The propagators of the apartheid libel are racist, undemocratic and anti-peace.
The term apartheid is supposed to be used as a shield and not a sword. However, the term apartheid is now being used exclusively as a sword and exclusively with Israel. The truth is, the reason why this term is being used is precisely because of how loaded it is. The invokers of the term could cite exactly what Israeli policies they find problematic and use that as the basis for their argument, but they do not. Instead, they use the term apartheid because it smears Israel and its supporters as being deplorable people and the worst form of racists.
There is no mystery why these individuals never refer to any other state as practicing apartheid when its existence is rampant throughout the world. There is something rich about people defending their statements as an act of love for the concept of an Israeli democracy while ignoring what the current Israeli democracy says. The truth is that people using this canard are engaging in the worst forms of race baiting. They failed to convince Israelis of their political points and are trying to blackmail them into action.
The gist of the argument is that if Israel continues to occupy the West Bank when they are the minority in the land, it can only be defined as apartheid. This argument is so fundamentally unsound that it seriously questions the motivations and intentions behind its purveyors.
First of all, this argument is incredibly racist against Arab Israelis. The question stems from the control Israel has over its non-citizens. Arab Israelis are Israeli citizens and from a legal perspective, the exact same as Israel’s Jewish citizens. There is no Jewish occupation of the West Bank but an Israeli one. To include Israeli Arab citizens in the category of non-Israeli Palestinians instead of Israelis is to treat them as 2nd class citizens and unwelcome in Israel. Disgusting.
Second of all, it is undemocratic. There is no magical number at 50%.+1 If one thinks Israel is apartheid because it occupies a greater number of people than it has as citizens, they should think Israel is an apartheid state now. It stems from a fallacious belief that 50%+1 in a democracy can rule the other 49%. This shows a complete lack of understanding of how democracies work in general. 51% of a people are never allowed to rule the other 49%; democracies are based on freedom and equality for all, not for just the majority of people. To suggest that 51% percent of a population could disenfranchise 49% of a population is undemocratic.
Third of all, it ensures peace will never happen. By putting Israel in a position where it must accept a peace deal with the Palestinians or be labeled as an apartheid state, Palestinians would demand Israeli concessions that it simply could not make because they know Israel has no leverage. In fact, such an ultimatum could leave Israel in a position where it becomes so vulnerable that the security of the entire state is threatened.
I disagree with Peter Beinart but at least his views are grounded, consistent and coherent. John Kerry’s are wholly misguided and can not be defended.