Is Israel practicing Apartheid, Ethnic Cleanising, Genocide, or Occupation?


There are distinct definitions for each of these accusations. Let’s examine the definition of each, the characteristics of the conditions, and then examine whether or not Israel is committing these acts.

South Africa was the country that first instituted Apartheid beginning in 1948.  The first law enacted forbade interracial marriage. In fact the entire apartheid system was based in racism, defining the rights and privileges that White South Africans would enjoy as opposed to those which Black South Africans could enjoy or suffer.

According to Cornell (University) Law School, “Apartheid refers to the implementation and maintenance of a system of legalized segregation in which one racial group is deprived of political and civil rights. Apartheid is a crime against humanity punishable under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.”

This is a somewhat watered down definition of Apartheid.  In South Africa (the country which invented (and named the system) Apartheid had the following characteristics:

  1. Black South Africans could not marry, or have sexual relations with Whites. The reverse was true as well.
  2. Black South Africans were denied the vote.
  3. Black South Africans were excluded from the professions. They could not practice medicine (as Doctors, Nurses or any other health care professional).  They were not allowed to teach children, They could not serve in the miliary, or be police or fire fighters. In fact the occupations they were allowed in was exceedingly narrow.
  4. Blacks could not serve as public officials, or for that matter any level of government.

What about Israel?
First, you have to realize that some Palestinian Arabs are citizens of Israel, and some are not.  Confusing the two groups is where charges of Apartheid are delineated. The Israeli Bureau of Statistics states that 21% of Israelis are Palestinian.  The total population of Israeli citizens is, according to the world bank and the United Nations is 9.3 million. That means that there are 186,000 Israeli citizens who identify as Palestinian. In Jerusalem there are 362,000 Palestinians who do not hold Israeli citizenship, but hold permanent residency status.
Second, apartheid was a system devised to keep “coloreds” and “whites” separate. Jews and Arabs are from the same race. In fact many Jews are people of color themselves. Ethiopian Jews are in fact Black.

1) Marriage:  Any Jew may marry any Palestinian they wish, and vice versa, providing of course that the object of their affection reciprocates. Likewise, there is no prohibition regarding sexual relations.
2) All Israeli citizens have the right to vote.
3)  Israeli citizens have the right to pursue any profession they wish. 21% of Doctors working in Israeli hospitals and clinics are Palestinians.  23% of nurses working in Israeli Hospitals and clinics are Palestinians. Palestinian Teachers work in Jewish schools (and Jewish teachers work in Palestinian schools).  3,000 to 5,000 Palestinians voluntarily serve in the IDF (Although service in the IDF is mandatory for most Jews, Muslim, Christian and Ultra Orthodox Jews are exempt).
4) Current members of the Knesset, Israel’s parliament including Palestinians ( link to Wikipedia).

Palestinian members of Israel’s Supreme Court have included Khaled Kabub (1st Muslim Justice of the Court) and Salim Joubran, who served from 2003 to 2014.  The Court consists of 15 Justices, who are nominated by the President of Israel and confirmed     by the Knesset.

Now, it is true that Palestinians who do not hold Israeli citizenship (or who have refused it) do not have the same rights as those who are Israeli citizens (though there is no discrimination as far as health care professionals or teachers are concerned). They are also restricted as far as where they can go, and for how long.  Keep in mind that in the United States new immigrants do no enjoy the same rights as citizens do. This is true in any nation on our planet.

My point is that if Israel was practicing apartheid, the same restrictions suffered by non-citizen Palestinians would also apply to Palestinian Israeli citizens.

According to the United Nations
there is no precise definition of this concept or the exact acts to be qualified as ethnic cleansing. A United Nations Commission of Experts mandated to look into violations of international humanitarian law committed in the territory of the former Yugoslavia defined ethnic cleansing in its interim report S/25274 as “… rendering an area ethnically homogeneous by using force or intimidation to remove persons of given groups from the area.” In its final report S/1994/674, the same Commission described ethnic cleansing as “… a purposeful policy designed by one ethnic or religious group to remove by violent and terror-inspiring means the civilian population of another ethnic or religious group from certain geographic areas.” . . .Furthermore, such acts could also fall within the meaning of the Genocide Convention.”

Israel has been accused of both of these crimes (interchangeably).  I suppose one could see them as one and the same, and I suspect that when people say “ethnic cleansing” they are really saying “genocide” and vice versa.

What about Israel?
Israel has been accused of doing this to  it’s Palestinian population continuously since before the 1948 Arab-Israel War.  How are they doing?  If true, one would expect the total Palestinian population to have systematically declined over time as the result of Israel’s policy.  The Arab population of Pre-Israel Palestine (1947) was 1,320,000.  As of  2021 that population had increased to 4,906,308, an increase of 371.69%. If “genocide” or even “ethnic cleansing” of the Palestinians is Israel’s goal, they are doing a piss-poor job of it. You would think, having been tutored by experts (Germany’s National Socialist Party) they would be somewhat more successful.

They’re not.  This is because Israel does not now, nor have they ever engaged in either genocide or ethnic cleansing, nor would they ever have thought of this.

Here’s a little history:  In 1907. the Jewish National Fund was established to purchase land in what would eventually become Mandatory Palestine, and ultimately became the modern State of Israel.   I remember collection plates being passed around at my Synagogue to collect such funds.  Ninety percent of Samaria/Judea (renamed “the West Bank” by Jordan when they occupied it from 1948 to 1967) was purchased from absentee Arab landlords between 1921 and 1945 (who were very happy to sell “worthless desert land” to the “foolish Joos.”).  There are deeds and other documentation issued by the regional representatives of the Ottoman Empire and the British Mandate for Palestine in existence and on display at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.  As happens in the United States, if a landlord sells his property to another party, and that land is being rented out, the tenants of that property are oftentimes evicted.  Such was the case with much of Samaria/Judea.

Although Israel was victorious in the Arab-Israel War of 1948, Jordan still managed to take control of Samaria/Judea (the “spoils of war”). Jews living there were exiled, including a large portion of residents of East Jerusalem.  Historical Synagogues were destroyed. Cemeteries were desecrated.   The InterContinental Hotel, which stands at the top of the Mount of Olives (and faces the Eastern Gate of the old city) was originally built with some grave stones and markers from the adjacent Jewish cemetery; a huge cemetery which occupies the entire Kidron Valley, from the road in front of the Hotel right up to the Eastern Gate. According to Wikipedia, the hotel was rebuilt/expanded in 2018.

On June of 1967. Arab countries surrounding Israel once again invaded only this time the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) were victorious (after only six days) and liberated Samaria/Judea, as well as Gaza, the entire Sinai peninsula and the Golan Heights. Thus Samaria/Judea were restored to their rightful owners.  In other words: ISRAEL DOES NOT OCCUPY THE WEST BANK. A COUNTRY DOES NOT OCCUPY LAND THAT WAS THEIRS IN THE FIRST PLACE.

For more of my insights regarding Israel and “palestine,” click HERE.