Israel is NOT an Apartheid State or an “Occupier” : A Beginning

This is a topic that’s been burning a hole in me for a long time. Now, because the whole Black Lives Matter antisemitism is taking off (no one dares question their bigotry for fear of being called “racist” … go figure), hate of Jewish people and Israel has resurfaced with a vengeance. I’ve wanted to do a detailed study of exactly why the allegations against the Jewish people and Israel are false, but a number of different factors have gotten in the way. I saw the image above on twitter. It’s a beginning.

14 thoughts on “Israel is NOT an Apartheid State or an “Occupier” : A Beginning”

  1. Oh, that’s all you’ve got? Well, it’s a good inspiration, though its 2/3 fraction is a bit exaggerated, because the actual Jordanian land area is 78% or four-fifths of the former Ottoman Palestine region. Otherwise the tweet is accurate. If you’d like, I can send you a bit more info, including online references to the documents of the San Remo agreement of 1920 and the 1922 British Mandate for Palestine, that implemented international sanction for Lord Balfour’s vision of a modern re-establishment of the Jewish homeland.

    1. Ever since COVID, all the rioting BS, and oddly enough, my getting the best “day job” I’ve ever had, my research skills have totally gone south. Anything you’ve got that will help me write that is probably the most important post on this blog would be deeply appreciated. I saw a video years ago that explained it, and I really wish I had that link.

  2. Also read Reclaiming Israel’s History: Roots, Rights, and the Struggle for Peace by David Brog.

  3. I, today, had to look up a name in the linked (although it wasn’t labeled as an article in your opening post) article. Without background (from 2016), it was just a name floating by in the emotional sensation affirming dismissal of black lives mattering.

    Most of the platform’s readers are likely unaware that its Israel/Palestine section was written by an activist who was born and raised as a Jew, although Rachel Gilmer says she no longer identifies as Jewish.

    The Movement for Black Lives is a coalition of over 60 organizations affiliated with the Black Lives Matter movement. The “Invest-Divest” chapter of the platform, which is also available as a separate electronic document…. includes a link to the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement and another to a website devoted to black-Palestinian solidarity, in a reflection of the growing alliance between the communities.

    The strong language has left many of the Black Lives Matter movement’s Jewish allies — who are lighting up social media with posts — feeling, in their own words, hurt, alienated and betrayed. And it is dividing the Jewish community in ways that tensions over Israel/Palestine increasingly do, with mainstream Jewish groups calling out the platform for its harsh denunciation of Israel, and a couple of grassroots organizations including If Not Now, defending it.

    Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, which has been at the forefront of working with Black Lives Matter groups in protesting racial injustices, declined to comment for this article.

    Using the terms genocide and apartheid in regard to Israel is “offensive and odious,” wrote Rabbi Jonah Pesner, executive director of the Reform movement’s Religious Action Center, in a statement.

    ‘Libel against Israel’

    “In asserting that U.S. support for Israel makes it ‘complicit in the genocide committed against the Palestinian people,’ and labeling Israel as ‘an apartheid state,’ the MBL libels Israel, while diluting the moral seriousness of those terms,” AJC, formerly known as the American Jewish Committee, said in its statement.

    Note MBL, not BLM

    After saying they were “deeply dismayed” by “the co-opting and manipulation of a movement addressing concerns about racial disparities in criminal justice in the United States in order to advance a biased and false narrative about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict,” the heads of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston announced that the organization was breaking with the platform [of MBL] “and those Black Lives Matter organizations that embrace it.” …


    The whole article is informative. I’d like to quote this later section, for now: Isaac Luria is the vice president of Auburn Seminary’s digital-action platform, Auburn Action. “We have a choice — to step away and turtle up in our own sector (which is what much of the right in our community wants to do) or to figure out how to engage productively, intentionally, and purposefully in offering the gift of Jewish participation to these social movements, which are, [by the way], shaping our society at its very foundations,” Luria wrote on Facebook.

    Said T’ruah’s Jacobs, the situation arising from the … platform “is very painful to me. It’s painful that Israel has become the most evil state in the world to some people, that’s how so many people see Israel. It’s painful that Israel is engaged in a military occupation that is destructive for Palestinians and Israelis. It’s painful when people I agree with on most issues aren’t able to understand the Jewish trauma through the Holocaust and terrorist attacks. It’s painful that people aren’t able to hold two truths.”

    What’s more, Jacobs said, Jews have to continue working on issues of racial justice in part “because the more we are in partnership with people the more we can actually break through and have our voices heard.”

    That turns out to reach the end of the article, as I couldn’t see where to stop for something shorter, but you can still see I skipped a lot.

    We will do well to differentiate and speak of MBL and BDS groups with regard to platforms bent on not seeing the full picture (although many people there could change in the future) — rather than #blacklivesmatter (and “BLM” now that more citizens are aware). Americans are going to stay mostly focused on the issues of the United States. If we (or factions of people adjacent to me or what is really we) become entrenched in insisting calls for justice are inextricably linked with anti-semitism, the resultant and concomitant behaviors and attitudes (of people we imagine to be in our camp) won’t be constructive. I choose to align with the best of Jewish activism.

    It has happened before. Post or article topics boldly say that the people in unfortunate or undermined circumstances in the United States aren’t like the trapped people in Israel — or that comparisons shouldn’t be drawn. But, as time goes on in the conversation, what becomes apparent is the undercurrent that says You’re not hearing me; those people are like these. Wink-wink.

    1. So just what is it you’re trying to say by citing these deluded Jewish activists, Marleen? They seem to be operating under multiple layers of falsehood, whereby they parrot lies originated by militant Palestinian Arabs whose primary purpose is the delegitimization and destruction of the sovereign Jewish state of Israel. They invoke the emotion-laden epithet “apartheid”, where it is not applicable — which is patently obvious to anyone who actually looks at how thoroughly embedded in Israeli society and professions and businesses israeli Arabs are in reality. And they ignore other realities of this century-old conflict. But this may be deemed no more egregious than their misapprehension of justice as a racial cause. I wish I could hold up a mirror in front of them to point out that they have become the most quintessentially hypocritical racists themselves while claiming to fight racism. They ignore racism perpetrated by Arabs, which is driven at its base by militant Islam; and they ignore “black” racism, which seems to be driven or exacerbated by a kind of bolshevist anarchy.

      In truth, there is no such entity as a “Palestinian” people nor a Palestinian history or homeland. Jordan was set aside as the Arab portion of the former Ottoman region called Palestine; while Israel was allotted to Jews for the exact same purpose of political self-determination. Similarly, at the same time, additional Arab states were carved out across the middle east, all just as young as Israel. In fact, the UAE that just concluded a peace treaty with Israel is even younger. This treaty may become an exemplar of more to come, that show the falsehood that truly-Arab nations must maintain the falsehood of the PLO’s political narrative that has been purveyed for a bit more than half a century, now.

      And a similar truth applies to the notion of “black” lives. There is no such entity as a black life. Those who purvey that racist falsehood deny the hope of the late Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., whose dream was that his children could live in a world where they might be judged not for the color of their skin but by the content of their character. Many folks have tried since then to train themselves diligently to expunge from their perspective the racist presumptions that have been falsely associated with skin shading. BLM or MLB explicitly denies the aspirations of MLK.

      One of the curious observations I have made about Israel is that Jews who made aliyah from the USA have had an uncommon opportunity to shed such false views about skin shading, in adjusting their perspective to encompass the recognition of a single unified Jewish family that represents a full range of skin shadings that include European pallor and Ethiopian ebony, along with many shades in between from Moroccan mahogany to East Indian browns and blacks. I know this from personal experience working with the Border Police wherein such a range is represented. I would say “integrated”, but that would be too artificial — because these Jews do not need to be forcibly integrated but rather have been regathered from across the globe in order to reclaim their unity in Israel. They incidentally demonstrate, however, that an overriding sense of unity virtually obliterates superficial differences in skin shading and even subcultural variations. In the context of Israeli security, this extends to Arabs and others who likewise adopt unity with all other Israelis. The Druse are a notable example as an entire community, but there are other Arabs and non-Arabs as well. I would suggest that a similar adoption of an overriding sense of American unity, an “e pluribus unam”, would be a worthwhile emphasis and insistence in the current turmoil within the USA. This would not obliterate subcultural differences, but would submerge them in a larger matrix of cooperation to pursue the best and most noble goals of the American founding fathers’ vision.

      1. First of all, I don’t know what you were reading. 🎼 cue twighlight zone 🎶 But you frequently respond to me as if some total stranger were in your head. Secondly, you have time after time after time demonstrated you are out of touch with what is real in the country where I live. (Of course, I don’t know where you live.) But you seem to enjoy the man-posing-as-lecturer-of-woman. (As I’ve said once before, I certainly don’t know if you are a man… thus I’m not making a judgment about current men in general. But am observing a role that some people like to carry on.) I’ve pretty much indicated I agree with the background James has shared on the history (while I haven’t been too concerned about every relatively smaller detail). I have added at least one major historical consideration of fact under his parts one through four. Even though this is one of James’ earlier recent entries (of five) on the subject, my comment hereunder to which you quasi-responded was one that is latter. [I don’t see a good reason for you to play dumb.]

        One thing I was surprised about, though, is that James was just now learning of the “Palestinians” (as a group of people in a particular situation) being created, so to speak, in the process of modern Israel being established — and the wars following. That’s a foundational understanding for perceiving any sense of justice in the Middle East or Israel. Without that, all we can say is that Israel shouldn’t be picked on more than other countries (of course it, as a nation, truly should not). Or we can simply appeal to religious viewpoint even though we don’t establish religion legally. (Or both at the same time, which is a bit at odds.) But then, with such a foundation, the scenario should make sense to more people. My point is that we should desire for and try to help or push more people to understand the foundation rather than to shove them into a a position they weren’t really in or, for some, weren’t absolutely committed to. I do not think the people I quoted against the terminology of apartheid and genocide are delusional.

      2. Considering how many years it seems we’ve been “sparring” with each other, Marleen, I’m surprised you don’t remember that I live in Israel though I grew up in the USA. And what’s this “man lecturing woman” nonsense? If my style is that of a detached, hopefully objective lecturer, it is a natural development over many years throughout which it has been demanded of me to educate both men and women who have been privy to less information than I or who have been otherwise ill-informed. That’s not a “white privilege”, nor a “male privilege”, nor even a “Jewish privilege” — though for most topics that I assay to address the latter is somewhat applicable. I’ll take but a moment here also to point out that a privileged state is not a crime, though some are now trying to make it seem so. But that’s just viewing the world through a false lens of “the haves versus the have-nots” as if the “haves” obtained what they have illegitimately and withheld it deliberately from the “have-nots”. It does not reflect reality but is rather a superficial and artificial construct to foment conflict. And it cannot apply to those who try to share their knowledge and opinions freely. They are trying to alleviate the “have-not” state which they are addressing. One may hope that they are, in fact, validly to be deemed “haves” who are qualified to contribute their resources to the more needy.

        I did, nonetheless, pitch my last post not just as a personal reply to you but also to an objectified purveyor of the ideas you cited. That’s not intended to “play dumb”, but rather to answer a matter more broadly than its original framework allows. I will continue the practice in this post.

        Let me extract for comment one particular thought you just expressed in passing, which seemed to perceive some conflict between appealing to a religious viewpoint while refraining from establishing a religion legally. I don’t see why these should seem at odds. Everyone holds some viewpoints that are founded on or influenced by one or another religious view, even so-called atheists. Expressing them as a tool by which to analyze a situation is not in itself even an exercise of a given religion, hence it could hardly be viewed as granting some particular religion any preferred legal status. Agreeing that some view is accurate is not foisting a religion upon anyone, even if only one particular religion purveys that view. Even expressing the belief that all the views of a particular religion are correct is not the same as favoring the practice of that religion in law whereby it would constrain others who may wish to think or behave otherwise. The founders of the USA held many such religiously-influenced or religiously-founded views; and for that very reason they realized that the freedom to express them depended on constraining the government from enforcing the praxis of any one religion or denomination or from preventing any of them to be practiced.

        Now, one could test the limits of religious expression by considering the religious commandment “thou shalt not murder”. Is it establishing a religion to make of that a law in the USA which is enforced by a variety of sanctions and penalties? Is it prohibiting the exercise of a religion such as Islam by delegitimizing some of its murderous practices and customs such as “honor killings” of women who transgress certain “moral” expectations? One could thereby adduce a justification to interfere at least a little bit by constraining the theoretical religious liberty to exercise some particular religious expression. One thereby places the defense of life above the defense of liberty, in much the same way that one may constrain the freedom of speech by outlawing incitement to riot because it threatens to end lives and curtail other liberties.

        However, one cannot make even the defense of life an absolute that excludes all other liberties. For example, the rubric of protecting lives and health in a community faced by a pandemic can become an absolute tyranny. If it is not limited to a short temporary period and balanced against other liberties such as the right to assemble and the right to exercise religious worship, it can create other threats against life and health, particularly detrimental to mental health and wellbeing, or educational growth, or the ability to earn one’s living.

        But I have digressed enough from the original topic.

        On the subject of delusion on the part of those who fling accusations such as apartheid and genocide against Israel, I must insist that they are describing nightmares that do not exist in the reality of the Israeli nation, and that they are misrepresenting and exaggerating some events that are unquestionably unpleasant but caused entirely by views and behaviors that are not at all related to either kind of the atrocities cited. To call these people merely delusional is a kindness. The alternatives are much worse.

        BTW, the Arab “Palestinians” weren’t invented as a consequence of the process of establishing modern Israel. They were conceived about 16-22 years after its establishment in order to dis-establish and displace it. Jews were the ones called and calling themselves Palestinians up until they were able to call themselves Israelis. Arabs in the region were not yet associating themselves with the identity of any state, because even the notion of Arab states such as Syria or Transjordan (later the Kingdom of Jordan) was fairly new. Their identity was expressed in terms of tribal or clan loyalties, just as it had been further east in what became Iraq before Lawrence of Arabia began to organize them into larger and ultimately national groupings. But at just the same time as Palestinian Jews became Israelis, Arabs of the region became Jordanians, disregarding on which side of the river they were living. Arabs in Israeli-controlled territory were given the option to become Israeli citizens. Such an option could not yet be offered to Arabs in Jordanian-seized territory west of the river, and they became Jordanian citizens. After the PLO’s Black September insurrection in 1970, they were stripped of Jordanian citizenship. By this time, the so-called “West Bank” was again in Israeli hands, and its now-stateless Arabs began seriously to adopt the PLO’s claim that they were “Palestinians”. Since they were unwilling to acknowledge Israeli legitimacy, they continued to dispute its sovereignty and its citizens’ legitimate rights even to live in the area that had been granted to them fully fifty years beforehand. It was the PLO’s actions that rendered these Arabs stateless, and it was a consortium of Arab states (including Jordan) that prevented their absorption into other states in order to create and maintain political pressure against “the Zionist entity”.

        Jordan understandably wished to be rid of these insurrectionists that threatened its Hashemite monarchy, but making them into an additional Arab Islamic state makes no more sense than it would have made to create a new state within Illinois of the 1930s because Chicago was under “occupation” by autocratic organized crime that did not acknowledge the laws of the USA. Nonetheless, Israel withdrew from its territory in the Gaza Strip 15 years ago in order to grant full autonomy to insurrectionist Palestinian Arabs there. The result was predictable and has been realized as an effectively-criminal pseudo-state at war with Israel. The same would undoubtedly occur in the disputed territories of Judea, Samaria, and the Jordan valley. The Arabs most to be pitied in all of this are those who must conceal their willingness and desire merely to live normally as Arab citizens within a sovereign Jewish Israeli nation-state, lest they be killed by their own people and even by members of their own families.

        There is no resolution of such problems to be found in taking territory away from Israel and creating new Arab states. The only workable “two-state solution” for “Palestine” is the one that recognizes that the two legitimate states in the former Palestine region are Jordan and Israel, bordered by the Jordan river, one Arab, one Jewish, each with its system of civilized laws and customs. The remainder of the solution is the application of such laws within each state to eliminate internecine violence and other criminal activity, and to maintain normal standards of society that uphold natural inalienable rights such as life, liberty, and the pursuit of individual well-being, and that pursue justice which protects the rights to hold property and conduct commerce, among others. Normalization is the key to peace and prosperity and wellbeing, not territorial re-districting. Jordan and other neighboring Arab Islamic states may continue to insist on not admitting any Jews to live or work therein, but Israel is not responsible for the religious and political bigotry of its neighbors.

      3. I didn’t say I “forgot” — I didn’t forget what you say is where you live. I’d have thought that would be clear from the fact I also don’t know if you are a man. I don’t know if you look anything like your associated picture or avatar, either. But you employ the man’splaining persona, while it brings up a desire to be able to present a test of nine squares where you would choose which ones include a picture with traffic lights (for example). You can keep complaining about people who “fling accusations such as apartheid and genocide against Israel“ and whatever other canned speeches you have, but directing them at me is not fitting. I did not, for example, quote such people. You’ve entirely missed the point, and it appears all the more deliberate (or mechanical as the case may be) now that you repeat the blindness.

      4. I have no canned speeches, Marleen, and you did, in fact, quote the AJC which cited those who falsely accuse Israel of apartheid and genocide. That brings into play these concepts and accusations, which I therefore addressed in my post. I did not accuse you of harboring such notions. You do, however, invoke the anti-male “man’splaining” accusation, which devalues the notion of teaching that addresses both males and females regardless of gender. You also express doubt about the veracity of statements I have made about myself such as where I live. You accuse me of missing a point and deliberately or mechanically repeating blindness. I asked you previously about your point when you cited the links and quotes you cited, particularly about Jewish groups that misrepresent Israel and support its Palestinian enemies, claiming that they are supporting higher humanitarian values. They are deluded, and blind to how Israel truly implements humanitarian values in the face of continual misanthropic Arab attacks and plans to destroy the Jewish nation. They falsely set themselves up as superior and justified in denigrating the Jewish refuge in a manner that weakens it to the degree that lives are endangered and destroyed. This is not a canned speech, Marleen. I have seen such consequences in practice, and I am a defender of my people in a war of words that has been in progress for a long time. It is very real.

      5. So you consider the AJC (formerly known as the American Jewish Committee) to be a delusional organization, PL. I can’t help you then. My reasoning is in the post itself, but you won’t see it.

        Anyway, for others reading, here is how James (in his opening writing for his PART THREE in his four part series) shared something I have stated in short form in the comments hereunder — that you took issue with in the context of arguing with me:

        When the British Mandate for Palestine was officially ended on May 15, 1948, … Egypt, Syria, Transjordan, and Iraq all [attacked] the tiny, newborn Jewish state.

        Now, here’s the kicker:

        The Arab states did not invade Israel to help the Palestinian refugees (as Abbas’s essay erroneously claimed). It was the Arab invasion that produced the Palestinian refugees. Had the Arabs accepted the UN Partition Plan and agreed to the creation of the Jewish state, ….[and] accepted the partition of Palestine, there would not have been so much as one Palestinian refugee.

        There’s a lot more to this history of course, and I certainly encourage you to get a copy of Brog’s book (I found one at my local public library) to discover the rest.

        Now let’s return to the title of this write up. “The Creation of the Palestinian Refugee”. They weren’t oppressed and didn’t exist as refugees until the surrounding Arab nations attacked Israel and attempted to destroy them. It was the consequences of that war which created these refugees.

      6. It was the AJC that referenced the delusional folks, Marleen, and not because they agreed with them. So perhaps we’re not so far apart after all.

  4. I am heartened by the article you shared, James, which adds additional history (which is well worth the read) and says, … it’s a fake dichotomy. There is no need to choose between fighting the racial injustice addressed by BLM and supporting Israel.

    “Nor should the phenomenon of black antisemitism be used as an excuse to remain on the sidelines.”


    Jews shouldn’t [be deterred] from adding our voices to the conversation. In New York’s Crown Heights […] a Jewish organiser of a black solidarity rally told The Forward last month, “If an agent of the justice system can murder a person in cold blood that doesn’t just call out as a human issue, as an American issue, to me that calls out as a halachic issue, a Jewish law issue,” he said. “It should call out to every Jew.”

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