We are Israel’s largest human rights group – and we are calling this apartheid | Hagai El-Ad

The Guardian
January 12, 2021

The systematic promotion of the supremacy of one group of people over another is deeply immoral and must end

  • Hagai El-Ad is executive director of B’Tselem

One cannot live a single day in Israel-Palestine without the sense that this place is constantly being engineered to privilege one people, and one people only: the Jewish people. Yet half of those living between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea are Palestinian. The chasm between these lived realities fills the air, bleeds, is everywhere on this land.

I am not simply referring to official statements spelling this out – and there are plenty, such as prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s assertion in 2019 that “Israel is not a state of all its citizens”, or the “nation state” basic law enshrining “the development of Jewish settlement as a national value”. What I am trying to get at is a deeper sense of people as desirable or undesirable, and an understanding about my country that I have been gradually exposed to since the day I was born in Haifa. Now, it is a realisation that can no longer be avoided.

Related: Israel is a non-democratic apartheid regime, says rights group

Hagai El-Ad is an Israeli human rights activist, and executive director of B’Tselem

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