Is Israel an apartheid state?There has been lately some discussion that Israel is an apartheid state. 1. Do you believe this is true? Why?2. I enjoy reading peoples opinions. 3. I appreciate if...

Is Israel an apartheid state?

There has been lately some discussion that Israel is an apartheid state.

1. Do you believe this is true? Why?
2. I enjoy reading peoples opinions.
3. I appreciate if people will say the truth.
5. Make it as controversial as you like.
6. Get people you know into this discussion!
7. As they say: The more the Merrier!
8. Only one rule: No bagging people replies out.
9. Onle last thing, I would prefer to see this AWESOME discussion to turn into a hot and firey debate!
10. Get as many people you know on eNotes to join this debate!

Expert Answers
brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Calling Israel an apartheid state is an attempt at analogy to pre-1994 South Africa.  While I understand the reason for the attempt, it is hardly a perfect analogy.

South Africa passed apartheid laws because of 1) overt racism by the white majority and government, and 2) in an effort to protect their own hold on power and wealth.  Israel's laws that effectively segregate, isolate and impoverish hundreds of thousands of Palestinians produce many of the same results as apartheid laws did, but from my view, they were passed 1) because Israel was trying to protect itself from violent Palestinian groups, and 2) in an attempt to expand Jewish settlements in the Holy Land.  Note the different reasoning behind both sets of laws.

That being said, it is almost impossible for me to argue that the Israeli laws are not draconian in nature, inhumane in practice, and discriminatory to Palestinians, even to those who are Israeli citizens.  The conditions Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza are forced to live in, with little to no freedom of movement, with heavily restricted trade and border access, and crushing poverty, in my opinion, is a greater threat to Israel's security than terrorism.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would argue that Israel is not an apartheid state with respect to its citizens who are Arabs. (I am not talking about the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank.)  That is not to say that there is not discrimination against Israeli Arabs.  However, the word "apartheid" to me refers to the systematic subjugation of a group or groups of people such as was practiced in South Africa.

Arabs in Israel may be treated as second class citizens de facto.  However, true apartheid goes way beyond that.  In true apartheid, the discrimination would be de jure as well as de facto.  That kind of systematic discrimination (where Arabs would be explicitly designated as inferior to Jewish Israelis) does not exist.

So, I am not arguing that Israel treats its Arab citizens perfectly.  However, I am arguing that Israeli Arabs are not abused in ways that are anywhere near to as bad as the ways in which South Africans of color were abused under apartheid.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
Apartheid was very different. It was a result of the colonial history of South Africa. There are similarities in terms of the amount of discrimination. The discrimination is different. For instance, in Israel it is based on religious differences and not skin color.
thegamecreator | Student

If you readers think that Israel is an apartheid state I suggest that you go onto YouTube and type in 'Let me introduce myself - my name is Israel'