Israel/Palestine and the apartheid analogy: theoretical and methodological considerations

Monday, 13 August, 2012 - 15:00

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This paper is part of a larger project that examines two related issues: (1) the extent to which the notion of 'apartheid' is applicable to Israel/Palestine today, and (2) the extent to which we can engage in a meaningful historical comparison between Israel/Palestine and South African societies. Within this overall context, this presentation focuses on background questions of a methodological and theoretical nature, rather than on the direct comparison itself, though historical material is used for purposes of illustration of the arguments.The two issues above are closely related but have distinct meanings, which are frequently conflated. They lead to two different aims: the first is to use the concept of apartheid, defined in international law, as a benchmark against which to evaluate the practices of the Israeli regime in relation to its Palestinian Arab subjects. It has nothing specifically to do with South Africa, despite its historical origins in that country. The second aim is to use the social and political histories of Israel/Palestine and South Africa in order to examine them against each other, make sense of the evolution of each one of them, outline similarities and differences between them, and draw analytical and practical-political conclusions from the study.


PDF icon Greenstein2012.pdf

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