How/Why Unilateral Disengagement became an Oppressive/Enforced Segregation [In defence of AOC].

Some historical terms should not be used lightly.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez used the term Apartheid to describe the Israel/Palestine reality, this shocked some people.

I hate the word Apartheid as it brings back to too many  precise historical racial connotations with respect to South Africa. The term segregation holds similar memories in the US.

Ariel Sharon also avoided anything that could be translated into segregation when the unilateral disengagement from Palestine was proposed, due to its perception not actual meaning, it was still imposed/forced segregation.

The nearest  historical connotation is how we forced Native Americans onto reservations, and how we justified our massacres/control.

That said I will allow someone with direct knowledge of Apartheid and with the intellectual and verbal capacity to make the case for using the term,  Prof John Dugard.

Apartheid is a loaded term; saturated with history and emotion. It conjures up images and memories of discrimination, oppression, and brutality; indulgence, privilege, and pretension; racism, resistance, and, ultimately, emancipation. All of which come to us through the history of apartheid in South Africa. Although prohibited and criminalized by international law in response to the situation in southern Africa, the concept of apartheid was never given enormous attention by international lawyers. Following an awakening of interest in the international legal prohibition of apartheid as a potentially appropriate lens through which to view the situation of the Palestinians, this article examines the merits of such a claim in the context of Israeli law and practice in the occupied Palestinian territory.

The article is available here both in text and pdf. I suggest reading it before blithely wading in.

Call it what it is, I go back to the article

On the basis of the systemic and institutionalized nature of the racial domination that exists, there are indeed strong grounds to conclude that a system of apartheid has developed in the occupied Palestinian territory. Israeli practices in the occupied territory are not only reminiscent of – and, in some cases, worse than – apartheid as it existed in South Africa, but are in breach of the legal prohibition of apartheid.

Bolding mine.

As happened in South Africa, what begins as segregation is liable to evolve into an institutionalized system of racial domination. Such separateness cannot be sustained without spawning suffering and cycles of violence. The US underwent a process of racial reckoning to confront this incongruity in the 1960s. South Africa underwent its own transformation in the 1990s. Both nations are the better for it, despite tensions persisting and gross socio-economic inequalities continuing to plague society. With the dual system of law that currently prevails in the occupied Palestinian territory best understood as the derivative of an ongoing settler colonial process, logic dictates that Israel will inevitably reach the tipping point at which it is forced to confront its own racial realities vis-à-vis the Palestinians. While the shape that such a transformation ultimately takes will depend primarily on social attitudes and political craft, international law may retain a role through the light that it shines on the normative issues to be resolved in this context.

There is so little logic being applied, for the time being, by anyone.

  • May 17, 2021