| Israeli Occupation: If this isn’t apartheid, then what is it?

If this isn’t apartheid, then what is it? ~ Ran Greenstein, +972 Magazine.

We do not need to find identical practices to those prevailing in pre-1994 South Africa in order to determine whether apartheid exists elsewhere.

For a few years now, opinion pieces and articles in the South African and Israeli press have shown confusion regarding the meaning of the comparison between Israel and apartheid South Africa. How can we sort out the conceptual mess that afflicts the debates around the issue?

First, let us examine the meaning of apartheid. The term defines the race-based regime of political domination and social marginalisation that ruled South Africa from 1948 to 1994. Alongside this meaning, another definition emerged in international law, drawing on the South African example but gradually moving away from it. With the demise of the apartheid regime in 1994, its legal meaning took a decisive step away from South African realities. The 2002 Statute of the International Criminal Court contains no references to South Africa and regards apartheid as “an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group.” We must also bear in mind that the 1965 International Convention on eliminating racial discrimination extends the term to cover “any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, color, descent, or national or ethnic origin.” In other words, it is not restricted to ‘race’ in the common meaning that invokes real or imaginary biological differences in its definition.

 

While apartheid remains associated in our minds with its South African origins, legally it has no necessary relation to South Africa. We do not need to find identical practices to those prevailing in pre-1994 South Africa in order to determine whether apartheid exists elsewhere. The key question is the identification of a regime that practices systematic oppression and domination by one group over another. How then does it apply to Israel?

To answer that, we need to clarify another concept: Israel. While usually seen as residing within its pre-1967 boundaries, the Israeli regime exercises control over Palestinians in the occupied territories of the West Bank and Gaza. For the last 46 years, all residents within Greater Israel have lived under the same regime, which claims to be the sole legitimate political and military authority. The state controls the territory between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, ruling over 8 million rights-bearing citizens (75 percent of whom are Jews) and 4 million Palestinian subjects denied civil and political rights. To complete the picture, millions of Palestinian refugees (who were born in the territory or their direct ancestors were) cannot set foot in their homeland, let alone determine its political future as citizens.

How is the notion of apartheid relevant to this reality?

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The Israeli regime is based on an ethnic/religious distinction between Jewish insiders and Palestinian outsiders. It expands citizenship beyond its territory, potentially to all Jews regardless of their links to the country, and contracts citizenship within it: Palestinians in the occupied territories and refugees outside have no citizenship and cannot become Israeli citizens.

The regime combines different modes of rule: civilian authority with democratic institutions within the Green Line (pre-67 boundaries), and military authority beyond it. In times of crisis, the military mode of rule spills over the Line to apply to Palestinian citizens in Israel. At all times, the civilian mode of rule spills over the Line to apply to Jewish settlers. The distinction between the two sides of the Line is constantly eroding as a result, and norms and practices developed under the occupation filter back into Israel. Israel as a ‘Jewish democratic state’ is ‘democratic’ for Jews and ‘Jewish’ for Arabs.

It is in fact a ‘Jewish demographic state.’ Demography – the fear that Jews may become a minority – is the prime concern behind state policies. All state institutions and practices are geared to meet the concern for a permanent Jewish majority exercising absolute political domination.

These conditions are particularly visible in the occupied territories: Jewish settlers live in exclusive communities, from which all Palestinian locals are barred (except, occasionally, as ‘hewers of wood and drawers of water’). They drive on Israeli-only roads, enjoy Israeli military protection and access to all the privileges and and services that come with citizenship rights, including voting for the Israeli parliament. Palestinian subjects are denied access to any of the above, and have no say in the way they are governed. ‘No taxation without representation’ is a noble political principle that does not apply to them, only to Israeli settlers.

How should we call a regime that leaves millions of its subjects with no political rights, that practices segregation in all walks of life and that denies them the basic right to determine their future? True, there is a Palestinian Authority as well, but it has no power over crucial issues of security, land, water, movement of people and goods, industry and trade. All that matters is controlled by Israeli military authorities, which operate on behalf and at the behest of settlers and Israeli interest groups. That the territories have not been formally annexed to Israel is irrelevant – it changes none of the oppressive practices to which Palestinians are daily subjected.

Some people prefer not to term this regime apartheid because it is indeed different (not better) in some respects from what existed in South Africa before 1994. Fair enough, but what better term is there?

Ran Greenstein is an Israeli-born associate professor in the sociology department at the University of the Witwatersrand, in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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Related:
Echoes of South Africa’s ‘District Six’ in the Negev
Tzipi Livni joins the ‘Israel apartheid’ club
When ‘apartheid’ seems to be the hardest word 

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| BREAKING: Now China sends warships + 1000 marines to Syria!

BREAKING: China Sends Warships & 1000 Marines to Syria, Accuses the U.S. of lying About Syria And Ignoring International Laws. Russia Sends another Amphibous Assault Ship. Turkey Sends More Troops to Syria Border ~ InvestmentWatch.

Report: Russia sends another navy ship towards Syria

MOSCOW – Russia is sending its large landing ship Nikolai Filchenkov towards the Syrian coast, state news agency Interfax quoted a navy source as saying on Friday.

Western naval sources reported Friday that a Chinese landing craft, the Jinggangshan, with a 1,000-strong marine battalion had reached the Red Sea en route for the Mediterranean off Syria.

http://www.debka.com/newsupdate/5640/

China is accusing the U.S. of lying about Syria. They say the U.S. has made a mess of Iraq and Afghanistan. They wrote it was the Rebels that committed the chemical attack and the U.S is ignoring that fact as they want war for political reasons.

 

http://sherriequestioningall.blogspot…

 

Report: China Sends Warships to Coast of Syria

http://www.infowars.com/report-china-sends-warships-to-coast-of-syria/

U.S. Already Has Military Forces Well Within Range For A Syrian Strike

http://www.floatingpath.com/2013/09/04/u-s-already-military-forces-well-within-range-syrian-strike/

Turkey sends more troops to Syria border

http://www.presstv.com/detail/2013/09/06/322375/turkey-increases-troops-on-syria-border/

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| Russia has equipped Syria with their most advanced anti-ship missiles!

Russia Has Equipped Syria With Their Most Advanced Anti-Ship MissilesMichael Snyder, The Economic Collapse.

Russia has sold Syria highly advanced rocket launchers, anti-aircraft missiles and anti-ship missiles.  In fact, the P-800 Yakhont anti-ship missiles that Russia has equipped Syria with are the most advanced anti-ship missiles that Russia has.  When the United States strikes Syria, they might be quite surprised at how hard Syria can hit back.  The Syrian military is the most formidable adversary that the U.S. military has tangled with in the Middle East by far.  From Syria, P-800 Yakhont anti-ship missiles can cover much of the eastern Mediterranean and can even reach air bases in Cyprus.  If the U.S. Navy is not very careful to stay out of range, we could easily see footage of destroyed U.S. naval vessels sinking into the Mediterranean Sea on the evening news.  And once the American people see such footage, it will be impossible to stop a full-blown war between the United States and Syria.

Syria has highly advanced weapons systems that Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya did not have.  Anyone that thinks that we can just sit back and lob cruise missiles at them is being naive.  Syria has weapons that “have never before been seen” in the Middle East.  The following is from a recent article by Mac Slavo

According to the report from Syrian-based Dam Press and the Dyar Newspaper, the Russians aren’t backing off their Syria policy and they are getting ready to double down by supplying Assad’s military with weapons the have never before been seen in the middle east.

If and when Western forces engage the Syrian army you can be assured that it will be nothing like the 1991 conflict in Iraq when a hundred thousand of Saddam Hussein’s soldiers surrendered without firing a shot. Nor will it be a no-fly zone free-for-all where air forces will be able to target military assets as they did in Libya without being challenged.

No, this time will be different.

Posted below are some excerpts from a translation of the article from Syrian-based Dam Press that Mac Slavo mentioned…

The Patriot Missiles will be hit and repealed with S300 SAM [already installed in Syria]Putin also threatened to deliver the more advanced S400 anti-aircraft missiles

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He added that Russia will also supply Syria with state-of-the-art 24-Barrell rocket launchers which have a range of 60 km ranked as the most developed artillery weapon of its kind.

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Putin clearly stated that the Middle East is going to witness a significant change.  Syria will be armed with weapons that have never been seen before [in the Middle East] including computer guided smart missiles that never miss their target.

He also added that Russia will supply Syria with Skean 5 ground-to-sea missiles that are capable of hitting and sinking any target up to 250 km off the Syrian coast.

The weapons systems mentioned in that article are very powerful.  For instance, the video posted below contains footage of therocket launchers mentioned in the article…

But of most immediate concern for the U.S. military are the anti-ship missiles which Syria has reportedly acquired.

According to the New York Times, the P-800 Yakhont anti-ship missiles that Russia has sent to Syria are equipped with highly advanced radar capabilities…

Russia has sent advanced antiship cruise missiles to Syria, a move that illustrates the depth of its support for the Syrian government led by President Bashar al-Assad, American officials said Thursday.

Russia has previously provided a version of the missiles, called Yakhonts, to Syria. But those delivered recently are outfitted with an advanced radar that makes them more effective, according to American officials who are familiar with classified intelligence reports and would only discuss the shipment on the basis of anonymity.

These missiles have a range of approximately 180 miles, and they can do an extraordinary amount of damage…

The missiles are about 22 feet long, carry either a high-explosive or armor-piercing warhead, and have a range of about 180 miles, according to Jane’s.

They can be steered to a target’s general location by longer-range radars, but each missile has its own radar to help evade a ship’s defenses and home in as it approaches its target.

Two senior American officials said that the most recent shipment contained missiles with a more advanced guidance system than earlier shipments.

Posted below is video footage of a test firing of a P-800 Yakhont anti-ship missile…

And yes, these missiles have the range to hit targets in Cyprus.  Perhaps someone should tell U.S. military planners that it is probably not a good idea to be parking so much air power at bases there.

It also looks like the Syrians are going to have plenty of naval targets to shoot at as well.  According to Reuters, a U.S. carrier group will soon be joining the five U.S. destroyers that are already parked in the eastern Mediterranean…

The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Nimitz and other ships in its strike group are heading west toward the Red Sea to help support a limited U.S. strike on Syria, if needed, defense officials said on Sunday.

The Nimitz carrier strike group, which includes four destroyers and a cruiser, has no specific orders to move to the eastern Mediterranean at this point, but is moving west in the Arabian Sea so it can do so if asked. It was not immediately clear when the ships would enter the Red Sea, but they had not arrived by Sunday evening, said one official.

“It’s about leveraging the assets to have them in place should the capabilities of the carrier strike group and the presence be needed,” said the official.

In addition, ABC News says that an amphibious ship “with several hundred Marines aboard” is also parked in the eastern Mediterranean…

On Friday, the USS San Antonio, a Navy amphibious ship with several hundred Marines aboard, was ordered to remain in the eastern Mediterranean though defense officials said it too was not part of the U.S. military planning for a limited strike against Syria. Defense officials described the move as “a prudent decision should the ship’s capabilities be required.

The San Antonio was originally to be in the Mediterranean as part of a long-scheduled commitment to support U.S. Africa Command, several officials said. The ship was on its way to a port call at the U.S naval base at Souda Bay on the Greek Island of Crete when it was ordered to remain in the area.

The San Antonio has resources that could prove useful in future operations in the region. For example, the ship has several hundred Marines aboard from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), as well as several helicopters or V-22 Ospreys that could be useful in helping to rescue downed pilots.

So what do you think will happen if the Syrians are able to hit any of our ships or any of the air bases in Cyprus?

Do you think that there is any chance that we will be able to avoid a full-blown war at that point?

Please feel free to share what you think by posting a comment below…

S-400 Anti-Aircraft Missile Launchers - Photo by Vitaly V. Kuzmin

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| Israel barks: Russia’s early radars detect launch of two ballistic rockets in Mediterranean!

Russia’s early radars detect launch of two ballistic rockets in Mediterranean – Defense Ministry ~ RT.

Russia’s early warning radars have detected the launch of two ballistic rockets in the eastern Mediterranean, Russia’s Defense Ministry stated. The launch reportedly took place at 06:16 GMT Tuesday.

The trajectory of the missiles is reported to have been from the central part of the Mediterranean Sea towards the eastern landmass. Both rockets have allegedly fallen into the sea, RIA Novosti news agency reported.

Russia’s President Putin has already been informed about the incident by Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu.

The Syrian embassy in Moscow currently has no information on the incident.

RIA Novosti / Mikhail FomichevRIA Novosti / Mikhail Fomichev

There were no rocket attack signals or blasts in Damascus, the Russian embassy in Syria noted.

Syria’s missile warning system has not detected any rockets landing on their territory, a Syrian security source told Lebanese channel al-Manar TV.

The Israeli military apparently have no data on the launch either. The UK has stressed that they“have nothing to do” with the launch.

No American ships or planes stationed in the Mediterranean have launched any missiles, US officials told CBS News.

A NATO spokesman said the alliance was trying to verify the reports. Until then, the bloc will not comment on the incident.

Armavir, an early warning system against missile attack, is situated in southern Russia. It is run by the Russian Aerospace Defense Forces. They provide radar coverage of the Middle East. There are two radars there, with one of them facing southwest and the other southeast.

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Zio Mafia

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*UPDATE:

Russia’s early warning radars detected the launch of two ballistic rockets in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, Russia’s Defense Ministry stated. Israel later claimed responsibility for firing the target test rockets.

RT’s LIVE UPDATES on Syrian ‘chemical weapons’ crisis 

The launch took place at 06:16 GMT Tuesday, according to Russia’s Ministry of Defense.

The trajectory of the missiles is reported to have been from the central part of the Mediterranean Sea towards the eastern landmass. Both rockets have allegedly fallen into the sea, RIA Novosti news agency reported.

Russia’s President Putin has already been informed about the incident by Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu.

The Syrian embassy in Moscow currently has no information on the incident.

There were no rocket attack signals or blasts in Damascus, the Russian embassy in Syria noted.

Syria’s missile warning system has not detected any rockets landing on their territory, a Syrian security source told Lebanese channel al-Manar TV.

Initially, the Israeli military apparently had no data on the launch either. However, later Israel claimed a joint missile launch with the US in the Mediterranean Sea. Israeli authorities pointed out that they tested an “anchor” target missile used to check how well the anti-missile system known as “Arrow-2” functions.

US Navy Forces haven’t fired any missiles from vessels deployed in the Mediterranean, according to a spokesman.

The UK has stressed that they “have nothing to do” with the launch.

A NATO spokesman said the alliance was trying to verify the reports. Until then, the bloc will not comment on the incident.

Armavir, an early warning system against missile attack, is situated in southern Russia. It is run by the Russian Aerospace Defense Forces. They provide radar coverage of the Middle East. There are two radars there, with one of them facing southwest and the other southeast.

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| USSR Liberty? Russia deploys intel ship off coast of Syria!

Russia deploys intel ship off coast of Syria ~ Special to WorldTribune.com.

MOSCOW — Russia has reported the deployment of an advanced
intelligence naval ship in the eastern Mediterranean.

CCB-201 is one of the Russian Navy’s largest intelligence vessels.

CCB-201 is one of the Russian Navy’s largest intelligence vessels.

The Russian Navy has deployed its CCB-201 for intelligence operations off the coast of Syria. CCB-201 was deemed one of the largest intelligence-collection ships in the Russian fleet.

“The ship arrived in June 2013 and would stay in the region for a while,” a Russian Navy source said.

CCB-201 was designed to collect signals, including telephones, e-mail and faxes from countries along the Mediterranean coast.

The source said the vessel was capable of intercepting messages from NATO and Arab allies to Sunni rebels in Cyprus, Syria and Turkey.

The Russian Navy has deployed similar vessels during Middle East crises. They included Russian Navy deployment of CCB-201, constructed in 1980, in
the Gulf.

The sources said CCB-201, manned by 150 crew members, would also decrypt
signals from NATO. They said the information would be transmitted to Russian
Navy facilities, including its sole foreign base in the Syrian port of
Tartous.

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| Putin says permanent navy presence in Mediterranean to protect Russia’s security!

Putin says permanent navy presence in Mediterranean to protect Russia’s security ~ AP, Washington Post.

RIA-Novosti, Mikhail Klimentyev, Presidential Press Service/Associated Press – Russian President Vladimir Putin, second left, has a meeting in the Russian Armed Forces main operational center in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, June 6, 2013. At right is Chief of the armed forces’ General Staff Gen. Valery Gerasimov. and at left is Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. President Vladimir Putin says Russia will permanently keep a navy squadron in the Mediterranean Sea to protect its interests. Speaking at Thursday’s meeting with the military brass, Putin said the move shouldn’t be interpreted as saber-rattling. He said the Mediterranean is a “strategically important region, where we have interests connected with ensuring Russia’s national security.”

By Associated Press, Updated: Thursday, June 6, 3:22 PM

MOSCOW — President Vladimir Putin says Russia will permanently keep a navy squadron in the Mediterranean Sea to protect its interests.

Speaking at Thursday’s meeting with the military brass, Putin said the move shouldn’t be interpreted as saber-rattling. He said the Mediterranean is a “strategically important region, where we have interests connected with ensuring Russia’s national security.”

Syrian rebels, army battle near Israel crossing in Golan Heights

Syrian rebels, army battle near Israel crossing in Golan Heights

William Booth and Loveday Morris3:28 PM ET

Heavy fighting breaks out over the Syrian city of Kuneitra as rebels and army troops vie for a key crossing.

Capture of key Syrian town boosts Assad’s momentum on battlefield

Capture of key Syrian town boosts Assad’s momentum on battlefield

Loveday Morris 12:55 AM ET

The retaking of Qusair, with help from Lebanon’s Hezbollah, dims hopes for U.S.-backed peace talks.

Gen. Valery Gerasimov said Russian squadron currently deployed to the area consists of 16 navy ships. The Defense Ministry said it would regularly rotate them to keep a constant presence of about a dozen ships.

Russia has a navy base in the Syrian port of Tartus, the only such outpost outside the ex-Soviet Union, and its ships have been making regular visits to the Mediterranean in a show of support for Syrian President Bashar Assad.

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| Russia ups the ante: Sending its only aircraft carrier to the Mediterranean!

Russia Is Upping The Ante By Sending Its Only Aircraft Carrier To The Mediterranean ~

Geoffrey Ingersoll and Michael Kelley, Business Insider.

The Kremlin has upped the geopolitical ante by pledging to send a heavy aircraft carrier to the Mediterranean, as reported by Russian news agency Interfax.

The carrier — named the Admiral Kuznetsov — is quite the beast, and word of its addition to the area of operations is just the latest in jockeying between the U.S. and Russia.

“The cruiser will … perform a number of missions in an offshore oceanic zone as part of a group,” Navy Commander Adm. Viktor Chirkov told Interfax. “Northern Fleet naval pilots will perform a number of missions on board this cruiser in the long-range mission.”

The warship holds several sea-based fighters and helicopters, missiles, anti-submarine systems and a crew of 2,000 people.

Despite the implications of the new orders, Chirkov nonchalantly tossed the Admiral Kuznetsov in with the other ships recently deployed to the Mediterranean.

“After all, ships from the Northern, Black Sea, and Baltic Fleets will perform missions as part of this group. So why not,” he said.

The heavy aircraft-carrying missile cruiser is the only one in Russia’s fleet, so its deployment is an unmistakable signal of Moscow’s seriousness about protecting their regional interests, some of which are directly tied to the fate of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the Syrian port of Tartus.

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The port of Tartus (A), Syria, which is the site of Russia’s only remaining international military base outside of the former Soviet Union.

In November Russia sent six warships from its Black Sea Fleet to the Mediterranean in response to the Israel-Gaza conflict. That month the U.S. also began making moves to increase the American military presence in the east Mediterranean.

In May a detachment from Russia’s Pacific Fleet entered the Mediterranean waters for the first time since the Cold War.

“The Russian Defense Ministry started setting up a special force of warships in the Mediterranean in order to protect Russia’s interests in the region,” Syria’s state-run news agency reported last month, citing a spokesman for Russia defense ministry.

The support Russia has provided to the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during the 26-month conflict includes guns, grenades, tank partsfighter jetsadvanced antiship cruise missileslong-range air defense missilesmilitary officers as advisorsdiplomatic cover, and lots of cash.

Topping it off, all of these ships are guarding Assad’s ancestral homeland and only route out of the country.

No wonder Syria’s ruler shows no sign of backing down.

russia ship Admiral Kuznetsov

Wikimedia Commons

The Admiral Kuznetsov

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Russian Aircraft Carrier Admiral Kuznetsov is ...

Russian Aircraft Carrier Admiral Kuznetsov is Escorted by HMS York Near Scotland (Photo credit: Defence Images)

| Russia’s Mediterranean Task Force to include Nuclear Subs – Navy Chief!

Russia’s Mediterranean Task Force to Include Nuclear Subs – Navy Chief ~ RIA Novosti.

MOSCOW, May 12 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s Mediterranean task force will comprise 5-6 warships and may be enlarged to include nuclear submarines, Navy Commander Adm. Viktor Chirkov said on Sunday.

“Overall, already from this year, we plan to have 5-6 warships and support vessels [in the Mediterranean Sea], which will be replaced on a rotating basis from each of the fleets – the Black Sea, Baltic, Northern and, in some cases, even thePacific Fleet. Depending on the scope of assignments and their complexity, the number of warships in the task force may be increased,” Chirkov told RIA Novosti.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu earlier said a decision to deploy a permanent task force in the Mediterranean to defend Russia’s interests in the area had been made.

The Russian navy commander also said nuclear submarines could be deployed in the Mediterranean, if necessary.

“Possibly. In a perspective. They [submarines] were present there during the existence of the 5th squadron. There were both nuclear and diesel submarines there. Everything will depend on the situation,” he said.

The Soviet Union maintained its 5th Mediterranean Squadron in that sea from 1967 until 1992. It was formed to counter the US Navy 6th Fleet during the Cold War, and consisted of 30-50 warships and auxiliary vessels at different times.

Russia also plans to use its Mediterranean task force for missions in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, the country’s Navy chief said.

“No doubt, if necessary, when some tasks arise in other nearby regions, in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, the task force may be used,” Chirkov said.

Russian Subs

Now the Russian Navy is training officers who will perform their duties at sea on a permanent basis, he said.

“These persons must be comprehensively trained to solve tasks not only in the Mediterranean but also in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans,” he said.

The headquarters of Russia’s Mediterranean taskforce will be set up already in the summer of 2013, he said.

“The headquarters will be established in the summer of this year and its officers will stay aboard one of the flagships in the Mediterranean Sea,” he said.

Related News

 

Multimedia

Russian missile cruiser Varyag

Russian missile cruiser Varyag

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