Today, we launch a new series of visuals to illustrate some of the parallels between the state policies of apartheid-era South Africa and those of the present day Israeli regime towards Palestinians. These visuals will be exhibited for the first time in partnership with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign in the UK, at their Nov. 3 conference Justice in Palestine: Ending Apartheid, Achieving Freedom and Equality.
The intent of Israel’s policies toward Palestinians is often described in Hebrew as hafrada ("separation"), a word that is strikingly similar in meaning to the Afrikaans word apartheid ("separateness" or literally "apart-hood").
Although there are substantive differences between the "hafrada" policies of the Israeli government and those of the apartheid regime in South Africa, a 2017 UNESCWA report found that Israeli policies and practices meet the legal definition of the "Crime of Apartheid" as defined by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. The report was quickly censored by the UN Secretary-General, but the UN has not disputed its findings.
In July, the Israeli Knesset passed the Nation-State Law, making its discriminatory policies all the more explicit . This month, US Representative Betty McCollum (D-MN) became the first US elected official to describe Israel’s regime as apartheid. At the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights conference, she said: “the world has a name for the form of government that is codified in the Nation-State Law — it is called apartheid.”
This shift is only possible because of the tireless collective action and organizing of Palestinian communities and allies. Together, we are bending the long arc of the moral universe closer to justice!