“Apartheid” was the official South African policy that sought to maintain a complete political and social separation between South Africa’s whites and blacks. Under this policy, South African blacks were not permitted:
- To eat in white restaurants or cafes;
- To attend white schools or universities;
- To be treated in white hospitals;
- To live in white neighborhoods;
- To serve in the white government or judiciary.
Anyone who has ever been to Israel knows the minute they get off the plane that no such segregation exists in Israel.
Israel’s Arab citizens are full citizens. They attend of all Israel’s major universities. They are treated in all of Israel’s hospitals. They serve in government and the judiciary. They are welcome in all of Israel’s restaurants and cafés.
Because the claim that Israel is an apartheid country is so patently false, many BDSers are too embarrassed to say it. They argue instead that apartheid exists between Israel proper – where Jews and Arabs live as full equals – and the West Bank and Gaza, where the Palestinian residents are not Israeli citizens.
It’s true that West Bank and Gaza Palestinians are not citizens of Israel. But here is an important point to note – they don’t want to be Israeli citizens. Some Palestinians would like to destroy Israel. Others are be prepared to live in a Palestinian state alongside Israel. But no serious Palestinian leader has ever asked that the West Bank or Gaza be annexed by Israel.
Thus the answer is not for Israel to annex the West Bank and Gaza and extend Israeli citizenship to their residents. The entire Arab world would angrily reject this. The answer is for both sides to reach a peace deal. Israel has repeatedly offered to do exactly this. Unfortunately, the Palestinian leadership has repeatedly rejected these offers.