Sep 27, 2010

#BDS: 'A one-state solution in Israel is difficult but not impossible'

We often hear the word apartheid used to describe Israel's treatment of Palestinians. Is it comparable to the South African apartheid?

It is similar but not identical. If we refer to Palestinians inside Israel proper, who are Israeli citizens, then their situation is better. They can individually reach similar standards as Jews in Israel, which Blacks in South Africa could not.

The situation of Palestinians in the occupied territories is much worse than had been in South Africa. These Palestinians are in constant existential danger of losing their jobs, homes, lives simply because they are Palestinians. And the situation in Gaza is still different where 1.5 million people have been incarcerated inside the strip.

The term apartheid is symbolic as far as the international community is concerned because when it decided that there was apartheid in South Africa it caused things to change there and now it can help change the situation in Israel-

As an Israeli academic do you find the call for boycott, disinvestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel, including academic boycott, ethical?

Yes. In South Africa too many conscientious academics supported the boycott call even though that hurt them. So we have to sometimes support things that hurt us. Next, it is the non-violence of the act that is ethical. The number of academics in Israel against the occupation is quite small, and the university should be more democratic space than the state. I support a boycott of the institution and not individuals. BDS is gradually working and more Israelis are now supporting it and they are being challenged by the state.

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