By Amiram Goldblum, Professor Medicinal Chemistry, peace activist
An apartheid state is un-Jewish and dangerous for its citizens. You are all invited to a "possible Israeli Apartheid" conference on Wednesday, 2/20/13 at 17:00 at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute.
Within the State of Israel there is no segregation regime on racial or national grounds. But Israel's control over Palestinians in the West Bank has been causing segregation and discrimination - legal, physical and infrastructural - between Israelis and Palestinians, and localities of segregation in the civil rights and human rights on a national basis. This separation is, in fact, apartheid.
Most of the 2.5 million Palestinians live in the West Bank still officially, in areas where the Palestinian Authority controls under the Oslo Accords. But the Israeli governments acted to block any chance to an independent Palestinian state by building settlements in the territories, and thus eliminated the purpose of the Accord. Settlers and their supporters - in the Knesset and government - push to annex territory and to oust the Palestinians.
Recently we surveyed attitudes of the Jewish public in Israel which shows that "if Israel annexes Judea and Samaria, 69% of them would oppose to grant voting rights for the Knesset to 2.5 million Palestinians." The actions done by the Israeli governments in the past decades advance annexation of West Bank territories, and promote the desire for annexation of the territories by the settlers and their supporters. The chance of a moderate government that would lead to an agreement with the Palestinians is diminishing. Even if such a government is to be established, the pressure of the settlers on it may prevent any chance to progress for a solution. Therefore, Israel is deteriorating now towards becoming an apartheid state.
Israeli authorities in the West Bank already maintain a separate court system for Palestinians and settlers. In some locations in the West Bank (as Hebron) the Apartheid is clear and visible. Without a political solution, Israel deteriorates to a single state that will be a state of discrimination and defined as apartheid state. Israeli control of all areas from the sea to the Jordan, with or without formal annexation, is an apartheid state de - facto.
Israel is losing the moral fiber which it struggled to maintain, despite the security problems which existed since its inception. An Apartheid state is, to us, obviously un-Jewish, and would be dangerous to its citizens to a threat of war. No security justification can clear the moral abyss of an apartheid regime.
Therefore, we find it necessary to establish an organization which its goal is to check, inform, warn and alert against the deteriorating state of apartheid, and to mobilize all those who can help, inside and out, to bring back the chance for a political solution that would get rid of the threat of apartheid.
The organization to prevent apartheid in Israel will gather well-documented evidence - articles, photos, videos and any other way that can be displayed to the public. The organization shall document policies and acts of discrimination and separation based on nationality between Israelis and Palestinians living in the same space. For this we shall treat all of the West Bank - as one unit. Also we will follow the discrimination based on nationality over the Israeli side of the Green Line.
The organization will expose the words and actions of individuals, groups and organizations that support segregation on the basis of national identity, especially between Jews and Arabs, but also between people of different backgrounds (Mizrahi, Ethiopian, etc.). These elements will be exposed to Israel and the world, in a call to severe ties with them and not allow them to spread slander. We shall call the general public to support all-out war against the elements that encourage apartheid, to give us every piece of information for anyone who expresses support - direct or implied - in the ideas of apartheid, and to condemn apartheid in all its guises. We will deal only on the Israeli side, but will condemn Jews and Arabs, Israelis and Palestinians, that encourage violations of the other People's rights. While recognizing the difference and the lack of symmetry between occupier and occupied, rulers and ruled. In addition, we will encourage activities of Israelis to prevent apartheid and to cooperate with all other Israeli organizations that fight apartheid and bring information to the public.
You are all invited to "a possible Israeli Apartheid" conference on Wednesday, 02/20/2013 at 17:00 at the Van Leer Jerusalem