Another mainstream Israeli voice warns of Apartheid

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich in occupied East Jerusalem. (credit: from his Twitter feed, Dec 22, 2022)
Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich published a shocking plan in 2017 to advance Israeli apartheid. Now that it is being put into action veteran journalist Ron Ben-Yishai finally recognizes the danger.

By Jonathan Ofir | Mondoweiss | Feb 22, 2023

 …Israel has so far been framing its deportations, its military crackdowns, its whole occupation, as a temporary state of emergency. Smotrich wants to do away with this: Drop the pretensions and say it like it is – that it’s a state of Jewish supremacy from the river to the sea, and that Palestinians need to accept it officially, or leave, or die.

Jimmy Carter is now approaching the end of his life in hospice, and we must remember all those who called Carter antisemitic when he published “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid” in 2006. Abraham Foxman, the former head of the Anti-Defamation League, and Deborah Lipstadt, Biden’s special envoy on antisemitism, should apologize while they still can, Peter Beinart has said, reminding us that Nancy Pelosi, then chair of the Democratic Party, rebuked Carter by saying “it is wrong to suggest that the Jewish people would support a government in Israel, or anywhere else, that institutionalizes ethnically-based oppression.”

That was a really long time ago, and meanwhile, the human rights community has caught up with Carter’s appraisal. He got it right. Now, with a government that openly declares “exclusive” and “unquestionable” rights for the “Jewish people” in the “Land of Israel” (all of historical Palestine), Nancy Pelosi’s indignation appears as a very dusty statement, not to mention its disingenuous strawman accusation.

In Israel, the term Apartheid is still considered a controversial one among Israel’s elites. Israeli leaders have warned about Apartheid, but as a looming danger– that alas never quite arrives no matter what happens to Palestinians. Those leaders include Prime Ministers from Ben-Gurion to Rabin to Barak and Olmert. The term Apartheid has mostly been used by this Zionist center and left to warn of a one state reality: to say, if we don’t create a two-state solution of some kind, we will end up with Apartheid.

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