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The Definition of Apartheid And The Context Of Israel

The Definition of Apartheid And The Context Of Israel

Palestinians have been essentially governed by a form of apartheid.

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The Cambridge dictionary defines Apartheid as : (especially in the past in South Africa) a political system in which people of different races are separated.

The Oxford dictionary defines Apartheid as : the former political system in South Africa in which only white people had full political rights and other people, especially black people, were forced to live away from white people, go to separate schools, etc.

The History of Apartheid 

A word from the Afrikaans language meaning ‘apartness’, Apartheid was a state-enforced national system of racial discrimination that manifested in a slew of oppressive laws. 

Legislation that upheld segregation policies against non-white citizens of South Africa, with the aim of obliterating the human rights of an entire race.

After the National Party gained power in South Africa in 1948, its all-white government immediately began enforcing existing policies of racial segregation.

Black South Africans were denied the vote and equality before the law until 1994.

Credit: Middle East Monitor

The Israel Context 

With the advent of the conflict between Israel and Palestine, many in the international community have accused Israel of apartheid practices, and seek to condemn their actions on a global scale. 

In their April 27 report, the group Human Rights Watch acknowledges that it has detached the term ‘apartheid’ from its original South African context, and applied it to the situation happening between Israel and Palestine.

B’Tselem – The Israeli Information Centre for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories – accuses Israel of being an apartheid state because of their treatment of Palestinians in the Israeli occupied territories. 

Denying their basic human rights, as was done in the apartheid regime in South Africa. 

U.N. Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), a U.N. agency, published a report in 2017 accusing Israel of imposing an “apartheid regime” of racial discrimination on the Palestinian people.

People declaring Israel as apartheid

UMNO vice-president Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin.  Credit: Bernama

Previously, Malaysia firmly and clearly declared to the world that we do not recognise the illegal state of Israel in our passports. Now, we must take a more decisive and radical step by officially declaring Israel as an apartheid state. It cannot be seasonal criticism. The world must see the genocide of the Arab community, requisition of property and homes as well as large-scale ethnic cleansing by Zionists as a systematic apartheid, as war crimes rather than self-defence.

UMNO vice-president Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin 

In addition to continuing the Palestinian struggle, we must also look at the role and aspirations of a new generation of Palestinian fighters and activists who have mobilised new approaches; for example, those who refer to Israel as an apartheid state

Dato’ Saifuddin Abdullah, Minister of Communications and Multimedia

On Saturday U.S lawmaker Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) denounced Israel as an apartheid state saying “Apartheid states aren’t democracies.” 

TV Host John Oliver made an impassioned presentation on his show Last Week Tonight, saying “They have been living under a suffocating blockade for 14 years. In Israel and the occupied Palestinian Territories, Palestinians have been essentially governed by a form of apartheid. A sentiment echoed by both international and Israeli human rights groups.”

Credit: Last Week Tonight

Bollywood actress Swara Bhasker spoke out in support of the Palestinian protesters, calling Israel a “terrorist” and “apartheid” state.

If you would like to donate money to finance activities to boycott Israel, you can send money to BDS Malaysia by clicking HERE.

If you want to send money to directly help Palestinians who are suffering in Gaza, you should send your money to MyCARE as they have an office there. To do that, click HERE.

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