FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Israel’s Legal Apartheid and the Global BDS Movement

by

The public debate over the introduction of the “Jewish Nation-State bill” in Israel calls the bluff of Israel’s insistence that it can be both a democracy and a Jewish state, laying bare its Apartheid-like laws and policies for the international community to witness and to respond. It is time to act before Israel’s propaganda machine at home and abroad begins a damage-control campaign that would most likely justify the adoption of the new bill as a “national security” matter. After all, Israel has gotten away with using the “national security” excuse to build an Apartheid wall and to convince the world that it is merely a “separation fence,” to operate bypass roads for Jews and tourists only, and to create a network of hundreds of checkpoints across the West Bank, designed to restrict Palestinians’ mobility and livelihood.

In the past when critics would point out that the practices mentioned above are reminiscent of South Africa’s Apartheid laws, Israel’s supporters were quick to come to its defense, using a powerful secret weapon: the Holocaust. Israeli propaganda has managed to convince the world time and again that its military aggression and blatant violations of international law are beyond scrutiny because of its traumatic past.

My father, a Holocaust survivor who witnessed my grandfather’s murder in a concentration camp at the age of 13, could not forgive the international community for failing to act in time. A militant Zionist, my father used the mantra “Never Again” to justify Israel’s aggression against Palestinians. The exclusive interpretation of “Never Again” makes no sense to me. As history demonstrates, Jews have no monopoly on suffering. If anything, the traumatic memory of the Holocaust should inspire compassion for other persecuted groups. It is criminal and inexcusable that the Holocaust has been hijacked to legitimize the colonization of Palestine and systematic attempts to destroy its indigenous population. We cannot look the other way. We must hold Israel accountable!

Because Israel proclaims itself a safe haven for Jews everywhere, we have a responsibility to speak up and to voice strong opposition against the new racist bill. It is time to end our financial and moral support for Israel. Additionally, we must implore the U.S. government, through our elected officials, to end all aid to Israel, even if we think that it is a long shot. On college campuses, we should reach out to students and faculty to broaden and strengthen our coalitions as we link the BDS movement to other struggles for justice and equality in the US and around the globe.

The introduction of the new bill can be a game-changer. Regardless of the future of Israel’s present coalition government, the writing is on the wall: Israel IS an Apartheid state and its leaders seem certain that they will once again get away with cementing their discriminatory practices without serious consequences. We need to prove them wrong. The timing is perfect. The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement is growing and many Jews in the Diaspora are rethinking their support for Israel after the brutal attack on Gaza this past summer. It is time to hold Israel accountable now by making clear that a Jewish state and a democratic state are irreconcilable. In order to be a democracy, Israel must become a state of ALL Its citizens, Jews and non-Jews alike!

Simona Sharoni is Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies at SUNY Plattsburgh and the author of Gender and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: The Politics of Women’s Resistance. She is currently working on a manuscript titled: Gender and Resistance in Palestine and Israel to be published by Syracuse University Press.

 

 

More articles by:
May 31, 2016
Miguel A. Cruz-Díaz
Imperial Blues: On Whitewashing Dictatorship in the 21st Century
Vijay Prashad
Stoking the Fires: Trump and His Legions
Patrick Howlett-Martin
Libya: How to Bring Down a Nation
Uri Avnery
What Happened to Netanyahu?
Corey Payne
Reentry Through Resistance: Détente with Cuba was Accomplished Through Resistance and Solidarity, Not Imperial Benevolence
Bill Quigley
From Tehran to Atlanta: Social Justice Lawyer Azadeh Shahshahani’s Fight for Human Rights
Manuel E. Yepe
Trump, Sanders and the Exhaustion of a Political Model
Bruce Lerro
“Network” 40 Years Later: Capitalism in Retrospect and Prospect and Elite Politics Today
Robert Hunziker
Chile’s Robocops
Aidan O'Brien
What’ll It be Folks: Xenophobia or Genocide?
Binoy Kampmark
Emailgate: the Clinton Spin Doctors In Action
Colin Todhunter
The Unique Risks of GM Crops: Science Trumps PR, Fraud and Smear Campaigns
Dave Welsh
Jessica Williams, 29: Another Black Woman Gunned Down By Police
Gary Leupp
Rules for TV News Anchors, on Memorial Day and Every Day
May 30, 2016
Ron Jacobs
The State of the Left: Many Movements, Too Many Goals?
James Abourezk
The Intricacies of Language
Porfirio Quintano
Hillary, Honduras, and the Murder of My Friend Berta
Patrick Cockburn
Airstrikes on ISIS are Reducing Their Cities to Ruins
Uri Avnery
The Center Doesn’t Hold
Raouf Halaby
The Sailors of the USS Liberty: They, Too, Deserve to Be Honored
Rodrigue Tremblay
Barack Obama’s Legacy: What Happened?
Matt Peppe
Just the Facts: The Speech Obama Should Have Given at Hiroshima
Deborah James
Trade Pacts and Deregulation: Latest Leaks Reveal Core Problem with TISA
Michael Donnelly
Still Wavy After All These Years: Flower Geezer Turns 80
Ralph Nader
The Funny Business of Farm Credit
Paul Craig Roberts
Memorial Day and the Glorification of Past Wars
Colin Todhunter
From Albrecht to Monsanto: A System Not Run for the Public Good Can Never Serve the Public Good
Rivera Sun
White Rose Begins Leaflet Campaigns June 1942
Tom H. Hastings
Field Report from the Dick Cheney Hunting Instruction Manual
Weekend Edition
May 27, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
Silencing America as It Prepares for War
Rob Urie
By the Numbers: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are Fringe Candidates
Paul Street
Feel the Hate
Daniel Raventós - Julie Wark
Basic Income Gathers Steam Across Europe
Andrew Levine
Hillary’s Gun Gambit
Jeffrey St. Clair
Hand Jobs: Heidegger, Hitler and Trump
S. Brian Willson
Remembering All the Deaths From All of Our Wars
Dave Lindorff
With Clinton’s Nixonian Email Scandal Deepening, Sanders Must Demand Answers
Pete Dolack
Millions for the Boss, Cuts for You!
Peter Lee
To Hell and Back: Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Gunnar Westberg
Close Calls: We Were Much Closer to Nuclear Annihilation Than We Ever Knew
Karl Grossman
Long Island as a Nuclear Park
Binoy Kampmark
Sweden’s Assange Problem: The District Court Ruling
Robert Fisk
Why the US Dropped Its Demand That Assad Must Go
Martha Rosenberg – Ronnie Cummins
Bayer and Monsanto: a Marriage Made in Hell
Brian Cloughley
Pivoting to War
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail