Friday, January 8, 2010

Former Director of American Jewish Congress: Israel is "the only apartheid regime in the Western world"

Henry Siegman, a former national director of the American Jewish Congress and of the Synagogue Council of America who is now director of the U.S./Middle East Project in New York, writes in The Nation that Israel's continued expansion of settlements constitutes apartheid:
"Israel's relentless drive to establish "facts on the ground" in the occupied West Bank, a drive that continues in violation of even the limited settlement freeze to which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu committed himself, seems finally to have succeeded in locking in the irreversibility of its colonial project. As a result of that "achievement," one that successive Israeli governments have long sought in order to preclude the possibility of a two-state solution, Israel has crossed the threshold from "the only democracy in the Middle East" to the only apartheid regime in the Western world."
Siegman goes on to propose that dismantling this system of Israeli apartheid, which he defines as "when a state denies national self-determination to a part of its population--even one that is in the minority--to which it has also denied the rights of citizenship"--will take international intervention:
It is now widely recognized in most Israeli circles--although denied by Israel's government--that the settlements have become so widespread and so deeply implanted in the West Bank as to rule out the possibility of their removal (except for a few isolated and sparsely populated ones) by this or any future Israeli government unless compelled to do so by international intervention, an eventuality until now considered entirely unlikely....Sooner or later the White House, Congress and the American public...will have to face the fact that America's "special relationship" with Israel is sustaining a colonial enterprise.
Let your Member of Congress know that you are not interested in maintaining a colonial enterprise. Sign up to organize against U.S. military aid to Israel in your Congressional district by clicking here, and click here to register for our upcoming Grassroots Advocacy Training and Lobby Days in Washington, DC.
Siegman calls apartheid when he sees it. You can do the same. To learn more about standing up to Israeli apartheid, click here. And click here to sign a pledge to boycott Motorola, a company that is deeply involved in maintaining the infrastructure of Israeli apartheid.