Apartheid in Israel - One of the Lies Told by Palestinians / Dr. Rivka Shpak Lissak

What is apartheid
Apartheid is the South African term for racial segregation. The term used in the United States is racial segregation. Both terms represent racial regimes of racism and political, social and economical separation between white and black citizens of the same state.

Segregation Laws in the southern states of the United States

All the southern states passed racial segregation laws following the end of the period of reconstruction (1865 – 1877) – the policy ordered by the American Congress at the end of the Civil War (1861 – 1865).

Education – The education system was separated from nursery school to university. In schools for blacks, only black people could attend and teach and black – only schools suffered from terrible discrimination with regard to funding and an abysmally low standard of education.

Public services – government services, restaurants, hospitals, prisons, and even telephone booths, were entirely segregated. In other words, there were separate entrances, separate bathrooms, and separate services for blacks by blacks. For example, white people did not work in black hospitals. Needless to say the quality of services for black people was a lot lower than whites.

Industry – there was total separation in the areas where people worked, in the showers, bathrooms, cafeterias and all other facilities. The AFL, the Federation of American Labor, did not allow blacks to join workers' unions. In 1935, sections of the federation resigned and formed the CIO, the Committee for Industrial Organization, which accepted black members, but with separate unions and discrimination in wages, employment and social conditions. Thus it was before the 1960s.

Transportation – completely segregated waiting rooms, ticket offices, bathrooms, and cafeterias. Trains had separate carriages for blacks; and in buses, blacks could only enter through the back door and occupy the rear seats. If a white person told a black person to give up his or her seat, the later person had to do so. Inter- racial marriage was completely forbidden
And offenders were heavily punished.

Pro- Equality Propaganda – it was forbidden to speak or write on the subject of racial inequality. It was illegal to publish printed or typewritten material. And the punishment was a 500$ fine or 6 months in jail, or both.

LEGAL System – a black person could not serve on a jury, and the police and judicial system included members or supporters of the Ku Klux Klan, an organization whose raison d'etre was to ensure the supremacy of the white race and prevent black people from achieving the civil equality granted by the American Congress in 3 constitutional amendments after the end of the civil war in 1865.

In case of white people being accused of murdering blacks – and there were many such cases – an all white jury would let them off. The KKK used, freely, threats, terror, beating, and lynching, to prevent blacks from receiving a fair trail. According to research, in a significant number of cases, the local police was involved in these activities or turned a blind eye. From 1882 – 1930, there were 400 cases of blacks being lynched. R There are no records regarding the number of lynching before 1882 and the records after are incomplete. The number was probably much higher.

Denial of political rights – blacks had the right to vote and to be elected under the American law, so it was not possible to deprive blacks of these rights through legislation so the southern states' legislatures found sophisticated ways to bypass federal law.

Under American law, all voters had to be registered on the electoral list. This meant that anyone with a right to vote who did not register could not vote. The legislatures in the south instituted reading and writing tests which most blacks were unable to pass because they were illiterate. Tests would also be failed arbitrarily. In addition, there was a fee for registering as a voter, which most blacks couldn't pay because they were poor. The KKK took steps to prevent blacks from registering. Klan representatives would stand at the door to the registration offices and physically stop blacks from entering. They also operated a system of threats and terror and the black community had no representation at all.

This situation remained undisturbed by the federal government from 1870 to 1950s. In the 1950s the Civil Rights Movement, founded by Martin Luther King began its political and public struggle against racial segregation. In the 1960s, a series of laws was passed by the American Congress designed to stamp out racial segregation.

Israel has no racial or segregation laws

Apartheid or racial segregation is not related at all to the situation in Israel. The condition of the blacks under a regime of racial segregation is not similar at all to the condition of Israeli Arabs. No one denies that Israeli Arabs lack full equality socially and economically, but not politically. The distance between lack of full equality and apartheid is tremendous.

The issue is not human right and apartheid

Those who accuse Israel for being an apartheid regime are not concerned with the situation of Israeli Arabs. They maintain that Israel
Applied apartheid rule to the Palestinians on the Western Bank and also attack the idea of the fence which is being built to totally separate Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

First, the Palestinians aren't Israeli citizens and therefore the use of the term apartheid is not only irrelevant but an attempt to twist reality. Israel is in a state of war with the Palestinians. What we have here is a war between two national movements over the area between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River.

The Western Bank was conquered in 1967 from the Kingdom of Jordan, in respond to a Jordanian military attack on Israel. Today, the area is divided into areas under Palestinian Authority rule and areas under Israeli rule. Administering an occupied territory does not come under the category of apartheid. This is an occupied area which will mostly be evacuated when the Palestinians sign a peace treaty with Israel. Israel military measures are defensive actions designed only to protect Israeli citizens against Palestinian terror being waged against civilians.

The fence is a security fence

The West Bank is not part of Israel and Israel has no intention to annex it. Israel declared her acceptance of a 2 states solution. The fence built by Israel is intended to prevent Palestinian terrorism from penetrating Israel and murdering innocent citizens. Many fences, walls and barriers were erected by states, Arab states included, and no one in the world has ever questioned the right of these states to protect their citizens from hostile penetration. Israel is the only state in the world under attack because of building a fence. There can be a dispute on the outline of the fence, and Israel's Supreme Court deals with such cases, but there is no justification to call the fence an apartheid fence or to blame Israel for erecting it.
Also, the fence is not a permanent border and can be moved under the terms of a peace agreement.

Israel is the victim of 2 factors: the campaign for de-legitimation of the very existence of Israel as a Jewish state conducted by Arab- Palestinian- Muslim propaganda and an anti- Israelism, campaign conducted by a combination of right and left wings in the Western World., which is nothing more than a camouflage for anti-Semitism. There is a fundamental difference between criticizing Israel's policy and denying the Jews the right for self- determination.

The real issue behind the accusations against Israel as an apartheid regime is the refusal of both, the Arab- Muslim World and the New Anti – Semitism, to recognize the historical link between the Jewish people and the land of Israel, and the right of the Jewish people for self- determination. The difference between the Old Anti – Semitism and the New Anti- Semitism, as defined by Prop. Irwin Cotler, an expert in international law and human rights, is that the old was directed against Jews as individuals and the new is directed against the Jews as a nation.

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