Is Israel An Apartheid State?

Apartheid was a horrific and brutal system of racism and segregation in South Africa, which created two separate distinct societies, one of the free white minority, and the other being the oppressed majority. For example, Black South Africans were barred from many jobs, and had to walk on different sides of the same streets. 

In Israel, all citizens are treated equally under the law. There are no laws that prevent non-Jews from attending universities or serving in public or private sectors. Arab-Israeli politicians, judges, bank managers, and high-ranking military officers are common in Israeli society.

Israeli civil law only applies to Israeli citizens. Palestinians, who are not citizens of Israel, and who do not live in Israel, are governed by the Palestinian Authority or Hamas in Gaza. Palestinians can and do travel to Israel from the Palestinian Authority for work, school, or religious services. Since Hamas took over the Gaza Strip in 2006, they have refused to recognize Israel’s right to exist, and to cooperate with the Israeli government. As a result, sea and border crossings remain closed to civilian traffic.

How Does HRW Malign Israel?

Deconstructing “Israeli Apartheid”

While Israel’s adversaries have always charged the country with many misdeeds, only relatively recently have these alleged transgressions coalesced into the so-called BDS movement (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions), modeled after the campaign against apartheid South Africa, and based on the allegation that Israel too is an apartheid state. An integral part of the BDS campaign is Israeli Apartheid Week on