Israel, Canada & The United States: An Apartheid Regime And Its Enablers

Apartheid, a crime against humanity, is defined by the United Nations as “inhuman acts committed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group of persons and systematically oppressing them.” The term was coined by the minority-white government of South Africa in 1948, and the word is from Afrikaans and means ‘apartness’. For decades, South Africa was the most notorious practitioner of this racist policy. Even the blatant and shocking discrimination in the United States in the decade of the 1950s, much of which continues to this day, does not reach the heights of the racism of apartheid.

Israel has long been an apartheid regime. The evidence of that was clearly documented by the Israel-based human rights group, B’Tselem in January of 2021, quickly followed by the New York-based Human Rights Watch, and then the Geneva-based Amnesty International. The Palestinian human rights organizations Adalah and Al-Haq have also provided clear documentation of the fact that Israel is an apartheid regime.

One would think that most countries would shun Israel as they did South Africa a generation ago (the U.S. being the most notable exception, then and now). In February of 2022, James Wanki, spokesperson for Global Affairs Canada, said this: “Canada rejects the view that Israel’s actions constitute apartheid.”

The U.S. Ambassador to Israel, Tom Nides said, in response to the report, “This is absurd,” echoing the official position of the United States.

The Amnesty International report on Israeli apartheid is 280 pages long, and documents in detail the atrocities Israel commits against the Palestinian people on a daily basis. One excerpt from the report follows:

“Amnesty’s research confirms that the government of Israel has created and maintains laws, policies, and practices that deliberately oppress Palestinians. This includes racist seizures of property, and policies that make it impossible for many Palestinians to build homes. Additional violations include unlawful killing and serious injury, torture, forcible transfer, persecution, and the denial of many other basic rights and freedoms.”

One wonders how Canada, which prides itself on being a hospitable nation, and the U.S., which declares itself a beacon of freedom and human right around the world, are so willing to overlook Israel’s crimes against humanity.

In 2020, Canada lost its bid for a temporary seat on the United Nations Security Council. NDP member Jack Harris called the defeat “very disappointing” and said this: “… we have been inconsistent in our support for human rights, going so far as to vote against almost every UN resolution upholding Palestinian rights….”

And now, when it was thought that the Israeli government couldn’t possibly be more racist and brutal than it’s been for over 70 years, it has outdone itself. The only way the war criminal Benjamin Netanyahu could cobble together a government after five elections in four years was to sell whatever was left of his soul to the most extreme members of the government. We will look at just two.

  • Ben Gvir, the new National Security Minister. He claimed in a 2015 interview that he has been indicted for crimes 53 times. In 2007, he was convicted of incitement to racism. When Netanyahu applied the breaks temporarily to his controversial plan to overhaul (read: destroy) the so-called justice system in Israel, Gvir was most displeased. He demanded of Netanyahu and received his own private militia. There can be no doubt that this militia will be used to terrorize and kill innocent Palestinian men, women, and children.
  • Bezalel Smotrich, the Finance Minister, called for the village of Huwara to be ‘wiped out’, following a deadly rampage against the village by hundreds of illegal settlers/terrorists, protected by IDF terrorists. He also said there is not now and never has been such a thing as a Palestinian people.

If the ineffective, traitorous president of Palestine, Mahmoud Abbas, had called for the ‘wiping out’ of an Israeli village, U.S. President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau would have expressed their horror at such antisemitism. Instead, the Biden administration granted Smotrich a visa to visit the U.S., and the Canadian government issued a statement saying: “These shameful comments from Minister Smotrich are unacceptable.” It is comforting, one supposes, to know that the Canadian government considers genocide ‘unacceptable’.

If the U.S. government had any real interest in protecting the human rights of the Palestinian people, it could have altered Israeli policies decades ago and could do so today. The U.S. gives Israel $4 billion in foreign aid every year, more than it gives to all other nations combined. Why, one might ask, would the U.S. give so much money to a prosperous, First World nation, one with an atrocious human rights record, that will not accede to even the smallest request by the U.S.?

This is, unfortunately, nothing new.

In 1987, U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz created a plan to hopefully resolve the Israeli-Palestine conflict. He called for 1) the convening of an international conference; 2) a six-month negotiating period that would bring about an interim phase for Palestinian self-determination for the West Bank and Gaza Strip; 3) a date of December 1988 for the start of talks between Israel and Palestine for the final resolution of the conflict.

Israeli Prime Minister at the time, Yitzhak Shamir, immediately rejected this plan, claiming, bizarrely, that it did nothing to forward the cause of peace. In response, the U.S. issued a new memorandum, emphasizing economic and security agreements with Israel, and accelerating the delivery of seventy-five F-16 fighter jets. This, ostensibly, was to encourage Israel to accept the peace plan proposals. Yet Israel did not yield. “Instead, as an Israeli journalist commented, the message received was: ‘One may say no to America and still get a bonus.’”

Part of the explanation is the pro-Israeli lobby in the U.S. Lobby groups control the government, and the more money they donate to the election campaigns of politicians, the more control they have. Once their candidates are elected, lobbyists write legislation that their elected ‘representative’ introduces and votes on. In the 2021 – 2022 election cycle, pro-Israel lobby groups contributed $8,638,876.00 to U.S. political candidates. For U.S. members of Congress, human rights are a distant second on the priority list, if respecting them might stop the flow of campaign contributions.

For the first time in its 70+ year bloody and violent history, Israel is now facing unprecedented civil unrest. Its citizens, happy to allow the oppression and denial of rights to the Palestinians, are now faced with the denial of rights themselves. This, they cannot tolerate. The government can do whatever it wants to the Palestinians, but when their own rights are threatened, they take to the streets; hundreds of thousands have been marching on weekends in protest of Netanyahu’s proposed changes to what passes as the justice system in the apartheid entity.

Will this bring about any changes on the international stage? Will calls by the government to ‘erase’ and ‘wipe out’ Palestinian villages, and overhaul the ‘justice system’, be enough for international leaders to finally act? Will the United Nations Security Council finally do something to protect the people of Palestine?

If what we have seen so far is any indication, the answer to these questions is, unfortunately, no. Many countries trade freely with the apartheid regime, and as long as the dollars are flowing, not much else matters. And the U.S. will continue to use its veto power on the Security Council to protect Israel from accountability for its violations of the human rights of the Palestinian people and its crimes against humanity.

The liberation of Palestine will be a people’s movement. It is ever-growing; recent polls in the U.S. indicate that Democratic voters now are more sympathetic to the Palestinians than they are to the Israelis; this is a major shift. It is at the polls that these voices will be heard, and U.S. politicians will do anything to retain their seats of power and prestige. Continued support for Israel will not bring them success. The voters must make this very clear to them, at every election cycle.

Leave a Reply