Friday, November 4, 2011

Nurit Peled-Elhanan: ‘Apartheid in Israel and Palestine …. is enabled by the most profound racism’

On the eve of the upcoming Russel Tribunal in Cape Town, dedicated to the apartheid imposed on Palestinians, one of the initiators Nurit Peled-Elhanan (a woman I admire for not ever mincing her words) reports on how racist laws imprison a nation:

"Palestinian blood is dispensable with impunity in Israel and in the occupied territories. Palestinian every day existence is impossible. Cruelty, humiliation, starvation, torture and death define their relationships with their masters, their occupiers, and their governors.

The question that has been bothering me for a long time is how do Israeli citizens, including the children who at the age of 18 join the torture machine – the IDF – cope with such a discrepancy between the values they are raised on and the practices of oppression against their neighbours?

The answer to this question lies in education. Because apartheid is not only a bunch of racist laws, it is a state of mind, fashioned by education.

Israeli children are educated from a very tender age to see “Arab” citizens and “Arabs” in general as a problem that must be solved, eliminated in one way or another."

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