Mar 31, 2011

#BDS: Israeli Apartheid Week: A Beginner’s Guide

"As activists around the world take part in Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW), Zionist lobby groups have swung into action, pushing a mixture of candy-coated distractions, lies, and trained hasbarists. Here are five commonly heard objections to IAW, unpacked. 
1. “Arabs in Israel shop in the same markets, attend the same hospitals, sit in the same parks, etc.” 
This claim is sometimes supplemented by photos of Arabs cheerily – and no doubt gratefully – going about their everyday business or enjoying their leisure time in The Middle East’s Only Democracy™. However, Israel as a democratic, multicultural, shared space is undermined by examples such as – though not limited to – the following: 
  • Selection committees’ decide who gains admission to small communities based on criteria like "social suitability," a setup that operates in hundreds of towns (their use as a tool to exclude Palestinians could well be reinforced with a new law). A number of these communities were only established in the first place as part of a plan based on “ethnic discrimination” and “demographic phobia”.
  • Palestinian ‘permanent residents’ of East Jerusalem, despite living in the so-called ‘unified capital’ of Israel, are unable to purchase property in most of West Jerusalem and a third of illegally-annexed East Jerusalem. That’s because “to qualify to purchase property on ‘state land’ the purchaser must either be a citizen of Israel” or “legally entitled to citizenship under the law of return (i.e. Jewish)”."
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