The word apartheid is one of the most controversial parts of the Palestinian solidarity movement. Opponents of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign claim that the word apartheid is a slur used solely to delegitimize Israel. We in Tadamon!, however, believe this term is an accurate legal description of the Israeli state, and do not shrink from using an accurate term because it is controversial.
Apartheid is an Afrikaans word, first used to describe the system of racial separation and oppression in white-ruled South Africa. In 1973, the International Convention on the Suppression of and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid created a more generally applicable definition, characterizing the crime of apartheid as “inhuman acts committed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group of persons and systematically oppressing them.” We believe that Israel is an apartheid state because it commits inhuman acts to maintain the domination of Jewish Israelis over all other groups, actively oppressing Palestinians living in Israel and the Occupied Territories.