We all understand that this is a time of tremendous potential shift in the discourse of supporting Apartheid against Palestine in the USA.
When Joe Biden comes in, liberal Zionists, who can take some credit for electing him, will make up the central branch of the Israel lobby inside the Democratic Party.
Secretary of State Tony Blinken is their friend. So is his deputy Wendy Sherman. So liberal Zionists will now totally own the Israel policy.
And Biden along with liberal Zionists will be coming under huge pressure from the Democratic left, the Sandersite progressives who have been fighting for Palestinian rights in the halls of Congress, to actually do something at last for Palestinian freedom.
The latest sign of this pressure are the official reports saying Israel is enforcing apartheid, notably Yesh Din last July and B’Tselem last week. These follow a similar declaration years ago by the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, among others. And when Israel is declared apartheid state, there’s one plain outcome: Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions.
Liberal Zionists have bolstered the persistence of apartheid by insisting that that’s not happening in Israel, it’s only the West Bank. Israel is a democracy!
There are two regimes here! This is a careful and lacerating exposition of the damage caused by the claim that the two “regimes” can be separated. Apartheid has been the order of the day in Israel since 1948.
Supporters of Israel shouldn’t pretend that the government within its 1967 borders is somehow different from the government presiding over the occupied territories. It’s one government with responsibility for its conduct between the river and the sea.
What kind of democracy is it if millions of Palestinians are having their political fate shaped by Jewish Zionists? Palestinians were almost entirely absent from the debate on annexation.
The questions of whether they would get a state, what territory and powers it would have, whether they would be granted citizenship, residency or some other status in the annexed territory, what rights they would or would not be given and which of them would be stripped of their Israeli citizenship were being decided solely by coalition negotiations between two Zionist parties.
The premise that Israel is a democracy, maintained by Peace Now, Meretz, the editorial board of Haaretz and other critics of occupation, rests on the belief that one can separate the pre-1967 state from the rest of the territory under its control.
A conceptual wall must be maintained between two regimes: (good) democratic Israel and its (bad) provisional occupation.
This way of thinking is of a piece with the general liberal Zionist belief that it’s legitimate to condemn Israeli settlements – and even, for some, to boycott their products – but not to call for reducing support to the government that planned, established and maintains them.
What seemed most troubling about annexation for these groups was that it would undermine their claims that the occupation is occurring somewhere outside the state and that it is temporary, a 53-year-long departure from what liberal Zionist groups like the New Israel Fund call Israel’s ‘liberal democratic founding values’.
The separate-regimes fiction allows liberal Zionists and their Democratic Party friends to cling to a supposed solution and avoid the undemocratic truth of both sides of the Green Line.
Liberal Zionists aren’t for equality. They use the separate regimes b.s. to preserve inequality in Israel, which is itself Apartheid.
The Zionist left doesn’t call for Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel to have full equality within pre-1967 Israel. Instead, leading liberal Zionist organizations seek to ensure Israel remains a Jewish-majority state that can continue to provide to its Jewish citizens land and immigration rights that are denied to citizens from the indigenous Palestinian minority.
The idea that only annexation will make Israel into an apartheid state “has become intrinsic to left-wing Zionist ideology.
For instance, a report from a think-tank headed by Zehava Gal-on of Meretz, who is part of J Street’s inauguration party tomorrow night, says that even if Israel went forward with annexation that doesn’t make it “an apartheid state but rather a state operating a regime with apartheid characteristics in the occupied territories.
By this standard, apartheid South Africa was a democracy – like all democracies, an imperfect one – operating a regime with apartheid characteristics in the townships and Bantustans.
Those Bantustans, incidentally, had their own flags, anthems, civil servants, parliaments, elections and a limited degree of autonomy not unlike that of the Palestinian Authority.
The importance of Europe and the U.S. to maintaining apartheid in Israel. The The U.S. and Europe have “tirelessly” maintained Israeli impunity for its actions at the UN and ICC.
European and American policymakers, together with the liberal Zionist groups that lobby them, maintain that the two-state solution isn’t dead but merely embattled – and, therefore, permanently ‘alive’.
In the meantime, millions of Palestinians continue to be deprived of basic civil rights and subjected to military rule.
With the exception of those six months in 1966-67, this has been the reality for the majority of Palestinians living under Israeli control for the entire history of the state. South Africa’s apartheid lasted 46 years. Israel’s is at 72, and counting.
Of course, it is tragic and unfair that the dismantling of the Zionist idea is to be effected by Jews. But that’s the other side of the coin of the lobby itself, which I maintain is the only game in town for Joe Biden’s Middle East policy. For now anyway.
Mondoweiss / ABC Flash Point Apartheid News 2021.