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Sign: "Apartheid" is acceptable in Israel - it should be acceptable in the U.S.

Numerous high-ranking Israeli officials, journalists and human rights groups have been using the term apartheid for years (see list below) to talk about Israel.

But Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham is using an unsubstantiated charge that Secretary of Defense nominee Chuck Hagel said Israel is in danger of “becoming an apartheid state” to label Hagel an Israel-hater and unsuitable for the job. 

Tell Graham we will not accept his McCarthyite attempt to smear a U.S. citizen for using a term that has been used by numerous Israelis, including a former prime minister.

Senator Graham: As advocates of Israeli-Palestinian peace, we reject your efforts to make sincerely held concerns about Israel's moves toward South Africa-style apartheid—which are held by numerous high-level Israeli officials including former prime ministers—seem sinister if voiced by an American. Stop your McCarthyite smear campaign against Chuck Hagel.
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You’ll Never Guess Which Israelis Have Used the Term Apartheid  to talk about Israel

Former Foreign Ministry director-general ambassador to South Africa Alon Liel: “If you, President Obama, intend to come here for a courtesy visit - don’t come. Don’t come! We don’t need you here for a courtesy visit. You cannot come to an area that exhibits signs of apartheid and ignore them. That would simply be an unethical visit. You yourself know full well that Israel is standing at the apartheid cliff. If you don’t deal with this topic during your visit, the responsibility will at the end of the process also lie with you.” (2013)

Israeli Defense Minister (and former Prime Minister) Ehud Barak: "As long as in this territory west of the Jordan River there is only one political entity called Israel it is going to be either non-Jewish, or non-democratic. If this bloc of millions of Palestinians cannot vote, that will be an apartheid state." (2010)

Former Israeli Minister of Education Yossi Sarid: "What acts like apartheid, is run like apartheid and harasses like apartheid, is not a duck - it is apartheid… What should frighten us, however, is not the description of reality, but reality itself… The Palestinians are unfortunate because they have not produced a Nelson Mandela; the Israelis are unfortunate because they have not produced an F.W. de Klerk. "(2008)

Former Israeli Minister of Education Shulamit Aloni: "Jewish self-righteousness is taken for granted among ourselves to such an extent that we fail to see what’s right in front of our eyes. It’s simply inconceivable that the ultimate victims, the Jews, can carry out evil deeds. Nevertheless, the state of Israel practices its own, quite violent, form of Apartheid with the native Palestinian population." (2007)

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert: "If the day comes when the two-state solution collapses, and we face a South African-style struggle for equal voting rights (also for the Palestinians in the territories), then, as soon as that happens, the State of Israel is finished." (2007)

Israeli newspaper Haaretz editorial: "The de facto separation is today more similar to political apartheid than an occupation regime because of its constancy. One side - determined by national, not geographic association - includes people who have the right to choose and the freedom to move, and a growing economy. On the other side are people closed behind the walls surrounding their community, who have no right to vote, lack freedom of movement, and have no chance to plan their future. " (2007)

Former Israeli attorney general Michael Ben-Yair: "[In 1967] We enthusiastically chose to become a colonial society, ignoring international treaties, expropriating lands, transferring settlers from Israel to the occupied territories, engaging in theft and finding justification for all these activities. Passionately desiring to keep the occupied territories, we developed two judicial systems: one – progressive, liberal – in Israel; and the other – cruel, injurious – in the occupied territories. In effect, we established an apartheid regime in the occupied territories immediately following their capture. That oppressive regime exists to this day." (2002)

Israeli human rights group B’Tselem: "Israel has created in the Occupied Territories a regime of separation based on discrimination, applying two separate systems of law in the same area and basing the rights of individuals on their nationality. This regime … is reminiscent of distasteful regimes from the past such as the Apartheid regime in South Africa." (2002)


Former Israeli admiral and Knesset member Ami Ayalon: "Israel must decide quickly what sort of environment it wants to live in because the current model, which has some apartheid characteristics, is not compatible with Jewish principles." (2000)

David Ben-Gurion, first Prime Minister of Israel, (cited): "Israel, he said, better rid itself of the territories and their Arab population as soon as possible. If it did not Israel would soon become an Apartheid State." (1967 - cited in Hirsh Goodman, 2005)