A need for justice and peace in Israel

by Ayah Helmy — University alumnus

In a letter to the editor May 1, a student offered the opinion that Israel does not, in fact, practice apartheid. The student based this opinion on the fact that the apartheid regime in South Africa relegated blacks to Bantustans and differentiated based on race not ethnicity. I find that to be misled.

The apartheid system in South Africa seized the land from the majority black African population; confined the population to highly-policed, low-resource areas; caused a large exodus of black Africans from South Africa and created a system that made black Africans second-class citizens in their own land.

This is the same as what has been happening to the Palestinians for over 60 years. Playing with semantics and dictionary definitions neither hides the truth nor changes the facts on the ground.

The author attempts to appear neutral by mentioning the evil of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land and admitting that it is a complicated situation. Zionists routinely use this rhetoric when attempting to seem empathetic. They admit that bad things “happen” to Palestinians, as if these things occur spontaneously and that they are not carried out by a very calculated, very goal-oriented system. The atrocities that occur on the ground are not sad by-products of a plan that must take place to ensure the survival of the Jewish people — the atrocities are the plan. And the Jewish people have never been more unsafe.

There is no gray here. And the only conceivable solution to this conflict is a one-state solution, with the right of return to Palestinian refugees and a non-biased, non-preudiced legislative and judicial system to help integrate and transition the populations within the Holy Land and help them cohabitate peacefully. No one said it would be easy, but this is the only way to ensure justice, peace and security for all.