Israel is not Apartheid: Response to Saeed

Mohamed Saeed is spreading blatant fallacies and misinformation. Israel is not an apartheid state, and its operations in Gaza are not illegal in the slightest.

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Gaza Apartheid Israel

This article was already intended to be a response to an article published in The Star and on IOL, but after a few weeks of waiting for a response, it is clear that it is unlikely to be published. To ensure that the contents of this article are read, it has been published here.

Mohamed Saeed is spreading blatant fallacies and misinformation (Let’s support South Africa’s case at the ICJ, 21 May 2024). Israel is not an apartheid state, and its operations in Gaza are not illegal in the slightest.

Apartheid is a system of racial segregation and oppression. Israel is one of the most culturally, religiously and racially diverse countries in the Middle East, with Arab and Muslim Israelis enjoying the same rights as any Jewish Israeli. Something Jews cannot expect to receive in any of the Arabic countries that they were expelled from in the 20th century.

The current military action is a legal act of self-defence and justified retaliation for Hamas’ brutal attacks on October 7th, where over a thousand Israelis were tortured and killed in cold blood, with many being viciously raped. A direct and personal act of violence very different from the current Gaza conflict, where Hamas is using civilians as human shields and sacrifices to make Israel look bad.

Additionally, Israel is not a settler state, engaging in any of Saeed’s cavalcade of ahistorical assertions. Jews have inhabited Israel for thousands of years. They were willing to share the land with Arabic neighbours. But many Arab powers and groups didn’t want to share the land with Jews and started a war.

The Nakba wasn’t a land confiscation. It was Arabs being told by Arab armies to get out of the way, so the Arabic forces could wipe out the Jews in 1948. Arabs who stayed on their land became Israeli citizens. Those who tacitly supported this attempted genocide didn’t return because they are unwilling to live alongside Jews in a peaceful state.

The issue has always been the Palestinian’s refusal to live peacefully alongside Jewish Israelis. South Africa’s support of such a genocidal cause is frankly shameful.

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