Yes, there are other voices besides Lieberman’s. Shame, shame, shame that there is such a Foreign Minister in Israel. This is from a Ha’aretz op-ed by retired Major General Shlomo Gazit:
The foreign minister says Yesh Din, the organization of whose public council I am a member, is a terrorist organization — 69 years after the British Mandatory government defined me as a terrorist.
In , … I enlisted in the Palmach, the elite strike force of the Haganah, and during my period of activity in the framework of the Jewish resistance movement the British government considered me a “terrorist.” Afterwards I fought in the War of Independence and spent another 32 years in the Israel Defense Forces as a career soldier.
Today I consider the continuation of our occupation rule in Judea and Samaria an existential danger. As I see it, this situation is threatening the main achievement to which I contributed 70 years ago: the establishment of a sovereign and democratic Jewish state. If we don’t separate as soon as possible from the Palestinian population on the ground, Jewish and democratic Israel will be unable to survive.
A few years ago I became a member of the public council of Yesh Din — Volunteers for Human Rights. … [I]n the present situation, unfortunately, there is no equal treatment for Jews and Arabs [in the occupied territories] when it comes to law enforcement. The legal system that enforces the law in a discriminatory way on the basis of national identity, is actually maintaining an apartheid regime. And I wanted to prevent that with my activity and contribution as a member of the council of Yesh Din.
The Palestinian resident in the occupied territory is unable in most cases to stand up for his rights and to find his way in the State of Israel’s civil and military bureaucratic maze. The group of researchers and volunteers (mainly female ) of Yesh Din serve as his mouthpiece. We do not presume to decide who is right in each and every instance. Our job is only to learn about all the details of the complaint and to bring it to the authorities. …
Click here to read entire article online.
“The legal system that enforces the law in a discriminatory way on the basis of national identity, is actually maintaining an apartheid regime.”
How far public opinion has moved (toward the self-evident and away from denial), including within Meretz, so that now that saying that Israel maintains an apartheid regime no longer leads to attacks and character assassination.
Anyone remember the reaction to Jimmy Carter’s book?
Gen. Gazit is using the “A” word to point out that the rule of law is separate and unequal in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, but he would not likely apply that term to Green Line Israel.
Pres. Carter said that he chose “apartheid” for his book title to be provocative and to describe where things are headed if an independent Palestinian state is not created relatively soon. I fully agree with his assessment. At the same time, he described Green Line Israel as a “liberal democracy.”
This level of sophistication in his analysis was completely missed by his most vociferous critics, as well as many of his defenders. The book had some factual flaws, but this conceptual insight was not one of them.
I agree Gazit was focusing on apartheid within the occupied territories. Carter was being too generous in suggesting apartheid is where things were headed and in calling Israel a “liberal democracy” within the Green Line.
As with so many other areas (boycott, nonviolent protest, analyzing Israeli repression and developing a relevant strategy), 5-10 years after the rest of the left, Meretz will probably also concede that Israel is an apartheid regime – in the occupied territories, within Israel and with respect to “return” of Palestinians and Jews – privileging the rights of Jews over those of Palestinians in all three geographical spheres. If it doesn’t it will become even more irrelevant, or instead be swallowed up by Labor or Kadima.
Sadly all signs are that Meretz is likely to continue to follow well behind the left, and to deny reality.