‘Israeli’ Apartheid: a brief History

By: bogusantisemitism.org

Quds News Network on Twitter: "Israeli PM Netanyahu has pledged to annex  portions of West Bank by early July, which will normalize #Israel's  apartheid in #Palestine. Cartoon by: Carlos Latuff https://t.co/uZIc6mQngC"  /

Israeli Apartheid: a brief History

Britain effectively created Israel. The land it occupies was taken by the British from the Turks after WW1 and was then effectively ceded to the Zionist Federation through our then-Tory Government’s “Balfour Declaration“. At that point only 5% of the population were Jewish. As Alison Weir in her If Americans Knew blog observes “Israel long claimed that its 1948 creation was on “a land without a people for a people without a land,” and many may still believe this founding myth. The fact is, however, that the land was originally inhabited by an indigenous population that was approximately 80 percent Muslim, 15 percent Christian, and a little under 5 percent Jewish. “

Over the following 20 years we British gave great support to Jews moving there, recognising their civic bodies and ignoring indigenous Palestinian ones. A great uprising of Palestinians in 1939 was brutally suppressed by the British Army. The end of WW2 saw vast numbers of displaced Jewish refugees moving there after Nazi persecution. They were determined to settle, and attacked any British forces in their way; the British effectively did a runner, leaving the problem in the hands of the newly-formed UN. Late 1947 saw the UN’s Partition Plan, which the Arabs rejected, but the Jews accepted. In 1948 Jews rose up and declared Israel an independent country, seizing the weapons the British Army had left behind. (Many were battle-hardened through fighting for the British in Jewish battalions in WW2; the peace-loving Palestinians were no match). There then started pogroms to seize Arab towns and a war with neighbouring Arab states, which led to the Nakba, that saw 800,000 Palestinians fleeing from their homes. Over the following decades Israel seized more and more land, bringing in settlers from across the world, renaming Arab towns, remoulding history.

The following 70 years reflect a history of maltreatment of the Palestinians. These include such crimes against humanity of summary executions, genocide, ethnic cleansing, apartheid, racism, Islamophobia, state-sponsored terrorism, deliberate maiming of unarmed civilians, violence against disabled people, abduction and incarceration of children, torture, detention without trial, house demolitions, land theft, continual breaches of international law, and many other atrocities committed against an innocent people.  Israel has run a sophisticated system of Public Relations spin, propaganda and threat- designed to manipulate public sympathies to its support; demonising the real victims of its aggression: the Palestinian people.  Palestinians continue to suffer unspeakable cruelty under illegal Israeli occupation whilst the worlds governments look on and do little to intervene.

The Nation State law of 2018 is what most clearly defines Israeli apartheid; only Jews can be nationals, all others are merely citizens. Daniel Barenboim condemned it: “This racist new law makes me ashamed to be Israeli”. Read his Guardian opinion piece on why the race law conflicts with Israel’s founding statement. He notes that back in 1948, Israel’s declaration of independence said “The state of Israel will devote itself to the development of this country for the benefit of all its people; it will be founded on the principles of freedom, justice and peace, guided by the visions of the prophets of Israel; it will grant full equal, social and political rights to all its citizens regardless of differences of religious faith, race or sex; it will ensure freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture.”

That didn’t last long… And coming after the Nakba it was always going to be a pretty empty promise.

Stuart Littlewood considers in Redress Online as to what right these “Israelis” have to be there in the first place. “DNA research by one of America’s finest university schools of medicine, Johns Hopkins, shows that most of those living today in Israel today are Ashkenazi Jews whose claim to be descended from the ancient Israelites is very weak. On the contrary, the Palestinians have more Israelite blood than the Jews – they are the real Semites. (more here). This research work was published by the Oxford University Press in 2012 on behalf of the Society of Molecular Biology and Evolution. It found evidence for the Khazarian Hypothesis, which suggests that most Jews are Khazars, and concluded that probably no more than 2 per cent of Jews in Israel are descended from Israelites.

The Khazarians converted to Talmudic Judaism in the 8th Century. They were never in ancient Israel. So, even if you believe the myth that God is some sort of real estate mogul who gave the land to the Israelites, he certainly didn’t give it to the Khazarians. Eastern European Jews who flooded into the Holy Land intending to kick the Palestinians out, are not genetically Semitic and have little or no ancestral connection to the land… This is still a controversial area of research but the Johns Hopkins study hasn’t been refuted…. If the Palestinians are indeed the true Semites, the whole anti-Semitism argument falls down. The anti-Semites turn out to be the Israeli regime itself.”

So the religious/racist case for Zionism doesn’t stand up even on its own terms!  But even if it did, we at CABA would not accept its validity.  Even if it were proven that the Zionist colonists really were direct descendants of the biblical Israelites, that still would not justify their theft of Palestinian land.

Many Palestinians in the West Bank and Jerusalem who resist Occupation are confined by Israelis in prisons under what is euphemistically described as Administrative Detention, a practice originally devised against Palestinians in the 30s by the British; there are presently 500 political prisoners at present- these people have never been tried in court. Since 1967, when the occupation began, Israel has issued over 52,000 administrative detention orders. Read War on Want’s article on Israel’s military court system here. Ask Liz Truss to tell Israel to end this practise here. And peaceful groups who protest? Israel brands Palestinian human rights groups as terrorists. Find out about all War on Want’s campaigns on Palestine here.

“Peace” Initiatives

Yitzhak Rabin, assasinated in 1995 by an Israeli ultranationalist, was the only Israeli leader with a real peace initiative who signed, with Yasser Arafat of the PLO, the Oslo Accords. (This Prime Minister and Minister of Defence was murdered by a right-wing Israeli nationalist at the end of a rally in support of the Oslo Accords, at the Kings of Israel Square in Tel Aviv.) The first Oslo Accord was an attempt in 1993 to set up a framework that would lead to the resolution of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. It anticipated a permanent solution by 2000. Rabin’s murder ended that dream, although the Accord had been jointly negotiated with foreign Minister Shimon Peres for Israel, who in 1995 signed Oslo II, in which the Palestinian Authority (PA) was given some limited powers and responsibilities in the Areas A and B and a prospect of negotiations on a final settlement based on Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338. It envisaged the two-state solution. Things have only gotten worse with the ascendancy of the right-wing Sharon, followed by Netanyahu and now Bennet. None have been interested in supporting any peaceful solution, recognising their power comes from instilling fear of Palestinians in the Israeli population. But by claiming sovereignty over Gaza and the West Bank, these leaders have undermined any claim for Israel to be a democracy – since Palestinians in the occupied areas are unable to vote for who rules over them. Disaffection with the PA led to the formation of the far more outspoken Hamas. Israel nurtured fighting and distrust between the two which became violent- Hamas was elected in Gaza and the PA controls the West Bank. The two groups urgently need to come together and hold elections (there have been none for many years) in order to speak for a unified voice for the Palestinian people. Though international law guarantees Palestinians the right to resist, few western governments acknowledge this.

How shit is used for ethnic cleansing

Jewish settlers have exploited all manner of techniques to shift Palestinians from their homes (driving cars at kids, tearing down fences at Arab homes, etc). One of the most shocking involves them using their own excrement. Speak to any Palestinian living in the West Bank and they’ll explain that upper flats are rented or bought by settlers who then resort to throwing their piss and shit onto the heads of Palestinians living below. If the Palestinians kick up a fuss, they are arrested. Palestinians in the West Bank are subject to Military Courts, with a 97% conviction rate. So eventually Palestinian families move out and the settlers declare another victory for Zionism. In one shocking incident in November 2018 that was reported (many are not), settlers pumped their own sewage into a school playground in Qalqilia, in the West Bank. The settlers who did it lived in the nearby illegal settlement of Sha’arei Tikva which is home to some 4,000 Jewish settlers. As usual, the Israeli police and army did nothing.

Civil Resistance

Issa Amro, from Hebron, West Bank

Some Palestinians bravely resist with clever non-violent methods. Issa Amro worked with young people in his Youth Against Settlements project, in one project giving them disposable cameras to document the regular Israeli brutality they faced. In 2010 he was declared “human rights defender of the year in Palestine” by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights; this led to him suffering harassment from Israeli soldiers and settlers and a series of arbitrary arrests. In May 2017, a group of four U.S. Senators and 32 Congressmen, led by senator Bernie Sanders successfully forced the Israelis to drop charges against him. But then, on September 2, 2017, he was arrested by the Palestinian Authority (PA) on charges of violating the new “electronic crimes” law. The actual offense was “denouncing on Facebook the arrest of a journalist calling for the resignation of PA head”, seen as tantamount to criticizing the Palestinian Authority. In March, 2019, Amnesty International demanded that the PA should drop all charges against him, adding “It is disgraceful that Issa Amro is facing a prison term simply for expressing his views promoting human rights online”. Innocent Palestinians such as Issa suffer attacks from both the Israeli and PA authorities. Indeed, many Palestinians believe the PA to be complicit with Israel in keeping their lives a misery- but they dare not say so. See the play dramatising Issa’s experience made by Finborough Theatre on Youtube (45 mins).


This up-to-date comprehensive film, the Israel Palestine Apartheid Explainer, (which does not mention the use of shit) was released in Feb 2022 by Amnesty to coincide with its report determining that Israel practices the crime of apartheid.

Read the whole story in a nutshell by Stuart Littlewood: Despicable Balfour: A story of betrayal (Oct, 2016) and also see The Labour Party, anti-Semitism and Zionism by John Newsinger (Jan 2017) . A really excellent book on the making of Israel – particularly the role of the US- has been penned by former ITN and BBC correspondent, Alan Hart: “Zionism- the real enemy of the Jews“. Both Rabbi Ahron Cohen (see our Rogues Gallery page) and Clare Short MP loved it.

The British have an ongoing responsibility to rectify the suffering of the Palestinian people, which has arisen due to our machinations in the Middle East. Israel cares more about what the UK thinks of it than just about any other country- even more than the US. That is why our campaigning and support for BDS is crucial, in persuading Israel that it must change.

The Future: Two State or Single State Solution?

Along with growing numbers of Palestinians and Jews, we in CABA consider the two-state solution to be dead- Israel has killed it. There is so little left for Palestine that it could never be a viable state. This is a colonial project- the Israelis are settlers there, we must not forget. The only solution is a single state, as 972 magazine, a Palestinian publication made clear in 2019: A just future demands the decolonization of Palestine – and a democratic state for all

ICAHD– an Israeli group, shares this view: they say “Understanding the ‘conflict’ as a settler colonial struggle allows us to build a holistic path toward a liberated society for Palestinians and Israelis.”

This article by Jonathan Cook on the 2019 Israeli elections showed all main Israeli parties support continued occupation Why Israel is struggling to find a way out of its political deadlock

Of course, a just peace would need to see UN resolution 194 on the right to return honoured.

Unfortunately, the doomed two-state solution is supported by all major UK political parties, along with Israel and the Palestine Authority. UK Politicians and the press frame the problem of apartheid Israel as a conflict between Israelis and Palestinians where “it takes two to start a fight” and that “if only they sat round and sorted out their differences by drawing lines on a map” all would be well. That such as solution is now utterly impossible is a matter they prefer to ignore. Palestinian and Arab leadership insist on the “1967 borders”- a position that will never be accepted by Israel. 

Israel will never agree to relinquish the thousands of homes they’ve built on stolen land

It was reported back in 2009 that although polls had consistently shown Israeli and Palestinian majorities in favour of a negotiated two-state settlement, there was “growing disillusionment” with a two-state solution. A poll published in 2021 by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research revealed that only 39% of Palestinians now support the two-state solution. 60% of Palestinians said the final goal of their national movement should be “to work toward reclaiming all of historic Palestine from the river to the sea”. Another report published in 2021 by the RAND Corporation found that Israelis across the political spectrum opposed a two-state solution. But for very different reasons: Israel is moving to the right and growing numbers of Jews in Israel reject any accommodation with the Palestinians- they know they hold all the cards. Predictably, the Amnesty report calling Israel apartheid has been either ignored or condemned in the Israeli press.

It is no surprise that Israel has become progressively more hard-line towards the Palestinians over the past 25 years. Bennet, Netanyahu and Sharon before them led Israeli Governments that were past masters of stoking fear, who shamelessly peddled Holocaust tropes in order to frighten Israeli Jews into voting for them. They take every opportunity to paint Palestinians as little better than the Nazis, for wanting to drive them from their promised land. Israeli Jews are encouraged to think that to give an inch is to show weakness- and that all Palestinians want to drive them into the sea. On this basis they persuade the US to award them several billions of dollars each year (the US approved over $3.8 billion in foreign assistance to Israel in 2019; most is for weapons) as they argue that their defence is crucial to their survival. The right wing exploit the fear that Israeli citizens have of a second Holocaust should they accommodate the Palestinians. Extreme Zionists Jews are welcomed each year to settle in Arab land, to help create Eretz Israel- a land where there are no Palestinians and the Jews rule supreme. South Africa’s Afrikaners were the same in their fear of the ANC; it will take a concerted effort from the US and the UK to make change. Corbyn was the leader the Israelis feared the most which is why they worked so hard to remove him (see Al Jazeera Investigations: The Lobby).

Israel cannot continue to claim to be a democratic nation. Haaretz noted that the number of Arabs in Israel (including Gaza and the West Bank) would exceed that of Jews by 2020. If it were a true democracy, the country should be ruled by Arabs, a prospect so terrifying to Jewish leaders that they can only maintain their control through denying the 4.4 million Arabs living in the occupied areas the right to vote in national elections.

Apartheid in South Africa only began to fall apart when US sanctions from the mid-80s onwards created a run on the Rand- the whites gave in, when they knew that economically their prospects were grim. And so it is only through BDS that we will achieve the same for Palestine.

Films about Israel, Palestine

Three speeches from Labour Conference 2019- Fringe Meeting for the Hebron Freedom Fund BDS, Antisemitism and a Free Palestine Miko Peled 38 mins; Israeli Interference in British Democracy Tom Suarez18 mins; A Free Palestine Dr Azzam Tamimi 13 mins


Occupation 101  Informative film in the Palestine- Israel Conflict. Voices of the silenced majority Part 1   2011   90 min

Palestine: The Reality  by Karl Sabbagh  2017  30 mins  (Palestine: The Reality is a very personal documentary on the document which left devastating consequences in the Middle East. Sabbagh describes the film as an attempt to reveal the truth, as set out in official documents, memoirs and writings by the people involved. The documentary concludes with a revised ‘Balfour Declaration’ pledging the same rights to Palestinians as were given to Jews 100 years ago.)

The Survivor’s Guide to Gaza    SBS 2016  – 24 min including 3 mins  on Gaza Sky Geeks, an incredible project building IT skills to help an imprisoned people deal electronically with the outside world.

Israel and Palestine Explained 2014 10 min Mini-doc that takes you through the history of the conflict-from the establishment of Jerusalem as a holy city, all the way through Israel’s 2014 invasion of Gaza.

Where Should The Birds Fly  2016  61 mins The film documents the separate stories and shared experience of two women in Gaza. It opens by briefly introducing us two the two major characters — Mona Al Samouni and Fida Qishta. Mona Al Samouni is an 11 year old girl whose family died when her home was hit by Israeli rockets during Operation Cast Lead. Fida Qishta, the filmmaker, is a Gazan videographer, teacher, and human rights worker. Born and raised in Rafah, Gaza, she began her filmmaking career as a wedding videographer and soon moved on to working with international human rights observers in Gaza, documenting day to day life under siege. In the opening sequences of the film we see all these aspects of Fida’s life — a wedding, the efforts of farmers and fishermen to carry out their work under siege, and the destruction of her family home in Rafah by Israeli bulldozers. The film follows farmers attempting to work their fields and harvest crops near the Gaza-Israel border coming under gunfire from Israeli border patrols. It documents the efforts of fishermen to maintain their livelihood while under attack from Israeli gunboats. Fida’s graphic coverage of the late 2008 to early 2009 military attack on Gaza concludes her story and leads us directly into Mona’s story.

Mona explains, just several days after the actual events, how she witnessed the deaths of five family members when rockets were fired into the house where they sought refuge. The film then follows her over a period of two years as she copes with her grief and loss and tries to make sense of her experience. Although she speaks from a child’s perspective, she seems much older than her years. She expresses her feelings reluctantly and with difficulty — ‘I lost my mother, my father, my freedom and the life I had…. I know that people don’t appreciate the blessings they have until they lose them…’. But we see into her heart through the drawings that she makes. She shows us her family as it was, and as it is after the attack. She shows us her life as it was, and as it is now. Her sister and brother describe Mona’s trauma and theirs as well, so we see Mona’s story told from the adult perspective. The film ends with Mona’s hopes for the future, her hopes to be free, her hopes to tell the world about life in Gaza. While the film visually tells the story of the efforts of Gazans to live and work under conditions of siege, and documents the horrific Israeli military attack, it is also about the struggle of these two women to maintain humanity, humour and hope, and to find some sense of normality in a world that is anything but normal. Through the lens of the camera we see the different sides of Gaza — the border, the lives of farmers and fishermen, the impact of military attack, and the effort to pick up shattered lives and maintain humanity.

What is Nakba?” This is a good film on Facebook: 6min

Israeli settlements, explained | Settlements Part I 8 min
Why Israeli settlements don’t feel like a conflict zone | Settlements Part II 11 min

The Israel-Palestine conflict: a brief, simple history 10 min

IsraHell on Earth 1 hr 26mins This powerful documentary exposes the hell that the Palestinians have been going through. 2012 [skip the bit from 24mins in to 31 mins which makes claims about Rothschild Zionism and the Talmud and magic which we didn’t care for much with David Icke, but the rest is excellent]

Running on empty: inside the Gaza strip – 2014 C4 7 min

Al Jazeera Investigations: The Lobby – How Israel Influences British Politics. In the first of a four-part series, Al Jazeera goes undercover inside the Israel Lobby in Britain. To undermine BDS and control Westminster politics in its favour 2017 25 min

Palestine belongs to the Arabs 3 mins.  Famous people criticise Israel with short pithy statements.

Zionism and anti-Semitism: Joseph Massad on the sordid historical alliance (Moderate Rebels Ep. 9) : an audio discussion.

Three Minute Warning” from Iqbal Mohammed of Dynamiq Films in Huddersfield about “roof-knocking” – what Israeli bombs mean to a Gaza family-  11 mins 2018 

Democracy Now! clip It’s Time to Tell the Truth: Israeli Journalist Gideon Levy Supports Ilhan Omar’s Critique of Israel-

News item- 6.5 mins; March 2019 The House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a resolution condemning anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim discrimination, white supremacy and other forms of hate, following a week of debate among congressional Democrats. The controversy began after some lawmakers accused Democratic Congressmember Ilhan Omar of invoking anti-Semitic tropes while questioning U.S. foreign policy on Israel.

‘Gaza’, a Canadian-Irish documentary By Andrew McConnell & Garry Keane, rent or buy from Amazon. “It gives an insight into how people try to live their lives in this very difficult environment, whether a taxi-driver and his customers, a cello-playing girl or fishermen restricted by gunships to within 3 miles of the shore.” A JVL member says this is “a must-see film for anyone who wants to understand the imprisonment of the people of Gaza from their own point of view, but especially from the point of view of an ambulance driver and even more so from the perspective of the children, who have lived all their lives confronted with a seemingly unceasing war against them and their families”  Click here  to view the official trailer.

Gaza Fights For Freedom  Empire Files. The full film at 84 mins was released in August 2019- Buy for £4.27. Film-maker Abby Martin, denied entry to Gaza, connected with a team of journalists in Gaza to produce the film through the blockade. This collaboration shows you Gaza’s protest movement like you’ve never seen before. Filmed during the height of the Great March Of Return protests, it features exclusive footage of demonstrations where 200 unarmed civilians have been killed by Israeli snipers since March 30, 2018. The documentary tells the story of Gaza past and present, showing rare archival footage that explains the history never acknowledged by mass media. Victims are heard from the ongoing massacre, including journalists, medics and the family of internationally-acclaimed paramedic, Razan al-Najjar. At its core, ‘Gaza Fights For Freedom’ is a thorough indictment of the Israeli military for war crimes, with legal documentation and photographic evidence. See the Trailer here

iqsquared debate: Is anti-Zionism anti-semitism? July 2019 80 mins

Stone Cold Justice’ Australian film on Israel’s torture of Palestinian children 45min 2014

Dispatches – inside Britain’s Israel Lobby” The 2011 Channel 4 TV programme showed that Al Jazeera are not the first to expose Israel’s influence of UK politics. 48 min

ONE STATE: The Palexpo in summer 2019 in London had a highlight with this speech from veteran Israeli journalist Gideon Levy when he espoused the One State Solution for Palestine: he says “Those who today talk about a two-state solution are the biggest supporters of occupation”. 17 min

Palestine is still the issue. John Pilger 53 mins 2010

Know your Stuff: Israel’s “Jewish Nation-State Law” Explained – Released on 18/10/18: the uber-mensch and the unter-mensch explained. An illuminating 23 minute video by Dr. Shir Hever

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