GREG SHUPAK discussing the NYT’s coverage of apartheid in Israel

Setting aside the troubling assertion that Israelis and Palestinians living as equals would be not only a “disaster,” but as bad a “disaster” as apartheid, Friedman ignored the fact that just two months earlier, the Knesset had passed the Nation State Law that defined Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people. The law asserted that “the realization of the right to national self-determination in Israel is unique to the Jewish people,” even though 20 percent of the population living inside Israel is not Jewish; encouraged “the development of Jewish settlement” and vowed that the state will “promote its establishment and consolidation.” It declared that “the state’s language is Hebrew,” deprecating Arabic, the first language of roughly half the people under that state’s control.

The Nation State Law demonstrates that the bad faith, future tense descriptions of Israeli apartheid are overly narrow, in that they focus exclusively on the Palestinian territories that Israel has occupied since 1967. Yet on the Israeli-held side of the Green Line, Palestinians are systematically discriminated against.

It’s not only the occupation that make Israel/Palestine apartheid. It’s the Israeli state’s foundational principles and actions: driving two-thirds of the indigenous Palestinian population from their homes at its birth, subsequently making more than 2 million of them refugees, and then denying their right to return, despite its being mandated under international law.

Meanwhile, Jewish people anywhere on Earth are given the right to immigrate, because Israeli leaders want to maintain a demographic advantage. They pursue this goal—with decisive help from their sponsors in Washington—through their longstanding operational policy mantra: maximum land, minimum Arabs.

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