Israel’s Apartheid Without Consequences


Those who live behind its walls are still ruled by the Israeli state

From my latest in the National:

The former US president Jimmy Carter set off a firestorm in 2006 when he said that Israel would have to choose between maintaining an apartheid occupation of the West Bank and Gaza and a two-state peace agreement with the Palestinians. That Mr Carter brokered Israel’s most important peace treaty with an Arab country was immaterial; he was branded an enemy of Israel, an anti-Semite and even a Holocaust-denier.

Israel’s friends in the US reacted out of instinct, knowing that an association with apartheid – South Africa’s erstwhile system of racial oppression – would bring international condemnation and isolation. But there was no word of protest from that quarter last week when Israel’s defence minister said what Mr Carter had. “If, and as long as between the Jordan (River) and the (Mediterranean) Sea there is only one political entity, named Israel, it will end up being either non-Jewish or non-democratic,” warned Ehud Barak, speaking at Israel’s annual Herzliya security conference. “If the Palestinians vote in elections it is a binational state and if they don’t vote it is an apartheid state.”

Which, of course, is exactly what Mr Carter was arguing…

…It should come as little surprise that Israelis are cool towards Mr Obama’s peace effort: Israel’s cost-benefit analysis weighs against pursuing a peace agreement that carries risk. There are no consequences for maintaining the status quo. Unless Mr Obama and others can change that cost-benefit analysis, they’re wasting their time.

It wasn’t a moral epiphany that prompted Rabin to embrace the Oslo peace process; it was his reading of the geopolitical situation at the end of the Gulf War, and the assumption that Israel could not rely on unconditional US support. But Mr Sharon and Mr Netanyahu subsequently proved that Israel can, in fact, count on US support without concluding a two-state peace – it simply must go through the motions of a “peace process”.

The apartheid fear for Israeli leaders is not of the moral turpitude of maintaining such a system – which they already do – it’s a fear of this being recognized for what it is.

Because apartheid ought to have consequences. In fact, if he is to have any hope of having any positive impact on the Middle East, President Barack Obama will have to make sure that there are consequences for Israel maintaining the status quo — consequences of sufficient seriousness to change the Israelis’ cost-benefit analysis that makes maintaining the status quo preferable to changing it.

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24 Responses to Israel’s Apartheid Without Consequences

  1. Warren Metzler says:

    It is a seriously misinformed person who believes that people can consistently perform in an immoral manner, such as subjecting others to a life of degradation, and not suffer personal consequences. There is a Supreme Being, God, and he sends limitations (sensations of discomfort, as well as complications in one’s external environment) to every person who misbehaves. So I have no doubt the average Israeli is suffering a lot. And that over time life in that society is going to become more and more chaotic and complicated.

    Plus, only a fool could ignore that the major democracies of this world treat the Palestinians fundamentally differently compared to all other oppressed people in the world. For example, the people of Darfur are given far more attention and support than are the people of the West Band and Gaza. At some point in the future, the people of these major democracies will awake to their blindness, began to treat Israel as the pariah it deserves to experience, and Israel will soon change how it behaves.

  2. Carroll says:

    Obama will do nothing to rein in Israel..that has become evident.

    And Israel will not change it’s ways.
    Why should it? For 60 years, and for centuries before, the Jews have ridden the victim train, claiming that they out of all peoples on the earth since the begining of time are totally innocent of any wrong doing and hated for no reason whatsoever.
    This is insane, delusional, mythical thinking. And by not being challenged on this insanity, the cult continues to wreak havoc on anything within it’s view.

    Israel and it’s supporters aren’t going to change, the Israeli occupied US congress and enabler of Israel isn’t going to change.

    The only thing that will change Israel is when the US is officially bankrupt and is no longer able to support Israel militarily or financially and loses all pretense of being a world leader and power.

    The only thing that is uncertain is how far off that day is and if there will be anything left of Palestine by then for other nations to do anything about.

  3. Shlomo says:

    Carol,
    “For 60 years, and for centuries before, the Jews have ridden the victim train, claiming that they out of all peoples on the earth since the begining of time are totally innocent of any wrong doing and hated for no reason whatsoever.”

    If you want to understand why the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is still going on, try taking a good look in the mirror. Jews have ridden the victim train for “centuries”? They WERE victims for centuries! They were expelled from almost every country in Europe between the years 1000-1500, and were treated as second-class citizens in both the Islamic World and Christendom until after WW2. That is why we Jews “ride the victim train”, and whenever I try to convince my right-wing friends that the worst is over, along comes a vile comment like yours–and then there is nothing left to say. I would be stunned if you found evidence that Russian Jews in the late 1800s were riding the “victim train” during the incessant Christian raids, or whether Syrian Jews were riding the “victim train” when they were slaughtered for no reason during the Damascus pogrom of 1840. So, if you are unhappy with the potential outcomes for the Middle East, one of the main things YOU can do is familiarize yourself with the history.

  4. HomoSapiens says:

    Arguendo, Shlomo, “They [the Jews] WERE victims for centuries!” They are not now victims… Rather. they are living proof that man is an innately violent and cruel animal, and that homo sapiens judaica is just as savage as homo sapiens mongol, tatar, conquistador, etc. etc.

  5. Shlomo says:

    “They are not now victims… Rather. they are living proof that man is an innately violent and cruel animal…”

    That’s too philosophical/anthropological for me. All I know is that human behaviors can vary wildly according to political and social factors. Jewish behaviors have varied wildly according to political and social factors. These can be modified.

    “…and that homo sapiens judaica is just as savage as homo sapiens mongol, tatar, conquistador, etc. etc.”

    I have heard this before, that Israel is on a conquering rampage like the conquistadores etc. This is simply not true. The army does bad things, but they are constrained by certain laws and norms. This is therefore different than the other actors you mentioned.

  6. Bill Pearlman says:

    I fail to see where zionists control the media. When a guy like Tony Karon. A pro-hamas, pro hezbollah guy. Someone who takes pleasure in the deaths of Jews. He is the guy who writes on this for Time magazine. Enlighten me Tony.

  7. sglover says:

    “Someone who takes pleasure in the deaths of Jews.”

    Um, yeah, sure.

    Back in this dimension: In Krugman’s excellent phrase, Obama’s shown that whenever he faces an adversary, he goes straight for the capillaries. It’s not like anyone can do anything about the Middle East, but Hope’n'Change isn’t interested in anything more than pretty speeches and PR gestures.

  8. Patrick Cummins says:

    Tony, thank you for another excellent analysis. Your blog is one of the pleasures of the internet.

  9. LanceThruster says:

    My thanks to Mr. Karon as well. I too worry about media gatekeeping so it’s good to know he writes pieces such as this for Time and can provide an oft ignored voice.

    As for Shlomo’s comments, I find great insight offered by the late Fredy Perlman and his essay, “Anti-Semitism and the Beirut Pogrom” – http://libcom.org/library/anti-semitism-beirut-program-fredy-perlman

    [excerpt]

    The trick of declaring war against the armed resistance and then attacking the resisters’ unarmed kin as well as the sur­rounding population with the most gruesome products of Death-Science”; this trick is not new. American Pioneers were pioneers in this too; they made it standard practice to declare war on indigenous warriors and then to murder and burn villages with only women and children in them. This is already modern war, what we know as war against civilian populations; it has also been called, more candidly, mass murder or genocide.

    Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised that the perpetrators of a Pogrom portray themselves as the victims, in the present case as victims of the Holocaust.

    Herman Melville noticed over a century ago, in his analysis of the metaphysics of Indian-hating, that those who made a full-time profession of hunting and murdering indigenous people of this continent always made themselves appear, even in their own eyes, as the victims of manhunts.

    The use the Nazis made of the International Jewish Conspiracy is better known: during all the years of atrocities defying belief, the Nazis considered themselves the victimized.

    It’s as if the experience of being a victim gave exemption from human solidarity, as if it gave special powers, as if it gave a license to kill.

    [end]

  10. YBD says:

    Matt Beynon Reese points out in his novel “The Collaborator of Bethlehem” that Arab schools teach that the Arabs/Muslims are the biggest victims of all time…no one has suffered unjustly as much as they have.

  11. MFB says:

    Among the biggest consequences of apartheid was to psychologically damage white South Africans and render their society repressive, corrupt and ultimately ungovernable. That’s why we became such suckers for neoliberalism.

    Much the same seems to have happened to the Israelis. The consequences are there for them; they just don’t feel like punishment to the victims. So long as they can watch war porn on TV they seem prepared to be economically pistol-whipped by their government.

    It doesn’t look as bad as white phosphorous, but the long term consequences are comparable, I suspect.

  12. I like the layout of your blog and I’m going to do the same thing for mine. Do you have any tips? Please PM ME on yahoo @ AmandaLovesYou702

  13. Bill Pearlman says:

    Still amazes me that a pro-hamas, pro-hezbollah guy. Someone who is an advocate of the destruction of Israel. Is Time magazines go to guy for the middle east. Or maybe it doesn’t. Doesn’t really square with the omnipotent lobby!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Herman Melville noticed over a century ago, in his analysis of the metaphysics of Indian-hating, that those who made a full-time profession of hunting and murdering indigenous people of this continent always made themselves appear, even in their own eyes, as the victims of manhunts.

  15. David Style says:

    Israel is surrounded on three sides by enemies who have attacked them many times and want to wipe them off the face of the earth.No wonder that Israel has to be strong. Why is it that the Moslem nations, who have land hundreds of time larger than the tiny state of Israel can’t make room for Palestinians? Certainly substantial financial aid would help greatly. Israel is blamed for restricting entry to Gaza, but aid and supplies could be brought in from Egypt….. little is mentioned about this in the world press

  16. DJKuulA says:

    “Why is it that the Moslem nations, who have land hundreds of time larger than the tiny state of Israel can’t make room for Palestinians?”

    Because they don’t care one whit about the Palestinians. To them, the Palestinians are merely a tool to maintain anti-Israel, anti-Semitic sentiment in the “Arab Street.”

    Unless you want to count all those generous refugee camps, I suppose. . .

  17. realityzone says:

    The rogue state of Israel led by the Likud party is the perfect example of.

    The persecuted have become the persecutors.

    They have no shame.

  18. Cool! Yeah actually aportionpart of this is prob part ofcareonecreditnews.com but I do agree with your view

  19. Wow Tony, You’re cool. This is a great reviews. Thanks.

  20. Tony says:

    Who Spam comment this web again I will report your website to google to be Deindex.

    Tony Karon.

  21. This is already modern war, what we know as war against civilian populations; it has also been called, more candidly, mass murder or genocide.

  22. Israel is surrounded on three sides by enemies who have attacked them many times and want to wipe them off the face of the earth.No wonder that Israel has to be strong. Why is it that the Moslem nations, who have land hundreds of time larger than the tiny state of Israel can’t make room for Palestinians? Certainly substantial financial aid would help greatly. Israel is blamed for restricting entry to Gaza, but aid and supplies could be brought in from Egypt….. little is mentioned about this in the world press

  23. Tablet says:

    Israel is surrounded on three sides by enemies who have attacked them many times and want to wipe them off the face of the earth.No wonder that Israel has to be strong. Why is it that the Moslem nations, who have land hundreds of time larger than the tiny state of Israel can’t make room for Palestinians? Certainly substantial financial aid would help greatly. Israel is blamed for restricting entry to Gaza, but aid and supplies could be brought in from Egypt….. little is mentioned about this in the world press

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