|[BGU Geography] Oren Yiftachel's Progression: From Apartheid to Confederation|
BGU Professor Oren Yiftachel
More than a decade ago, Oren Yiftachel (BGU) made a name among radical critics of Israel by suggesting that Israel is running a "creeping apartheid regime." Even by the lax standards of critical political geography, Yiftachel is easily discredited; how long can one warn about "creeping apartheid" without providing evidence that Israel has indeed turned into the former South Africa?
Yifachel apparently realized that "creeping apartheid" is old hat, a fact that compelled him to come with new idea. As the dramatic titles “The Political Geography of Israel/Palestine: Apartheid or Confederation?” of a lecture on July 2, 2013 in Belgrade and the January 4, 2013 Singapore lecture "Colonial Deadlock or Confederation for Israel/Palestine?" demonstrate, he has become a convert to the currently fashionable concept of confederation.
In the self-imposed detachment from reality which many radical scholars practice, the idea of a confederation is a modern equivalent of the binational state espoused by Judah Magnes and his Hebrew University professors of Brit Shalom. Isolated in their Ivory Tower and cossetted in tax payer-supported tenured positions, Yiftachel and his fellow confederation aficionados such as Yehouda Shenhav (TAU), can dream tall dreams, even as the bloody reality of sectarian wars, civil unrest and military coups is unfolding all around the borders of Israel.