Israel an apartheid nation

by Rukhsana Ghouse

The recent letter to the editor, âÄúDonâÄôt allow boycott of Israeli universitiesâÄù would be considered laughable if it wasnâÄôt for the fact that it is part of a dangerous campaign to cover up the apartheid nature of the Israeli government. For years now, the American public has been kept in the dark about the atrocities and war crimes committed by Israel since the onset of the brutal occupation – facts which are well known to most of the world, including our ally: Great Britain. The countless human rights abuses committed by the Israeli government for decades have been documented extensively by Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Physicians for Human Rights, Lawyers for Human Rights, and the Committee of the Red Cross, to name but a few. The latest such crimes of war took place a year ago when Israel attacked an already desperate population in Gaza. The Report of the United Nations fact finding mission on the Gaza Conflict, headed by Justice Richard Goldstone, concluded that Israel’s objective in the attack was “to punish, humiliate and terrorize a civilian population, radically diminish its local economic capacity both to work and to provide for itself, and to force upon it an ever increasing sense of dependency and vulnerability.” The authors’ comment that âÄúStifling academic cooperation is not only offensive to our diverse student body, which includes thousands of international students who come from nations with governments that individual University faculty members may disagree with politically, but it is also offensive to the thousands of researchers and scholars at the University who depend on relationships with academic leaders all over the world to improve lives through researchâÄù turns a blind eye to the stifling of criticism of Israel in mainstream American media. The system of separating and mistreating Palestinians has been described by Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter in his book âÄòPeace not ApartheidâÄô as âÄúworse even than those that once held sway in South Africa.âÄù The oppressive regime in South Africa was finally brought down by an international campaign of isolation that included economic, cultural, political and academic boycotts. Israeli academic institutions are complicit in the well-established system of apartheid practiced by the Israeli state, and their silence in the matter is the biggest indicator of their complicity. In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.” Rukhsana Ghouse Daily reader