seen as a white person. He does not even say he was not seen as an Italian. He says he asked once his grandmother :

                – We’re Jews ? What does it mean that we’re Jews ?
                – It means we do not have to go to mass.

                (quoted form memory)

                Never have I heard “Before WWII, the Jews were not considered as white people.” Nor have I ever heard a Jew say “Before WWII, we were not considered as white people.”

              2. “In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the racial classification of Jews in the United States was not settled, with many nativists describing them as “Mongoloid” and “Asiatic.” []

                And just think about Nazi Germany – they definitely didn’t recognize Jews as “white”.

                Here is an intersting article about “whitness” of Jews:

              3. Dear Malgorzata,

                Thank you very much.

                I have read your comment and the article you gave a link to. I will answer you but I am too sleepy now to do so.


              4. When I was young, my father once “explained” that the Jews were both a religion and a race. In the past, the word “race” was used more loosely than it is today: I have a book from the 19th century entitled “The History of the Irish Race.”

                And in “Jesus Christ Superstar,” Pilate tells Jesus, “You’re Herod’s race! You’re Herod’s case!” The idea that Jews are a separate race is still around.

  2. Dear professor ,
    Don’t support Israel wrong doings . Free the Palestinian . No ethnic group is above human rights .

    1. Dear African atheist,

      I’m not supporting Israel wrong doings, and, as I said, I favor a two-state solution. But that solution has invariably been rejected, time after time, not by the Israelis but by the Palestinians! Also, when you say “no ethnic group is above human rights”, well, Palestinians violate human rights far more often than do Israelis. Do you not see that? Or do you ignore it? If the former, please educate yourself.

      1. I think on pragmatic terms, it’s been rejected by both. Neither country wants to pay the price that peace would require. However JAC I do agree with your general comments about the PLO/Hamas being much worse in terms of civil and religious rights than the Israelis.

        1. Pragmatically?
          Functionally, on all my reading, the Palestinians have been overwhelmingly the recalcitrant ones.

        2. What do you mean “rejected pragmatically.” Israel made an offer on the table, the Palestinians rejected it. What does your euphemism mean here.

          Let us also note that the Israelis abided by the Oslo Accords, the Palestinians did not.

  3. Just a correction regarding this line in point four: “And, of course, Israeli Jews are completely allowed to sell land to Israeli Arabs.”

    This should read “allowed to sell land to Israeli Muslim Arabs.” Many of the Jews in Israel are Arab. Jews and Arabs are not separate peoples.

    1. Or perhaps just “Israeli Muslims.” The first way I suggested still gives the impression that Israeli Jews aren’t Arabs.

      1. I may be wrong but as far as I know the vast majority Israeli Jews who came from Arab countries or are descendants of Jews from Arab countries do not call themselves Arabs. Israeli Arabs, both Christian and Muslim, call themselves a variety of names: Israeli Arabs, Israeli Palestinians, Palestinian citizens of Israel and possibly more. There are even polls showing how many are choosing which name.

        1. But the statement as written by Jerry is still confusing, as there are a significant number of Jews in Israel who are Arab, no? Regardless of what they call themselves, they are from Arab lands.

          1. They may be Iraqis, Tunisians, Lebanese, Libians but definitely not Arabs. The more so if neither they nor other Israelis call them so.

            1. The appellations are confusing to me. I’d been under the impression that Jews from Arab lands are called Mizrahim; is that what they call themselves?

              1. Yes, that’s how they are called, but I answered to the notion that they call themselves “Arabs”. I know that majority do not do so but I just guessed that they may use the name of the country their forbears came from, like the descendants of European Jews in Israel sometimes call themselves “Poles”, “Russians, “Hungarians” etc. They do not talk about themselves as “Ashkenazi”. I know too little about such details to be sure that this is the case. An Israeli should solve this riddle.

              2. “Ashkenazi” as a Jew of European origins is quite a common designation in Israel.
                It has never been a major part of my identity, but I have always known that I am ashkenazi.
                For religious Jews it may be more important, as it matters for some religious customs.

    2. Jews in Israel show shone European DNA, up to twenty to thirty per cent in some studies. Arabs do not have that admixture. Most Jews I know would not like to be called Arabs. Your experience may be different.

      1. Not all Jews, just some. From Wikipedia (emphasis mine): “According to Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics, in 2008, of Israel’s 7.3 million people, 75.6 percent were Jews of any background.[25] Among them, 70.3 percent were Sabras (born in Israel), mostly second- or third-generation Israelis, and the rest are olim (Jewish immigrants to Israel)—20.5 percent from Europe and the Americas, and 9.2 percent from Asia and Africa, including the Arab countries.[26]”

        1. Mostly second or third generation Israelis. And before that, Europeans.
          The studies I referred to relied on D N A tests, not where the last two or three generations lived.

        2. @BJ Some Jews from Arab lands do self identify as “Arab Jews”, but the vast majority of Jews from Arab lands firmly reject that description [even though it might be technically correct]. SEE THIS WIKI

          1. Everybody keeps talking about what they identify as. I’m just talking about genetics/geography. I never meant this to be a debate about identity.

            1. Why do you imply that these Jews have Arab DNA, instead of the other way round? The DNA was there before the religious and linguistic divisions. Arabs do not have a monopoly on the genetic variants prevalent in the original population.

      2. Nevertheless, the population genetically closest to Israeli Jews (according to studies that I have seen) are Palestinian Arabs.
        I am not sure about the lack of admixture among Arabs, either. You must have seen images of well-known Palestinian protester Ahed Tamimi – she could pass for a native German, and there are many like her in her village. It may be a result of random mutations and genetic drift in a small population, but I’d rather bet on European DNA.

        1. I was in a doctor’s office a few months ago here in the US. The physicians assistant asked me to guess where he was from. I said New Jersey. He said he was from Iran. We talked some about policy and his background. Some of his ancestors were French who lived in Iran. There have been Europeans in the Middle East for a long time and intermarriage, or births outside of marriage, during that time. He said there is a fairly large number of people with blond hair and blue eyes with some French ancestry there. (He was also very unhappy with our Middle East policy. He thought we should be more involved than we are). I did not ask what his religion was.

          The studies I mentioned stated that while there was the admixture in the Jewish population, the admixture was not there in the non-Jewish population at large. They did state that Jews and Arabs were more similiar to each other in DNA than to other populations.

          Of course you are free to not accept these studies or to do your own research.

  4. Very good. It is possible to submit an original op-ed to the “Gray Lady”, and this is a subject that seems sorely needed. It would certainly inspire strong reactions from different sides!

  5. I don’t think most people question whether Israel or Palestine is stronger in the liberal democracy department, I think the comparisons to apartheid refer to people in occupied territories, not Arab citizens in Israel. I assume the alternate argument is that occupation and apartheid are distinct – I think it depends a good bit on whether you see the occupation as temporary or more or less permanent. If you see it as temporary, then it is a transitional state. If you see it as functionally permanent, then Palestinians are born into a world where they will never have independent citizenship.

    1. They have turned down many chances to have independent citizenship. Now, many of them no longer want a two-state solution, but a one-state solution which of course will cause a big pogrom. If Israel is an “apartheid state”, that means that there’s apartheid within the state.

      And, of course, your argument doesn’t touch my claim that Palestine is itself an apartheid territory: far worse than Israel. A Palestinian state under a two-state solution will be no more liberal than Iran.

      1. Palestine isn’t occupying Israel so I don’t think the comparison works in reverse. Regarding whether or not Palestine should have accepted previous offers, I don’t know enough about the topic to say… but that speaks largely to who one *blames for the current dynamic, not the dynamic itself. For whatever reason one posits, the end result is still Palestinians living under occupation. Blame is a separate issue. Whether a person thinks they are 100% the victims or 100% “did it to themselves” or something in between, that speaks to whether or not a person thinks occupation is sometimes *justified, not the fact of its existence.

        1. Technically, Israel is occupying part of Jordan, which annexed the West Bank in 1949, following the Palestinian’s failed attempt to drive out all Jews.

          1. You can frame the players however you want, the basic philosophical question still stands. I.e., one more or less does or doesn’t think it’s morally acceptable to allow collective punishment / indefinite ‘occupation’ (not exactly the right word, as occupation is meant to be temporary, but it gives the general picture) of a large group of people if they find said group threatening enough. Outside of depraved extremists, no one wants Israelis to be subjected to attack by hostile forces; and no one wants innocent Palestinian men, women, and children to face what may amount to generations of collective punishment for acts in which they played no part. On the one hand security threats are very real, on the other allowing for the idea of “Endless occupation is ok, as long as the group in question is considered ‘bad’ enough” sets a terrible precedent.

            1. Outside of depraved extremists, no one wants Israelis to be subjected to attack by hostile forces

              I think this is a very naive position. Hamas clearly supports collective punishment of Israeli civilians as being complicit in an illegal regime…and Hamas controls large sections if not most of the Palestinian territories.

              on the other allowing for the idea of “Endless occupation is ok, as long as the group in question is considered ‘bad’ enough” sets a terrible precedent.

              I agree. For the two-state solution to be viable, Israel will have to recognize that there is a border beyond which they cannot establish colonies and beyond which they cannot send military forces for law enforcement. They are unwilling to do that now. Having said that, I think the Palestinians are less respective of the requirements for a two-state solution than the Israelis.

              …not like the competition means much…if two states both refuse peace, the question of which refuses peace more is somewhat academic…

              1. I think this is a very naive position. Hamas clearly supports collective punishment of Israeli civilians as being complicit in an illegal regime…and Hamas controls large sections if not most of the Palestinian territories.

                I don’t think this refutes the idea that they are extremists though – an extremist does not necessarily imply “tiny minority fringe”.

                As to the rest, yeah, I don’t pretend to have any answers regarding what a solution moving forward would look like. Something will have to shift from the current impasse I think, but what that is, I don’t know.

            2. Roo, this is in reply to your most recent comment to Eric, but I want to make sure you see it, so I’m making it a reply here. Please read the following link so you can understand that not only is the extremist viewpoint not a “tiny minority fringe” among Palestinians, but it is the vast majority.

              From the article, just one example: “In a December 2014 PSR poll that prefigured the recent attacks, 78% expressed support for the ‘increase in Jerusalem and the rest of the West Bank in attempts to stab or run over Israelis.'”

              Yes, you read that right: 78% believe more Israeli civilians need to be killed with terrorism.

            3. Actually, I should correct myself. Since that first quote is regarding Israelis in “Jerusalem and the West Bank,” that would include both Israeli civilians and military. I shouldn’t have said just civilians. With regard to merely civilians, it’s 58%: “In six polls during the last decade, an average of 59% of Palestinians backed the view that ‘suicide bombing and other forms of violence against civilian targets are justified in order to defend Islam from its enemies'”

            4. Roo, please look up the data. According to a new poll by The Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR):

              “Support for an armed intifada is higher in the Gaza Strip (60%) than in the West Bank (51%), among the youth between the ages of 18 and 22 years (65%) compared to those whose age is 50 years or higher (55%), among holders of BA degree (55%) compared to the illiterates (44%), among men (57%) compared to women (52%), among students (63%) compared to laborers (47%), among the religious (62%) compared to the somewhat religious (49%), among those who oppose the peace process (81%)

              compared to those who support the peace process

              (41%), and among supporters of Hamas (76%) compared to supporters of Fatah (36%).” (My emphasis).

              Yes, 41% of Palestinians who support the peace process favor an armed intifada. Surprised? I think you’ll manage to justify what you said about “small minorities of extremists”.

              Poll here:
              Further analysis here:

              1. I specifically said DOES NOT imply a small minority.

                My original point was about a broader moral or philosophical question. I said that outside of extremists, nobody wants to see X or Y happen. The assumption being that if you presented such a question to most people, outside of those with extremists views, I think those would be the intuitions that would follow. I don’t think it’s meaningful to incorporate bad actors or traumatized actors or confused actors and so on into moral questions. If you presented the trolley problem and found some significant percentage of people *wanted to run people over with trolleys, then you would remove that subset of people when trying to figure out moral actions, not say that since they exist they factor into a moral solution as well.

                My original statement was that no one outside of extremists wants to see attacks against people in Israel or generations of collective punishment against babies that are born by chance into Palestine, having done nothing wrong. I think that’s a fair statement about human moral intuitions, but if anyone disagrees, let me know where you disagree.

              2. I mean, Roo, did you read the polls that I posted? At this point, you’re just denying reality. I disagree on the point that most Palestinians don’t think Israelis should be killed, and the polls disagree with you as well.

              3. BJ – I’m not talking about Palestinians. I’m talking about humans in general. “Most people” as in, if you asked the average, relatively unbiased human walking down the street, I’m assuming those would be their thoughts.

              4. Roo, you originally said, “Outside of depraved extremists, no one wants Israelis to be subjected to attack by hostile forces.”

                When Eric called this view “naive,” you responded that the Palestinians who hold such views are a “tiny minority fringe”.

              5. BJ – This is my last response because I’m very close to being in violation of the Roolz, if I’m not already. Since you’re the second person who has said this, maybe the way I phrased it was unclear, but if you look above, I said being an extremist DOES NOT necessarily imply being a tiny minority. To go back to something like the Trolley Problem – even if a *majority of people were suddenly in favor of running people down with trolleys, I would consider that an extremist view, and not a ‘natural’ human intuition.

                Whether or not I have a basis for saying that about human morality is another huge, multifaceted topic. Admittedly I lean heavily towards Buddhism and Christian mysticism and ideas of inherent inner goodness in all people, so I may have my own biases – but at any rate, that’s an extraordinarily complex topic that would require dozens more posts (in general I believe people are inherently compassionate but that this a) Can be disturbed or obscured by various circumstances and b) Is at least to some degree relative to time and place, as ‘compassion’ in one time and place may look different than ‘compassion’ in another), so I’ll leave it at that.

            5. … one more or less does or doesn’t think it’s morally acceptable to allow collective punishment / indefinite ‘occupation’ (not exactly the right word, as occupation is meant to be temporary, but it gives the general picture) of a large group of people if they find said group threatening enough.

              Okay, when is Russia ending its occupation of East Prussia, then?

    2. “then Palestinians are born into a world where they will never have independent citizenship.”

      They are citizens of Gaza or the West Bank, and have their own governments and have what passes for elections.

      And theoretically, every non-Jewish Arab Palestinian has an official homeland – Jordan. That Jordan refuses to honor their obligations to their immigration is decidedly not the fault of Israel.

    3. The claim is that “Israel is an apartheid state”.
      That is the claim and that is the propagandist assertion.

      To then start start talking about the occupied territories as that which i apartheid like may be a topic for discussion but it is not the actual absurd accusation that s being made.

  6. Very interesting piece, but it would be better with some links that support your arguments.

    I’m wondering if you could clarify your points regarding land ownership. My understanding was that Palestinian territories are similar to Native American reservations in Canada (where I live) in the sense that there are restrictions imposed by negotiated treaties on who can purchase or own land. Should I take from this post that that’s not the case?

    Also, you make no mention of the illegal Israeli settlements on Palestinian lands. How do they fit into the laws regarding land ownership?

    Finally, a major feature of South African apartheid had to do with how much government money was spent on the different groups. How much does Israel allocate for infrastructure spending for example, or on services such as health and education on Palestinians compared to the rest of the population?

    1. Gaza and the West Bank are administered by the Palestinian Authority, not Israel. They are responsible for the health and education of Palestinians.

  7. There are no areas A, B, C as well defined territories. They are euphemisms. If you look those categories in the map, Israel selectively grabbed (by force) the most strategical and productive lands leaving alone the Arab cities and populated towns that would be to costly to absorb because that would imply equal rights for all.

    Israelis seem to be very comfortable that Palestinians are ruled by military law, isolated in small and poorly communicated areas that are very costly in time to travel for them. Compare the time that an Israeli living in the West Bank spends travelling between settlements versus a Palestinian moving around in comparable distances.

    1. There are very well defined Areas A, B and C, established by Oslo Accords signed by PLO. Israel took the whole West Bank from Jordan in a war started by Jordan 1967, which was another war started by Arab states. The first one was 1948, a day after proclamation of Israel, when five Arab armies (plus volunteers from other Arab countries) invaded Israel. It was then Jordan by force conquered Judea and Samaria, renamed it “West Bank” and annexed it illegally to Jordan. This annexation was never recognized by the international community. There was never any mention of building of a Palestinian state on this territory, Jordan gave all inhabitants Jordanian citizenship and PLO stated explicitly that they have no claims to the West Bank. When the second attempt to annihilate Israel failed and this land returned to Israel, all of a sudden 19 years of illegal Jordanian occuppation changed into inalienable right of Palestinians to this terrotory. Rather strange story.

      1. My understanding is that Palestinians in so-called Palestinian territories are NOT ruled by military law. They are ruled by the Palestinian Authority police.

        Israel does reserve the right to insert the IDF, but that is when they are doing operations against terrorists. That includes destroying the homes of active terrorists.

        Not the same thing as being “ruled by military law”. It’s not great, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles when you have a government (the PA) that aids, abets, and celebrates terrorists.

      2. There is no one big chunk of land called Area A. Instead, there are small and scattered fragments that coincidentally are located in the densely populated cities and towns of Arab origin. Usually, people living in these towns cannot use the highways that Israel settlers drive, receive less water per capita and have a Palestinian authority that doesn’t have any control in the real issues that affect Palestinian lives.

        Surrounding these towns are the the settlements that have taken by taken by force (supported by Israeli Army) and also by Israel legal system “”abandoned lands, absentees property law”) agricultural lands, hilltops, sources of water. So, the delimitation of “Area C” as the land that Israel is going to keep is really cynical and not viable. In the long term Israel will have to choose to become a democracy for all the individuals that live under its rule or cause another forced migration of people of Arab origin.

        1. Some of the information you gave is not fully correct (the problem of highways, water, real control of Palestinian Authority or that settlements surround Palestinian towns) but what’s most important is that Oslo Accord was signed freely and willingly by PLO (they rejected so many offers that they could’ve easily reject this as well. They must’ve deemed it advantagoeus, otherwise they would not sign). As this was supported by international bodies (UN, EU) and there were very strong pressures on Israel to signed it, Israel – very reluctantly did just that. It was definitely not of any benefit to Israel. And the ball is in the Palestinians’ court. Since Oslo Accord were signed they got many offers of statehood and rejected every one. They know full well that the moment they stop incitment against Israel and Jews and stop their terrorist attacks on Israel the peace and their independence would be a close reality. But Israelis are not willing to commit suicide, strange people.

        2. Wouldn’t it be better to say that in the future Palestinians will have to become democratic, put down their violence and weapons and rockets, islam will have to be Reformed, the Muslim lands with 400x the area of Israel and all the oil will have to care for their Palestinian Muslim brothers and sisters, and so on. Our is it just Israel that has to change?

          1. I’d add that they should start family planning. As a member of a culture that uses family planning, I am disgusted of cultures that deliberately produce unsustainable population growth in order to grab land from cultures like mine.

    2. Well they, the Palestinians should not have launched their murderous rampages when they did have more freedom, should they?

  8. There is no doubt that the Palestinian territories treat Jews horribly but Muslim are clearly discriminated against in Israel.

    Arab schools get much less money than Jewish schools. Israel did not have an Arab cabinet member for almost 60 years after its founding. No Arab parties has ever been part of the ruling coalition.

    I would say that Arabs are treated as second class citizens. I would also say they have more rights and are treated better than Arabs in any Arab country.

    1. In most societies minorities differs from the majority population. In Israel Muslims are clearly NOT discriminated in law and state praxis though, of course, like everywhere, there is some discrimination in the society (which government acts strongly against). The problem of Muslims in Israel is exacerbated by cultural differences: attitudes towards women and children, and, even more important, by the fact that the leaders Arabs are electing to Knesset and other organs are more interested in fighting with Israel than in fighting for the rights of population they represent. However, the Israeli government does much to close the gap between the Jewish majority and the Arab minority. There are huge investments in the Arab sector and the results are visible. BTW, Jewish Haredim are in a very similar situation to Arab Muslims (though not to Arab Christians) and their economic situation is sometimes even worse – no wonder if men refuse to work and they have many children in each family.
      Average differences between Arab Muslims and Israeli Jews are, as far as I know, smaller than average differences between whites and blacks in U.S.
      Here are a few links showing just a tiny part of what Israeli current government does to “level the field” for minorities in the country.

  9. A typical Arabic cartoon from 2008 portraying the Jews as Christ killers:

    And a variation on the ever popular blood libel, but extended to include Muslim children [as well as Christian] as blood sources:

    “During this holiday [Purim], the Jew must prepare very special pastries, the filling of which is not only costly and rare –– it cannot be found at all on the local and international markets….For this holiday, the Jewish people must obtain human blood so that their clerics can prepare the holiday pastries….Before I go into the details, I would like to clarify that the Jews’ spilling human blood to prepare pastry for their holidays is a well-established fact, historically and legally, all throughout history. This was one of the main reasons for the persecution and exile that were their lot in Europe and Asia at various times….during the holiday, the Jews wear carnival-style masks and costumes and overindulge in drinking alcohol, prostitution, and adultery…..”

    Dr. Umayma Ahmad Al-Jalahma of King Faysal University writing in the Saudi government daily Al-Riyadh, March 10, 2002

    Arabic cartoon themes I’ve noticed: Male Jews as long nosed, bearded Hasidim with lust in their eyes for virginal Arab women, or as soldiers [big nosed] in quasi-Nazi style olive drab uniform or as crow-like human figures [big nosed] crouched over the globe deciding the fate of the World.

    1. Your link to Dr. Umayma Ahmad Al-Jalahma won’t work. It works if one googles her name
      and goes to Google Books through a link with her name to the book, “Blood and Belief,” by David Biale. Or one can Google the title and then enter “blood libel” in the search box on the book page. But the first one goes right to the page in question. When I hit “SOURCE” what comes up is a message saying the page cannot be displayed because it’s either not displayable or “you” have used up your search options. Perhaps those who click on the “source” link are being counted in “your” search?

    1. Yes, I saw that. These loons aren’t worth responding to most of the time. Even if their claim that Christianity fostered scientific and academic inquiry were correct, it wouldn’t a.) validate the existence of God and Jesus and b.) say anything about the truth of evolution, the denigration of which is supposed to be the Discovery Institute’s mission.

  10. I have run out of pennies to give ,so i will just say i hope peace will one day come to the middle east .

  11. I think the expression “apartheid state” has some degree of relevance only to the so-called Area C, where Arabs and Jews live under 2 different legal systems: the Palestinians live under the Israeli military law, while the Jewish settlers live under the Israeli civil law.
    My another point concerns the unbalanced criticism of the Israeli policy in the media. I completely agree with Jerry that ” the Palestinian Territories surely comprise far more of an apartheid state.” Yet, being a Jew and an Israeli citizen, I am much more concerned with misdeeds of my own country and people than with those of the Palestinians, because I want my country to be an enlightened democratic state. It reminds me of Jerry’s supposedly “unbalanced” criticism of the Left policies. I suspect it is “unbalanced” precisely because he himself belongs to the Left… Similarly, I often find myself being more critical of Israel than of the Palestinians, although, objectively speaking, my criticism is certainly “unbalanced”.

    1. Your concern about your own country as an Israeli citizen makes a lot of sense, and I definitely appreciate and empathize with it. As someone who lives in the US, I’m primarily concerned with my country’s policies. I imagine this is true of most people in most countries.

      What’s strange is how the rest of the world covers Israel. The rest of the world (at least Western media, since I don’t know much about media in, for example, South Korea or Eritrea) seems extremely concerned with Israeli policy (and neglectful of Palestinian policy), and focuses an enormous amount of coverage on it while there are literal genocides happening around the world that receive little to no coverage. It makes one question why this is, and why almost all of the criticism goes toward Israel and none toward Palestine.

      1. BJ, the obvious explanation of the unbalanced criticism of Israel is antisemitism or an anti-Israeli attitude in the media. But’I believe’there is sometimes a less obvious motive behind the criticism of Israel. Israel is perceived by many as part of the Western world and is thus judged according to the (sometimes hypocritical) moral criteria accepted in the liberal Western culture. In contrast, they don’t care enough about the Palestinians to even criticise them. Regardless, we perhaps put too much on the (anti-Israeli) motives of the criticism and disregard its substance. If the criticism itself has a factual basis it might be sometimes be useful to discuss the facts as well…

  12. The learned disquisition on Purim pastries by the learned Dr. Umayma Ahmad Al-Jalahma
    reflects, one must assume, the intellectual
    character of its academic context, identified as King Faisal University. One looks forward to scholarly collaborations between Dr. Al-Jalahma’s department in Saudi Arabia and its counterparts elsewhere, such as Jasbir Puar’s Gender Studies unit at Rutgers University in New Jersey.

      1. They are connected by the Blood libel

        [1] Dr. Umayma Ahmad Al-Jalahma: See my comment #11 above.
        [2] Prof. Jasbir Puar: Gave a lecture at Vassar in 2016 claiming that Israel assassinates teen Palestinians to harvest their organs & keeps Palestine undernourished. She also says that she isn’t anti-Semitic – which is possible I suppose

  13. A comment on the Jordan thing. This is a canard, IMO: what does one do about the people from the WB, Gaza, Golan, etc.? This discussion often quickly goes to “but they already have a state” – no, not in the territories they are from. It is as if someone conquered (for whatever reason) Ohio and said, “that’s ok, Americans have another 49 states”. Or, conquered Luxembourg and said “oh, the Europeans have another 2x countries!”

    As for the apartheid, it seems to me that the title of this post is self-defeating. There is no state in the OTs other than Israel, therefore since there is apartheid, Israel is an apartheid state to that degree. If they don’t wan’t to “own that”,then remove control of these territories and let the occupants do what they wish. I realize this may seem semi-sophistical, but a vague analogy (without the conquering in recent memory) is Quebec – and its bigoted laws. So Canada has them, because a part does. (Alas.) Canada also has some because of the Native American situation.

    Speaking of which, it is interesting to note that for better or for worse AIM (I think) recognizes the Palestinian situation as similar to the state of many NAs.

    Also, the “1.) No Jews are allowed to live in the Palestinian Territories (areas A and B of the West Bank and in Gaza)” – this is a bit odd, since the whole point of the “areas” is that the other parts of the traditional territory have been (as far as even the peaceful side are concerned) been taken by force!”

    Also, so the PT is governed by a bunch of thugs. What should one conclude? Same as anything – push on someone and two things can happen (generally)- extinction or the bastards take over. This seems to be a historical universal. The question to my mind is – why keep mistreating people? This is where the B5 line about it doesn’t matter who started “it” is apropos. Keep kicking and someone will kick back. So for example, allowing settlements in in the PT on the part of Israel is *one of many kicks on all sides*.

    Finally: the bit about rejectionism does not correspond to what I have seen about the historical record. (For example, some of the Jordinian royalty changed their mind and the PLO, “Arab street opinion” changed eventually too – there’s a 1980s book on this which I’ll look up later.) Even if it were, one has to look at what the population accepts vs. the governments – which as in any colony should be taken carefully.

    1. The people of Gaza stay where they are (though if I lived there, I’d try to emigrate to any country that would agree to take me). About the other territories you mentioned, I suppose this problem is the reason why Israel has not yet declared permanent borders in these regions.

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