Book on Israel and apartheid will be launched in Dublin next week

Via: indymedia ireland.

Irish book launch of Ben White’s, Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner’s Guide (published by Pluto Press, London)

A book titled Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner’s Guide, written by Ben White and published by Pluto Press will be launched in Trinity College, Dublin, on Thursday 25th March, at 6.45pm. The event, hosted by the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC), will take place in the Robert Emmet Theatre, Arts Block, in TCD.

The author will speak on his book and all are welcome to attend.Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner’s Guide distils the work of academics and experts into a highly readable text. This is a key book to read if you want to understand the roots of the conflict and how apartheid applies to the situation in Palestine.

In an evening chaired by Senator David Norris, author Ben White will discuss his book, the mechanics of Israeli Apartheid and its impact on the daily lives of Palestinians.

NOTE FOR JOURNALISTS: Journalists are especially welcome at this event and interviews with the author can be arranged in advance by contacting Dr Fintan Lane (IPSC Media Officer) at 087 1258325.

***

The Crime of Apartheid: “Inhuman acts committed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group of persons and systematically oppressing them.” – Article II, International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid, UN General Assembly Resolution 3068, 1973.

The application of the term ‘apartheid’ to the Israeli regime inside the Green Line, and in its occupation regime in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, is controversial. Ben White’s new book, however, makes the case unanswerable.

The book is divided into three parts: ‘Israeli Independence, Palestinian Catastrophe’, ‘Israeli Apartheid’, and ‘Towards Inclusion and Peace – Resisting Israeli Apartheid’. White shows, firstly, how similar to South African apartheid the Israeli system of discrimination and domination of Palestinians is, both in terms of ‘the facts on the ground’, and in relation to UN definitions of historical apartheid. Secondly, and even more damningly, White ably links apartheid as a concept to the founding tenets of Zionism, by showing how from the 1890s and Theodor Herzl onwards, separation, ‘transfer’ (of Palestinian Arabs out of Palestine) and exclusivity have driven both the development of the Jewish State for its first 20 years, and then the course of its 43 year occupation of Gaza and the West Bank to this day.

In clear and simple language, Ben White shows how while Israel may not have on its statute books a body of explicitly racist positive law – as was the case with South Africa between 1948 and 1994 – the term ‘apartheid’ nevertheless is essential to describing the situation in historical Palestine. Specifically, Israel from its moment of inception gave over crucial state functions to major Zionist organisations – the World Zionist Organization, the Jewish Agency, and the Jewish National Fund, all of which are run exclusively for the benefit of Jewish people. Thus, the State is not only a ‘Jewish State’, and not the state of its citizens, but control over vital resources such as land and water is regulated by exclusivist Jewish-only agencies. This is a system of discrimination and prejudice even more effective than South African apartheid.

Importantly, the systematic oppression of Palestinians living under Israeli apartheid applies to both Palestinians living in Israel and those living in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The ‘matrix of control’ includes illegal Israeli colonial settlements, settler-only roads, checkpoints and closure, military bases, no-go zones, water theft, the Wall, East Jerusalem, detention and torture.

In the last part of his book, White provides excellent information on organisations – both Palestinian and Israeli – which are actively involved in non-violent resistance to this appalling and shameful arrangement, which lies at the heart of the continuous instability of the Middle East region. Overall, Ben White has produced both a clear and well-informed historical narrative of how the situation has come to be the way it is today, and the materials we need to elaborate a peaceful and egalitarian but effective counter-narrative. Those interested in the roots of the Middle East problem and those asking themselves “What can I do?” could have no better resource.

Praise for the book:

“This book deals rationally and cogently with a topic that almost always generates considerable heat even just with book titles. The reader may not agree with everything that White asserts but it is a highly commendable effort to throw light on a fraught subject.” – Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

“This is a very honest, clear and powerful book bringing us face to face with the reality of what Israel has done and is doing to the Palestinians. It would be convenient to ignore it. It would be convenient to assume Ben has got it wrong – that it’s not quite that bad. Sadly it is and we ignore it at everyone’s peril.” – Garth Hewitt, Canon of St. George’s Cathedral, Jerusalem

About the author:

Ben White is a journalist and writer specialising in Palestine/Israel. He also writes on the broader Middle East, Islam and Christianity, and the so-called ‘war on terror’. His articles have appeared in a variety of international publications, including the Guardian, New Statesman, Electronic Intifada and Christian Science Monitor.

For more information about Ben White and this book, please see the book’s official website: http://israeliapartheidguide.com/

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