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It's peace or apartheid -By GWYNNE DYER

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"Exploring The Powerful Issues & Emotions of The Middle East" 
  Reaching out to 51,228 Viewpoint readers around the globe

Editor's Note:

Anybody with the most simple knowledge of demographics
understands that if Israel were to believe in the notion
of one person – one vote, the "Jewish" state would cease
to exist.

Israel is not a religious state for Jews. It is a state 
for anybody who has Jewish relatives. It is based upon 
one's genetic disposition. So one can be an Atheist "Jew". 
Like former PM Golda Meir and Ariel Sharon and have no 
claim to religion. The founding father of Israel, David 
Ben Gurion was similarly an atheist. 

What makes somebody "Jewish" according to Israeli law is 
not one's religion. Most people do not know this. It is 
really based upon one's heritage. And a heritage that is 

Hence, one can choose racism as a construct or democracy...
So far Israel has chosen a racist creed at its core.

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                  Video Clip Of The Week

                 Helen Thomas on the Press

Veteran Washington correspondent Helen Thomas, whose 
history in the press corps goes back over 50 years, 
says that this is the worst press corps she has ever 
seen in all her years in Washington. 

View: Helen Thomas on the Press
It's peace or apartheid -By GWYNNE DYER

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was just back from the 
Annapolis summit on November 27, where President George 
W. Bush tried to reboot the moribund Israeli-Palestinian 
peace talks. 

More importantly, last week was also the 60th anniversary 
of the United Nations vote that divided British-ruled 
Palestine into a Jewish and an Arab state. 

That promised Arab state still doesn't exist, of course, 
but if the peace talks fail to produce it, then Israel is 
"finished," Olmert told the newspaper Haaretz. 

"If the day comes when the two-state solution collapses," 
Olmert said, "and we face a South African-style struggle 
for equal voting rights for Palestinians in the [Occupied] 
Territories, then the state of Israel is finished. "The 
Jewish organizations that are our power base in America 
will be the first to come out against us, because they 
will say they cannot support a state that does not support 
democracy and equal voting rights for all." 

It was an extraordinary thing for a right-wing Israeli 
politician to say. Israelis usually erupt in fury if 
anybody suggests a comparison with apartheid-era South 

However, Olmert wasn't talking about the country as it is 
now – 7 million people, of whom about 5.5 million are Jews 
– but about the country that would exist if 4 million 
Palestinians in the Occupied Territories remained under 
Israeli control indefinitely. 

The Arab population both within Israel and in the Occupied 
Territories is growing much faster than the Jewish 
population, even counting Jewish immigration. Sometime 
soon, there will be more Palestinians than Jews within 
the borders of the former British mandate of Palestine 
(between the Jordan River and the sea) for the first time 
since the war of 1948-49. 

For a long time, the "demographic question" did not trouble 
Israelis much. 

There were still far fewer Palestinians in the late 1980s, 
when Yasser Arafat persuaded the Palestine Liberation 
Organization to adopt the goal of a Palestinian state 
within the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem 
(an area considerably smaller than what it was given under 
the UN partition plan of 1947). 

Now the Palestinians are within sight of becoming a 
majority in the whole of the territory between the Jordan 
and the sea, and some of them are starting to abandon that 
compromise goal. 

Let us have a single democratic state in all of these 
lands, they say, and we don't mind if Israel never returns 
to its 1967 borders. 

We will just demand our equal democratic rights within this 
larger country that includes all the land now controlled 
by Israel. Our votes will change Israel from a "Jewish 
democracy" to a multi-ethnic, post-Zionist democratic 
state. Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, has already 
adopted this strategy. 

That is the spectre that haunts Ehud Olmert and every other 
thinking Israeli. If you cannot make the two-state solution 
work, then you get the one-state solution. 

Israel has the military power to deny the vote to 
Palestinians in the Occupied Territories indefinitely, but 
it will look more and more like apartheid-era South Africa, 
with the West Bank and the Gaza Strip as its Bantustans. 
Even on the right, many Israelis are concluding that a 
Palestinian state is essential to the long-term survival 
of a Jewish state. But many others still think that a two-
state deal is either undesirable or impossible, and hope 
that the current round of peace talks fails. They will 
probably not be disappointed, for Olmert's cabinet would 
collapse if he made any major concessions on Jerusalem or 
Palestinian refugees. 

His negotiating partner, Mahmoud Abbas, only controls half 
of the Palestinian population in the Occupied Territories. 

Eighty-three per cent of Israelis think there will be 
no peace deal in the next year. Expectations among 
Palestinians are even lower. But if not now, when? 

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Gwynne Dyer is a London-based independent journalist whose
articles are published in 45 countries.

And one more short article:

Israel's New Heights Of Racism - By Yuval Yoaz and Jack 

Author Sami Michael, president of the Association for 
Civil Rights in Israel, said upon the release of the 
organization's annual report that racism was so rife 
it was damaging civil liberty in Israel. 

"Israeli society is reaching new heights of racism that 
damages freedom of expression and privacy," Michael said. 
The publication coincides with Human Rights Week, which 
begins Sunday. 

The report's key points include a 26-percent rise in the 
number of racist incidents against Arabs and twice as 
many Jews reporting a feeling of hate toward Arabs. 

"We are a society under supervision under a democratic 
regime whose institutions are being undermined and which 
confers a different status to residents in the center of 
the country and in the periphery," Michael said. 

According to the June 2007 Democracy Index of the Israel 
Democracy Institute, for example, only half the public 
believes that Jews and Arabs must have full equal rights. 

Among Jewish respondents, 55 percent support the idea that 
the state should encourage Arab emigration from Israel and 
78 percent oppose the inclusion of Arab political parties 
in the government. According to a Haifa University study, 
74 percent of Jewish youths in Israel think that Arabs are 

The ACRI says that bills introduced in the Knesset 
contribute to delegitimize the country's Arab citizens, 
such as ones that would link the right to vote and receive 
state allowances to military or national service. 

They also include bills that require ministers and MKs to 
swear allegiance to a Jewish state and those that set aside 
13 percent of all state lands owned by the Jewish National 
Fund for Jews only. 

"Arab citizens are frequently subject to ridicule at the 
airports," the report states. 

It says that Arab citizens "are subject to 'racial 
profiling' that classifies them as a security threat. The 
government also threatens the freedom of expression of 
Arab journalists by brandishing the whip of economic 
boycott and ending the publication of government announce-
ments in newspapers that criticize its policy." 

Hadash Chairman MK Mohammad Barakeh said that the report 
"did not take us by surprise and neither should anyone be 
surprised by it. Its results are the natural consequence 
of a racist campaign led by political and military leaders, 
as well as the result of the anti-Arab racist policies 
implemented by consecutive governments." 


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