Al Jazeera has obtained
a large volume of official documents concerning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The confidential files, to be released in the coming days, were shared with The Guardian
Last week, the Guardian posted a three-part special report
by their Middle East correspondent (and former South African correspondent) Chris McGreal on the similarities between the current situation in Israel and the South African Apartheid regime. The report provoked many heated responses, a selection of which is reproduced here
. The Guardian responded by inviting Benjamin Pogrund, former deputy editor of the famously anti-Apartheid Rand Daily Mail in Johannesburg, author of a number of books
on South Africa and founder of Yakar, a Jerusalem center for Israeli-Palestinian dialogue to weigh in with a response
On October 15thThe Guardian
had for its editorial "If Palestinians were black, Israel would now be a pariah state subject to economic sanctions led by the United States. Its development and settlement of the West Bank would be seen as a system of apartheid, in which the indigenous population was allowed to live in a tiny fraction of its own country, in self-dministered 'bantustans', with 'whites' monopolising the supply of water and electricity. And just as the black population was allowed into South Africa's white areas in disgracefully under-resourced townships, so Israel's treatment of Israeli Arabs - flagrantly discriminating against them in housing and education spending - would be recognised as scandalous too.
Expanding on this description, Noam Chomsky gives an account
of Israel's shift from coercive diplomacy to using direct force in implementing its "final status map". That is, the cantonization, containment and control of the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.
Edward Said's analysis in the Guardian
of the fatally flawed Peace Process
and its inevitable demise. "Israel's priorities were always put first, as was its bottomless insecurity and its preposterous demands. No attempt was made to address the fundamental injustice done when Palestinians as a people were dispossessed in 1948."