Ethnic cleansing accelerates in Israel

I have written before about how similar is Israel’s treatment of the Palestinian people and its occupation of Palestinian lands to the apartheid policies of the former Afrikaner South African regimes.

Juan Cole describes the latest actions of the Israeli government, involving the ethnic cleansing of large numbers of Palestinians to make room for Jewish settlers, actions that are bringing it ever closer to that reality. As Jonathan Cook writes:

Israel cultivates, as South Africa once did, what scholars term “grand apartheid”. This is segregation, largely covert and often justified by security or cultural differences, to ensure that control of resources remains exclusively in the hands of the privileged community.

At the same time, Israel long shied away from what some call South Africa’s model of “petty apartheid” – the overt, symbolic, but far less significant segregation of park benches, buses and toilets.

The avoidance of petty apartheid has been the key to Israel’s success in obscuring from the world’s view its grand apartheid, most obviously in the occupied territories but also inside Israel itself.

But as Cook writes, now even that petty apartheid is increasingly becoming visible with many ugly incidents of Jewish people attacking Arabs, destroying the façade that had been carefully constructed.

Meanwhile, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has once again started making the rounds of the media with scaremongering about the threat posed by Iran. This is probably for two reasons. One is that he is clearly worried that the image of the new Iranian president as a moderate is undermining his attempts to get the US to act as Israel’s proxy and wage war on Iran. The second is to distract attention from the massive ethnic cleansing that his government is pursuing.

The descent of Israel into a racist and theocratic state is proceeding apace and its cheerleaders in the US are helping it along.


  1. says

    The term “ethnic cleansing” is a cowardly tactic for avoiding invoking the international humanitarian law/convention against genocide – by calling it something else. Our continuing to avoid the word “genocide” helps let them get away with it. You might want to consider changing the title of this blog entry, though you’ll come under attack (regardless of what you say, now) from our resident zionist fascist.

  2. says

    Israel and South Africa were all buddy buddy back before the apartheid regime fell apart; Israel taught South Africa how to make nuclear weapons, in return for South Africa helping them cover some of their neutron bomb tests. Nice, huh?

  3. slc1 says

    Too bad that the Government of Israel doesn’t emulate the actions of Bashar Assad against the Palistinians which would really give Prof. Singham something to whine about.

  4. says

    Always with the false equivalencies, aren’t you? Are you absolutely incapable of understanding that “because A did something evil, the thing that B did is no less evil”?

    You ought to read Altemeyer’s “The Authoritarians” (it’s a free download) – one of the characteristics of authoritarian followers is that they seem to have little difficulty holding contradictory beliefs as long as the contradiction is in the favor of the authority they follow. I.e.: it’s OK for my tribe to commit genocide but it’s evil if someone tries to commit genocide on my tribe. I’d say that you lack a fully-developed moral sense. Or (shorter) that you’re an asshole.

  5. 2up2down2furious says

    1. This is probably one of the most common lines of reasoning from hasbara-bots: at some point in history somebody did something worse, ergo Israel gets a carte blanche do ethnically cleanse tens of thousands of people, blatantly, unapologetically, and with unmistakably racist rhetoric (“Judaising the Negev”). Is this really how Israel’s apparatchik’s think, that because their apartheid state is less violent than some other that they must be absolved of any responsibility for their actions. It amazes me how on a skeptic/atheist space people can boldly and with snark plunge headfirst into a tu quoque fallacy.

    2. Also of note: for those of us in the states, our government gives Israel billions of dollars, much of it going to the Israeli “Defense” Force. The US government has ceased to support Assad and has made some perfunctory gestures on behalf of the rebels. As a US taxpayer and voter, the blood of Palestinians is on my hands; while I feel tremendously upset at the suffering of the Syrian people, I am not responsible for it.

    3. Defenders of Israeli apartheid almost always resort to the argument that some Palestinians have resorted to violence against civilians and have made connections to terrorists, and therefore their cause is unjust and Israeli settler colonialism is legitimate. By this same reasoning, one would expect Israel’s defenders to support Assad because the rebels have committed acts of violence against civilians and some have networked with Al Qaeda. Of course, for the pro-Israel fanatics, consistency has never been a strong suit.

    In sum, I suppose it should hearten advocates for Palestine to see our opponents grasping at such straws.

  6. slc1 says

    Excuse me, somebody, namely Bashar Assad, is doing something far worse as we sit here today. And by the way, his minions several months ago attacked a Palestinian Refugee camp in Northern Syria killing several hundred people.

    And by the way, both the US and Israel share some responsibility for what’s going on in Syria because they tacitly supported the Assads, pere and fils for 40 years because they kept the Golan Highths quiet. Neither of them said boo in 1982 when Assad pere murdered 20,000+ civilians in Hama, famously referred to as Hama Rules by columnist Tom Friedman.

  7. 2up2down2furious says

    Can you please answer this question: how can Assad’s actions justify Israel’s apartheid and ethnic cleansing? I tried to point out your “two wrongs making a right” fallacy and you simply double down. This is incredible.

    If Israel gets a carte blanche because something worse is happening in Syria, presumably Syria should get a carte blanche because something worse is happening in the Congo. There has been a massive bloodletting which has claimed millions of lives, largely because of actions taken by the US client-government in Rwanda. Of course, we can walk and chew gum at the same time: we can condemn apartheid Israel, Assad, the architects of the genocide in the Congo, and the US government’s foreign policy. Using a separate human rights abuse to deflect criticism from another is perverse, shameful, and utterly fallacious.

    Again, reasonable thinking is anathema to Israel’s apologists.

  8. MNb says

    If Israel doesn’t want to remember let us do it: the Negev Bedouins belong(ed) to the most loyal ethnic groups. They provided several war heroes. This is one of them:

    It doesn’t matter; the Negev Bedouins suffer from systematical discrimination.
    Israel is not a democratic rechtsstaat.

  9. slc1 says

    If Israel is engaging in ethnic cleansing, they are the most incompetent ethnic cleansers in the history of the world. There are in excess of 1 million Arabs living in Israel as we sit here today and they don’t appear to be going anywhere. Compared to Bashar Assad who has so far ethnically cleansed over 1 million Sunni Muslims from Syria, they are piss poor at it.

    In addition, how about the 800,000 Jews who were ethnically cleansed from various Arab countries. Oh,yeah, being Jews, they don’t count.

  10. left0ver1under says

    To no surprise, half the posts on this thread are slc’s racist denial of the Palestinians as human beings, never mind discussion if Israeli war crimes.

  11. bmiller says

    Ah…looking for a little liebensraum, are we?

    Ironically enough, it will be the Ultra-Orthodox religious nuts, the Israeli Taliban, who will inhabit these glorious settlements once the inferior tribes have been taken care of. I wonder how much room there will be for an atheistic slc1 in the glorious new Yahwehpartheid State?

  12. bmiller says

    Segregation Now, Segregation Tomorrow Segregation Forever…Governor Wallace (who somewhat repented)

    Settlements today, settlements tomorrow, settlements to the far horizon…slc1

    Except the Israelis don’t use fire hoses and scattered church burnings. They are a little more…direct…in their tactics.

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