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Analysis of the Application of Israeli Practice Towards Non-Jews

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This research project has analysed the application of Israeli practices towards non-Jews, mainly Palestinians, both within its domestic borders, and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Using the premise of international bodies such as the 1973 Apartheid Convention and the 2002 Rome Statute, a comparison has been drawn with the architect of apartheid, South Africa.

Both states incorporated different mechanisms in their handling of the indigenous demographics. South Africa’s Apartheid was in essence a system of economic exploitation. Large corporations driven by economic pursuits promoted racial discrimination and white-minority rule to the extent that it protected their capital and ensured profitability. This demanded the marginalization and disenfranchisement of the non-white majority who were forcibly removed and placed into bantustans and other segregated areas, but close enough that their labour could be integrated into the economy. Settler-colonialism of the Zionist movement was linked from its inception to the migration of Jewish people with the objective of demographic engineering and negating its indigenous Arab population, establishing a new identity. The Zionist Project endeavours to build a state with a decisive and permanent Jewish majority. Economic exploitation of the country’s resources was not integral to the regime but helpful towards achieving its primary objective: the Judaization of the land. This is the crucial difference with apartheid South Africa, which by contrast had a place, though a subordinate one for its non-white population. This poses a hindrance in envisioning a conflict resolution that results in the emergence of a bi-national or unified state for both Palestinians and Israeli Jews.

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Regardless of the validity of the apartheid analogy, focusing on what terminology should be applied to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, although a gesture of good-will, has become distracting. The Israeli government rebuffs the analogy referencing the ‘visible equality’ of its Arab-Israelis, but this is merely a cosmetic diversion and persisting inequality manifests itself in a myriad of ways and negates the structure of exclusion Israel exercises which reserves the right to be a Jewish state. Israel has been cautious in imitating the ‘petty apartheid’ and can promote itself as democratic as its Palestinian citizens constitute a minority allowing for their inconspicuous discrimination. South Africa, in contrast, overtly oppressed and dominated the black population which was less plausible to conceal as they were the overwhelming majority. The apartheid analogy within Israel proper may not fit neatly into the South African case but in certain features, there are distinct parallels. Diverging from the established proponent/opponent binary reveals that Israel correlates to certain criteria of the Apartheid Convention and nears closer to the nature of apartheid than to liberal democracy. However, in the OPTs, Israeli rule is in flagrant disregard of international law and UN resolutions. In a striking resemblance to the South African case, the attempts to create semi-autonomous homelands for their subjects have purposefully undermined any possibility of a viable economy and consigned Palestinians to a permanent state of subjugation.

Just as the holocaust is not necessarily the only definition of genocide, the Jewish holocaust is not the only definition of genocide, and South African apartheid is not what defines apartheid as a racial structure and regime. Any regime that preferences one ethnic/religious/racial group is by definition engaging in discrimination and should draw criticism. These practices manifest simultaneously so Israel resembles an apartheid state, a settler-colony and any regime that systemically favours one ethnic group while restricting a population’s ability to self-determinate.

South Africa exemplifies that the denial of the full and equal humanity of the majority of black people preceded Apartheid and has continued after Apartheid. Neoliberal restructuring has entrenched the racial capitalist system and severely undermined the nation-building effort. The abolition of the ethnic state and the terms on which it is negotiated will do much to determine reality after the transition occurs. This is perhaps the most illuminating lesson from the South African experience for Palestinian and Arab activists engaged in the Palestinian liberation movement. Moving forward, it is now imperative to critically engage with South Africa’s trajectory and collectively draw from it the pertinent lessons for the Palestinian cause.

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Analysis of the Application of Israeli Practice Towards Non-Jews. (2022, August 25). Edubirdie. Retrieved March 30, 2023, from
“Analysis of the Application of Israeli Practice Towards Non-Jews.” Edubirdie, 25 Aug. 2022,
Analysis of the Application of Israeli Practice Towards Non-Jews. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 30 Mar. 2023].
Analysis of the Application of Israeli Practice Towards Non-Jews [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Aug 25 [cited 2023 Mar 30]. Available from:
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