Welcome to the sixth annual Israeli Apartheid Week

by Yaniv Reich on February 28, 2010

Concerned citizens from around the world will begin observance this week of Israeli Apartheid Week. This is an excellent opportunity to spend some time thinking about the system of institutionalized and violent discrimination in place in Israel/Palestine, about your personal role in the conflict (we are almost all parties to Palestinian oppression either through political, diplomatic, or economic support), and about how we can contribute to its just resolution (boycott, divestment, and sanctions!).

This week will also be filled with hysterical counterarguments by defenders of the status quo in Israel/Palestine. They will talk about the “delegitimization” of Israel and try to equate the ethically incontrovertible criticism of an apartheid regime with anti-Semitism or genocide.

Just to be clear, then, let’s all take a deep breath and remind ourselves of what the anti-apartheid movement is calling for:

  1. End the occupation of the occupied Palestinian territories and tear down the segregation wall.
  2. Full equality for the 1.5 million Palestinian citizens of Israel.
  3. The just implementation of the right of return of Palestinian refugees.

That’s it, folks.  We are talking about nothing more and nothing less than full equality of Jews, Palestinians, and indeed all humans.  Many Zionists will—and do—argue that hidden in these seemingly innocuous arguments is a recipe for Jewish catastrophe.  There are strong historical reasons for this fear.  But no victimization, no matter how brutal, justifies the further victimization of another human.  More importantly, the equitable protection of human rights for all parties is the surest way that Israeli Jews can ensure their safety in the uncertain future.  And most importantly of all, Palestinians are people, fully formed agents with brains and souls and hopes and fears, and they are equally deserving as anybody else of whatever it is that is good and possible in the world.  There is no escaping this essential ethic.

Below you will find a two-minute trailer created for Israeli Apartheid Week.  Check it out and then seek out anti-apartheid events in your area at www.apartheidweek.org:

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