Israeli Policies Towards the Palestinians Mirror Regimes of Apartheid in South Africa and Jim Crow in the U.S.

Black people have seen in the condition and treatment of the Palestinians a reflection of their own and recent statements by Black writers, scholars, artists, and activists have affirmed the history of Black solidarity with Palestine. Alice WalkerRobin D.G. KelleyAngela DavisFerrari SheppardTeju Cole,dream hamptonMargaret KimberleyGlen FordKevin Alexander Gray, and others have all spoken to the sheer brutality meted out against the Palestinian people by the State of Israel.

They have foregrounded the historical parallels between the everyday practices of violence, the modes of legal disenfranchisement, the normalization of racism, and the forms of segregation and containment through which the policies of the Israel towards the Palestinian people mirror the historic regimes of apartheid in South Africa and Jim Crow in the United States. And they have been at the forefront of calls for international solidarity with Palestine and for support of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement against Israel — calls that have taken on an added urgency in light of the current Israeli offensive against Gaza.

For background on the history and politics of the Israeli occupation and the Palestinian quest for self-determination, The Public Archive recommends a number of recent texts.

In The Battle for Justice in Palestine, Ali Abunimah, editor of the Electronic Intifada, places the complex local politics of the conflict into global context while describing the impact of the neoliberal turn on the practices of occupation. The collection Palestine, compiled by Funambumlist editor Leopold Lambert as part of his fantastic publication series, offers a critical take on the cartographic, spatial, and architectural elements of settler colonialism.

In Nablus: City of Civilizations [pdf] architect Naseer Rahmi ‘Arafãt conjures a meticulous oral and architectural history of the city of Nablus, a cross-roads of Arab civilization that has witnessed almost complete destruction as a result of occupation. The late Edward Said’s The Question of Palestine remains an eloquent and ethical classic while in the Idea of Israel: A History of Power and Knowledge, Israeli historian Illan Pappé, author of the earlier The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, provides an  uncompromising investigation into the ideology of Zionism and its manifestation in the practices of Israeli settler colonialism.

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