Dr.Dawg

Israeli Apartheid Week: I give up

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John Baird, Joe Volpe, and of course the Incredible Shrinking Man himself, Michael Ignatieff, have put me in my place, right enough.

Confiscation of houses in East Jerusalem. Confiscation of land in the West Bank. Forced relocation of Bedouins in Israel. Jews-only villages. The exploitation of cheap labour, with Palestinian workers cheated of benefits. One-fifth the amount of money for the education of an Arab Israeli child compared to a Jewish Israeli child. The deportation of children of the wrong ethnicity. Representatives of the established religion calling for a refusal to rent to Arabs. Official and popular panic about mixed marriages, and the prohibition of same by vigilantes. Land sales restricted to Jews. Separate roads in the occupied West Bank for Palestinians and Jewish settlers.

Let’s find a new word, since “apartheid” gives such offence. No two systems are ever alike, after all. No less an authority than Benjamin Pogrund points out indignantly, as he makes his distinctions, that in apartheid South Africa all races shared the same roads.*

So I’m game. Come up with a different name or term that captures everything that I have described. I’ll use it instead of “apartheid.” Promise. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, so I’m not going to insist on one signifier if another will do.

Maybe we can move the debate along without being diverted by semantics. The floor is open.


* 2006. Pogrund, B. “Is Israel the New Apartheid?” [No longer on-line.]

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This page contains a single entry by Dr.Dawg published on March 10, 2011 9:07 PM.

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