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Nelson Mandela:

As a movement we recognise the legitimacy of Palestinian nationalism just as we recognise the legitimacy of Zionism as a Jewish nationalism. We insist on the right of the state of Israel to exist within secure borders, but with equal vigour support the Palestinian right to national self-determination.
Martin Luther King, Jr.: "The whole world must see that Israel must exist and has the right to exist ..."

Yasser Arafat recognizes a Jewish state (Israel) as well as a Palestinian state:

In The Apartheid Smear, Alan Johnson, a member of the Dissent magazine editorial board and Senior Research Fellow at BICOM, the British Israel Communications and Research Centre, an organization that "believe[s] in the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, just as we believe in the rights of the Palestinians to statehood," takes on the claim, persistently peddled by some among us, that Israel is an apartheid state.

Although I do not agree with every argument or nuance of Professor Johnson's pamphlet, and have inserted a few italicized criticisms, [like this], I think it well worth bringing to the community's attention. I continue to hope, not only in the achievability--soon, in our days--of a two-states-for-two-peoples peace settlement, but also in the possibility of a substantive, civilized discussion of different opinions and viewpoints.

That said, here is a substantial selection from the Executive Summary.  Note that permission to reproduce is granted "with due accreditation to BICOM".

Why Israel Is not an Apartheid State

•     Israel is not an apartheid state for the 20 per cent of its citizens who are Arabs, as is  sometime claimed. Although they are critical of a range of discriminations and inequalities, 77 per cent of the Arab citizens of Israel say that they prefer living in Israel to any other country in the world.

•     Israel is a multi-racial, multi-ethnic democracy. The Arab, Druze and other minorities in Israel are guaranteed equal rights. All citizens vote in elections on an equal basis. Discrimination based on race is against the law. The universities are integrated. Some Israeli towns and cities are mixed Arab-Jewish (e.g. Acre, Haifa, Jaffa, Lod and Ramle). The Israeli Courts are effective in countering unfair discrimination. Israel’s Arab minority participates fully in the political process.

•     Israel’s Arab citizens also hold some collective rights as a national minority. Arabic is Israel’s second official language, and there is a thriving Arabic mass media, literature and theatre scene.

•     The Israeli government is working to reduce the gaps between the minority and majority. Especially since the Or Commission of 2000, Israel has been closing the
economic gaps, opening up the civil service, equalising welfare, introducing Arabic into Jewish schools, and improving access to higher education.

Zionism is not Racism

•     The Apartheid Smear says that Zionism is a form of racism. It isn’t. Zionism is the national liberation movement of the Jewish people, calling for the restoration of sovereign Jewish life in the land of Israel after 2000 years of exile and persecution. The persecution of Jews was a constant of European life culminating in the Holocaust.

•     Mainstream Zionists always believed that a non-Jewish minority would live alongside the Jewish people. Israel’s Declaration of Independence in 1948 promised the Arab inhabitants of the State of Israel ‘full and equal citizenship and due representation in all its provisional and permanent institutions.’

•     The right of the Jewish people to create a national home in Palestine was recognised by the British in the 1917 Balfour Declaration, and then approved by the League of Nations (the forerunner of the United Nations) in 1922. In 1947, the General Assembly of the United Nations approved the partition of Mandate Palestine into ‘Independent Arab and Jewish States.’

•     In 1948 the Jewish community declared the establishment of Israel in line with this UN resolution. Five Arab armies immediately invaded. The Palestinian refugee problem was born of war, not by design. Reaching a just and agreed resolution of the refugee question is rightly central to the peace process.

Being a ‘Jewish State’ does not Make Israel an Apartheid State

•     ‘Jewish state’ does not mean that Israel is a theocracy (rule by clerics) or a state exclusively for Jews. Israel is a democracy, governed by the rule of law as drafted by an
elected parliament, the Knesset. All faiths vote. All enjoy freedom of worship. The Declaration of Independence explicitly provides for the protection of minorities.

•     Yes, Israel is the national home of the Jewish people. But many states around the world are both national homelands for a majority ethnic or racial group and democracies. Such states are still democracies because of their systems of government and because the rights of the minority are protected.

Israel and the Territories

•     Since 1967 Israel has occupied the West Bank after winning the Six Day War against Arab armies that were once again massed on its borders, intent on ‘driving the
Jews into the sea.’

•     The occupation persists 47 years later not because Israel wants to rule over the Territories but because peace talks – in which Israel seeks recognition and security
guarantees in return for the creation of Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip and West Bank – have failed thus far. [This is true only as far as it goes. It ignores, for example, the vital difference between administering occupied territory pending a peace settlement and the actual existing occupation.]

•     Israel’s actions in the Territories that are mis-labelled ‘apartheid’ – such as the so-called ‘apartheid Wall’ – are actually security measures. Palestinian terrorism against Israeli civilians reached unprecedented heights during the Second Intifada (2000-2004). [This is simplistic. It is true that neither the actions nor the barrier qualify as apartheid measures. And, in all events, they speak to the character of the occupation, not to the State of Israel itself. But Israel could have routed the security barrier more or less along the Green Line, as the original, "peace camp" proponents of the barrier advocated. The fact that much of the land on the western side of the barrier is likely to end up in Israel following a peace settlement, with Palestine compensated by land swaps, doesn't alter the fact that the barrier does more than help protect the security of the State of Israel.]

•     Israel does not give Israeli citizenship to West Bank Palestinians because they do not wish to become subject to Israeli law. They want their own state, and Israel is prepared to make an agreement on that basis. [A significant minority of Israelis, with strong representation in the current governing coalition, neither is prepared to support an agreement that would enable the Palestinians to have their own state alongside Israel, nor is willing to grant Palestinians in the West Bank Israeli citizenship. Whether or not their minority vision for the future fully qualifies as apartheid, it is insupportable.]

•     Israel’s does not simply walk out of the West Bank without any peace deal or security guarantees because in recent experience, Israeli withdrawal from territory
(south Lebanon in 2000 and the Gaza Strip in 2005) has led to Iranian-backed extremists taking over and using the territory as a base to attack Israel. So Israel seeks a negotiated solution. [Perhaps Israel would have achieved a more satisfactory result if it had withdrawn from the Gaza Strip in cooperation with the Palestinian Authority, rather than unilaterally. Regardless, just a Palestinian words and deeds affect Israeli public opinion, so, too, do Israeli words and deeds affect Palestinians.]

•     Israel is serious about dividing the land through negotiations. In 1937, 1947, 1967, 2000, 2001, and 2008 Israel made or accepted proposals to divide the land. It has peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan. Every Israeli government since 2000 has endorsed the creation of a fully sovereign and independent Palestinian state in a two state solution. The Israeli people back the two state solution by a solid two-thirds majority. [Yes, but there is reason to question Netanyahu's sincerity. One test will be whether the Israeli government, and the Palestinian Authority-PLO, for that matter, accept Secretary Kerry's forthcoming U.S. framework for a peace settlement. If Netanyahu does so, his current governing coalition most likely will break up. But Labor has indicated a willingness to join the government to support a real peace process; parties to the left of Labor most likely won't vote to bring down a government engaged in a serious peace process; and Shas, the ultra-Orthodox, Sephardi party also might join a reconfigured government.]

•     The pamphlet challenges some powerful myths about the Territories. For example, settlements have not killed the two state solution: a final peace settlement is expected to see the restitution of almost all of the West Bank to the Palestinians. The exceptions – the land along the ‘Green Line’ that contains about 80 per cent of the settlers – will be compensated by ‘land swaps’, a principle which has already been agreed with the Palestinian negotiators, and is endorsed by President Obama and the EU and, since April 2013, the Arab League.

The Apartheid Smear Damages the Peace Process

The Apartheid Smear works against peace. It poisons hopes for a peaceful resolution of this national conflict by encouraging extremists, demoralizing moderates, and fostering a destructive 'boycott' activism in the West.

The Apartheid Smear and the linked BDS campaign consume energies that should be invested in a different kind of activism; pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli: pro-peace. Many organisations do just that, by bringing Israelis and Palestinians together, including One Voice, Parents Circle - Families Forum (PCFF), MEET (Middle East Education Through Technology), and The Peres Center for Peace.

Here's hoping that we can unite in support of American, Israeli, and Palestinian efforts to achieve a two-states-for-two-peoples peace settlement; that we can demonstrate, both here and outside dKos, that it is possible, by being pro-peace, to be both pro-Israel and pro-Palestine; and that, even if we disagree, we can discuss with civilly and with a decent respect for all concerned.
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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (9+ / 1-)

    Shalom v' salaam; peace and wholeness

    by another American on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 09:48:50 AM PDT

  •  I agree that it's not a very useful word... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brecht, letsgetreal, poco that it riles people up out of proportion to its explanatory value, but situations like the Israeli occupation of the West Bank are going to rile people up--no way around that.  I can't get upset about words as long as someone from Brooklyn or Paris can, by virtue of their religion, proceed directly to the West Bank and enjoy putative rights that the local inhabitants can't enjoy.  It's not really an answer to say that we're working on it.

    It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

    by Rich in PA on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 10:17:15 AM PDT

  •  I have a lot of beefs with the direction Israel (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    another American

    has been going recently, but I think you've said it well, AA.

    Just another underemployed IT professional computer geek.

    by RhodeIslandAspie on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 10:18:41 AM PDT

  •  The fear I have for Israel and the Palestinians is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    that if Israel continues the to allow the settlements, there will be a tipping point passed where there are so many settlers that they will have the clout to fight for the annexation of the West Bank. If the West Bank is annexed - in violation of international law - then what.

    Israel will then have three choices.

    1. Give Palestinians in the West Bank the same political rights as Palestinians  that are now within the internationally recognized borders of Israel. Eventually, demographic trends will move towards a Palestinian majority state - something that the right wing will never allow.

    2. Engage in brutal ethnic cleansing and expel the Palestinians, something the left and center would never consent to.

    3. Let the Palestinians continue to exist through out Israel, but with no rights, and kept in line brutally - an Apartheid system for real.

    Israel is not an apartheid state, but I fear the slippery slope she is on.

    Just another underemployed IT professional computer geek.

    by RhodeIslandAspie on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 10:43:27 AM PDT

  •  So we have heard fronm the Israeli party line. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    There was a book published years ago called the Iron Wall, read it and compare what is happening today.

    •  I wish you were right, that is, (0+ / 0-)

      that "the Israeli party line" included, for example, a route for the security barrier that tracks the Green Line or that Netanyahu's sincerity is open to question.

      Your comment suggests you may have been somewhat careless in reading my diary.

      Shalom v' salaam; peace and wholeness

      by another American on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 10:51:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Since when has it been ok to copy-and-paste (6+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    Brecht, poco, letsgetreal, ExpatGirl, AoT, callmecassandra
    Hidden by:

    material written by a third party, who is himself on payroll at a propaganda outfit allied with a foreign government or two?

    Daily Kos seems to be ok with reps of progressive organizations or Democratic politicians, writing diaries in their own name.

    This should not be construed as a universal license to spam the site with organizational spin. Certainly one that includes numerous debunked RW talking points. There are actually specific policies against that.

    To makes matters worse, this BICOM outfit whose propaganda you are helping to spread, is also less-than-transparent about where they got the $$ to employ such high-payroll staff. As long as they don't disclose, they can call themselves "independent" till the end of days - but they aren't.

    HRed for violation of basic posting rules. HR might be removed if sufficient clarifications are posted, and if those points with which the diarist disagrees (including all debunked and reality-free RW talking points) are removed.

    •  As I included critical commentary and much more (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Al Abama, JNEREBEL, Zornorph

      than just Alan Johnson's material, I respectfully request that you withdraw your unwarranted HR.

      Otherwise, you HR stands only as an attempt to censor a view you apparently don't want others to see.

      Shalom v' salaam; peace and wholeness

      by another American on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 10:55:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, the irony. BICOM is not "censored". (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Brecht, InAntalya, poco

        They have their well-funded outlets,

        besides the teeny fact that this type of talking-points and "views" (they are not really views, really obfuscations) pushed by official and unofficial spokesmen for the State of Israel on every electronic news outlet in the West.

        Daily Kos is precisely this relatively sheltered atmosphere, where left-of-center people can exchange information and ideas without being bombarded by this kind of crap that dominates everywhere else and crowds out reality-based debate.

        It is not a shelter from reality and debate. Rather, it is a shelter erected so that reality-based debate from common-sense progressive principles can take place at all.

        And it is certainly not yet another online forum where the right and the left mindlessly bash each other by hurling canned talking points across the ether - which is what your diary does.

        Please respect that shelter. It has taken years of hard work and cooperation to keep.

    •  On second thought, please link to the "basic (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Al Abama

      posting rules" you think I violated. If you're right, I'll conform my diary to them. If you are unable to or prove to be wrong, I hope you'll have the grace to withdraw your HR.

      Shalom v' salaam; peace and wholeness

      by another American on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 11:04:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  From the guildelines (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        poco, Brecht

        Link here.

        4. Diaries should be substantive. A good guideline is that if you don't have at least three solid paragraphs to write about your subject, you should probably post a comment in an open thread, or in a recent diary or front-page post that covers a topic relevant to what you wish to write about.
        It is possible to post a diary that is a critique of some other text. But your minor, parenthesized, italicized footnotes for the BICOM pamphlet do not pass for a "critique" in any meaningful sense.
        12. Diarists are strongly encouraged to back up all assertions with facts (and preferably links to supporting materials) whenever possible. Use reputable sources whenever possible. If you can't find a reputable source that supports your position, then perhaps reconsider writing your diary.
        As said before, your "diary" (or rather, the BICOM pamphlet you have pasted) is a collection of selective half-truths and outright lies peddled for years, sometimes decades, by official and unofficial spokesmen for the State of Israel.

        Not only is there nothing original here; there is a deliberate conflation between talking-point and fact. In short, this BICOM product is classic Israel-advocacy Gish Gallop:

        ...the debating technique of drowning the opponent in such a torrent of half-truths, lies, and straw-man arguments that the opponent cannot possibly answer every falsehood in real time.
        So #4 and #12 are the "black-on-white" rules your diary seems to violate. But as a fellow Jew, I'm sure you'll appreciate the role of accepted tradition and interpretation-in-practice that we have been observing here on this site (to non-Jews: all of Judaism is really interpretation and tradition, bearing little resemblance to the Old Testament dictates and descriptions).

        For example, it has been accepted tradition at Daily Kos that parroting RW talking points is not allowed. While some of BICOM's talking points are not RW per se (those tend to be on the wishful-thinking side), others certainly are (such as the total laying of all blame upon the Arab side, the legitimizing of West Bank settlements, name-dropping Iran, etc. etc.).

        There have been - again - accepted practices about when and how posts by paid staffers for advocacy organizations are ok, and when not. Even progressive organizations are sometimes scrutinized here by commenters when they post stuff that looks too much like a pamphlet. In this respect, your diary is certainly beyond the pale.

        Hope this helps, Assaf

        •  Fail. (4+ / 0-)

          Let's see. Above the fold is a quotation from Nelson Mandela and videos of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Yasser Arafat.

          Below the fold are not three, not four, but five substantive paragraphs of commentary/criticism of the Alan Johnson pamphlet, followed by a separate, substantive conclusion:

          Here's hoping that we can unite in support of American, Israeli, and Palestinian efforts to achieve a two-states-for-two-peoples peace settlement; that we can demonstrate, both here and outside dKos, that it is possible, by being pro-peace, to be both pro-Israel and pro-Palestine; and that, even if we disagree, we can discuss with civilly and with a decent respect for all concerned.
          Unfortunately, rather than show a decent respect and argue substantively with whatever in my diary you find wanting, you chose to HR.

          In all events, Paragraph 4 of the guidelines plainly does not address your objection. The basic rule it states is that, "Diaries should be substantive." The balance of the paragraph is commentary. No one reasonably can say that my diary is not substantive.

          Paragraph 12, which you take far too literally if you truly think it requires citations and links for every factual statement, merely "strongly encourages" and suggests ("perhaps reconsider"). It neither commands nor prohibits.

          Regarding your labeling Professor Johnson's work "RW talking points," he is, as I noted, a member of the Dissent editorial board. You may disagree, even vehemently, with what Professor Johnson wrote. If so, explain your disagreement. Please, don't try to censor either him or me.

          There's still time for you to do the right thing.

          Shalom v' salaam; peace and wholeness

          by another American on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 11:49:44 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  If the person attempting to disrupt this diary (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            another American

            had bothered to read the guidelines he posted as authoritative he would have seen these are no longer operable as there is no prohibition against multiple diaries in one day.  

            "Stay close to the candles....the staircase can be treacherous" (-8.38,-8.51)

            by JNEREBEL on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 03:49:05 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  I don't care what it is called (0+ / 0-)

    although the occupation has some similar features to Apartheid, it is clearly its own peculiar thing, perhaps unique in modern history.  

    Whatever it is called, I agree with the diarist, the time for some kind of resolution is long past.  

  •  win??? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Since 1967 Israel has occupied the West Bank after winning the Six Day War ...
    ... more like 'achieved certain obectives'.

    But I guess some egos need to be stroked, and some populations need to be fed propaganda.  

    Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

    by InAntalya on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 11:10:52 AM PDT

  •  I get so confused by the "apartheid" claim (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    While the territories in the West Bank, which technically are not part of and have not been annexed by Israel, are far more complicated, where in Israel are there "Jews only" beaches or restaurants?  Do those exist in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem?

    Is it possible that those who claim "apartheid" exists in Israel are just being dishonest?

  •  I support BDS. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    poco, Brecht

    And, funny thing, so does the ANC and virtually every living South African struggle veteran.

    To lead with a 20 year old quote from Nelson Mandela is outrageous. Even more so because while he supported the Jewish state he was 100% against the occupation.

    Tell Warner Brothers Pictures that Rooney Mara is #NotYourTigerLily.

    by ExpatGirl on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 03:12:13 PM PDT

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