Monday, April 28, 2014

Apartheid state

John Kerry is in trouble because he privately told a bunch of Trilateral Commission VIPs that Israel could become an "apartheid state." The comments were released to the world by a reporter named Josh Rogin who had infiltrated the meeting. (I'd like to know more about that.) Ted Cruz is now asking Kerry to step down and Barbara Boxer has called Kerry's comment "nonsensical."

In a sense, she's right. It is nonsensical to warn that Israel could become an apartheid state. It already is. I mean, jeez, what more does it have to do to merit that label? Doesn't that wall count for something? The lack of freedom of movement? The job restrictions? The relocations of the Bedouins? The almost-psychopathic levels of racism, egged on by religious zealots, which has become almost universal among the Israeli young? Seriously, what more does Israel have to do to be considered an apartheid state?

Behold the state of current American political discourse: There's only one topic that can make teammates of Boxer and Cruz. Guess which.

Behold the state of current American political discourse: Nobody in the establishment slammed Kerry for his lies about Russia, Ukraine and Syria. But they are going after him because he dared to inch toward a truth that everyone in the world knows full well -- and which many people in Israel are perfectly willing to admit.
Can't discuss Israel's nuclear arsenal either. Funny that.
Condemnation and accusations of anti-Semitism is the knee-jerk response to any and all criticism of Israel. Jimmy Carter was pilloried when he stated the obvious in his book on the Israeli/Palestinian stalemate. I don't think you need be an extremist to state the sorry truth. Generations of Palestinians have been caught in a limbo existence where suffering and hopelessness rules the day. The Palestinans aren't angels but they are human beings. The continued push for Israeli settlements makes any peace process a bitter joke. We [the US] keep participating in this weird, even sick kabuki theater. But people here and around the world have ears and eyes.

John Kerry spoke the truth [although I agree on the word 'becoming']. He should not be apologizing. Israel's continued existence hangs in the balance because the demographics are against them. They need a peace deal as much as the Palestinians do.

The whole world needs a peace deal. Sooner rather than later.

A bunch of comments here:
1. You had written before about Jewish discrimination, specifically with regard to spitting and tagging. Both of those activities have been condemned by the religious and secular authorities in Israel.
2. Compare that to the treatment of murderers released by Israel who have been treated as heroes by the Palestinians.
3. Apartheid is a system of legal discrimination which simply does not occur in Israel. Even the notoriously anti-semitic Juan Cole acknowledges that.
I understand the point about Arab settlements (and Christian Churches) having a difficult time getting permits, but the issue is complicated. Unfortunately, I don't have the time right now but it is a difficult situation. The issue with the Beduins and the Prawer Begin plan was actually a plan to help the Bedoins, but I understand that many things are complicated and this is one.
4. We are no closer to a deal than we were fifteen years ago, which is to say not very close. The problem is not Israel, the problem is that the PA, as presently constituted, will never reach a deal. Abbas' goal is retention of power and any deal is a risk to that goal. The long term problem is how to reach a deal with an entity that not only wants to obliterate Israel, but also to murder Jews wherever they are. The Hamas charter is not vague only their goals and their leadership reiterate the position on a daily basis.
6. You made a point about Jewish concern about anti-semitism in a recent post. I have said before and I'll say again, if America decides to kick the Jews out, where do we go?
Since 1993,there has been building within existing settlements, but only three new settlements.
joseph, you can't seriously believe that criticism of Israel is a-okay in the USA, can you? I mean, sure, for us unimportant people we face no real repercussions. Politicians, however, are committing career suicide with even the lightest of criticisms (see John Kerry). I see you were unable to make your points without resorting to the "anti-semitic" tag (even though most jews are not actually semitic peoples at all).

So maybe Israel is not a completely apartheid state, but the difference is becoming less and less with every year.
Keeping the Holocaust in mind, the current vicious behavior of Israeli Jews toward Palestinians reminds me of the sad old story of the battered child who grows up to be a battering parent.
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