Israeli Apartheid – A talk by Ben White

Ben White signing Israeli Apartheid

Ben White signing Israeli Apartheid

Supporters of Israel present Zionism as an ideology of liberation of the Jewish people, but for Palestinians, Zionism, as it has been practised and as they have experienced it, has been precisely apartheid. – Mona Younis

We must expel Arabs and take their places. – Ben-Gurion

Ben-Gurion was right … Without the uprooting of the Palestinians, a Jewish state would not have arisen here. – Benny Morris

There is a fundamental difference in quality between a Jew and a native. – Chaim Weizman

‘Disappearing’ the Arabs lay at the heart of the Zionist dream, and was also a necessary condition of its realisation. – Tom Sagev

Ben White, author of Israeli Apartheid and campaign coordinator of A Just Peace for Palestine, was invited by West Surrey Palestine Solidarity Campaign to give a talk on Israeli Apartheid at St Nicolas Church in Guildford. On sale half a dozen bottles of Zaytoun fair trade Palestinian olive oil, a few bags of nuts and a few bars of soap from Sindyanna of Galilee, an Israeli fair trade producer in northern Israel. Also various quite informative leaflets. Also copies of his book Israeli Apartheid.

Ben White has lived in and is a frequent visitor. His excellent book Israeli Apartheid has a human touch with the personal stories of the many people he has met.

Israel is a pariah state. A client state of the US and to a lesser extent of the West. It behaves like a colonial power, seized land that was not its to seize, subjugates the people to whom the land belongs

The Zionist Sate of Israel is unique amongst states. It is the State of the Jewish People no matter where they live, but it is not the state of all its citizens.

From its inception, the Israeli state carried out a policy of ethnic cleansing to clean the land of the people to whom it was not promised. Where that has not been successful of cleansing the Promised Land then a policy of apartheid has been implemented.

Apartheid is where a dominant racial group uses systemic, institutionalised human rights abuses against what they see as an inferior racial group. We saw this in South Africa and we are seeing it today in Israel and Occupied Palestine.

Around half of all Palestinians live outside of Palestine as displaced people or refugees.

It is convenient for the purpose of discussion to split the Palestinians into three groups as how they are treated differs: those living in Israel, those living in East Jerusalem and those in the Occupied Territories.

The Jews or maybe it would be more accurate to say Zionists, used terror to drive the Palestinians from their land to establish the Jewish State of Israel. The Arabs who remained are citizens of Israel, but second class citizens. From 1948 until 1966, they were subject to Martial Law.

Many of their houses, many of their settlements, are ‘illegal’ under Jewish zoning laws. These houses and settlement can be demolished at any time. We are used to seeing demolition of Palestinian homes in the Occupied Territories. This also happens within Israel.

Somewhere between 2/3 and 3/4 of land has been seized from Palestinian settlements. Land can be seized from absentee owners. Absent because they have been driven out Israel and have no right of return. Often these absentee owners are internally displaced within Israel and unable to return to their land.

In parts of Israel there are policies to increase the Jewish population because there are too few Jews, too many Palestinians, the demographic problem

East Jerusalem has had its boundaries expanded into the West Bank, almost cutting the West Bank in half. Within this new boundary were and are still many Palestinians. They have residency status which can and often is revoked.

Palestinians in the Occupied Territories are often forced out of their homes or forced to relinquish their land. The pretext will often be it is required for military purposes, but that is simply in order that the land may be occupied by illegal settlements, illegal under International Law.

The West Bank is highly fragmented due to the number of illegal settlements and the roads that connect them.

Palestinian self-rule is that of Bantustans with leaders approved by the Israeli state.

The Peace Process is little more than a public relations exercise by the Israelis. Whilst the talks take place, Zionist expansion continues.

This season Palestinians have had a tough time bringing in the olive harvest with settlers from the illegal settlements destroying their crops. One way to support Palestinians is to buy fairtrade Palestinian olive oil such as Zaytoun.

How to resist Zionist expansion and colonisation? One way is to boycott Israeli goods.

Promoted by hard-line Zionists, across the river from St Nicolas, can be found Israeli so-called Peace Oil on sale in St Mary’s Church. This was not even raised let alone discussed! I argued that it should be raised at the beginning of the meeting, let us hear what Ben White has to say, then discuss at the end. I was overruled and told I was trying to hijack the meeting! The meeting broke up without agreement on any action to effect the removal of Peace Oil from St Mary’s. It was not even discussed. With friends like this who needs enemies? [see Peace Oil or taking the piss?]

Zaytoun Palestinian oil was on sale, but only around half a dozen bottles. I was told beforehand I could buy a bottle, but never got a look in. One greedy woman bought five bottles, all that was left. Something you never do at a solidarity meeting. If limited, you buy one, and only buy more if any left. You let everyone get a look in.

Unusual for an event like this, the speaker was charging full price for his book. Usually they are at discount cf all the books at the Guildford Book Festival last month, including the Amnesty International event

Also see

Failed States

The Fateful Triangle

Freedom Next Time

Apartheid in the Holy Land

Israel boots activists out over standing up for Palestinians

Norman Finkelstein vs Wolf Blitzer – Israel/Palestine Double Standards

Bethlehem Hidden from View

street theatre Israeli Apartheid Wall

“Put the Palestinians on a diet” – media bury documents revealing Israel’s deliberate policy of near-starvation for Gaza

Nablus: The Business of Occupation

Picking olives under occupation

Olive tree damage worries Palestinian Farmers

The agricultural impact of conflict

Palestinians concerned about olive groves in the West Bank

Israel orders demolition of 88 homes in E. Jerusalem

A privatized Nakba

Palestinians Fear Two-Tier Road System

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