WI: Author Calls Israel-Palestine Conflict ‘Apartheid’


Israeli human rights activist and author Jeff Halper argues that in the Israel-Palestine conflict the two-state solution is dead and that apartheid has taken over.

Jimmy Carter let the genie out of the bottle with his recent book, "Palestine Peace Not Apartheid," but Halper has been using the same language for years.

"We use apartheid in a very precise way. We don't use it as a slogan. We have been very careful about it. Apartheid is a system that can't be exported," Halper told a group of about 40 people during a talk Sunday at Memorial United Church of Christ in Fitchburg.

An apartheid system is one of separation in which one population separates itself from the others, Halper said. "And that's what Israel calls its policy."

The other element of apartheid is domination, he said. "One population separates itself from the others and then dominate them. Permanently and institutionally."

Israel's offer to withdraw from 95 percent of the West Bank will create not peace, but rather a Palestinian prison state, said Halper, who has been called "a Jewish anti-Semite."

Halper is a Minnesota native who has lived in Israel for 35 years. Formerly an anthropology professor at Haifa and Ben-Gurion Universities, he co-founded the Israeli Committee Against Home Demolitions to challenge and resist the Israeli policy of demolishing Palestinian homes. The organization was founded in 1997 after Benjamin Netanyahu became prime minister on a right wing, security-heavy platform.

Israelis have been moving into the occupied Palestinian territories -- which includes the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem -- through settlement construction and land confiscation. At the same time, Palestinian population growth has been confined to small "islands" within those territories. (MORE)

 


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