There are differences and similarities between Apartheid South Africa and Israeli-occupied Palestine. Israeli officials point to the differences to refute claims the occupation policies constitute apartheid. However, apartheid means separate as well as applying policies of segregation and social and economic discrimination. Palestinians are subjected to a military court system, while Israelis are under the jurisdiction of a civil court system; a segregated school system within historic Palestine; loss of freedom of movement because of the Apartheid Wall, which has forced Palestinians in the West Bank into isolated cantons. Palestinians in Gaza are segregated and locked inside the world’s largest open-air prison. Former South African Prime Minister Hendrick Verwoerdt himself called Israel an “Apartheid state.” (Rand Daily Mail, Nov. 23, 1961).
Israel apartheid policies enacted against Palestinians
In Israel, Jews and Palestinians are labeled from birth and treated differently throughout their lives. They have unequal access to social and economic privileges including land, education, employment and social welfare. 1, 43
Separate is never equal
The descendants of Palestinians that remained in Israel after the 1948 war are now over 1 million people, approximately 20 percent of the population. These Palestinians face rampant discrimination. The discrimination is sometimes from individuals and other times, systemic and codified in law. 2, 44