Tag Archives: apartheid

What the US can learn from apartheid-era book bans in South Africa

Books are often targeted when they are sympathetic to the oppressed.
Eskay Lim / EyeEm via Getty Images

Helen Kapstein, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Beloved.” “The Hate U Give.” “Maus.” “Burger’s Daughter.”

Each of these books has been banned at some point in time, but one stands out. Instead of being banned in 21st-century America, Nadine Gordimer’s “Burger’s Daughter” was banned in 20th century South Africa during apartheid, that country’s period of official white supremacist rule.

So why include it in this list? Despite the decades and distance between bans on this book and the others, the rise in attempts to ban and censor books in America in 2022 looks an awful lot like what South African censors did during apartheid. I make this observation as a scholar who specializes in studying literature to better understand the intersections of race, oppression and resistance. Continue reading

Share Button

EU Joins Rights Group in Condemning Israel’s ‘Day of Destruction’ of Palestinian Homes

“Demolitions are illegal under international law and significantly undermine the prospects for peace.”

By Brett Wilkins.  Published 11-28-2021 by Common Dreams

sraeli forces use bulldozers including a U.S.-made Caterpillar to destroy Palestinian homes in illegally occupied East Jerusalem. (Photo: jenniferlisa/Flickr/cc)

The European Union on Friday joined a prominent Israeli human rights group in condemning last week’s demolition of multiple homes in occupied East Jerusalem, an illegal action that displaced 22 Palestinians including 15 children.

“We reiterate our call to halt demolitions and any other unlawful practices that coerce Palestinians out of their homes,” the European Union Delegation to the Palestinians (DPAL) tweeted. Continue reading

Share Button

Rights Group Says Israel Uses Settler Violence Against Palestinians to Take Over West Bank Land

“Settler violence is a form of government policy, permitted and aided by official state authorities with their active participation,” according to a report from the Israeli group B’Tselem.

By Jessica Corbett. Published 11-14-2021 by Common Dreams

The Um Zuqa farm is one of six “farms” set up by settlers in the northern Jordan Valley in the past five years. It was built in 2016 on a site that housed the Palestinian village of Khirbet al-Mzoqah, which Israel demolished after occupying the West Bank. (Photo: Eyal Hareuveni, B’Tselem)

The Jerusalem-based rights group B’Tselem released a report Sunday that accuses Israel’s “​​apartheid regime” of using settler-colonist violence to take control of Palestinian farmland and pastureland, focusing on nearly 11 square miles in the illegally occupied West Bank.

“Settler violence against Palestinians serves as a major informal tool at the hands of the state to take over more and more West Bank land,” says the report. “The state fully supports and assists these acts of violence, and its agents sometimes participate in them directly.” Continue reading

Share Button

‘An Act of Cowardice’: 21 Israel-Based Groups Condemn Terror Label for Palestine NGOs

The organizations called the designation “a draconian measure that criminalizes critical human rights work.”

By Brett Wilkins, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 10-25-2021

The Israeli bombing of civilian neighborhoods in the Gaza Strip 2021. Photo: MathKnight/Wikimedia Cpmmons/CC

Twenty-one Israel-based civil society groups on Sunday joined Palestine defenders around the world in condemning the Israeli government’s labeling of six Palestinian advocacy groups as terrorist organizations, calling the move “an act of cowardice.”

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz’s “designation of prominent Palestinian civil society organizations, among them our colleagues in the Palestinian human rights community, as terrorist organizations is a draconian measure that criminalizes critical human rights work,” the groups said in a statement. Continue reading

Share Button

Legalized Apartheid: The Israeli Supreme Court Just Cemented Jewish Supremacy into Law

Only a few years old, the nation-state law has already proven it can serve as a legal tool for discrimination, racial segregation, and outright apartheid.

By Jessica Buxbaum  Published 7-16-2021 by MintPress News

Israel arrests dozens of Palestinian students in the occupied West Bank in joint operation involving army, police and Shin Bet security agency. Photo: Md Rashedulislam Rashed/Twitter

In November of last year, an Israeli judge invoked the controversial Jewish Nation-State Basic Law when striking down a lawsuit against the city of Karmiel over funding transportation for two Palestinian students.

In his ruling, the chief registrar of the Krayot Magistrate’s Court, Yaniv Luzon, said that establishing an Arabic-language school in Karmiel or funding transportation for Palestinian Arab students would “damage the city’s Jewish character” and may encourage Palestinian citizens of Israel to move into Jewish cities, thereby “altering the demographic balance.” Continue reading

Share Button

Regavim: The Israeli Faux Environmental Org Converting US Donations into Palestinian Evictions

Funded largely through tax-deductible donations from the United States, Regavim petitions the Israeli government to evict Palestinians under the guise of protecting the environment.

By Jessica Buxbaum  Published 5-5-2021 by MintPress News

Israel police guard a military bulldozer at it destroys a Palestinian home in the South Hebron Hills. Photo: International Solidarity Movement.

In the village of Khan al-Ahmar in the occupied West Bank, dozens of Bedouin families are at risk of losing their homes and becoming refugees again by July. While it is the Israeli government and military that are enacting the demolitions and evacuations, their efforts are largely driven by a pro-settler nonprofit supported by American charities.

While it is masked as an environmental organization, Regavim’s work involves petitioning the Israeli government to demolish structures and pursue evictions for Palestinians and Bedouins under the guise of protecting “Israel’s most precious and scarce resources: land reserves, water, air quality” — though much of the organization’s focus is on occupied Palestinian territory. Regavim’s most recent targets have been the villages of Khan al-Ahmar and Susya, located in Area C of the West Bank, which is under total Israeli military control. Israel rarely approves building permits for the indigenous people in Area C so the majority of Palestinian and Bedouin construction there is deemed illegal. Continue reading

Share Button

Hundreds of Palestinians Protesting Evictions in Jerusalem Injured in ‘State-Sanctioned Campaign of Israeli Violence’

“Israel’s violence has a clear purpose: ethnically cleanse Jerusalem of Palestinians to allow Israeli settlers to take over Palestinian homes.”

By Kenny Stancil, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 5-8-2021

Photo: Faraz Khan/Twitter

More than 200 Palestinians were wounded and at least one partially blinded over night in East Jerusalem when Israeli police fired rubber-coated steel bullets and stun grenades at thousands of people who were protesting Israeli settlers and security forces’ ongoing effort to dispossess Palestinians of their land in the occupied territory.

Israel’s violent oppression of Palestinians, which has intensified in recent days, continued Saturday.

“What’s happening in Jerusalem and Palestine more broadly is not a ‘clash’ or a ‘scuffle,’ but a state-sanctioned campaign of Israeli violence against Palestinians,” the Institute for Middle East Understanding (IMEU) said Saturday. “To pretend otherwise is to minimize the horrors we are witnessing.” Continue reading

Share Button

Scathing Human Rights Watch Report Says Israel Guilty of Apartheid

The prominent watchdog group’s new analysis finds the oppression of Palestinians has reached a “threshold.”

By Andrea Germanos, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 4-27-2021

Photo: Alisdare Hickson/flickr/CC

Human Rights Watch said Tuesday that the policies and actions of the Israeli government against the Palestinian people amount to systematic “apartheid” and unlawful persecution that must be stopped.

The accusations related to Israel’s actions in the occupied territories (OPT) and within Israel are laid out in a new report entitled “A Threshold Crossed: Israeli Authorities and the Crimes of Apartheid and Persecution.” The findings are based on over two years of research and documentation including official government statements, internal planning documents, and interviews Continue reading

Share Button

‘No One Can Censor Reality’: Human Rights Group Pushes Back After Israel Retaliates Against ‘Apartheid’ Label

“Israel cannot be considered a democracy, for it works to advance and perpetuate the supremacy of one group of people, Jews, over another, Palestinians.”

By Brett Wilkins, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 1-18-2021

Palestinian workers queue up along the separation barrier often called the apartheid wall by critics as they wait to clear an Israeli military checkpoint. (Photo: delayed gratification/Flickr/cc)

The prominent Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem on Monday defiantly defended its position that Israel is an apartheid state after the country’s education minister banned members of groups that call the Jewish state “false, derogatory names” from entering its schools.

Last week, B’Tselem published a position paper that cited “a wide array of Israeli policies” it said are “advancing and perpetuating the supremacy of one group—Jews—over another—Palestinians” before concluding that “we must look at the full picture and see it for what it is: apartheid.” Continue reading

Share Button

Media Praise of Israel’s COVID Vaccination Drive a Form of “Medical Apartheid”

Completely missing from media accounts of the Israeli vaccine drive was mention of the millions of Palestinians living under Israeli occupation, none of whom have received the vaccine.

By Alan Macleod  Published 1-4-2021 by MintPress News

Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu receive Pfizer C. POVID-19 vaccine, kickstarts vaccination drive. Screenshot: YouTube

As vaccinations for the deadly COVID-19 virus begin to be delivered in large numbers, Israel has been receiving a great deal of praise in global media for its handling of the fight against the pandemic — one that has cost the lives of over 1.8 million people worldwide in the last 12 months.

Israel has gone into vaccine “overdrive,” announced the Financial Times, noting that the country of 9 million people has become the “world leader” and an example to follow. Detailing its achievements, it told readers that, “At one vaccination site, people waited no longer than 10 minutes each to be assigned to receive a jab, with one of 10 booths being kept empty to handle overflows,” also noting that the high tech system texts citizens an exact time of arrival, to further help with crowd control. The Wall Street Journal celebrated that Israel had vaccinated more than 10% of its population in just two weeks. Other outlets like the BBC noted that the government was prioritizing the elderly, with over 40% of over 60s having already received the first dose of a two injection procedure. “Israel could become [the] 1st nation to vaccinate all its citizens,” ran an Economic Times’ headline. Continue reading

Share Button