Israeli officials are afraid of describing “apartheid.” What about decades of oppression of Palestinians?
Quds- The statements of the Israeli Foreign Minister, Yair Lapid, regarding fears of accusing Israel of an apartheid state, reflected the debate of Israeli society regarding “the Jewishness of the state”, and the need for diplomatic maneuvering and opening the path of negotiations with the Palestinians to avoid any pressure from Europe, and to satisfy the administration of US President Joe Biden.
Lapid ruled out, in a statement on Tuesday, that the intensification of international pressure on the current Israeli government would push for a political process with the Palestinians even after he took power in August 2023, due to coalition agreements that prevent progress in this area.
And the foreign minister warned of what he described as an “unprecedented debate over the phrase ‘Israel as an apartheid state'”, expecting this to be a tangible threat in 2022.
Lapid referred to the Palestinian campaigns against Israel at the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice in The Hague, and to the decision of the United Nations Human Rights Council to establish a permanent “committee of inquiry” into Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians, including the Israeli aggression on Gaza in May 2021.
Lapid’s statements come as his prime minister, Naftali Bennett, reiterated that a government headed by him will not return to the negotiating table, and that he opposes meeting Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, and is satisfied with delegating Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz to meet with him, in an attempt to promote the idea of ”economic peace.”
In the face of this intransigence, the controversy over Israel’s perpetuation of the policy of apartheid and the oppression of the Palestinians on both sides of the Green Line (the line separating the occupied territories in 1948 and 1967) through the “national law” enacted by Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, and the continued expansion of the settlement project, and the creeping Israeli annexation of parts From the West Bank and the Jordan Valley.
With the impossibility of achieving a two-state solution on the ground, Bennett, who has no interest in the settlement path, is quietly rushing towards one state with millions of “Palestinian subjects” and Jewish domination between the sea and the river, but, as journalist Gideon Levy says, “is not just creating one state, but He is creating an ‘Apartheid State’ which will be the second name of Israel.”
The former Knesset member of the National Assembly (Arab party), Neven Abu Rahmon, believes that successive Israeli governments have perpetuated the policy of apartheid, discrimination and persecution against the Palestinians on both sides of the Green Line, through racist legislation, most notably the “nationalism” law and the expansion of the settlement project, and the continuation of the creeping annexation scheme. Despite the freeze of the “deal of the century”.
She launched a campaign entitled “Tell the world about the annexation scheme,” and she told Al Jazeera Net that the policies of the Israeli governments established an apartheid state similar to South Africa, after it imposed facts that make the two-state solution impossible.
The former parliamentarian believes that Israel fears the Palestinian campaigns that expose the imposition of “a system of Jewish supremacy from the river to the sea, and its oppressive practices against the Palestinians and their land and depriving them of the most basic rights.”
The campaign “Tell the World about the Annexation Scheme” defines the Israeli legislation against the Palestinian people, and Abu Rahmon says that the scheme to annex Area C, which constitutes 61% of the area of the West Bank under Israeli sovereignty, perpetuates racial discrimination, persecution and the imposition of Israeli sovereignty to ensure the superiority of settlers.
The former parliamentarian adds that Israel has entrenched apartheid through racist legislation and colonial tools, most notably the Land Settlement Law and the Nationality Law, which only gives the Jewish people the right to self-determination over all of historic Palestine, and considers settlement a supreme value.
Segregation of varying intensity
Despite the suspension of the “deal of the century” aimed at annexing parts of the West Bank and the Jordan Valley to Israeli sovereignty, the occupation authorities, as the spokesman for the “Peace Now” movement, Adam Clare, says, continue the policy of creeping annexation and expansion of the settlement project, and the imposition of facts that prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state On the 4th of June 1967 borders.
Claire adds to Al Jazeera Net that accusing Israel of committing the crime of apartheid and persecution of the Palestinians is accompanied by the presence of apartheid in varying degrees of severity since the occupation of the West Bank and the rest of Jerusalem after the 1967 war.
According to Claire, apartheid is attributed to the Israeli regime in different contexts and periods, as the accusation was made in the context of the state’s position on the 48 Palestinians (those who remained in the occupied territories in 1948 after the Nakba), Zionism as a movement and colonial idea, and the Israeli project from the Mediterranean to Jordan .
Claire attributed Tel Aviv’s statements, expressed by the foreign minister, to its fears that the institutions and bodies of the international community would classify Israel as an apartheid state.
He said, “The government of change headed by Bennett-Lapid renews its position of refusing to return to the path of political negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, and is satisfied only with promoting the idea of economic peace while continuing security coordination.”
A spokesman for the Peace Now movement clarified that the so-called “goodwill” initiative of the Bennett government towards the Palestinian Authority and Gantz’s mandate to meet President Abbas, is not a substitute for the path of negotiations, especially in light of the escalation of Israeli violations against the Palestinians and the incursion of the settlement project, which constitutes two crimes of apartheid And the persecution and perpetuation of Jewish domination over the Palestinians and their occupied land.
On the diplomatic front, political analyst Akiva Eldar believes that Lapid’s statements regarding the possibility of Israel facing Palestinian campaigns that portray it as an apartheid and apartheid state, carry internal messages directed at the government coalition and political parties that refuse to renew the path of negotiations with the Palestinian Authority.
Eldar pointed out that Lapid does not want to lose what Israeli diplomacy has achieved during his short term, especially the rapprochement with the European Union and the US administration headed by Joe Biden, and even the strengthening of normalization relations with Arab countries, as he directs the government’s compass towards diplomatic maneuvering and not intransigence by constantly closing the political track With the Palestinians, in order to avoid turning the international community against Israel.
Without strict measures from Washington and a serious stance from Europe against Israel, the decisions of the International Criminal Court or any recommendations and decisions of the Human Rights Council cannot be effective, valuable and binding on Israel to reverse its policies of apartheid and violations against the Palestinians in various walks of life, says Eldar.
Acceptance of apartheid versus boycott
In the opinion of the political analyst, the rise of the right-wing supportive of settlement and its dominance on the Israeli political scene proves that global economic pressure and the European and international boycott of Jewish settlement companies, events and institutions do not move public opinion in Israel against occupation and settlement “as if the Jewish community accepts apartheid and persecution of the Palestinians in the manner of apartheid In South Africa”.
But he touched on influential examples of cultural and artistic boycotts, such as the Scottish playwright and director David Gregg, artistic director of the Royal Lyceum in Edinburgh, who joined the boycott of Israel, and the Scottish playwright, Sam Holcroft, who does not allow her work to be shown in an Israeli theater.