Tuesday, November 29, 2011

"G-d Don't Like Jews"

That's what someone scrawled on the car of a Jewish family in the Marine Park neighborhood of Brooklyn. This is the latest in a string of reported incidents that have come throughout the month of November. First, there was the firebombing of cars and antisemitic graffiti in the largely Jewish neighborhood of Midwood. Then there was vandalization of a sign at the Avenue J train station to read "Avenue Jew." Last week, vandals scratched swastikas into an elevator in a building in Williamsburg. Now there's this; "G-d don't like Jews." According to WCBS, this is the sixth antisemitic incident in Brooklyn this month alone.

Following the incident, a group of community leaders released the following statement:

This is now the third such incident in our area of Brooklyn in the past month. Once again, we support and encourage our City’s Law Enforcement to do everything possible to apprehend and punish these individuals responsible for these acts of hatred which have no place in our community or in our city.

Marine Park is a neighborhood where people of all faiths have lived side by side amicably and peacefully. We will not stand for acts of hate, acts of anti-Semitism, acts of bigotry of any kind—or for that matter, any act of vandalism—in our community. We call upon anyone who has any information about the perpetrator or perpetrators of this act to come forward and contact the 63rd police precinct or any one of us immediately. Our neighborhood will never allow itself to be characterized by the act of a single hateful act. We are a community and we will continue to stand together as a community where we can all live in peace and harmony.

A video from the local cable news channel, News12, may be found here.

When the previous incidents occurred, each time I said that I hoped this did not represent a new and emerging trend. Unfortunately, I believe that time has passed. These incidents are now occurring several times per week, although, thankfully, none has risen to the level of the firebombing from earlier this month. Despite that, these incidents are not occurring in a vacuum and they are representative of the antisemitism that continues to linger out there just below the surface. It may no longer be considered socially acceptable, but, make no mistake, antisemitism remains and in times like these it is more than ready to rear its ugly head. As I wrote following the "Avenue Jew" incident:

These incidents come less than two weeks after the Anti-Defamation League released the results a survey showing an increase in antisemitic attitudes amongst Americans. The survey found 15 percent of Americans hold deeply antisemitic views, which represents an increase of 3 percent from when the survey was last conducted two years ago. Additionally, the FBI released its hate crimes statistics from 2010 a mere two days ago. 1,322 incidents were categorized as religiously motivated. 887 of them, some 67 percent, were antisemitic. Compare this to the fact that Jews make up only 2 percent of the US population.

Thankfully, no one has yet been injured in any of these incidents. Unfortunately, so long as they continue, it is likely only a matter of time before someone is seriously injured. And yes, I am aware that the reporting of these incidents is likely to spawn some copycats who seek to get something they've done in the news, but we still have the responsibility to report on them. Our history has taught us that we cannot afford to do otherwise. I am a proud Jew. I stand up. I am counted.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Antisemitic Crime Wave Continues in Brooklyn

Swastikas were found in an apartment building elevator on Friday afternoon in Brooklyn's latest antisemitic hate crime. This time, the incident occurred in Williamsburg, a mixed neighborhood with a large Hassidic Jewish population. This incident comes on the heels of the firebombing of cars and antisemitic graffiti in Midwood and graffiti changing a sign at the Avenue J train station to "Avenue Jew" earlier this month. Moreover, this is the second such incident in this particular building this month.




Equally disturbing, I learned two weeks ago at Friday night services at my synagogue that a white supremacist was living in my neighborhood, a fact confirmed a week later by an article in the New York Daily News. Thankfully, public pressure has forced Allen Rouse to leave the neighborhood after rallies last year and earlier this month:

While neighbors on the heavily Jewish block in Gravesend said they had never seen or heard of Rouse, his landlord Joseph Sardar said Rouse is moving out next week.

“He is going to move out,” Sardar told The News. "Too many people are bothering him."

My only response to that is: Good Riddance!

Unfortunately, Brooklyn's antisemitic incidents this month represent a growing trend. An Anti-Defamation League survey released earlier this month showed an upswing in antisemitic sentiment among Americans. Today, 15 percent of Americans hold deeply antisemitic views. When the survey was last conducted two years ago that number was 12 percent. It represents a theme common throughout Jewish history, whereby during times of economic difficulty antisemitism among the general population would increase. This, unfortunately, is the case even in a country as historically welcoming and tolerant as the United States.

These numbers should come as no surprise given the latest hate crime statistics released by the FBI, which cover 2010. The FBI reported 1,322 incidents as being religiously motivated. Of these, 887 of them, some 67 percent, were classified as antisemitic incidents. Compare this to the fact that we are a mere two percent of the American population. Also, while the FBI classifies antisemitic incidents as racially motivated, given that Jewish is an ethnicity, and Judaism is the religion practiced by most of those that are of Jewish ethnicity, antisemitism is primarily an ethnic hatred, particularly given that to many, if not most antisemites, whether a Jew is a practitioner of Judaism is irrelevant.

These events remind me that I am a minority in this country. In these perilous economic times all minority groups face increased bigotry. Once again, Jews prove no exception to this disturbing trend, one we are, unfortunately, all too familiar with given our history of persecution and exile. While I continue to hope that these are isolated incidents, with each new one that is reported it provides evidence that these are no longer isolated incidents, but, rather, indicative of a new and disturbing trend. Remember, this isn't happening in some place in the middle of nowhere with a small or non-existent Jewish population — it's happening in New York.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Obama Hits GOP with the Truth

We all know just how messy next year's presidential campaign will be. We all know that the Republicans will stop at nothing, including the most vile lies and misrepresentations, to defeat President Obama's re-election campaign. We all know that they are willing to make the American People and our economy pawns in their attempts to gain power. One of the groups the Republicans are targeting are one of the most traditionally liberal and Democratic groups, and a group of which I am a proud member: Jewish-Americans.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Progressive Zionist FRY'D DAZE

For our first story we have a story from Maan News coming out of Qalqiliyah where a man was Arrested for 'cursing God'
QALQILIYA (Ma'an) -- Palestinian police arrested a man on Thursday for "cursing God" while arguing with his father in Qalqiliya. 
Police responded to a call reporting a fight between a father and son in the northern West Bank town, officials said. A police report said the father called police to break up the fight after his son "cursed God." 
Police took the man, who was not identified, into custody in accordance with Article 273 of the Jordanian Penal Code, which criminalizes insulting the religious feelings of other persons or their religious faith, officials said. 
The penalty could result in a jail term of between 1-3 years, according to the code.
 It is sad that in 2011 we are still here. However this is not the first time something like this has happened in Palestinian Authority territory. According to the story in Maan, A year earlier in the same city, the PA arrested Waleed Hasayin, after he was accused of authoring blog posts critical of Islam.
Our second story comes from Egypt where ten of thousands of people rallied for an end to military and the institution of civilian rule. According to Al Jazeera:
Friday's protest drew political parties and religious movements of different stripes, though the loudest voices in the square came from Islamists, including hardline Salafis and the comparatively moderate Muslim Brotherhood.

Liberal, leftist and Islamist parties and groups such as the April 6 Movement, founded in solidarity with labour protests, participated in the rally. Islamists joined with their call to put an end to military trials of civilians, which have led to the incarceration of thousands in proceedings described by human rights activists as opaque and unfair.

Anan Zuhairi, a 26-year-old doctor, told Bilal she was not with any party or political movement but that she joined the protest because "nothing has been resolved since the revolution".

"Nothing we revolted for has happened. Emergency law is still not canceled. People are being taken out of their homes. Our demands have remained the same except they've become more," she said. "We just want democracy and freedom. The people with opinions are all in prisons." 
It seems like a new phase of the Egyptian Revolution is taking place, As angry marmothas been meticulous in describing this. It is worth checking out the information.

Our Third story comes from YNET, regarding the IAEA board rebukes defiant Iran over nuclear program
The UN nuclear watchdog board of governors censured Iran on Friday over mounting suspicions it may be seeking to develop atomic bombs, after the six big powers overcame divisions on how to best deal with a defiant Tehran.

But the resolution, which won overwhelming support at the 35-nation meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), omitted any concrete punitive steps, reflecting Russian and Chinese opposition to cornering Iran.

It was adopted by 32 votes for and two against - Cuba and Ecuador. Indonesia abstained. 
Iran however was defiant and called the findings: "unprofessional, unbalanced, illegal and politicized",

The U.S. though is vowing to stay on top of this:
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the White House welcomed a resolution on Iran's nuclear program on Friday by the United Nations atomic energy watchdog, and said the United States will keep up pressure on Tehran to abandon its drive for a nuclear bomb.The resolution by the International Atomic Energy Agency expressing growing concern about Iran's atomic work had exposed "the hollowness of Iran's claims" that its nuclear program was for purely civilian purposes, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said in a statement.

"The whole world now knows that Iran not only sought to hide its uranium enrichment program from the world for more than two decades, but also engaged in covert research and development related to activities that can have only one application: building a nuclear warhead," he said.
Finally, speaking of Iran, Yoel Marcus in Haaretz offers this scathing article: Netanyahu's policies have turned Israel into Iran
I don't know if Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Rabbi Ovadia Yosef have their dressy robes and turbans made by the same tailor and milliner, and whether the gold decorations woven into their clothes symbolize some sort of rank in their divine status or are just foppishness. Some say it's both. They have adopted the Ottoman tradition of clerics who vied in their day with the dandyish sultans. In any case, both Khamenei and Yosef have influence on questions of war and peace. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad isn't going to push that button without authorization from Khamanei, just as our prime minister and defense minister make pilgrimages to Our Master and Teacher on the issue of the Iranian threat.
Anyway, discuss or ignore or do whatever you like
Shalom

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

"Avenue Jew"

That is what some vandal or vandals changed a sign at the Avenue J train station in the Midwood neighborhood in Brooklyn to read. As of now, the sign has been removed and police are investigating this as a bias incident. This is the second incident in Midwood in less than a week. Last Friday, antisemitic vandals firebombed several cars and spray painted swastikas and "KKK" on other cars and benches less than a mile away (also see fizziks' diary about the incident and the neighborhood).

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(Photo from Vos Iz Neias)

I happen to know this train station quite well. When I was in both high school and college this is the train station I would use when taking public transportation to and from school. It is in the heart of an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood, with nearly all the stores along Avenue J for the ten blocks running from Ocean Avenue to Coney Island Avenue being closed on Friday nights and Saturdays and nearly all the restaurants being kosher.

These incidents come less than two weeks after the Anti-Defamation League released the results a survey showing an increase in antisemitic attitudes amongst Americans. The survey found 15 percent of Americans hold deeply antisemitic views, which represents an increase of 3 percent from when the survey was last conducted two years ago. Additionally, the FBI released its hate crimes statistics from 2010 a mere two days ago. 1,322 incidents were categorized as religiously motivated. 887 of them, some 67 percent, were antisemitic. Compare this to the fact that Jews make up only 2 percent of the US population.

Incidents such as what have happened in my hometown of Brooklyn, the poll released by the ADL and the statistics released by the FBI serve as stark reminders that for all that is said, as a Jew I remain a minority in this country. It also reminds all of us of the fact that all minority groups face upsurges in bigotry during perilous economic times. After last week's antisemitic incident there was a groundswell of support from all New Yorkers, culminating in a march at the site of the attack. That, unfortunately, does not change the underlying facts. We can all only hope that these two incidents represent an anomaly and not the beginning of a new and disturbing trend. To borrow from the song New York, New York, if it can happen here, it can happen anywhere.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Progressive Zionist FRY'D DAZE

Hi all... for our first story we have a story coming out of the United Nations: UN Security Council panel fails to agree on Palestinian statehood bid
A UN Security Council committee said on Friday it had failed to reach agreement over a Palestinian application for full membership in the United Nations, the Portuguese UN ambassador said. 
With seemingly no chance to get through the Security Council it had been rumored that the Palestinian Authority was dropping it's bid for Statehood. However, sources inside the P.A. are denying that. At this point many observers seem to feel that the bid must continue to the General Assembly where though they have a large amount of support, approval by the U.N.G.A. means little in terms of making a difference on the ground.
This comes on the heels of the PLO's succesful bid to be recognized by UNESCO a move that then prompted the U.S. to cut off funding for the organization and throwing it into a tailspin. Currently UNESCO is looking at large scale cut backs in it's programming and is being faced with the further difficulty that those states that backed the Palestinian bid are refusing to back up their bid with money to make up for the shortfall.

Our second story comes in light of a diary by Kossak The Troubador who mentioned last night that Palestinians were planning a demonstation in the West Bank regarding freedom of movement to and from Jewish settlements, the West Bank and East Jerusalem. One of the complaints listed was that Palestinians do not have freedom to move and it was compared to the U.S. freedom riders.
But just today a story comes to light explaining the precarious security situation in the territories. The Fars agency in Iran is saying that if Israel were to strike it they would send 30,000 suicide bombers thru Syria to infiltrate and attack Israeli targets:
The agency, which is associated with the Revolutionary Guards, reported that the men have sent a petition to the Syrian government expressing their willingness to help it through "any crisis" which may arise with Israel. 
"They have asked the Syrian government for authorization to infiltrate occupied Palestinian land and carry out suicide missions against Israeli soldiers," the report stated. The article mentions the last 'Nakba Day' during which five Palestinians infiltrated Israel and were arrested by security forces. 
"The petition said that those who signed it have passed military, combat and tactical trainings and are ready to tolerate the hardest conditions in Israel," the report said."In case a crisis is caused by Israel, these men can give Netanyahu's government serious problems." 
 Our third story comes from Maan News: Ex-prisoner on hunger strike over PA inaction
NABLUS (Ma’an) -- A released Palestinian prisoner, Amal Jumaa, 41, announced Thursday she had started a hunger strike because Palestinian Authority officials have failed to provide her medical treatment.

Jumaa told Ma’an that she has been in hospital for 13 days and wanted to "officially announce today an open hunger strike because they failed to provide necessary treatment for me."

President Abbas "issued a directive to transfer me abroad for treatment. I've been waiting for days.".......The minister of health, Fathi Abu Moghli, has also been following up on her condition for quite a long time, and "he visited her family two years ago when she was still in prison."

He says the ministry has provided all necessary treatment through the public hospital. However, at her family’s request, she was moved to a private hospital, he says. He added that based on the decision by Abbas, officials are working to issue a passport and a health file to make arrangements for transferring her to Jordan.
Hamas officials immediately decried the treatment saying that health care for released prisoners is a "moral duty".

Please discuss... Shalom

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Kristallnacht

November 9-10, 1938 - Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass. Seventy-three years ago today, Nazis unleashed a vicious antisemitic pogrom in Germany. On that night Jewish businesses were destroyed, Jews were attacked, arrested, and murdered, and synagogues burned. Many consider Kristallnacht the dividing line between the antisemitic legislation and policies begun with Hitler's assumption of power in 1933 and the Shoah (Holocaust). By the time of Germany's surrender six-and-a-half years later Hitler and his evil henchmen had murdered 6 million Jews.

Friday, November 4, 2011

FLIPPIN' FRY'DAZE

Posted on volleyboy1's behalf


Our first story of the day is one that broke earlier concerning the "Waves of Freedom" Two boat flotilla to Gaza. As everyone expected the boats were stopped, were peacefully boarded, and were redirected to the Israeli Port of Ashdod.

Haaretz reports: Israel Navy intercepts Gaza-bound aid vessels; no injuries reported

The Israel Navy on Friday afternoon intercepted two boats that approached the coast of the Gaza Strip with the intent to violate Israel's naval blockade of the territory.

After the boats failed to heed calls to turn around or dock in Egypt or Israel, Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Benny Gantz ordered naval forces to board the ships. Nobody was injured during the boarding of the ships, a military source said.

Video both on Haaretz and at Maan News show the Israeli's using Water Cannons to make sure the decks were clear and then peacefully boarding the ships after the two ships refused to turn back due when the Israelis told them too.

According to Maan News:

"Following their unwillingness to cooperate, and after ignoring calls to divert to the port of Ashdod, the decision was made to board the vessels and lead them there," the statement said.

Huwaida Arraf, a spokeswoman for the activists, said in a statement that "27 civilians on two small boats, carrying only medicine, constituted no security threat to the Israeli state, and that the determination to keep them out is only a furtherance of Israel’s policy of collective punishment, a crime against humanity.

"Despite this Israeli aggression, we will keep coming, wave after wave, by air, sea, and land, to challenge Israel’s illegal policies towards Gaza and all of Palestine," she said.

"Our movement will not stop or be stopped until Palestine is free."

At the time of the stoppage the ships were in International Waters however, their stated goal was to run the Israeli Blockade to Gaza.

Our second story regards news about any action with regards to Iran's attempting to get produce a nuclear weapon. This story gets stranger and stranger everyday. First, as I reported in a story regarding brinksmanship on Wed, we had reports that the U.K. would be moving assets into the region in the event there is a Western Strike (U.S. or Israeli). Following that, we had a quick denial by NATO that they would indeed engage in a Strike, and following that by the U.S. who also denied planning a strike. Oh yeah... and in Israel, The government is accusing the IDF and Shin Bet of leaking information to reporters regarding any potential strike.

But add to this the Iranians and their allies are not taking this lying down. In Gaza, Palestinian Islamic Jihad is pledging to go all out in the event of a war between Israel and Iran. Maan News reports: Islamic Jihad ready for all-out war with Israel

GAZA CITY (Reuters) -- Islamic Jihad, which traded deadly fire with Israel at the weekend in Gaza, does not expect a subsequent truce to last long and has at least 8,000 fighters ready for war, a spokesman said....

...."We are proud and honored to say that the Islamic Republic of Iran gives us support and help," Abu Ahmed, the spokesman for Islamic Jihad's armed wing, the al-Quds Brigades, said in a rare, long interview.

He denied widespread reports that Iran had provided his group with arms and smiled at suggestions it now receives more sophisticated weaponry from Tehran than Hamas. He also declined to comment on rumors that the brigades were trained by Iran....

....Al-Quds Brigades cells are dotted around Gaza and Abu Ahmed said there was huge demand from youngsters to join.

"We take some, but can't accept everyone ... It is a question of quality, not quantity," he said, giving for the first time an estimate of the strength of the force. "We have at least 8,000 fighters, who are fully equipped."

Then in Teheran today Iran boosts anti-U.S. rhetoric ahead of IAEA report on nuclear program

Iran marked the anniversary of the 1979 seizure of the U.S. embassy on Friday with burning flags and chants of "Death to America", escalating its anti-U.S. rhetoric ahead of the release of a pivotal UN report on its nuclear program.

Thousands of students burned the Stars and Stripes, an effigy of Uncle Sam and pictures of President Barack Obama outside the leafy downtown Tehran compound that once housed the U.S. mission....

.....For its part, Iran accuses the United States and Israel of killing several Iranian nuclear scientists in recent years.

"America has carried out terrorist acts against Iran and other countries ... We will support those who are against America's policies outside and inside America," the secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, Saeed Jalili, told the crowd outside the former embassy.

Since this.... breaking news has the French condemning the Iranians but ruling out participation in a preemptive strike on Iranian nuclear facilities. The IAEA report on Iran is due out next week. It will be interesting to see what they have to say.

Our third story is inspired by a FANTASTIC article by Bradley Burston in Haaretz regarding those that talk of the end of Israel. Burston, a progressive Israeli, wrote this: What does 'Death to Israel' mean to you?

....My daughter is an unarmed noncombatant. That should matter. It should matter, in particular, to progressives who believe, and justly so, that the inalienable rights of human beings, children in particular, take clear precedence over the strategic designs of nation-states and the appetites of nationalism.

It should matter, as well, when progressives turn a blind eye to war crimes committed against Israel - or, for that matter, to war crimes committed by Syria against Syrians. The assumption is that Israel's crimes are of such Third Reich magnitude, that anti-civilian violence committed by its enemies is either negligible or justified.

I'll grant that it may be easier to see things this way from a distance. Say, the greater Akron, Ohio area, where last week Kent State history professor Julio Pino stormed out of a lecture given by Israeli diplomat Ishmail Khaldi - the first Bedouin Arab to serve in Israel's foreign service - shouting "Death to Israel."

.... Please read the article, I think it speaks for itself.

Finally, on it's first day back in session the other day it appears the Israeli government survived (and handily) four no-confidence measures from Opposition parties (though one was from the extreme rightist National Union):

* Kadima’s no-confidence motion titled ‘The Netanyahu government’s failure in meeting the housing demand of the citizens of Israel’ was defeated 29-45 with one MK abstaining.

* Hadash, Ra’am-Ta’al and Balad’s joint no-confidence motion titled ‘The government’s failure in the political, economic and social sectors’ was
defeated 24-47 with one MK abstaining.

* Labor’s no-confidence motion titled ‘The failure of the Netanyahu government to reduce social and economic gaps’ was defeated 12-45.

* National Union’s no-confidence titled ‘The demolition of houses of Israeli citizens living in Judea and Samaria’ was defeated 4-47 with 18 MKs abstaining.

One other note: Professor Steven M. Cohen wrote an interesting piece in Haaretz about being Liberal and Jewish. Liberal, but still pro-Israel. It is a very interesting read about American and Israeli Jewery

As Always... discuss.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Richard Goldstone Weighs In On "Apartheid" Smear

Today has not been a good day for false slanders. First off, Bill Kristol was taken to task for his libel of the Occupy Movement.

Now former South African anti-Apartheid activist, Judge, and UN Commission leader Richard Goldstone has weighed in forcefully on the use of the term "Apartheid" in reference to the situation in Israel. As many of us have maintained, the venerable South African exposes that bit of extremist rhetoric as incorrect and detrimental to the cause of peace.

The fact that Goldstone felt the need to go to the New York Times with an Op-Ed says a lot about how important this is. The spread of extremist and incorrect rhetoric in regard to the I/P situation hardens viewpoints and is undermining chances for a peace and settlement.

Israel has been accused, in circles ranging from the street to academia - and of course daily in this forum - of being like Nazi Germany and Apartheid South Africa. The first of those accusation is transparently ridiculous given the lack of a fascist government or a genocide, among many other reasons, and has wisely been ruled off limits by this site's moderators. But what of the later?

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Enter Goldstone, someone who knows a thing or three about Apartheid. Goldstone was born and raised in South Africa, and was an anti-Apartheid activist since his student days. As a judge in South Africa he was instrumental in striking down or limiting Apartheid laws near the end of the old regime, and chaired the Goldstone Commission which helped investigate political violence and bring about the transition to multi-racial democracy..

Goldstone also knows a thing or three about Israel and Palestine, having chaired the UN fact-finding mission on the Gaza conflict, which accused both Israel and Hamas of war crimes.

So what does Goldstone have to say about the Apartheid charge in reference to Israel?

It is an unfair and inaccurate slander against Israel, calculated to retard rather than advance peace negotiations.


Goldstone puts it plainly
In Israel, there is no apartheid. Nothing there comes close to the definition of apartheid under the 1998 Rome Statute: "Inhumane acts ... committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime." Israeli Arabs — 20 percent of Israel’s population — vote, have political parties and representatives in the Knesset and occupy positions of acclaim, including on its Supreme Court. Arab patients lie alongside Jewish patients in Israeli hospitals, receiving identical treatment.


As someone who does see nuance in the situation, Goldstone is not a knee-jerk Israel apologist:
To be sure, there is more de facto separation between Jewish and Arab populations than Israelis should accept. Much of it is chosen by the communities themselves. Some results from discrimination. But it is not apartheid, which consciously enshrines separation as an ideal. In Israel, equal rights are the law, the aspiration and the ideal; inequities are often successfully challenged in court.


And, speaking of nuance, Goldstone does something that I have never seen those that do direct the Apartheid charge at Israel do, which is to not obscure the difference between what happens in Israel proper, and what happens in the West Bank under a military occupation
The situation in the West Bank is more complex. But here too there is no intent to maintain “an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group.” This is a critical distinction, even if Israel acts oppressively toward Palestinians there.

Obviously, the Israeli occupation of the West Bank does result in terrible social inequalities. But as Goldstone makes clear, as tragic and unjust as those may be, the situation is fundamentally different from the legal and practical situation in Apartheid-era South Africa.

On the later point, a nuanced and intelligent criticism of Goldstone's conclusions is available here.

--------------------------

In any case, the case against the applicability of the Apartheid smear within Israel proper is airtight, and I have never known those that use it to make any distinction between Israel proper and the West Bank. The bottom line is this:

Here we have someone who is both an expert on South African Apartheid and the I/P conflict telling us that the 'Apartheid' smear is wrong, and, in addition to being simply incorrect, it is inflammatory and detrimental to the cause of peace:

The mutual recognition and protection of the human dignity of all people is indispensable to bringing an end to hatred and anger. The charge that Israel is an apartheid state is a false and malicious one that precludes, rather than promotes, peace and harmony.


------------------------------

And on that last point, I would like to address those that constantly feel the need to use extremist rhetoric in regard to Israel: By employing extremist and ridiculous rhetoric, you are not helping the cause of peace, and not helping the Palestinian people in their national aspirations. You are sowing further discord and strife.

We see this extremist rhetoric with the ongoing embrace of inaccurate Nazi and Apartheid comparisons, and also the continuing embrace of the bizarre Khazar hoax and similar variants that seek to deny Jewish peoplehood. The later has reared its head yet again today (no, I am not going to link to it, but you can find it easily enough).

Today I have been accused of "supporting Apartheid", which is an odd charge to level at someone who supports a two state resolution along the '67 borders. But it is, sadly, par for the course. Like I said, it is time for you to dial the extremism back, and no less an authority than Richard Goldstone agrees with me on that.