Apartheid Wall: Why the Term Apartheid Embodies Historic, Present and Future of Palestine & is a Necessary Tool for Organization and Mobilization

The largest ever measure to be undertaken by the Zionist project since the 1948 Nakba, the construction of the massive Apartheid Wall throughout Palestine is bringing about the dispossession, strangulation and expulsion of the Palestinian people into miniscule, caged-in Bantustans on a daily basis!

From Stop the Wall, a grassroots Palestinian anti-apartheid wall campaign.

What is Apartheid?

Apartheid literally means separation, but this universally accepted term, which is often times referred to as “colonialism of a special type”1 embodies within it the major components of displacement through colonization, including its changing policies and measures in which expansionism and racism subjugate and eradicate a people. Apartheid was officially made a universal term by the United Nations in the 1976 “International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid”2. Apartheid began and is rooted in the very establishment of the colonial Jewish State, both in law (de jure) and in the implementation of its goals on various levels (de facto), including mechanisms used to justify its practices to avoid its legalization. Apartheid is characterized by forcible transfer of populations, land control, labor exploitation, humiliation and murder.

Separation: An Apartheid Apparatus

Apartheid in Arabic is translated to “Racist Separation”. Racism is a basic motive for separation. Separation is a way to oppress and control an Apartheid apparatus. Apartheid was also cynically known in South Africa by the whites as a “policy of good neighborliness”3 as Africans were forced to live under oppressive policies that ensured white control over their lands and daily existence; the Wall today is under the slogan of “good fences make good neighbors”4. Israeli policy towards the Palestinians is based on Ehud Barak’s call for “Peace through Separation: we are here and they are there”5 which motivates the oppression of Palestinians wherever Jews settle and seek to control. The “separation discourse” may adopt various terms, such as current talk of “disengagement” or the Zionist racist notion of the Palestinian “demographic threat.”

Bantustanization: The Final Plan for Palestine?

In response to international pressures against the racist policies of Apartheid, the white Apartheid regime decided on “reforms” by suggesting to “submit” to the notion that Africans have the right to a “state”. The Bantustans, or “Bantu Homelands” were then created, which were the most devastating policy of Apartheid, and which under the pretense of “black independence”, “state-building” and “separate development” would contain Africans into 10 different homelands made of 13% of South Africa, lands that were originally “reserved” for non-white ownership. The Bantustans, which whites had envisioned would see “some” economic development and limited powers of internal selfgovernment was also seen internationally by many at its inception as a positive step towards “decolonization”. The Bantustan project would ensure white control over the greatest and best lands while defeating the so-called “black demographic threat” by expelling 3 million blacks into the so-called homelands.6 For Palestinians in the ’67 Occupied Territories, Bantustans was an Israeli goal the very year of Occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, expressed in the Alon Plan which the Wall’s path today closely demarcates. It was the Oslo “Peace” Accords in 1993 that paved the way for the creation of the Palestinian “homeland” project through the legitimization of Areas A, B, C to facilitate Israeli expansionism; the number of settlements and bypass roads increased during Oslo more than at any other point in history. With the slicing of the West Bank into countless disconnected areas and villages, together with the closure and siege policy that solidifies the imprisonment of an entire population, the Palestinian Bantustans are themselves composed of countless ghettos within, and now to be demarcated with a Wall, making them many times worst than the South African Bantustans.

The Palestinian “State”

Current talks of “negotiations” towards the establishment of a “viable” Palestinian state are a part of this Apartheid program. In order to receive international recognition, the PLO in the late 70s changed the slogan “liberation of Palestine through armed struggle” to “negotiations with Israel to achieve a state’”.7 For this process of “recognition” that took place Palestinians would have to pay a heavy price since the real issues and prerequisites for self-determination were never identified, as the status quo of Israeli expansionism would continue. The term viable has become more noteworthy than the actual term of state, since viable is a relativist term that proves the very point that “state” molds itself to power politics. In other words, who will determine viability and how will it be forced upon the Palestinians? Today, in acquiescence, all western governments, and international organizations spear-headed by the UN, have become comfortable in talking about Palestinian self-determination in terms of a state based on the 1967 borders, such as the Road Map and the Geneva Accords. With the non-existence of any means to enforce rights or control powerful, occupying or colonial countries, “rights as rhetoric” have turned into a process of legitimizing a reality of giving “nothing” and saying it is “something”; the promotion of an idea that is a mere diversion. A Palestinian State within such a discussion is translated into how many tunnels and bridges will there be between the various Palestinian Bantustans and ghettos. This is not Palestinian liberation, but its exact opposite: a prison that is being called freedom. Today, Palestinians have never been farther from establishing their independent state.

Colonialism and Racism

Apartheid was known as “colonialism of a special type” because of the fact that it was a colonial project in which the colonizer sought to permanently settle in the colonized land and replace the indigenous population, and where the “ruler” was not somewhere in Europe but occupying the same territory. The Zionist project is a European construct, born out of European nationalism expressed in nation-statehood during the era of colonialism. The Palestinian struggle for liberation is in essence an anti-colonial struggle. Inherent within any colonial project is a racist, Euro-centric worldview; but the racism is magnified in this “special” kind of colonialism, or Apartheid. Denying the very human existence of Palestinians with the Zionist adage of “a land without a people for a people without a land”, Zionist racial separation intends to use intolerant xenophobic policies and practice as a means to expel Palestinian Arabs from their homeland, defining them as a “demographic threat.”8 Racism under the Jewish State is both by law and by practice. Envisaged as a state for Jews, that is, a state of which every Jewish individual throughout the world would be a potential citizen, it became imperative for its legislative body, the Knesset to immediately define in law those persons who would qualify as actual or potential citizens, and those who would be excluded – that is, non-Jews in general, and Palestinian Arabs in particular. In 1950 the Israeli Knesset passed two laws: the Law of Return, defining the boundaries of inclusion (‘every Jew has the right to immigrate into the country’) and the Absentee Property Law, defining the boundaries of exclusion (‘absentee’), i.e. Palestinians. Under these laws, every Jew throughout the world is legally entitled to become a citizen of the “state of Israel” upon immigration into the country. In 1952, the Knesset passed the World Zionist Organization- Jewish Agency (Status) Law, which gave exclusive rights to Israelis of “Jewish nationality,” including the right to purchase land. Jewish institutions such as the Jewish National Fund were prohibited by law to sell the land they “owned” in “Israel”-some 97 percent-to non-Jews and were enjoined to hold all land “for the whole Jewish people.”9 Today the Jewish National Fund, a member of the World Zionist Organisation, administers 93% of the “land of Israel” the vast majority of which was Palestinian-owned property that was gradually confiscated in the years since 1948. Such laws parallel to the Apartheid South Africa Natives Land Act, No 27 of 1913 and The Natives (Urban Areas) Act of 1923, making it illegal for blacks to purchase or lease land from whites except in reserves and restricting black occupancy to less than eight per cent of South Africa’s land. The Jewish State issuance of identity cards based on race—their defining and indicating race in the ID and basing the ID policy on racial classification, is similar to the Apartheid South African Population Registration Act, Act No 30 of 1950 where a national register was created in which every person’s race was recorded. A Race Classification Board took the final decision on what a person’s race was in disputed cases. Natives (Abolition of Passes and Co-ordination of Documents) Act, Act No 67 of 1952, commonly known as the Pass Laws, forced black people to carry identification with them at all times. A pass included a photograph, details of place of origin, employment record, tax payments, and encounters with the police. It was a criminal offence to be unable to produce a pass when required to do so by the police. No black person could leave a rural area for an urban one without a permit from the local authorities.10 The idea of “two races” or “two people” is one of the basic components of the racist colonial project, as the establishment of a “Jewish People” is a construct and tool of the Zionist project to legitimize it and to define the very real target of its racism. As stated in the UN Convention against Apartheid: “Any measures, including legislative measures, designed to divide the population along racial lines by the creation of separate reserves and ghettos for the members of a racial group or groups, the prohibition of mixed marriages among members of various racial groups, the expropriation of landed property belonging to a racial group or groups or to members thereof…” is Apartheid and illegal. Daily dehumanization of Palestinians within the Apartheid system, including the active participation of the Israeli public which has selfdeclared itself overwhelming anti-Arab11, is a part of the laws and measures in which Israel treats Palestinians, on both sides of the Green Line, as being less human than Jews.

Economic Exploitation

Though Palestinian economic exploitation was not initially the ends sought by the Zionist project, the colonial-racist-expansionist nature of the project and its state has meant that labor exploitation has been at the forefront of control as well as of achieving the state’s “development” and ideological goals. Palestinians from the 1948 and 1967 territories have been forced in order to survive to form the ready supply of cheap labor for the Jewish State. After 1967 Palestinian workers became as dependent on work inside the Green Line
as South African township residents were on jobs in the white-dominated cities and equally vulnerable — through closures and internal sieges, and the kind of jobs they were required to do was and is clearly defined.12 Though at some points it becomes almost impossible to separate the colonial project from economic goals and practices, it is clear that through the closure policy and ID system, entering areas designated “Jewish-only” was dependent upon the needs of the Jewish population and its regime. Since Oslo and its closure policy, labor exploitation tells clearly of the plans, in which Palestinians were forced into greater impoverishment and “replaced” by foreign workers, ensuring that the master-slave relations comes to a partial halt in which many Palestinians could no longer survive, demonstrating the systemic drive to replace the Palestinians as a whole. This stranglehold has substantially worsened with the devastating destruction in the past three and a half years of Palestinian economic centers and trade through tighter closure and sieges and now the Apartheid Wall. Thus far, the Apartheid Wall has brought about the demolition or destruction of the main economic centers of Qalqiliya (Qalqiliya City), Tulkarem (Baqa Sharqiya/Nazlet Isa), Jenin (Jenin City and Barta’a Sharqiya), and Jerusalem (Ezariya, Abu Dis, Ram). The massive confiscation, isolation and de facto annexation of the Palestinian “bread basket” in the Wall’s first phase, the most fertile and water-rich lands in the West Bank, has destroyed the backbone of the agricultural sector for the occupied territory and destroyed the entire economies of tens of villages. While demolishing the markets of the northern West Bank, Israel has announced that it would establish settlement commercial areas (on lands confiscated for the Wall). It is expected that a succession of commercial areas will be established in the coming few years in the areas of forced impoverishment near the Wall. The only options that will remain for Palestinians will be working in Jewish settlements such as settlement industrial areas, working for the Palestinian Authority, or surviving off of food aid. The willful and deliberate destruction and exploitation of Palestinian resources is based on a criminal plan of an exclusivist Jewish state whichaims to establish and then expand Israel’s territories and destroy the economy of the indigenous inhabitants as a prelude to their expulsion, in the same way colonial and then apartheid South Africa systematically destroyed the economic independence and viability of the indigenous people. Part of the he UN Convention defines Apartheid as “exploitation of the labour of the members of a racial group or groups.”


Israel’s first Minister of Education Ben-Zion Dinur echoed the Zionist project’s sentiments when he declared in 1954: “In our country there is room only for the Jews. We shall say to the Arabs: Get out! If they don’t agree, if they resist, we shall drive them out by force.”13 A state with a Jewish minority in Palestine was never part of the plan and displacement always lay at the core of the Zionist project for a Jewish state located on an Arab country and in the midst of an Arab region. It is no coincidence that the portion of land that was initially supposed to host the Jewish state was ethnically cleansed early. Along the once flourishing Palestinian coast only two Arab villages remain today.14 Israel’s means of attempting to deny its Apartheid policies is expulsion itself, by denying the very right of Palestinians to their homeland and imposing a Jewish-majority. In the case of Zionist Apartheid, the largest expulsion took place in 1948, then 1967, and now. In South Africa, it was continuous with the first colonizers in the 1600s and all through their expansion, and then again when over 3 million people were expelled into the Bantustans. Again, “separation” is synonymous with expulsion and control. The Apartheid Wall demarcates the latest, massive advance of the expulsion goal, in which the Bantustans are demarcated and all areas in the so-called “seam-zone” between the Wall and the green line, as well as all homes near the Wall’s “buffer zone” are under threat of destruction. The goal is then two fold: on the one hand changing the status of the “seam zone” in order to Judaize the area and minimize Palestinians presence; on the other hand, the creation of Bantustans implies the forced concentration of a population in a demarcated area, along with the plan to minimize its very population within it. This is clear in Qalqiliya city, where the 8-meter high concrete wall surrounds a city once the central marketplace for the district and near-by ’48 villages, some 15% of the city has been forced to leave, unable to survive. To what extent should we be thinking that any unilateral Israeli declaration of the Palestinian State or Homeland will make way for the sudden or not-so-sudden deportation of populations into these areas? It is clear that Israel targets densely populated areas when it targets resistance, which leads to the question of just how much are the Bantustans set-up by Israel to ensure that it kills more people quickly? Though Israel has become cunning and sophisticated in its means of expulsion, there remain numerous, horrid scenarios. The usage of biological weapons by the Occupation Forces against demonstrators in the Wall-affected area of Zawiya is a reminder of the various means available to the Apartheid Regime. Ultimately, the goal of Bantustanization and expulsion is to bring to completion the Zionist goal of creating the “absentpresent Palestinian” desiring to expel the overwhelming majority of Palestinians, but with a few remaining in reservations, which, like museums, can satisfy the Israelis needs for a symbolic but not actual Palestine, in which claims by Israel that the Palestinian people have not been eradicated and that coexistence is a promising endeavor can continue to take place. This is based on the Zionist demand that Palestinians do not have individual or collective rights, and will be turned into a symbolic collective where any number of individuals can represent “the cause”.

The Israeli Pursuit of the Apartheid Model

According to an Israeli diplomat who spent many years in Africa, Ariel Sharon paid both secret and public visits to South Africa in the 1980s. “I saw what interested him: bantustans, as if it were just an intellectual interest,” he said. “He had a fixation with bantustans that seemed out of proportion…If you tell him it failed in South Africa, he’ll say that there it didn’t work because of the disproportion between blacks and whites, but that here [the Jews] are still a majority.”15 Akiva Eldar in Ha’aretz writes that former Italian Prime Minister Massimo D’Alema stated that three or four years prior he had had a conversation with Sharon who explained at length that the Bantustan model was the most appropriate solution to the conflict. Also, a publication produced by former Israeli Minister of Tourism Benny Alon called “The Road to War: A Tiny Protectorate, Overpopulated, Carved up and Demilitarized” is presented according to Sharon’s plan. The map in the publication looks much like the plan for Bantustans in South Africa in the early 60s and even included the same number of cantons: 10. But, this plan is not Sharon’s, it in fact belongs to the Labor General Yigal Alon.16

The Link between the Apartheid Regimes

According to former Israeli Chief of Staff Raphael Eitan, “I don’t understand this comparison between us and South Africa. What is similar here and there is that both they and we must prevent others from taking us over. Anyone who says that the blacks are oppressed in South Africa is a liar. The blacks there want to gain control of the white minority just like the Arabs here want to gain control over us. And we, too, like the White minority in South Africa, must act to prevent them from taking us over. I was in a gold mine there and I saw what excellent conditions the black workers have. So there is separate elevators for Whites and Blacks, so what? That’s the way they like it.”17 The term Apartheid was introduced in 1948, the same year of the Palestinian Nakbe, not by coincidence, as that decade was supposed to be the end of colonization for peoples’ liberation struggles, but found expression of greater colonization in Palestine and South Africa. Israel and Apartheid South Africa expressed their affinity for each other from the start, but it was in the 1980’s that they pursued extensive economic and military ties. The South African air force and navy, used primarily to attack the African National Congress (ANC), and to “intervene” in neighboring states, were largely armed and trained by Israel. Israeli military advisers helped South Africa to develop military strategies to use in Namibia and Angola. That Israel and South Africa had ties in relation to nuclear weapons capability underscores the special nature of Tel Aviv’s relations with the white government. The South Africans began teaching the lessons of Israel’s 1967 war/occupation at their maneuver school, and Israeli advisers began teaching the Boers the arts of suppressing a captive population and keeping “hostile neighbors off balance”. In January 1986, the white government’s radio delivered a commentary on “the malignant presence” of “terrorism” in neighboring states and said “there’s only one answer now, and that’s the Israeli answer.” Israel was said to have managed to survive “by striking at terrorists wherever they exist.” The then Israeli “Defense” Minister Ariel Sharon was personally involved in the organization, training and equipping of “commando” units in African countries where the Apartheid regime was involved.18 The partnership between the two Apartheid regimes was extensive and based on the determination of both to continue their criminal policies and actions without having to face any consequences. This, in addition to affectionately seeing the other as a “laboratory” for the implementation of racist colonial policies, those of which were “successful” would be implemented and nurtured.

Apartheid: The Term of the People

The usage of the term Apartheid has become more widespread in relation to Palestine particularly due to the naming in Palestine of the Apartheid Wall since the Wall’s inception in the year 2002. The Apartheid Wall is on the top of the Palestinian struggle and agenda, and hundreds of demonstrations throughout Palestine have demanded the Apartheid Wall’s demise. The usage of the term Apartheid and Apartheid Wall has been adopted by the hundreds of thousands in affected Wall communities and the term itself is an integral part of the anti-Wall struggle.

The Apartheid Wall as “Battlefield”

In the year 2005, according to the Road Map, it will be time to move past the “provisional” Palestinian state to a final-status agreement. It is not by chance the Israel has declared that the Apartheid Wall will be complete in 2005, or that many of the “temporary” confiscation orders that have already been made de facto end in 2005, where Israel will make final its control of these lands. The completion of the Wall will be the major springboard for settlement expansion in all areas: in the de facto annexed lands, in already existing settlements throughout, in lands near and not near the Wall to ensure Israeli control of maximum territory, to ensure the blurring of any demarcations set, and the perpetual shrinking of the Palestinian Bantustans. As stated in 1938 by the later first Zionist Prime Minister David Ben Gurion “[A]fter we become a strong force, as a result of the creation of a state, we shall abolish partition and expand to the whole of Palestine. The state will only be a stage in the realization of Zionism and its task is to prepare the ground for our expansion into the whole of Palestine.”19 This quote highlights among other things that for the Zionist project any de facto measure is a facilitator to the continuation and achievement of final goals. And while the Wall is purposely placed adjacent to homes, families have been warned by the military that their homes are under threat of demolition. With the desire to “clear out” or “cleanse” areas near the Wall for “security”, hundreds if not thousands of families are at risk. What better way for Israel to tighten the noose, to better confine the Bantustans, to make life impossible to live, than to begin focusing its energy in the areas around the Wall. As has been the case in the past months, will the Apartheid Wall be a central location where oppression under the title of ”confrontation” between the Occupation and the people take place? Already in Jayous the Occupation Forces set-up a mock battlefield in which soldiers played the role of Palestinian demonstrators in a seeming attempt to determine the next stage of Apartheid’s suppression.

The ICJ Ruling

With the continued failure of the UN in relation to Palestinian rights and self-determination, it is not surprising that expectations had been low in regards to the International Court of Justice Advisory Opinion. But, the decision was stronger and more unequivocal than any had expected, and the response of support and content with the decision in Palestine was noticeable. The Court was clear in not only declaring the Wall’s path illegal, but most importantly, the entire Wall project. It had acknowledged the impacts of the Wall, from the regime created in the de facto annexed area to the inclusion of settlements, to its role in expulsion. It stated clearly, as the Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign has since its inception in October 2002, that the Wall must be torn down immediately and that all lands and property returned as well as compensation for all losses. The ICJ reiterated the illegality of Israeli settlements and their relationship to the Wall’s path, referring to the Wall’s unilateral demarcation of a new border in the West Bank, seizure and destruction of property, the effective annexation of occupied lands and settlements and the demographic changes within Palestine as a result of the Wall’s construction. It made clear that “All States are under an obligation not to recognize the illegal situation resulting from the construction of the wall and not to render aid or assistance in maintaining the situation created by such construction…” But the fact still remains that the Court decision is non-binding, and the UN has proven time and time again unable to “enforce” while ultimately allying with the US
and Israel. This makes the Court decision rhetoric more than reality. The Court’s allegiance to the failing UN structure is found in the Advisory Opinion, where it promotes the Road Map and “negotiations”, continuations of the Oslo Accords that has paved the way for the Bantustanization of Palestine, to be demarcated by the Wall.20 But not all is lost, since the decision holds within it clearly strong declarations along with large-scale international attention. For those deeply frustrated by past betrayals the decision should be seen with the potential to be of great importance for organizing, holding within it a rare chance to push the momentum and to turn it into something tangible. In the end, it is times like these, when a clear position is taken by the international system and the UN, that it is much easier to highlight contradictions and demand an end to air-filled rhetoric, double standards, and shortcomings. What this means is that in order to make the decision into something actual, people worldwide will have to organize and make clear their demands. If we are vigilant about the current process, and acknowledge the massive advantages that it holds, including those for a potentially ailing international system that seeks to benefit from the ICJ victory through legitimacy, and the fact that an international ailing system self-contradicts, we can stand prepared to offer this system to keep its promises or loose the gains it hopes to make. A tragic dichotomy exists, in that if no mobilization and international pressure ensues from this decision, then the Advisory Opinion can be marked in the books as yet another failure towards the Palestinian and Arab peoples. And even more maddening, the hype along with any continued discussion around the decision, without concrete results, will play an atrocious role in rhetorical diversion from the clearly worsening reality, best reflected in the fact that the Wall continues to be built and devastate the Palestinian people without delay well after the Court’s June 9 decision.

Legacy of the Anti-Apartheid Movement & the Call for Boycott and Sanctions

The South African analogy conjures up the international activist movement which emerged in the late 1970s and 1980s to dismantle Apartheid. Popular boycott, International isolation, economic sanctions and diplomatic pressure have supported the South African Anti-Apartheid Movement in its struggle against a racist and colonialist regime. This grassroots effort consisted of university and government divestment efforts, consumer boycotts, arms embargoes and eventual economic sanctions of the apartheid regime. Union members pressured their stockholders, faith-based groups informed their parishioners, students confronted their university administrators and ultimately a populist force culminated in radical change. Yet, despite all the injustices and discrimination perpetrated by the Israeli system, it is far from an international pariah as was apartheid South Africa.21 With the South African legacy, Apartheid is synonymous with the call for boycott and sanctions. In reference to the value of their own opinion, the ICJ highlighted the importance of their 1971 ruling against South Africa’s occupation of Namibia, after which the international community imposed sanctions on the Apartheid State. In its July 9 Opinion on the Wall, the ICJ stated that “The United Nations, and especially the General Assembly and the Security Council, should consider what further action is required to bring to an end the illegal situation resulting from the construction of the wall and the associated régime, taking due account of the present Advisory Opinion.”22 With the current international interest, the slight momentum that has ensued, the fact that there are no signs that any moves to enforce an end to the Wall will be taken-up on an official level without popular outcry, and ultimately due to the reality that the Wall continues to be built on a daily basis coming nearer to completion; international action and outcry needs to take place immediately.The key to strong support is as well to reinvigorate those ties with groups and movements that know well that Palestine is the heart of the anti-colonial, anti-racist struggle worldwide, as the longest standing colonized people with the longest standing refugee population. The time has come for international solidarity groups to adopt the term Apartheid in relation to the Israeli Regime.

A Call for Apartheid Consciousness 23 and Unity

One distinction that is often made between the South African anti-Apartheid struggle and that in Palestine is the fact that a clearly identified regime and policy under a title—Apartheid—meant that the target of the struggle in South Africa was clear and defined. But, the fact is that Zionist leaders have acknowledged for decades that Apartheid is the framework best suited for its goals and began to implement it years ago, solidifying these plans with the Apartheid Wall. The Israeli government and military are well aware of the role of Apartheid in controlling Palestine, so why has this not been acknowledge in Palestine and internationally, and by name? The term Apartheid is a powerful tool to explain the reality in Palestine, the Wall, and the fate of the Palestinian struggle and rights in the face of this
racist project whose goal is to completely and once-and-for-all change the face of Palestine through the westernization-Judaization of all the land, the annihilation of its people, and the diminishing of the Palestinian struggle as illegitimate. Apartheid “offers” this Israeli goal a framework in which full control of Palestine, its people, and its future, can take place through the creation on the ground of small pockets of Palestinian residential areas that disappear in the background and are there predominantly as the focal point of Zionist control and oppression. In the end, Apartheid is not just laws or structure; it is an entire system of practice and belief. As long as on the rhetorical level talk of an independent state for the Palestinian people is met with a reality on the ground that is quite the opposite, the existing terminology and struggle against it are further restricted. As long as the world continues to talk about peace and negotiations, Palestinians continue to struggle amidst clear Zionist and imperialist propaganda and control. Ultimately, it is urgent to support and make clear a framework and terminology that can confront this ever-worsening reality. Such terminology, to be effective, must be adopted unanimously and must be the common force that bonds a campaign against the Wall and Apartheid. Apartheid consciousness means also demanding Palestinian national rights through an expression of international solidarity with the Palestinian struggle based on a Palestinian-led effort. If we begin to talk about the current reality from the perspective of an “apartheid regime and project” – substantial potential can be explored, and the advantages promoted. No doubt, the international experience with the Anti-Apartheid Movement, and its automatic connotations, only serves to support the cause. In the face of overwhelming odds, a campaign against Apartheid will be weakened if not futile without harmony in calls, terminology and slogans.

About the Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign

The grassroots Palestinian Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign is the popular, coordinated effort in Palestine against the Apartheid Wall. The Campaign began in October 2002, just months after the Wall’s inception and is composed of over 40 committees from Wall-affected communities as well as local NGOs, with the campaign’s main efforts focusing on local and national mobilization, information collection and dissemination, and international outreach and advocacy. The Campaign goals since its inception have been: stop the wall, tear down existing parts, return lands stolen, and compensate for losses. The Campaign has significant presence and reach in Palestine and is considered the main resource in relation to organization. As of yet, hundreds of groups and movements have, through their exchange with the Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign, begun to adopt Apartheid terminology in their own mobilization and informational efforts. The Campaign initiated and organizes the National and International Week against the Apartheid Wall, November 9-16; along with its central demand for boycott and sanctions against Israeli Apartheid.


All information on the Apartheid Wall in this fact sheet is from Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign information collection and publications. See http://www.stopthewall.org for news, features, fact sheets, FAQs and more.

1 For further detail, see: “Colonialism of a Special Type” from the Statement of the Lisbon Conference, March 1997.
2 The 1976 United Nations International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid can be found at http://stopthewall.org/internationallaw/470.shtml.
3 Attributed to Hendrik Verwoerd, Apartheid Prime Minister beginning in 1958, whose proposals to separate Blacks into independent states, or Bantustans, gave him the title “the chief architect of apartheid”. He is quoted as saying: “Our policy is one which is called by an Afrikaans word, apartheid. It could much better be described as a policy of good neighborliness.”
4 Ehud Barak frequently refers to this phrase taken from the poem “Mending Wall” written by the 20th century US poet Robert Frost. The phrase, which in the poem is about dividing two farms by building a wall, has been used repeatedly in the English-language media to describe the reality of the Wall in Palestine, most often implying incorrectly a separation between two states or clearly defined borders.
5 The slogan of Labor Party Ehud Barak’s 1999 electoral campaign. In Barak’s victory speech, he stated “All Jews are responsible for each other… I tell you that the time for peace has come – not peace through weakness, but peace through might and a sense of security; not peace at the expense of security but peace that will bring security… We will move quickly toward separation from the Palestinians within four security red lines: a united Jerusalem under our sovereignty as the capital of Israel for eternity, period; under no conditions will we return to the 1967 borders; no foreign army west of the Jordan River; and most of the settlers in Judaea and Samaria will be in settlement blocs under our sovereignty.” Parts of the speech can be found at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/monitoring/346507.stm
6 Robert M. Price, The Apartheid State in Crisis: political transformation in South Africa 1975-1990, New York: Oxford University Press 1991.
7 Azmi Bishara, “On the Principle of Self-Determination”, http://www.azmibishara.info/
8 Israeli professor Arnon Sofer is the Zionist expert of “demographics”, which implies the Palestinian “demographic threat”, a racist term used regularly in Israeli public discourse that exemplifies the entire Zionist ideology and policy. Sofer is widely quoted and published, and has close ties to the Israeli government. In 2002, Sofer wrote a letter to Sharon that was published in the Israeli media stating that there is only one solution amidst the Arab “demographic threat”: separation. Sofer, which can mean in Hebrew “he counts” has lead to the cynical nickname for him within the Jewish state of “Arnon the Arab-counter”. See “A Jewish Demographic State,” Lili Galili, Ha’aretz, June 28, 2002.
9 Uri Davis, Israel: An Apartheid State, Zed Books, London, 1987.
10 Quoted from about.com.
11 Azmi Bishara. “Isn’t the Struggle Originally Against Racism?” Darat Al Hayat, 25/6/04.
12 Ian Urbina, “The Analogy to Apartheid,” Middle East Report 223, MERIP, Summer 2002.
13 From Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, “Apartheid in the Holy Land: Racism in the Zionist State of Israel,” Paper Prepared for the United Nations Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, August 31-September 7, South Africa, fount at http://www.mediamonitors.net. Original quote from History of the Haganah.
14 Azmi Bishara, “A short history of Apartheid”, Al Ahram Weekly, January 8, 2004.
15 Gershom Gorenberg, “Road Map to Grand Apartheid?” The American Prospect, July 3, 2003.
16Akiva Eldar, “Sharon’s Bantustans are far from Copenhagen’s hope,” Ha’aretz, May 14, 2003.
17 From Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed. Original quote from Yediot Aharonot, December 1987.
18 Jane Hunter, Israeli Foreign Policy, South End Press, 1987.
19 From Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed. Original quote from Noam Chomsky, The Fateful Triangle, 1999.
20 International Court of Justice, “Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory”, Advisory Opinion, July 9, 2004. The Opinion in its entirety can be found at http://stopthewall.org/downloads/pdf/ICJ-Ruling.pdf
21 Ian Urbina, “The Analogy to Apartheid”.
22 International Court of Justice, “Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.”
23 Azmi Bishara, “Apartheid Consciousness and the Question of Palestine,” Between the Lines, March 2001.


Posted on March 3, 2010, in Anti-Police, Economics, Imperialism & Colonialism and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Apartheid Wall: Why the Term Apartheid Embodies Historic, Present and Future of Palestine & is a Necessary Tool for Organization and Mobilization.

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