Every State is Apartheid. Why Accuse Israel Alone?

In the family of nations, failed states are separated from successful states. In every modern state, wealthy communities live apart from poorer communities. Among humans, well-to-do persons stay far away from poor people. This is how the modern state functions. It all comes down to individual choices, cultures of groups of people and conscious or sometimes unconscious political decisions made over many years or sometimes, generations. Israel has a unique situation on its hand however the way Israel has handled it makes it unjust and realistically unfair to label the Israel an Apartheid State.

South Africa, where the term “Apartheid” originated, has been under black majority rule for over 27 years now. However, black South Africans live under dire conditions which are sometimes more difficult than the era of Apartheid. That is because of a series of bad policies, poor governance and corruption led by black politicians of the country in the past three decades. It all comes down to choices, actions, and the outcomes of these choices.

Israel has annexed parts of the West Bank and other territories that were demarcated for a future Palestinian state. Israel from the very beginning, made it clear to the world that they wanted territory within the biblical borders of ancient Israel. The Palestinians who are also entitled the fundamental human right of a free conscience made it clear they did not want Israelis or Jews on land they deemed as their states. So they never really moved to accept the notion of a Palestinian State existing side-by-side with Israel.

What most people overlook is that the cultural, economic, and individual tendencies developed in the Palestinian territories were out of Israel’s control. Israel could not move into Palestinian territories and build schools, hospitals, or mosques for them – it would have been rejected outright. It follows that a Palestinian culture and individual choices of Palestinians is not under Israel’s own regulation.

Now, Israel has moved to annex parts of the West Bank and the lack of collaboration makes it difficult for standards to be made that could grant Palestinians in these territories, equal citizens. What ever will happen, will take time. It will not happen overnight, but require a lot of deliberations especially in view of the security risks inherent in the Arab-Israeli conflict.

It is completely unacceptable to smear and slander Israel when major countries in the world are committing far more serious and deliberate atrocities against minorities. France and Britain have more serious problems with their former colonies than any other country. These are countries that colonized large swathes of land sometimes violently, looted their wealth and natural resources, failed to prepare them adequately for independence and now close their doors to them. Many Algerians, Malians, Lebanese, and others would love to move to France but there are visa and immigration laws that prevent them from taking those trips. In France and the United Kingdom, there are many migrants from former colonies who are not fully absorbed because of immigration laws, many of which are very irrational and detrimental to both the host and the migrant.

In virtually every country, there are people whose dogs and pets have a better life than other citizens of the country. It is not uncommon to pass by a luxury veterinary clinic and get to a prison nearby where people are locked up. These prisons house citizens of the country who are most likely to have been failed by the system of the country and had to steal minor things to survive. Yet, people might be spending many times more money on their pets than the value of what many convicts were forced to steal.

When one sees the high number of homeless persons in some of the most sophisticated countries on the planet, one sees classic Apartheid unfold before their eyes. The only difference is that such a person was not forced to by a racist government to live separately from the wealthy elite. They are seen to be people whose free choices and actions led them to a life of homelessness and misery.

In the modern world, everything comes down to the choices people make in a free country and the culture their parents and families made. The poor and homeless in Sao Paulo, Istanbul, Los Angeles, Birmingham, Marseilles or any major city on the planet are often seen as people who made the wrong choices. Or just people in an unfortunate situation. These considerations are often enough to cover up the harsh realities people have to endure at all times.

One the other hand, we live in a world where issues connected to “racism” turn heads and draws people’s attention to issues quickly. This is what has been used to mobilize momentum to smear Israel with the Apartheid myth. In reality, the Palestinian incident has been filled with a lot of unfortunate incidents and pointers. Many Palestinians, especially in the West Bank want to live at peace with their Jewish neighbors. However, the collectivization of anti-Israel sentiments have prevented them from settling down to build a viable state.

Effectively, the current situation in Israel is unfortunate and the elements of exclusion of Palestinians in annexed territories will be resolved over time. What is apparent is that the Two-State Solution was never accepted from the onset and has proven to be unenforceable. As such, the status quo must be managed reasonably and logically within a realist framework where the best interests of parties are taken into account.

In conclusion, differentials in income, quality of life and wealth distribution in nations around the world are commonplace. There are niches in every major country on the planet which could be called Apartheid. Israel has a difficult situation which has prevented them from negotiating fairly and on equal footing with their Palestinian neighbors from 1947. As such, Israel cannot be held accountable for the culture and choices of Palestinians individually and collectively. The move towards annexation has been gradual and over time, laws and standards will evolve which will improve the quality of life of Palestinians in areas with settlements. While some of the greatest countries on the planet have been overlooked for maintaining Apartheid systems in their own countries in the name of immigration laws, Israel, if given the chance, will move to eliminate human suffering and exclusion in the Palestinian territory. However this cannot be done if there is no collaboration with the Palestinians.

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