Thursday, December 6, 2007

How Israel's Apartheid works: the example of the Jewish National Fund (JNF)

After Jimmy Carter published his book Palestine - Peace not Apartheid, a heated debate took place in the media and the blogosphere on the applicability of the term "Apartheid" to the situation in Israel and the Occupied Territories. In the weeks preceding the Annapolis Conference several Israel politicians, including Olmert, reminded everybody that Israel was, in their own words, “a state of the Jews, for the Jews, and by the Jews” which the PA had to recognize as such as a precondition for any negotiated agreement.

All this might sound a little abstract. After all, what is wrong with a state "for the Jews" who, having suffered through the Nazi genocide and other persecutions throughout the centuries, want a safe place to call their own? What is wrong with a Law of Return which grants all Jews no matter where they live such a place?

The Israeli Apartheid system is a very complex and sophisticated machine which, unlike its South African counterpart, has many of its essential parts outside of Israel. It is also far more insidious and well "packaged" and, I would argue, far more brutal and vicious.

Today, as an illustration of how all this really works, I am publishing two documents about the so-called Jewish National Fund. First, a Palestinian report entitled "Financing Racism and Apartheid" (which you can download here) and a video report made for TV about the infamous "Canada Park" in Israel.

Watch the video, read the report, and please remember that this is only one example of a much larger reality.