Is it fair to call Israel an “apartheid” state?

On February 2nd, Amnesty International released a report alleging that Israel operates an “apartheid regime” against Palestinians – not just in the West Bank, but inside Israel itself. Is this charge justified? OFIP asked British Israeli journalist Jonathan Cook to discuss the situation of Palestinians living inside the state of Israel. Watch the webinar….

Compared to the Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation in the West Bank or Gaza, the Palestinian citizens of Israel undoubtedly are better off economically, and have more rights.

IJV Canada has launched a “Together against apartheid” campaign which includes a “pledge” to not shy away from using the word “apartheid” when appropriate.

It is frequently asserted that while those other Palestinians may suffer from Israeli oppression, at least in Israel, Palestinian citizens enjoy equal rights.

Israel does have many of the institutions which are characteristic of “liberal democratic” countries. All citizens of Israel, including its Palestinian citizens, benefit from universal suffrage, free education, free healthcare and the right to travel anywhere they want inside Israel and even to travel outside of the country among other things.

On the other hand, even Israel’s admirers recognize that there are many examples of how the Palestinian citizens of Israel face economic and social discrimination. But does this really amount to “apartheid”? Or is Israel just “liberal democratic” state with some failings, like….. well like Canada, which also has its own failings?

Watch our interview with Jonathan Cook here:

Cook’s description of Israel will challenge those who believe Israel is a “liberal democracy” like Canada and that ending the occupation of ’67 would resolve the main issues between Israel and the Palestinians.

For this reason, I am especially interested in receving comments from those who feel that the portrayal of Israel in the webinar is unfair or untrue. This blog exists to promote an honest and open discussion about Israel/Palestine. I am happy to receive serious objections and counter arguments and encourage respectful debate and disagreements in the “comments” section. NOTE: Ad hominem attacks are not tolerated and will not be published.

Canada Talks Israel Palestine (CTIP) is the weekly newsletter of Peter Larson, Chair of the Ottawa Forum on Israel/Palestine (OFIP). It aims to promote a serious discussion in Canada about Canada’s response to the complicated and emotional Israel/Palestine issue with a focus on the truth, clear analysis and human rights for all. Readers with different points of view are invited to make comment.

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