Israel and South Africa

The Many Faces of Apartheid

Edited by Ilan Pappé


Israel and South Africa assesses the parallels between the Zionist and apartheid regimes, as well as their implications for international law, activism and policy making.
Within the already heavily polarised debate on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, parallels between Israel and apartheid South Africa remain highly contentious. A number of prominent academic and political commentators, including former US president Jimmy Carter and UN Special Rapporteur John Dugard, have argued that Israel's treatment of its Arab-Israeli citizens and the people of the occupied territories amounts to a system of oppression no less brutal or inhumane than that of South Africa's white supremacists. Similarly, boycott and disinvestment campaigns comparable to those employed by anti-apartheid activists have attracted growing support. Yet while the 'apartheid question' has become increasingly visible in this debate, there has been little in the way of genuine scholarly analysis of the similarities (or otherwise) between the Zionist and apartheid regimes.

In Israel and South Africa, Ilan Pappé, one of Israel's preeminent academics and a noted critic of the current government, brings together lawyers, journalists, policy makers and historians of both countries to assess the implications of the apartheid analogy for international law, activism and policy making. With contributors including the distinguished anti-apartheid activist Ronnie Kasrils, Israel and South Africa offers a bold and incisive perspective on one of the defining moral questions of our age.

Author Bio

Ilan Pappé is professor of history at the University of ExeterA veteran of the Yom Kippur War and two time Knesset candidate, Pappé left Israel in 2007 after his endorsement of an academic boycott of Israel led to calls for him to resign from his post at the University of Haifa. He remains one of Israel’s most prominent and outspoken anti-Zionist academics. His previous books include The Modern Middle East (2005), Gaza in Crisis: Reflections on Israel’s War against the Palestinians (with Noam Chomsky, 2010) and The Forgotten Palestinians: A History of the Palestinians in Israel (2011).

Table of Contents

  • Introduction: The Many Faces of Apartheid - Ilan Pappé
  • Part I: Historical Roots
    • 1. Birds of a Feather: Israel and Apartheid South Africa Colonialism of a Special Type - Ronnie Kasrils
    • 2. The Many Faces of European Colonialism: The Templers, the Basel Mission and the Zionist Movement - Ilan Pappé
    • 3. Apartheid and the Question of Origin - Oren Ben-Dor
  • Part II: The Boundaries of Comparison
    • 4. 'Visible Equality' as Confidence Trick - Jonathan Cook
    • 5. Apartheid, Israel and Palestinian Statehood - Leila Farsakh
  • Part III: Nuanced Comparisons
    • 6. Femicide in Apartheid: The Parallel Interplay between Racism and Sexism in South Africa and Palestine–Israel - Anthony Löwstedt
    • 7. The Many Faces of Protest: A Comparative Analysis of Protest Groups in Israel and South Africa - Amneh Badran
  • Part IV: Future Models and Perspectives
    • 8. The Inevitable Impossible: South African Experience and a Single State - Steven Friedman
    • 9. Redefining the Conflict in Israel–Palestine: The Tricky Question of Sovereignty - Virginia Tilley
    • 10. Israel–Palestine and the Apartheid Analogy: Critics, Apologists and Strategic Lessons - Ran Greenstein


'Comparing Israel and apartheid South Africa is one of the great taboos of our time. This collection breaks the taboo in examining settler colonialism and apartheid in both Israel itself and the Occupied Palestinian Territory.'
John Dugard, former Special Rapporteur to the UN Human Rights Council

'A key book for deepening the discussion of Israel as an apartheid state of a special kind, and for exploring a different future for Palestinians. The essays give no easy answers, but much food for thought, and for hope.'
Victoria Brittain, journalist and author of Shadow Lives: The Forgotten Women of the War on Terror

'Israel is trying to refine the nefarious policy of apartheid to keep the Palestinian people apart. This book cogently argues the inefficacy of the policy of divide and rule. A must read.'
Arun Gandhi, founder of the M. K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence

'Nine superbly qualified authors confirm from a variety of perspectives the allegations of apartheid directed at Israel. This book is profoundly convincing, and should put an end to serious debate about whether Israel is guilty of apartheid.'
Richard Falk, author of Palestine: The Legitimacy of Hope

'Demonstrates how Apartheid as a political system of segregation is not specific to any particular race or country, and why invoking it in the context of Israel /Palestine is both instructive and instrumental.'
Marwan Bishara, Al Jazeera English, and author of Palestine/Israel: Peace or Apartheid

'One of the most important volumes on the issue of Israeli apartheid.'
Farid Esack, University of Johannesburg

'For Israel and its allies, any talk of apartheid remains anathema … The essays in this book are evidence of how insightful, and fruitful, such a comparison and analysis can be.'
Journal of Palestine Studies


Publication Date: 15 October 2015
384 pages

Product ISBNs: Paperback: 9781783605897
Hardback: 9781783605903
eBook ePub: 9781783605927
eBook PDF: 9781783605910
eBook Kindle: 9781783605934

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