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Apartheid: Israeli Style

By David Paul*

Definition [Bosman et al- Bilingual Dictionary: Afrikaans-English & Eng.-Afr] apartheid: apartness, separatness; racial separation or segregation

Yitzhak Rabin, Israeli Prime Minister, in a speech 23 January 1995 in Jerusalem: "We want to attain separation between us and you. ... In the course of the near and the far future, we will attain a separation between us and you, but not on the basis of the lines that existed prior to the Six-Day War."

Historical Background

From the late Roman Empire (about 200 AD) until around 1780 Jewish communities held considerable legal powers over their members. The precepts of religion governed the details of daily behavior in all aspects of life (both social and private) among the Jew themselves as well as their relations with non-Jews. Rabbinical courts had the power of coercion supported and encouraged by the state authorities in both Christian and Muslim realms. The observance of the religious laws of Judaism, as well as their inculcation through education, were enforced on Jews by physical coercion.

With the advent of the modern state the Jewish community lost its power of coercion- to punish or intimidate the individual Jew. The bonds of one of the most closed of all closed societies, one of the most totalitarian societies in the entire history of mankind, were broken. This act of liberation came from outside. Thus, it was easy to ally the cause of reaction with patriotism. It was exceedingly easy among the Jews, especially in Israel, to mount a very effective attack against all the notions and ideals of humanism and the 'rule of law' (not to mention democracy) as something 'un-Jewish' (as in fact they are, in an historical sense)- principles which may be used in the 'Jewish interest,' but which have no validity against the 'Jewish interest' (as for example when the Arabs invoke these same principles).

Thus, the word 'Jewry' and its cognates describe two different and even contrasting social groups: one the authoritarian society of "Classical Judaism," and the other the Jew freed from the tyranny of his own religion- free to read and write books in Hebrew not approved by the rabbis; free to eat non-kosher foods; free to ignore the numerous absurd taboos regulating sexual life, etc. However, because of current Israeli policies (both Labor and Likud) the continuum between the two is fast disappearing.

Religious Background:

Judaism is not a 'biblical religion' in the Christian sense where the Bible is the center and legal authority. In Judaism the Old Testament has no such place in that in matters of belief there is great latitude. However, the legal interpretation of sacred texts is rigidly fixed by the Talmud rather than by the Bible. Orthodox Judaism regards the Old Testament as a text of immutable formulas, whose recitation is an act of great merit, but where meaning is wholly determined elsewhere.

The legal system of the Talmud is totally comprehensive, authoritarian and capable of infinite development, but without change to its dogmatic base. The basic rules for every problem are stated dogmatically and cannot be questioned.

The Cabbala- Jewish mysticism developed in the 12th- 13th Centuries. The Jewish Enlightenment had to fight this mysticism and its influence. In latter-day Jewish Orthodoxy, especially among the rabbis, the influence of the cabbala has remained predominant. The right-wing settler movement Gush Emunim is inspired to a great extent by cabbalistic ideas.

Halakhah- legal system of classical Judaism (c. 800-1870), continued in the form of Orthodox Judaism and primarily based on the Babylonian Talmud.

"Classical Judaism"

The Talmudic definition of 'who is a Jew:' a person is considered 'Jewish' if either their mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and great-great grandmother were Jewesses by religion- a definition followed by Jewish Orthodoxy.

The Talmud and post-Talmudic rabbinical law recognize converts to Judaism, provided the conversion is performed by authorized rabbis in a correct manner. For females the "correct manner" includes their inspection by three rabbis while naked in a 'bath of purification.'

In the Hatanya (the fundamental book of the Habbad movement- one of the most important branches of Hassidism and until recently headed up by the so-called Lubavitcher rabbi M.M. Schneurssohn of New York) all non-Jews are totally satanic creatures 'in whom there is absolutely no good.' Even a non-Jewish embryo is qualitatively different from a Jewish one. The very existence of a non-Jew is 'inessential,' whereas all of creation was created solely for the sake of the Jews.

The Halakhah places the duty of saving a life of a fellow Jew above all other religious obligations and interdictions except the prohibitions of the three most heinous sins of adultery (including incest), murder and idolatry.

As for Gentiles the basic talmudic principal is that their lives must not be saved, though it is forbidden to murder them outright. The Talmud expresses this in the maxim 'Gentiles are neither to be lifted (out of a well) nor hauled down (into it). In the words of Maimonides:

"As for Gentiles with whom we are not at war . . . their death must not be caused, but it is forbidden to save them if they are at the point of death; if, for example, one of them is seen falling down into the sea, he should not be rescued . . ."

Maimonides, an accomplished physician, reasoned that it was forbidden to heal a Gentile patient, even for money. However, he continues, 'if you fear him or his hostility, cure him for payment, though you are forbidden to do so without payment.'

In the Jewish religion, the murder of a Jew is-

  • a capital offense
  • one of the three most heinous sins (idolatry & adultery being the others)
  • demands punishment beyond the limits of the ordinary administration of justice
However-

  • a Jew who indirectly causes the death of another Jew is only guilty of a sin against the "laws of Heaven"- to be punished by God, not man.

  • a Jew who kills a Gentile is also only guilty of a sin against the "laws of Heaven" and thus, not punishable by a court

  • a Jew who indirectly causes the death of a Gentile is not at all guilty of a sin

  • an act leading indirectly to the death of a Gentile is forbidden if it may cause increased hostility towards Jews

  • a Gentile murder under Jewish jurisdiction must be executed whether the victim is Jewish or not

  • a Gentile who kills another Gentile can escape punishment by converting to Judaism

Adultery committed by a Jewish woman is a capital offense for both parties. The Halakhah presumes all Gentiles to be promiscuous. Whether a Gentile woman is married or not is of no difference since the concept of matrimony does not apply to Gentiles. Thus, adultery does not apply to intercourse between a Jewish man and a Gentile woman. Rather, the Talmud equates this act to the sin of bestiality. (And by similar reasoning Gentiles are presumed not to have certain paternity.)

Since there is no matrimony for Gentiles, a married woman is forbidden to the Gentiles, but a Jew is exempted.

Even if raped by the Jewish man, the Gentile woman must be executed because through her a Jew got in trouble. The Jew must be flogged.

All Gentile women are presumed by the Halakhah to be prostitutes.

The Yiddish word shaygets and its feminine form shiksa derive from the Hebrew word sheqetz which the Meggido Modern Hebrew-English Dictionary (published in Israel) defines as: "unclean animal; loathsome creature, abomination, wretch, unruly youngster; Gentile youngster."

In Christian Spain in the 12th Century Jewish women who cohabited with Gentiles had their noses cut off by rabbis. By such a punishment she would lose her beauty and her Gentile lover would grow to hate her the rabbis reasoned.

Stealing (without violence) is forbidden- "even from a Gentile."

Robbery (with violence) is forbidden if the victim is Jewish. Robbery of a Gentile by a Jew is not forbidden outright. It is permitted when the Gentiles are under Jewish rule. Thus the robbery of Palestinian land and property in Israel is permitted for it is backed by overwhelming Jewish power.

In the daily morning prayer, every devout Jew blesses God for not making him a Gentile.

Gentiles are presumed to be congenital liars and may not testify in rabbinical court.

According to the Halakhah, if they can prevent it, Jews must not allow a Gentile to be appointed to a position of authority, however small, over Jews.

The Talmud requires that a Jew who passes near an inhabited non-Jewish dwelling must ask God to destroy it. But if the building is already in ruins he must thank the Lord of Vengeance. Later, due to changing circumstances the rule was confined to churches and places of worship of other religions (except Islam). The rule was further embroidered by custom: it becoming necessary to spit (usually 3 times) upon encountering a church or a crucifix.

The Talmud commands every Jew that passes a non-Jewish cemetery to curse the mothers of the dead.

It is a grave sin to deceive in any manner a Jew. While direct deception against a Gentile is forbidden, an indirect deception is allowed- unless it is likely to cause hostility towards Jews or their religion.

While it is forbidden to defraud a Jew by selling or buying at an unrea-sonalble price, it does not apply to Gentiles.

The Talmud forbids a Jew, on pain of severe punishment, from taking interest on a loan made to another Jew, while making it a religious duty to take as much interest as possible on a loan made to a Gentile.

The Talmud forbids a Jew from returning a lost article to the Gentile who lost it.

The Talmud forbids giving a gift to a Gentile.

"Redeemed" land is that land which has passed from non-Jewish ownership into Jewish hands. That land which belongs to non-Jews is considered to be "unredeemed." Therefore, the Utopia of the 'Jewish ideology' adopted by Israel is a land which is wholly 'redeemed' and none of it is owned or worked by non-Jews.

The Talmud, in addition to a series of nasty sexual allegations against Jesus, states that his punishment in hell is to be immersed in boiling excrement.

The Talmud instructs Jews to burn, publicly if possible, any copy of the New Testament they can get their hands on. On 23 March 1980 hundreds of copies of the New Testament were publicly burnt in Jerusalem under the auspices of Yad Le'akhim, a Jewish religious organization subsidized by the Israeli Ministry of Religion.

Talmudic law allows for the kidnapping of Gentiles by Jews.

Maimonides allowed Jews, in the name of he Jewish religion, to abduct Gentile children into slavery.

The Talmud forbids a Jew from enjoying the light of a candle lit by a Gentile on the Sabbath- unless the Gentile lit it for his own use before the Jew entered the room.

A religious Jew must not drink any wine in whose preparation a Gentile had any part. Wine in an open bottle, even if prepared wholly by Jews, becomes banned if a Gentile even so much as touches the bottle or passes a hand over it.

According to the Halakhah 'mercy' means mercy towards Jews only.

State of Israel

Israeli Law

The routine means for enforcing discrimination in everyday life is the ID card which must be carried at all times. These ID cards state the official 'nationality' of a person, which may be 'Jewish,' 'Arab,' 'Druze' and so forth, but not 'Israeli.' The Ministry of the Interior will give no reason except to state that "it was decided not to recognize an Israeli nationality."

By official definition, Israel 'belongs' to persons who are defined by the Israeli authorities as 'Jewish,' and to them alone- irrespective of where they live. Israel doesn't officially 'belong' to its non-Jewish citizens, whose status is considered even officially as inferior. Anyone, from anywhere, officially regarded as "Jewish" is entitled at once to become an Israeli citizen and benefit from the approximately 70% of the West Bank land or 92% of Israel proper, officially designated only for the benefit of Jews!

92% of all land in Israel is the property of the state and is administered by the Israel Land Authority according to regulations issued by the Jewish National Fund, an affiliate of the World Zionist Organization. These regulations deny the right to reside, open a business, and often work to anyone who is not Jewish.

In the Land of Israel [borders undefined]-

  • the Halakhah forbids Jews to sell immovable property (fields and houses) to Gentiles
  • leasing a house to a Gentile is permitted under two conditions:
    • the house is for storage or some such purpose but not for habitation
    • that 3 or more adjoining houses shall not be so leased
  • Thus a conference of Israeli rabbis in 1979 declared that according to the Halakhah the 'autonomy' that Begin was ready to offer the Palestinians was too liberal.
  • Maimonides said, "When Jews are more powerful than the Gentiles we are forbidden to let an idolater among us . . ." Thus, if Jews have the power, it is their religious duty to expel the Palestinians.
Israeli law strictly forbids Jews settled on 'National Land' to sub-let even a part of their land to Arabs, even for a short time. Those who do so are punished, usually by heavy fines.

In the mid-60s the Rabbinical Court of Jerusalem (whose members are rabbis nominated by the State of Israel) ruled that a Jew should not violate the Sabbath in order to save the life of a Gentile. They added that if the consequence of such an act puts Jews in danger, the Sabbath may be violated, for their sake. The decision was based on Talmudic law.

In 1985 a Constitutional Law was passed by a very large majority of the Knesset that no party whose program openly opposes the principal of 'a Jewish state,' or proposes to change it by democratic means, is allowed to participate in the elections to the Knesset.

In a booklet published by the Central Region Command of the Israeli Army, whose area includes the West Bank, the Command's Chief Chaplain writes:

"When our forces come across civilians during a war or in hot pursuit or in a raid, so long as there is no certainty that these civilians are incapable of harming our forces, then according to the Halakhah they may and even should be killed . . . In war, when our forces storm the enemy, they are allowed and even enjoined by the Halakhah to kill even good civilians, that is, civilians who are ostensibly good."


Israeli Practice

The kibbutz is a racist institution from which non-Jewish citizens of Israel are rigorously excluded.

Jewish farmers exploiting Arab labor, especially child labor, note that servitude is the 'natural' lot of Gentiles.

Gush Emunim leaders have quoted religious precepts which enjoin Jews to oppose Gentiles, as a justification of the attempted assassination of Palestinian mayors and as divine authority for their own plans to expel all Arabs from Palestine.

"In principle, virtually all zionists- and in particular 'left zionists- share the deep anti-Gentile attitudes which Orthodox Judaism keenly promotes." Israel Shahak, p. 97.

Apartheid Bonds

To South Africa:

Israel's Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin to South Africa's Prime Minister John Vorster (father of South Africa's rabid apartheid policies) at an Israeli banquet for Vorster in April 1976: "We here follow with sympathy your own historic efforts to achieve detente on your continent, to build bridges for a secure and better future, to create coexistence that will guarantee a prosperous atmosphere of cooperation for all the African peoples without interference and threat."

Rafael Eitan, former Israeli chief of staff and Knesset member, said, "I don't understand the comparison between us and South Africa. What we have in common is that we both take measures to ensure that we are not overpowered. Those who say that Blacks in South Africa are persecuted are lying. The Blacks there want to overpower the white minority, just like the Arabs here want to overpower us. And we, just like the South African minority, must act to make sure we are not overpowered. I went to see a diamond mine there and saw what superb conditions Black workers are enjoying. So what if there is a separate lift for Blacks and Whites? That's the way they want it..."

Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Organization of African Unity in 1975 considered, "...that the racist regime in occupied Palestine and the racist regimes in Zimbabwe and South Africa have a common imperialist origin, forming a whole and having the same racist structure and being organically linked in their policy aimed at repression of the dignity and integrity of the human being."

Archbishop Desmond M. Tutu of Cape Town (speaking in Jerusalem): "I cannot myself understand people who have suffered as the Jews have suffered inflicting the suffering of the kind I have seen on the Palestinians." "In the methods of resistance used by the Palestinians, and the ways the Israeli Government deals with the resistance, we experience an extraordinary sense of being at home."

Lynda Brayer, human rights lawyer, director of the Society of St. Yves, a legal resource center for human rights in Jerusalem, and advocate for the Jahalin Bedouins in their fight against Israeli settlement policy, said: "Having grown up in South Africa, I find the resemblance to apartheid both obvious and irrefutable. Rabin himself described the peace process as hafrada, whose literal menaning is 'seperation,' or apartheid in Afrikaans. The purposes of hafrada are identical with those of apartheid: the prevention of any meaningful political and economic freedom. This would be achieved through the fragmentation of the coherence and cohesion of Palestine and Palestinian society: expropriation of Palestinian land and the paralysis of economic development. Palestinian workers would be coopted to promote the Israeli economy which aspires to new markets in the Arab world."

"The once and future piece-Rabin's legacy" in Middle East International no. 515 (15 Dec. 1995), p.21.

To Nazi Germany

Rabbi Joachim Prinz, later president of the American Jewish Congress: "The German Government announced very solomnly that there was no country in the world which tried to solve the Jewish problem as seriously as did Germany. Solution to the Jewish problem? It was our Zionist dream! We never denied the existance of the Jewish question! Dissimilation? It was our own appeal!"

Reinhardt (The Hangman) Heydrich, the chief of the SS Security Service and later the infamous Protector of Bohemia-moravia in an article in 1935: "We must seperate Jewry into two categories, the Zionists and those who favor being assimilated. the Zionists adhere to a strict racial position and by emigrating to Palestine they are helping to build their own Jewish state. Our good wishes together with our official good will go with them."

Neturei Karta, organization of anti-Zionist devoutly religious Ashkenazi Jews, in an advertisement in The New York Times of 11 Nov. 1975: "The collaboration of Zionism with Nazism is an indelible stain. The perpetration of war crimes against the Palestinian people is an everlasting blot. But one can share with truely religious Jews the conviction that "The fraud of Zionism will pass and the Jewish people will live."

Israel Shahak, professor of chemistry at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, concentration camp survivor, chairman of Israeli League for Civil and Human Rights: "I would say the only human response to the Holocaust is to try not to be like Nazis, in word or deed. What brought the Holocaust was the racist attitude toward Jews, the division of German society into Jews and non-Jews on grounds of race. This is exactly the same thing that is happening in Israel."

Israel Shahak: "You can define Israeli society as a society in which there are no Israelis, but only Jews and non-Jews. You have seperate tables for dying Jewish infants and dying non-Jewish infants and so on. This is Nazification of Jewish society and this can well bring the calamity it brought in Europe, only this time a calamity to Arabs. If one can learn anything from the Nazi experience, it is that one should be against Nazism, whether German, Jewish or Arab."

Apartheid Hate

Maimonidies in his Guide to the Perplexed discusses how various sections of humanity can attain the supreme religious value, the true worship of God. Among those who are incapable of even approaching this are: "The Turks and the nomads of the North, and the Blacks and the nomads in the South, and those who resemble them in our climates. And their nature is like the nature of mute animals, and according to my opinion they are not on the level of human beings, and their level among existing things is below that of a man and above that of a monkey, because they have the resemblence of a man more than a monkey does."

Chaim Weizmann in a letter to Lord Balfour dated 30 May 1918: "The Arabs, who are superficially clever and quick-witted, worship one thing and one thing only, power and success ... The fairer the English regime tries to be, the more arrogant the Arab becomes."

Rafael Eitan: "When we settle the land, all the Arabs will be able to do about it will be to scurry around like drugged roaches in a bottle."

Eliezer Livneh, member of the Israeli Labour Party and a leader of the Greater Israeli Movement: "... that the Palestinians do not really exist, they are a cosmopolitan rubbish and that the aim of these people is to cause the collapse of modern society for they are an instrument of world barbarism."

Israel Shahak: "We were completely brain-washed in school, first of all to hate all Arabs. Secondly, we were brain-washed to regard one important fact about the world; that all non-Jews hate Jews. We were brain-washed to believe that Mongolians, who have never even seen a Jew, will the moment they see one become anti-Semites. And we were also brain-washed to believe that this hate is completely different from normal hate which prevails in many places among nationalists and especially toward minorities."

Israel Shahak: "... the only way to change Israeli opinion is through the Diaspora. It's useless for a non-Jew to waste breath criticizing Israel. A 'goy' doesn't count here. But if American Jews were to criticize our attitude towards the Arabs we would take notice because we need their money."

Abraham Sharir, Israeli Cabinet Minister: "It may not be nice to say so, but the Arabs are born liars."

Moshe Menuhin (father of the violinist Yehudi Menuhin) wrote that he "could not stomach the daily preaching of 'our nation, our country, our birthplace' by our hypernationalistic, goyim-hating, Zionist Hebrew teachers. Not one of the students at the Gymnesia Herzlin was born in Palestine. We all came to Palestine from Russia, Poland, Romania, Galicia, et cetera. The hatred and contempt for goyim- Arabs in our case- was irrational and inhuman."

Albert Einstein and others in a letter to The New York Times of 4 Dec. 1948 on a visit to the US by Menachem Begin (terrorist and later Israeli Prime Minister): "Within the Jewish community they (Begin's Freedom Party) have preached an admixture of ultranationalism, religious mysticism, and racial superiority. Like other Fascist parties they have been used to break strikes, and have themselves pressed for the destruction of free trade unions. In their stead they have proposed corporate unions on the Italian Fascist model.

During the years of sporadic anti-British violence, the IZI, and Stern (former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir's terrorists) groups inaugurated a reign of terror in the Palestine Jewish community. Teachers were beaten up for speaking against them, adults were shot for not letting their children join them.

It is ... tragic that the top leadership of American Zionism has refused to campaign against Begin's efforts, or even expose to its own constituents the dangers to Israel from support to Begin."

Apartheid Agression

Theodore Herzl in his diary entry for 12 June 1895: "When we occupy the land, we shall bring immediate benefits to the state that receives us. We must expropriate gently the private property of the estates assigned to us. We must try to spirit the penniless population across the border by procuring employment for it in the transit countries, while denying it any employment in our own country."

David Ben-Gurion, Israeli Prime Minister, in a speech to the Knesset on the third day of the Suez War in 1956 stated that the real reason for the war was the restoration of the Kingdom of David and Solomon to its Biblical borders. At this point in his speech virtually every Knesset member spontaneously rose and sang the Israeli national anthem.

Menahem Begin, Israeli Prime Minister in an op-ed piece in The New York Times: "In June 1967, we again had a choice. the Egyptian Army concentrations in the Sinai approaches do not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him."

Yitzhak Rabin, then head of the army: "I do not believe that Nasser wanted war. The two divisions which he sent into the Sinai on May 14 would not have been enough to unleash an offensive against Israel. He knew it, and we knew it."

General Mattityahu Peled of the IDF General Staff: "All those stories about the huge danger we were facing because of our small territorial size, an argument expounded once the war was over, had never been considered in our calculations prior to the unleashing of hostilities."

General Mordechai Hod, Commanding General, Israeli Air-Force: "Sixteen years' planning had gone into those initial eighty minutes. We lived with the plan, we slept on the plan, we ate the plan. Constantly we perfected it."

Yigal Allon, Minister of Labor and member of Eshkol's Military Advisory Committee on the origin of the Six-Day War: "Begin and I want Jerusalem."

Golda Meir, former Israeli Prime Minister: "It is not as though there was a Palestinian people living in Palestine and calling themselves Palestinians and we came and threw them out--they did not exist."

Menahem Begin (former Israeli Prime Minister): "When you accept the concept of Palestine, you demolish your right to live here. If this is Palestine, and not Eretz Israel, then you are conquerors and not tillers of the land, and this land then belongs to people who lived here before you."

Moshe Dayan told Zionist youth at a meeting in the Golan Heights in July 1968: "Our fathers had reached the frontiers recognized in the partition plan; the Six-Day War generation has managed to reach Suez, Jordan, and the Golan Heights. This is not the end. After the present cease-fire lines, there will be new ones. They will extend beyond Jordan ... to Lebanon and ... to central Syria as well."

Moshe Dayan: "We came to this country which was already populated by Arabs, and we are establishing a Hebrew, that is a Jewish, state here ... Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages. You do not even know the names of the Arab villages, and I do not blame you, because these geography books no longer exist, the Arab villages are not there either. Nahala arose in the place of Mahalul, Gevat in the place of Jibita, Sarid in the place of Haneifs, and Kefar Yehoshua in the place of Tel Shaman. There is not one place built in this country that did not have a former Arab population."

Apartheid Oppression

Arthur Hays Sulzberger, publisher of The New York Times in 1946: "I dislike the coercive methods of the Zionists who, in this country, have not hesitated to use economic means to silence persons who have different views. I object to the attempts at character assassination of those who do not agree with them."

Meir Indor, spokesman for the Gush Emunim settlement of Kiryat Arba: "The Arabs must know that there is a master here, the Jewish people. It rules over Eretz Israel. The Arabs are temporary dwellers who happen to live in the country. There are commandments in the Bible concerning such temporary dwellers and we should act accordingly."

Yeshayahu Leibovitz, professor at Hebrew University and editor of Encyl-opedia Hebraica on the massacres at Sabra & Shatila: "The massacre was done by us. The Phalangists are our mercenaries. Exactly as the Ukrainians and the Croatians and the Slovakians were the mercenaries of Hitler, who organized them as soldiers to do the work for him. Even so we organized the assassins in Lebanon in order to murder the Palestinians."

A.B. Yehoshua, Israeli novelist, on the massacre at Sabra & Shatila: "What happened at the refugee camps in Beirut is the logical consequence of all that took place in the past months. A logical sequence, and almost an unavoidable one. What can one say? Even if I could believe that IDF soldiers who stood at a distance of 100 meters from the camps did not know what happened, then this would be the same lack of knowledge of the Germans who stood outside Buchenwald and Treblinka and did not know what was happening! We too did not want to know."

Mordechai Nisan: "... it is nowhere provided that non-Jews will enjoy full equal rights as a national community. After all, the Land is the eternal possession of the Jewish people alone ..."

Yehudi Menuhin, to the Israeli Knesset in 1991 when accepting the prestigious Wolf Award: "This wasteful governing by fear, by contempt for the basic dignities of life, this steady asphyxiation of a dependent people should be the very last means to be adopted by those who know too well the awful significance, the unforgettable suffering of such an existence."

Letter by Israeli soldiers reporting instructions regarding curfew violations given them by a senior officer, read in the Knesset in 1980: "Anybody you catch outside his home -- first you beat him with a truncheon all over the body, except for his head. Don't have pity on anyone. Don't explain anything. Beat first, then, after you have finished, explain why ... If you catch a small child, get out the whole family, line them up and beat the father before all his children. Don't consider the beating a right; it is your duty -- they do not understand any other way."

Apartheid Racism & Segregation

Golda Meir: "Each Israeli soldier has a deep personal commitment to defending this country ... The Palestinian Arab shows no such emotional involvement. Why should he? He is equally at ease whether in Jordan, Lebanon or a variety of places. They are as much his country as this is. And as little."

Chaim Herzog, former President of Israel and a Labour Party leader: "We are certainly not willing to make partners of the Palestinians in any way in a land that was holy to our people for thousands of years. There can be no partner with the Jews of this land."

Mordechai Nisan of the Truman Research Center of the Hebrew University: "At the dawn of Jewish history, contact with the land of Israel established the principle that the presence of non-Jews in the country is morally and politically irrelevant to the national right of the Jews to settle and posses the land ..."

Joseph Weitz, former head of the Jewish Agency's Colonization Department: "It should be clear that there is no room for both peoples to live in this country. ... If the Arabs leave, it is large and open country; if they stay, it is small and poor. Up to this point, Zionists have been content to 'buy land,' but this is no way to establish a country for the Jews. A nation is created in one move ... and in that case, there is no alternative to moving the Arabs to the neighboring countries, moving them all, except perhaps those living in Bethlehem, Nazareth, and the Old City of Jerusalem. Not one village, not one tribe must remain. They must be moved to Iraq, Syria, or even Transjordan."

Apartheid Documents

In Israel everyone must carry an ID card at all times. These ID cards list a person's 'nationality' as 'Jewish,' 'Arab,' 'Druze,' etc. An 'Israeli' nationality is not recognized by the Ministry of the Interior.

I. The creation of the Jewish Agency was provided for in the Mandate in order to obtain Zionist cooperation with the British Government in matters pertaining to the Jewish National Home. Article 3 (d) & (e) of its Constitution (signed in Zurich 14 Aug. 1929) states:

"(d) Land is to be acquired as Jewish property and subject to the provisions of Article 10 of this agreement, the title to the lands acquired is to be taken in the name of the Jewish National Fund, to the end that the same shall be held as the inalienable property of the Jewish people."

"(e) The Agency shall promote agricultural colonization based on Jewish labour, and in all works or undertakings carried out by the Agency, it shall be deemed to be a matter of principle that Jewish labour shall be employed..."

II. Article 23 of a lease of the Jewish National Fund in regard to granting of its holdings states:

"... The lessee undertakes to execute all works connected with the cultivation of the holding only with Jewish labour. Failure to comply with this duty by the employment of non-Jewish labour shall render the lessee liable to the payment of a compensation of ten Palestinian pounds for each default. The fact of employment of non-Jewish labour shall constitute adequate proof as to the damages and the amount thereof, and the right of the Fund to be paid the compensation referred to, and it shall not be necessary to serve on the lessee any notorial or other notice. Where the lessee has contravened the provisions of this Article three times the Fund may apply the right of restitution of the holding, without paying any compensation whatever ..."

III. In the agreement for the payment of advances made by the Palestine Foundation Fund to settlers in the Maritime Plain this provision appears:

"Article 7- The settler hereby undertakes that he will during the continuance of any said advances, reside upon the said agricultural holding and do all his farm work by himself or with the aid of his family, and that, if and whenever he may be obliged to hire help, he will hire Jewish workmen only."

IV. A similar agreement in another colony reads:

"Article 11- The settler undertakes to work the said holding personally, or with the aid of his family, and not hire any outside labour except Jewish laborers."

V. Tsomet party document:

"All the Arabs within the borders of the land of Israel are enemies. They all have the same aspiration, and they all express it in a similar way: by violence."

Apartheid Textbooks

"I believe that being a Jew means being a fighter, an eternal swimmer against the dark gentile criminal current. A Jewish hero is a martyr, a saint even when he kills... I am happy to belong to the unhappiest of all nations of the world whose teaching represents all what is the most noble and beautiful that was ever created." From an Israeli geography textbook for the 6th grade.

"The four Jews went to visit a nearby Arab village. They saw there only lean people with yellow faces. Flies were on their faces and they did not even make an effort to chase them away because of their laziness. Many of the villagers were blind. They went hand in hand and looked like searching for their way in the darkness. The children went barefoot. They had sick eyes and the women had an inflated womb. Thus they looked before the Jews brought them progress." From the Israeli textbook Journey in the First Zionist Colonies published by the Section for Study Programs of the Education Ministry. Intended for lessons on the homeland for the 4th grade.

Apartheid in Jerusalem

Then mayor of Jerusalem Teddy Kollek said in an interview with Ma'ariv right after the Temple Mount massacre in Oct. 1990: "Yes, we installed a sewerage system for them and improved the water supply. Do you know why? Do you think it was for their good, for their welfare? Forget it! There were some cases of cholera there, and the Jews were afraid that they would catch it, so we installed sewerage and a water system against cholera ..."

A document of the Jerusalem municipality of 1978: "Every area of the city that is not settled by Jews is in danger of being detached from Israel and transferred to Arab control. Therefore, the administrative principle regarding the area of the city's municipal jurisdiction must be translated into practice by building in all parts of that area, and, to begin with, in its remotest sections."

From a planning document of 1986: "The development of the Arab sector has a 'picture window' effect, and it was decided, therefore, that what will be seen by a large number of people (residents, tourists, etc) is important and prominent and receives a grade 5, projects that have no impact are graded 1."

B'Tselem (Israeli Human Rights Organization) May 1995 report on Jerusalem notes: "Since the annexation of East Jerusalem in 1967, the Israeli government has adopted a policy of systematic and deliberate discrimination against the Palestinian population in all matters relating to expropriation of land, planning, and building."

Since the Annexation of East Jerusalem

  • Palestinians constitute 28% of the city's population

  • Most of the lands expropriated since 1967 were privately owned by Arabs

  • Of the 70,000 dunums (4 dunums equal one acre) of land annexed to Jerusalem following the Six-Day War, 23,500 dunums were expropriated under the Land Ordinance (most privately-owned by Arabs) and used exclusively for the welfare of the Jewish population. By Feb. 1995, about 38,500 residential units had been built for 160,000 Jews on the expropriated land. Not one housing unit was built for the Palestinian population.

  • In February 1995 the number of residential units in the Jewish neighborhoods in east Jerusalem was about twice that of those in Palestinian neighborhoods (38,500 units to 20,900 units). The settlement of Jews in East Jerusalem is illegal under international law [Article 47 of the Fourth Geneva Convention].

  • In 1973 the Gafni Commission recommended to the government that within a decade 10,000 new housing units be built for the Palestinian population. In the 22 years since then the Palestinian population has increased from 88,000 to over 160,000. To date no more than 5700 apartments have been built.

  • Building has been barred on most of the area that remains in Arab hands in East Jerusalem. The purpose of "Town Planning Schemes" is to prevent the Palestinians from making use of the little land that is available to them.

  • 64,870 apartments, constituting 88% of all housing units were built for the Jewish population- about half by public construction.

  • Some 8,890 apartments (some 12%) built for Palestinians were mostly built privately.

  • At the end of 1993, the average housing density of the Jewish population was 1.1 persons per room; and 2.2 persons per room among the Palestinians. This is twice as large as the gap in 1967.

  • In 1972 for each Jewish family living in density of 3 persons per room there were 4 Palestinian families under similar conditions. By 1993 this density had reached 13.5 to 1!

  • Almost one-third of Jerusalem's Palestinians (32.3%) lived in conditions of housing density of more than 3 persons per room, as opposed to only 2.4% among Jews.

  • According to estimates, the housing shortage among the Palestinian pop-ulation has reached more than 20,000 units.

  • Of the 9070 residential units whose construction ended from 1990 and the end of 1993, inclusive, only 463 (5.1%) were built in Palestinian neighborhoods.

  • In 1993 alone, among the 2,720 residential units completed, only 103 (3.8%) of all housing units built were built in Palestinian neighborhoods.

  • Expropriations were also intended to deprive the Palestinian population of the possibility of building on those lands, and to hold them in reserve for future Jewish neighborhoods.

  • These problems are the cumulative result of the deliberate and systematic discrimination that has characterized Israeli government policy since 1967.



(*) David Paul is a documents librarian at Harvard College.



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