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John Hamoney et al | The Link | April-May 2007

About That Word Apartheid

President Carterís latest book, ďPalestine: Peace Not Apartheid,Ē has unleashedĖ-to use a much over-used phrase--a firestorm of controversy. To suggest that white, racist South Africaís treatment of its indigenous inhabitants is in any way similar to Israelís treatment of its indigenous inhabitants, for some, smacks of anti-Semitism.

And yet, a Google search of “Israel + Apartheid” brings up 5.5 million references. The subject, it seems, is being discussed.

So, to help clarify the relationship between Israel and apartheid South Africa, we have put together a timeline, beginning with June 1917, when Dr. Chaim Weizmann and Gen. Jan Christian Smuts met in London to lobby for their respective causes. Researchers for our article include AMEU directors Jane Adas and Bob Norberg, and myself. A longer version with source references is available on our website: —John F. Mahoney, Executive Director, April, 2007.

June 1917: London. Dr. Chaim Weizmann, future first president of Israel, and Gen. Jan Christian Smuts, future prime minister of South Africa, meet to exploit British imperial interests for their own purposes. Weizmann argues that a Palestine opened for Jewish settlement will help England safeguard its Middle East interests. Smuts sees the wisdom of supporting the Zionist enterprise, as Jews in South Africa, by the end of World War I, constitute per capita the wealthiest Jewish community in the world. Later, he will tell the Anglo American Committee of Inquiry that he was “one of those who in 1917 took an active part in the planning of the Balfour Declaration.” Two years following his death in 1950, Israel will dedicate the Smuts Forest in the Judean Hills, overlooking the Weizmann Forest.

May 1948: Prime Minister Jan Smuts extends de facto recognition to the newly established state of Israel. Days later, Smuts’s party loses to the apartheid Nationalist party, many of whose members had backed Adolph Hitler.

1949: Daniel F. Malan, the new South African prime minister, who in 1938 had led the opposition to Jewish immigrants from Nazi Germany to South Africa, extends de jure recognition to the Jewish state.

July 5, 1950: West Jerusalem. Israel enacts the Law of Return by which Jews anywhere in the world, that is, by virtue of being born of a Jewish mother or being a convert, have a “right” to immigrate to Israel on the grounds that they are returning to their own state, even if they have never been there before.

1951: Pretoria. Prime Minister Daniel Malan introduces the Bantu Authorities Act, which sets aside 13% of South Africa’s poorest land to establish “homelands” for the different black ethnic groups. The remaining 87% is reserved for the white population. The idea is to co-opt local black tribal leaders to run the Bantustans, thereby creating a ruling black elite with personal and financial interests in maintaining the separateness.

July 14, 1952: By putting into effect the Citizenship/Jewish Nationality Law, Israel becomes the only state in the world to grant a particular national-religious group—the Jews—the right to settle in it and gain automatic citizenship.

1953: West Jerusalem. South Africa’s Prime Minister Daniel Malan becomes the first foreign head of government to visit Israel. He returns home with the message that Israel can be a source of inspiration for white South Africans.

1955: Military cooperation begins with Israel’s delivery of Uzi submachine guns to South Africa. By 1971, South Africa will be manufacturing the Uzi under a license arranged with Israel through Belgium.

1958: South Africa. Hendrik Verwoerd, editor of the virulent anti-Semitic newspaper Die Transvaler, becomes prime minister. During his tenure, Nelson Mandela is tried for treason, the African National Congress banned, the Sharpeville massacre perpetrated, and the “grand apartheid” plan introduced.

1959: Pretoria. The Self-Government Act is passed granting the homelands self-governing, quasi-independent status. Ten “homelands” will eventually be created, each comprising broken tracts of eroded land incapable of supporting their large designated populations. Only two will be totally coterminous, the others will be scattered blocks, some widely dispersed.

November 6, 1962: New York. When Israel supports a U.N. General Assembly resolution condemning South Africa’s policy of apartheid, South African prime minister Verwoerd declares that Jews “took Israel from the Arabs after the Arabs had lived there for a thousand years. In that I agree with them, Israel, like South Africa, is an apartheid state.” Despite its U.N. vote, Israel remains one of South Africa’s chief trading partners. Reflecting on this contradiction, the former Israeli ambassador to Pretoria Alon Liel will later acknowledge, “At the U.N. we kept saying we are against apartheid … but our security establishment kept cooperating.”

1963: Israel sells Centurion tanks to South Africa, while South Africa, which has the fourth largest uranium reserves in the world, ships ten tons of the material to Israel for use in its Dimona nuclear reactor. On August 7, the U.N. Security Council imposes its first arms embargo on South Africa and calls on all states to comply. Later, Israel provides South Africa with technological training, anti-tank rounds, and natural uranium rods. . In August, the U.N. Security Council imposes its first embargo on arms to South Africa and calls on all states to comply. Later, Israel will provide South Africa with technological training, anti-tank rounds, and natural uranium rods.

September 1966: Cape Town. Following Prime Minister Verwoerd’s assassination, the Senior Rabbi of the Progressive Jewish Congregation, Rabbi Arthur Super, eulogizes him as a man who, like Moses of old, led his people to the Promised Land after 60 years of wandering. Chief Rabbi Professor Abrahams calls Verwoerd “the first man to give apartheid a moral ground.”

June 1967: Pretoria. When Israel launches the Six Day War, the South African government releases over $28 million to Israel from Zionist groups and permits South African volunteers to work and fight in Israel. Israel occupies the Golan Heights, Gaza Strip, the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Sinai Peninsula. The first Jewish settlements begin.

August 1, 1967: Israel enacts the Agricultural Settlement Law, which bans Israeli citizens of non-Jewish nationality, e.g., Palestinian Arabs, from working on Jewish National Fund lands, i.e., on well over 80% of the land in Israel. Knesset member Uri Avnery states: “This law is going to expel Arab cultivators from the land that was formerly theirs and was handed over to the Jews.”

1968: Israel and South Africa refuse to sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and bar inspection of their nuclear plants by the International Atomic Energy Commission. In June, Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir rejects U.S. Secretary of State William Rogers’ Peace Plan that would require Israel to withdraw from the occupied territories, and calls upon Jews everywhere to denounce it.

April 4, 1969: Haifa. Reflecting on Israel’s 20th anniversary, General Moshe Dayan is quoted in the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz telling students at Israel’s Technion Institute that “Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages. You don’t even know the names of these Arab villages, and I don’t blame you, because these geography books no longer exist. Not only do the books not exist, the Arab villages are not there either… There is not one single place built in this country that did not have a former Arab population.”

March 26, 1970: Pretoria. South Africa passes the Homelands Citizenship Act that defines blacks living throughout South Africa as legal citizens of the homelands, even if they have never stepped foot in their “homeland,” thereby stripping them of their South African citizenship and whatever civil and political rights they had.

April 28, 1971: C. L. Sulzberger, writing in The New York Times, quotes South African Prime Minister John Vorster as saying that Israel is faced with an apartheid problem, namely how to handle its Arab inhabitants. Sulzberger writes: “Both South Africa and Israel are in a sense intruder states. They were built by pioneers originating abroad and settling in partially inhabited areas… For diplomatic reasons, neither overstresses their bond in public."

April 1976: Prime Minister Vorster, who had been interned during World War II for being a Nazi sympathizer and commander of the fascist Ossewabrandwag that sided with Hitler, visits Israel and concludes a comprehensive bilateral agreement whereby the two nations pledge themselves to each other’s survival and freedom from foreign interference. Within the space of a year, South Africa will become Israel’s single largest customer for weaponry.

October 26, 1976: South Africa. Transkei becomes the first of the “homelands” to be granted “independence.” Its assembly controls many internal matters, such as law enforcement, health and education, but all of its decisions are subject to the control of the South African government. Bophuthatswana will be granted “independence” the following year, then Venda in 1975, and Ciskei in 1981. Not one of the “states” will be recognized by any foreign government.

November 1977: The U. N. Security Council imposes a Mandatory Arms Embargo on South Africa. Israeli foreign minister Moshe Dayan says Israel will simply ignore the resolution. South Africa trades 50 metric tons of yellowcake uranium for 30 grams of Israeli tritium, a radioactive isotope used as a component in triggering thermonuclear reactions. Three major Israeli electronics companies, Tadiran, Elbit, and Israeli Aircraft Industries, help South Africa design and build its own electronics manufacturing capability, and sell it a variety of electronic and infra-red equipment for sealing its borders to prevent passage in and out of insurgents.

February 7, 1978: Pretoria. South Africa Minister of Plural Relations and Development Connie Mulder tells the House Assembly: “If our policy is taken to its logical conclusion as far as the black people are concerned, there will be not one black man with South African citizenship.” By the early 1980s, some 3.5 million blacks (or 55% of the total black population) will be expelled from their homes and resettled in the bantustans.

September 13, 1978: Washington, D.C. The Camp David Accords are signed by Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and witnessed by President Jimmy Carter. The Accords reaffirm U.N. Resolutions 242 and 338, which prohibit acquisition of land by force, call for Israel’s withdrawal of military and civilian forces from the West Bank and Gaza, and prescribe “full autonomy” for the inhabitants of the territories. Begin orally promises Carter to freeze all settlement activity during the subsequent peace talks. Once back in Israel, however, the Israeli prime minister continues to confiscate, settle, and fortify the occupied territories.

May 14, 1979: Tel Aviv Radio announces that South Africa has become the first government to establish a tourist office in Israel. El Al and South African Airways, the two national airways, already have signed reciprocal agreements. By the end of 1981 the Israeli press will report a rise of 50 percent in Israeli tourism to the apartheid state.

September 14, 1979: Johannesburg. The Financial Mail, in an article entitled “Policies of Apartheid of the Government of South Africa,” reports that when arms and diamonds are taken into account, “Israel is already one of South Africa’s biggest trading partners.” Israel supplies South Africa with the Jericho missile, capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, and a joint naval project is developed for nuclear submarines, to be built in South Africa with assistance from Israeli engineers and designers. Israel also provides South Africa with Dabur patrol boats, Reshef missile boats, Gabriel ship-to-ship missiles, state-of-the-art night vision helicopter equipment, and training in Israel for South African navy personnel. Israeli professor Benjamin Beit-Hallachmi will later conclude that for decades Israel played a “crucial role in the survival of the apartheid regime, breaking the international arms boycott to become South Africa’s main foreign arms supplier.”

September 22, 1979: Aboard a ship in the South Atlantic. Israel and South Africa test a nuclear device. Details of the test and the nuclear cooperation between the two countries are closely guarded secrets.

March 20, 1980: The Los Angeles Times, citing an Israeli state radio announcement, reports that Israeli defense minister Ezer Weizman has gone on a “routine secret mission” to South Africa to discuss joint production of the Lavi aircraft. .

1980: South Africa achieves nuclear status with the firing of a weapon from the 155mm howitzer that Israel helps South Africa obtain from the U.S.

February 10, 1981: Israel. The newspaper Ha’aretz reports that Israeli defense minister Ariel Sharon has just spent ten days with South African troops along the Angolan border in Namibia. Uri Dan, a close associate of Sharon, who accompanies him on the trip, quotes a senior South African officer, who tells him: “Don’t underestimate the influence the example of the Israeli army as a fighting army has on us.” Four hundred U.S-made 113AI armed personnel carriers and U.S.-made 106mm recoilless rifles are sent to South Africa via Israel.

March 4, 1983: Israeli radio reports that “close ties will be established between Israel and Ciskei, one of the puppet states set up in South Africa for the blacks.” The radio also quotes South African reports that Israel will supply weapons to Ciskei.

October, 1984: The Israeli West Bank settlement of Ariel is twinned with Ciskei’s “capital” Bisho. Ciskei’s Israeli representative Yosef Schneider observes: “It is symbolic that no country in the world (except South Africa) recognizes Ciskei, just as there is no country in the world that recognizes the Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria.”

December 13, 1984: New York. The U.N. General Assembly passes resolution 39/72C, entitled “Relations between Israel and South Africa,” which declares: “… that the increasing collaboration by Israel with the racist regime of South Africa, especially in the military and nuclear fields, in defiance of resolutions of the General Assembly and the Security Council, is a serious hindrance to international action for the eradication of apartheid … and constitutes a threat to international peace and security.”

February 23, 1985: Israeli journalist Yossi Melman reports in Jane’s Defense Weekly that a South African delegation has concluded a visit to Israel by secretly signing contracts with Tel Aviv worth $5-million for cooperation in joint ventures in high science technology. The agreement is negotiated by the Israeli ministries of finance and trade and industry and approved by the Israeli cabinet.

March 1985: Denis Goldberg, a Jewish South African sentenced in 1964 to life in prison for “conspiring to overthrow the apartheid regime,” is released through the intercession of his daughter, an Israeli, and top Israeli officials, including Israel’s president. Arriving in Israel, Goldberg says that he sees “many similarities in the oppression of blacks in South Africa and of Palestinians,” and he calls for a total economic boycott of South Africa, singling out Israel as a major ally of the apartheid regime. Pledging never to stay in a country that is a major supporter of apartheid, Goldberg moves to London.

September 1985: New York. Israel’s foreign minister Yitzhak Shamir announces his country will not institute sanctions against South Africa, and will retain “normal” relations with Pretoria. Two years later, as prime minister, he will say: “We have no reason to highlight our relations with South Africa, but we have no wish to join sanctions either, the like of which have often been employed against Israel.”

September 13, 1985: Rep. George Crockett (D-MI), after visiting the Israeli-occupied West Bank, compares the living conditions there with those of South African blacks and concludes that the West Bank is an instance of apartheid that no one in the U.S. is talking about.

November 5, 1985: Israel. A South African purchasing mission visits Israel to procure a “sophisticated Israeli-made electronic border fence.” According to Knesset member Mattiyahu Peled, Israeli Defense Forces soldiers show the delegation how the electronic fence works in the Jordan Valley.

December 13, 1985: The Committee for International Trade Union Rights announces that 12 major U.S. corporations have joined a boycott of South African goods: Safeway Stores, Mervyn’s, Montgomery Ward, F.W. Woolworth, Carter Hawley Hale, Thrifty Drug, Nordstrom, Sprouse Reitz, Macy’s California, Sears Roebuck, J.C. Penney and K Mart.

1986: South Africa unveils its jet fighter, the Cheetah, which is virtually identical to the Israeli Kfir-TC2 jet. The following year the Jerusalem Post reports that South Africa was recruiting Israeli engineers who worked on the Lavi aircraft. The United States voices concern because it has heavily subsidized the Lavi project and worries that the technology is being transferred to South Africa.

September 1987: Washington D.C. The Rev. Allan Boesak, president of the World Alliance of Churches and a leader of the struggle in South Africa, tells a Palestinian human rights group: “What is it that makes Israel take into its bosom a government that in spirit, philosophy, and actions reminds us more of Hitler than any other government today? There is something wrong here… We must remember because, you see, your struggle and our struggle is not only against apartheid either here or there. It is not only against injustice, exploitation; it is not only against the dehumanization of our peoples; it is also a struggle against forgetfulness… We must remember that this land, yours and ours, belongs to all of us and not simply to a small elitist clique who now has claimed the land simply because they have more guns, more deadly weapons, and more friends in high places.”

March 16, 1988: Washington, D.C. The Congressional Black Caucus raises the Lavi issue with Israel’s Prime Minister Shamir, calling it an “unconscionable” use of U.S. aid. Rep. George Crockett also questions the prime minister on “his government’s brutal response to the Palestinian uprising,” and asks when “the curfews, the closed military zones, the beatings, the house raids, the gunshots, the rubber bullets, the tear-gassing and mass deportations would end.” The Black Caucus then tells Shamir: “Recalling the inhumanities of slavery in this country, having suffered the indignities of racial discrimination, Black Americans recognize and identify with those who are oppressed throughout the world. We, thus, feel a growing kinship with the Palestinians.” The Caucus also complains that all of the federal programs geared toward helping low-income Americans received only $491 per capita for fiscal year 1987, while aid to Israel in 1987 was $686 per capita.

September 13, 1993: Washington, D.C. Following secret negotiations in Oslo, Norway, Israel and the P.L.O. sign the “Declaration of Principles on Interim Self Government” (DOP). It will be followed by the 1995 Oslo II Agreement which will divide the Palestinian territories, excluding East Jerusalem, into three zones: Area A, comprising disconnected districts, will include 17.2% of the West Bank and Gaza Strip and will be under the security and civil control of the Palestinian Authority (PA); Area B, 23.8%, will be under Israeli security control, with the PA responsible for some social and civil services; Area C, approximately 59%, will remain under full Israeli occupation. In time, Area C, on the West Bank, will be subdivided into smaller population reserves by a Jewish-only road bypass system and four major Jewish-only settlement blocs. Oslo will also institutionalize a permit and closure system whereby Palestinians will face conditions similar to those faced by blacks under the pass laws.

May 10, 1994: South Africa. Watching Nelson Mandela take the oath of office as president of the new, desegregated South Africa, F. W. de Klerk, the out-going president of the apartheid regime, reflects on his Afrikaner ancestors: “The dream they had dreamt of being free and separate people, with their own right to national self-determination in their own national state in southern Africa was the ideal to which I myself had clung until I finally concluded, after a long process of deep introspection, that, if pursued, it would bring disaster to all the peoples of our country, including my own.”

July 2000: Maryland. President Bill Clinton convenes the Camp David II Peace Summit between Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat. Clinton—not Barak—offers Arafat the withdrawal of some 40,000 Jewish settlers, leaving more than 180,000 in 209 settlements, all of which are interconnected by roads that cover approximately 10% of the occupied land. Effectively, this divides the West Bank into at least two non-contiguous areas and multiple fragments. Palestinians would have no control over the borders around them, the air space above them, or the water reserves under them. Barak calls it a generous offer. Arafat refuses to sign.

August 31, 2001: Durban, South Africa. Up to 50,000 South Africans march in support of the Palestinian people. In their “Declaration by South Africans on Apartheid and the Struggle for Palestine” they proclaim: “We, South Africans who lived for decades under rulers with a colonial mentality, see Israeli occupation as a strange survival of colonialism in the 21st century. Only in Israel do we hear of 'settlements’ and 'settlers.’ Only in Israel do soldiers and armed civilian groups take over hilltops, demolish homes, uproot trees and destroy crops, shell schools, churches and mosques, plunder water reserves, and block access to an indigenous population’s freedom of movement and right to earn a living. These human rights violations were unacceptable in apartheid South Africa and are an affront to us in apartheid Israel. “

October 23, 2001: Ronnie Kasrils, a Jew and a minister in the South African government, co-authors a petition "Not in My Name," signed by some 200 members of South Africa's Jewish community, reads: "It becomes difficult, from a South African perspective, not to draw parallels with the oppression expressed by Palestinians under the hand of Israel and the oppression experienced in South Africa under apartheid rule." Three years later, Kasrils will go to the Occupied Territories and conclude: "This is much worse than apartheid. Israeli measures, the brutality, make apartheid look like a picnic. We never had jets attacking our townships. We never had sieges that lasted month after month. We never had tanks destroying houses. We had armored vehicles and police using small arms to shoot people but not on this scale."

February 2002: An out-of-court settlement is reached with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) of B'nai B'rith, which is accused of spying on U.S. citizens in order to neutralize critics of Israel's military and economic ties to South Africa at the height of its apartheid. For the plaintiffs, former U.S. Rep. Paul N. "Pete" McCloskey declares: "With this settlement, it can be confirmed that the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith sold and gave its illegally collected information ... to foreign intelligence services—the Israeli Mossad, and the South African intelligence services, during the period of the apartheid government."

April 29, 2002: Boston, MA. South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu says he is “very deeply distressed” by what he observed in his recent visit to the Holy Land, adding, “It reminded me so much of what happened in South Africa.” The Nobel peace laureate said he saw “the humiliation of the Palestinians at checkpoints and roadblocks, suffering like us when young white police officers prevented us from moving about. Referring to Americans, he adds, “People are scared in this country to say wrong is wrong because the Jewish lobby is powerful—very powerful. Well, so what? The apartheid government was very powerful, but today it no longer exists.”

May 2002: Israel. A major study of Israeli settlement practices by the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem concludes: “Israel has created in the Occupied Territories a regime of separation based on discrimination, applying two separate systems of law in the same area and basing the rights of individuals on their nationality. This regime is the only one of its kind in the world, and is reminiscent of distasteful regimes from the past, such as the apartheid regime in South Africa.”

May 16, 2003: Former prime minister F. W. deKlerk says that the U.S.-sponsored Roadmap, which is supposed to lead to a Palestinian state, looks exactly like South Africa’s “grand apartheid” that prime minister Hendrik Verwoerd set in motion in the mid-1950s.

June 16, 2003: Washington, D.C. At a forum co-sponsored by the Foundation for Middle East Peace and Americans for Peace Now, Akiva Eldar, senior political correspondent for Israel’s leading daily Ha’aretz, warns that Ariel Sharon’s model for a Palestinian state is not that of a nation-state, but rather the South African bantustan model of apartheid. He quotes Sharon as telling the former prime minister of Italy Massimo D’Alema that “the best solution for the Palestinian problem is bantustans.”

July 3, 2003: Writing in American Prospect, Israeli researcher Gershom Gorenberg concludes that it is no accident that Ariel Sharon’s plan for the West Bank “bears a striking resemblance to the 'grand apartheid’ promoted by the old South African regime,” and he also quotes Sharon as saying “the bantustan model was the most appropriate solution to the conflict.”

July 29, 2003: Prime Minister Sharon rejects President Bush’s appeal to halt construction of a separation barrier that Israel is building on occupied Palestinian land. When completed, the barrier will form a complex system of electronic fences and concrete walls, up to 24-feet high in population areas, and ultimately stretching for 420 miles. Hundreds of acres of West Bank land will be confiscated for the barrier’s construction, and the route will incorporate into Israel all of East Jerusalem and major Jewish settlement blocks on the West Bank. A year later, the World Court will advise that the barrier is illegal and must be dismantled.

April 26, 2004: Former deputy mayor of Jerusalem Meron Benvenisti writes in The Guardian: “The bantustan model for Gaza … is a model that Sharon plans to copy on the West Bank. His announcement that he will not start to disengage before construction of the fence is completed along a route that will include all settlement blocs (in keeping with Binyamin Netanyahu’s demand), underscores the continuity of the bantustan concept. The fence creates three bantustans on the West Bank—Jenin-Nablus, Bethlehem-Hebron, and Ramallah.”

August, 2004: A report by the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem concludes that the for-Jews-only road system Israel has established in the West Bank “bears striking similarities to the racist Apartheid regime,” and “entails a greater degree of arbitrariness than was the case with the regime that existed in South Africa.”

September 11, 2006: Israel. The editorial board of Israel’s leading newspaper, Ha’aretz, observes that “the apartheid regime in the territories remains intact; millions of Palestinians are living without rights, freedom of movement or a livelihood, under the yoke of ongoing Israeli occupation.”

October 27, 2006: Tel Aviv. Spiritual leaders from America’s historic African-American churches arrive in Israel to see the Palestinian-Israeli conflict through the lens of their faith and their experience of the civil rights movement in the United States. On their return, Dr. Belletech Deressa of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America observes: “This crisis is different to me than any other one. I always thought that yes, there is a difference between the Palestinians and the Jews; yes, there is animosity. But now I realize that it is worse than racism and worse than apartheid. I don’t really have a word for it.”

November 2006: Former president Jimmy Carter brings out his book “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid” In it the Nobel Peace Prize laureate calls the Israeli policy in the West Bank “a system of apartheid, with two peoples occupying the same land but completely separated from each other, with Israelis totally dominant and suppressing violence by depriving Palestinians of their basic human rights.”

Israel’s defenders react: Michael Kinsley, in a Washington Post article “It’s Not Apartheid,” calls Carter’s book “foolish and unfair;” Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, declares that Carter “is engaging in anti-Semitism;” Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz calls the apartheid analogy “outrageous” and judges the book is “shallow and superficial;” and David Harris, executive director of the American Jewish Committee, calls the analogy “inflammatory” and the book “a crude polemic that compromises any pretense to objectivity and fairness.”

Supporters of Carter’s contentions respond as well: In The Nation, Henry Siegman, former national director of the American Jewish Congress, observes that even more extreme criticisms of Israel’s policies are found regularly in the Israeli media, and Yossi Beilin, a Knesset member and leader of the Israeli team in the Oslo negotiations, agrees, noting, “There is nothing in the criticism that Carter has for Israel that has not been said by Israelis themselves.” Writing in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, John Dugard, considered the father of human rights in South Africa and Special U.N. Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories, accepts the apartheid analogy, saying, “Many aspects of Israel’s occupation surpass those of the apartheid regime. Israel’s large-scale destruction of Palestinian homes, leveling of agricultural lands, military incursions and targeted assassinations of Palestinians far exceed any similar practices in apartheid South Africa.”

The president’s book quickly makes the best-seller list.

December 4, 2006: Former national security advisor to President Carter, Zbigniew Brzezinski, writes in the Financial Times: “President Carter, in my judgment, is correct in fearing that the absence of a fair and mutually acceptable resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is likely to produce a situation which de facto will resemble apartheid, i.e., two communities living side by side but repressively separated, with one enjoying prosperity and seizing the lands of the other, and the other living in poverty and desperation.”

December 11, 2006: Israel. Speaking on Israel Radio, President Carter comments: “When Israel does occupy this territory deep within the West Bank, and connects the 200-or-so settlements with each other, with a road, and then prohibits the Palestinians from using that road, or in many cases even crossing the road, this perpetrates even worse instances of apartness, or apartheid, than we witnessed even in South Africa.”

December 26, 2006: In violation of the terms of the American-backed “Road Map” to peace, Israel’s Defense Ministry and settler groups announce plans for the construction of a new Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank, the first in ten years. Not counting the 190,000-plus settlers in East Jerusalem, over 260,000 Jewish settlers now live in the West Bank among 2.5 million Palestinians. These indigenous Palestinians, according to the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem, are confronted with: 54 permanent military checkpoints; 29 “Green Line” checkpoints; 38 locked gates in the separation barrier for Palestinians, with keys kept by the Israel Defense Forces; 160 flying checkpoints per week; 12 internal checkpoints in Hebron; plus various permanent physical obstructions, such as concrete blocks, 219 dirt piles, 20 miles of trenches, and 69 locked gates at entrances to villages with keys held by the IDF; and 445 miles of forbidden roads.

January 19, 2007: A new military order goes into effect that, with a few exceptions, forbids Israelis or foreigners from transporting Palestinians in the West Bank. Israelis have yellow license plates and can travel on Jewish-only bypass roads in the West Bank. Violators of the ban can be punished with five years’ imprisonment.

The full version with references can be found at:

Posted on 14-03-2007

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