Not falling in an Ideological Trap: Israel and Apartheid

An articulate and informed discussion on applying the word « apartheid » to the situation in Israel and Palestine. This review of President’s Carter last book by Joseph Lelyveld of the New York Reviews of Books shows the limitations and analogies that can help or impede the discourse when Israel is considered like an apartheid state. Although, I think that the comparison of Israel with South African apartheid is not an equivalence, it still contains underlying truths. Yet, this advice by Meron Benvenisti cited by the author nevertheless makes some sense for me.

Meron Benvenisti, who has been intrigued by the comparison to South Africa over the years, now calls for a rhetorical cease-fire. The use of the term « apartheid, » he wrote back in 2005, has become in Israel a « mark of leftist radicalism, » while its denial stands as proof of « Zionist patriotism. » Objective comparison or discussion of the validity of any comparison is « nearly impossible. » Anyone who goes into the question, Benvenisti wrote, « will be judged by his conclusions. » The choice, he said, is between being called an anti-Semite or a fascist. The occupation should be seen in its own harsh light, he concluded, rather than subjected to a comparison.

Joseph Lelyveld, Jimmy Carter and Apartheid, The New York Review of Books

It’s also worthwhile to listen to J.J. Goldberg, the editor in chief of the Forward on Zionism. Too much people equate zionism to racism or apartheid while this word cover many different realities and historical contexts.

J.J. Goldberg, But Is It Good for the Jews?, (mp3)

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