A growing number of Israelis are acknowledging that their country practices Apartheid. Resigned to the fact that the occupation has become a permanent reality, thus relegating half of the non-Jewish population in historic Palestine to the status of second- and third-class citizens, Israel’s evolution as a country that practices Apartheid is admitted even by self-described Zionists.
“The product of Zionism, the State of Israel, is not a Jewish and democratic State,” said Amos Schocken, co-owner and publisher of Haaretz. “But, instead, has become an Apartheid State, plain and simple”.
Now in his 70’s, Schocken made the remarks in an indignant response to a right-wing member of the Israeli Knesset, Amichai Chikli of the Yamina party. The 40-year old denounced what he calls the Israeli left, saying that they had undermined Zionism.
Schocken, who describes himself as someone who “adhere[s] to genuine Zionism” rejected Chikli’s criticism. “People such as Chikli think they’re Zionists, but when they support and maintain an Apartheid regime, they’re anti-Zionists,” Schocken added, hitting back at the Israeli right.
Around the same time as Schocken denounced Israel’s Apartheid system in his column last week, Israeli author, David Grossman, suggested that “Apartheid” was the right terminology to describe the reality in the occupied West Bank.
“Maybe it should no longer be called an “occupation,” but there are much harsher names, like “Apartheid,” for example,” said Grossman, who is described as one of Israel’s most prominent authors, told Army Radio.
In his remarks, Grossman said that the government of Naftali Bennet was an upgrade to Benjamin Netanyahu, but added that “it cannot do the most important thing — cure Israel of the sick evil that is the occupation.”
Schocken and Grossman are among a growing list of Israelis who have acknowledged Israel’s status as an Apartheid State since the release of the report by Human Rights Watch and B’Tselem in April.
One can say many things about this, but one cannot say Israel is fulfilling Zionism as a Jewish and democratic state.
According to the Partition Plan, incidentally, the city of Hebron would have been in the Arab state, and even after the War of Independence, Hebron was part of the Kingdom of Jordan. It wasn’t in Israel.
Today in Hebron there’s a Jewish-Israeli settlement, but it can only exist because about 500 IDF soldiers ensure its security every day. There is no place else like it in Israel.