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WAWA/WeAreWideAwake is my Public Service to America as a muckracker who has journeyed seven times to Israel Palestine since June 2005. WAWA is dedicated to confronting media and governments that shield the whole truth.

We who Are Wide Awake are compelled by the "fierce urgency of Now" [Rev MLK, Jr.] to raise awareness and promote the human dialogue about many of the crucial issues of our day: the state of our Union and in protection of democracy, what life is like under military occupation in Palestine, the Christian EXODUS from the Holy Land, and spirituality-from a Theologically Liberated Christian Anarchist POV.

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We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights; that, among these, are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; that, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; and, whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it. -July 4, 1776. The Declaration of Independence


Home arrow Blog arrow April 2009 arrow April 1, 2009

April 1, 2009
April 1, 2009: OK! YES! It IS Apartheid, but We Can Work it Out to a Win-Win UPDATE April 2, 2009   


A few months ago, on the day Israel and Hamas reached a cease-fire agreement, I participated in a political debate with members of the Knesset (the Israeli parliament) and presented a solution that is favorable for both Israel and Hamas. Please take a look and if you support, send an email to

Posted April 2, 2009 with thanks to Patrick Mac Manus for forwarding.

Is it legally apartheid? - the Palestine conundrum

By Clarity Staff Reporter
April 1st, 2009


There is a veil of legal obscurification spread over the Israel-Palestine conflict. There are multiple legal debates - is Palestine occupied or disputed territory, is Israel executing colonial power, but there is probably no more emotively charged question, than is Israel’s treatment of Palestine apartheid governance?  The definitions are important. There are specific  provisions that prescribe legal treatment of an occupied peoples under the Geneva convention,  as we have previously reported.  There are restrictions of governance  that applied to  colonial powers . However, it may be in the definition of apartheid,  also prohibited under international law, that the heart of the conundrum may be found. The merest suggestion of the word apartheid in relation to the Israel-Palestine conflict is enough to cause eruption, and while the  apartheid debate is charged with emotion, it  may be better understood by the application of academic analysis

A recent lecture by South African international law expert and Professor, John Dugard, dealt with the definition of  apartheid as observed in his country, and as proscribed  under international law.  Dugard’s work on the topic  is at the epicenter of the debate. A South African who lived through real-world apartheid, a world -renowned  international law expert and academic, a man who has held Professorships at multiple prestigious universities, his opinion on a legal interpretation, regardless of one’s leaning on the debate, should not be taken lightly. Dugard has an impressive resume in his field:

    From 1975-1977, Dugard was the Dean and a Professor of Law at the University of Witwatersrand (Johannesburg, South Africa). From 1978-1990, he was the Director of the University of Witwatersrand’s Centre for Applied Legal Studies, “a research center committed to the promotion of Human Rights in South Africa”.

    He has held visiting professorships at Princeton University, Duke University, UC Berkeley and University of Pennsylvania, and University of New South Wales (Australia). He is a member of the Institut de Droit International. Dugard was Director of the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law at the University of Cambridge from 1995-1997. In 1998, he was appointed as Chair in Public International Law at Leiden University in the Netherlands and as Director of the advanced LLM programme in Public International Law.

Since 1998 he has held various roles with UN bodies, primarily in a volunteer capacity,  and has stated that he has visited the Gaza twice a year since 2001. This is not a man whose legal qualifications, knowledge of apartheid legislation, and research international conventions cannot be dismissed easily.

From his review of the South Africa apartheid history, Dugard defines three primary characteristics of an apartheid regime. He defines these as:

    * Grand Apartheid - this being the command of territorial supremacy
    * Petty Apartheid - the discrimination against another peoples by race or creed
    * Apartheid Security Apparatus - this being a developed governmental security functionality dedicated to the enforcement of apartheid provisions

In relation to the Israel -Palestine conflict, Dugard sees evidence of all three elements of apartheid,  as also employed by the South Africa regime,  and as such prohibited  by international law. In relation to Israel and Grand Apartheid, Dugard cites the 500, ooo or more Israeli settlers resident illegally in  the West bank. This is  a number still increasing, and expected to accelerate under Netanyahu’s regime.  He cites the fact that Palestinians are proscribed from building without permits (which are rarely if ever granted) in Zone C of the West Bank or in East Jerusalem. He also cites the lack of a contiguous territory _ and as also in  Jimmy Carter ’s contentious book on Israeli apartheid). Dugard also references the control of territorial resources such as water. His final argument to support Israel’s grand apartheid in the absence of a Palestinian territory that is not divided such as the West Bank and the Gaza, or riddled with  ‘Swiss cheese’  holes by Israeli settlements.

Dugard then proceeds to mount an argument that Israel is also pursuing petty apartheid, that is racial discrimination. He cites that Palestinians are not allowed in the seam zone, the area between the green zone and the security walls without permit while Israelis enjoy free access. He shows that the settler-only roads on the West Bank that Palestinians are in practice denied access to is evidence of petty apartheid.  He cites the restrictions that apply to Palestinians travelling in the area such as  permit requirements and multiple check points in addition to security. One of the most serious racial discrimination’s he identifies is that Israel prohibits  family unification (i.e a that a family member, such as a potential bride is not allowed under Israeli law to  join a Palestinian Arab in Israel). In denial of family reunification, Dugard cites similar prohibitions under the South African apartheid regime that caused civil resistance there

In  relation to security apparatus, Dugard sees a great deal of evidence to support the case. He cites as a primary indicator that  Israel has the right to try Palestinians in  military courts with far ranging emergency powers and outside normal legal process. He evidences that there are in excess of 11,o00  Palestinians held as prisoners by Israel and with many allegations of  torture. He also cites the wide ranging provisions of Israeli security personnel in relation to stop and seize, summary arrest without habeas corpus provisions, right to summary killing if security requirements dictate and on. This appears to be the least contentious area of debate as the Israeli security forces have powers well in excess of normal democratic societies.

So as defined and argued by Dugard, Israeli governance indicates the three required traits of apartheid. If the case is ever argued under international law, such as under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court, then the prohibitions and conventions that apply to apartheid would definitely be applicable. Dugard finished his analysis by wryly observing that South Africa was subject to widespread international censure for its apartheid policies. In par, the international sanctions led to the repeal pf apartheid law there. In his close, Dugard seemed less hopeful that Israel would face similar sanctions in the short term.


Posted first on December 22, 2005:

West Jerusalem is home to mostly Jews while the east side use to be mostly Muslims and Christians, but there are now about 20,000 settlers living in 'neighborhoods' [illegal colonies according to International Law] that resemble suburbia in America.

In a walkup apartment on the west end of Jerusalem, nestled amongst fifty feet high trees of all kinds’ lives Eliyahu McLean; a Rodef Shalom: a Pursuer of Peace who has made progress.

Thirty six year old Eliyahu has been building community between people of all faith paths and has been intrumental in healing many of the children of Father Abraham. This past summer he brought 80 Palestinian youth from the Gaza together with Israeli Jews and he taps into the indigenous Palestinian Reconciliation technique known as Sulha. (

This indigenous wisdom is manifested in offering and accepting a simple cup of coffee. Two tribes who may have been feuding for generations, or even a divorcing couple will wake up and desire to reconcile. One will offer a cup of coffee to the other and acceptance fulfills the obligation. But the ‘war’/bad feelings continue on.

A second cup is offered and if accepted goes beyond what is required.

The third cup begins the bargaining process and in the end a physical embrace or handshake confirms the reconciliation.

Then a Hafla: a celebration; a three day party is thrown by the stronger one who offers hospitality.

No court is ever needed.

Eliyahu wears tie dyed clothes and has an eclectic music collection. From Arabic Beats to Miles Davis, Chants of Jewish Shamans and The Beatles. When asked to define his spirituality he stated: “I am a Flexadox Jew, I am flexible and open, but remain orthodox.”

Eliyahu is grounded in theTorah, all Jewish traditions yet is open to the wisdom of all faith paths, in particular Sufi, Eastern philosophy and what Christ really said.

I share Eliyahu’s vision that when the leaders of the world religions wake up and reconcile we will see a new world happen.

Also visiting Eliyahu was Lisa, a 39 year old Jew born in South Africa who moved to Israel eleven years ago. She was on the Tamera Grace Peace Walk which I introduced on November 9, 2005.

Lisa stated: “I began the three week walk with no expectations and had my mind blown away as well as my ignorance. I heard and saw things I never knew about. I did not know until the Grace Walk how unjust the Israeli government really is.”

The three of us will be walking in solidarity with hope that one day soon the world will create a culture of nonviolence for all the children of the world -and we will walk and pray and hope in solidarity on the first Interfaith Prayer Circle Peace Walk on Christmas morning.

My time to be blown away was meeting Jeff Halper, Coordinator of ICAHD: The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions.

[But, I will stop here on that-as that interview appears in Chapter 2 of MEMOIRS of a Nice Irish-American 'Girl's' Life in Occupied Territory


Published first January 2009

Where's the Love+Peace+VOICE of the Artists Against Apartheid?

U2 Love And Peace Or Else live from Chicago2005 Vertigo Tour

Lay down your guns
All your daughters of Zion
All your Abraham sons
I don't know if I can make it
I'm not easy on my knees
Here's my heart and GAZA broke it
We need some release, release, release
We need
Love and peace
Love and peace

 I wonder what is Bono and the rest of the Artists Against [South African] Apartheid thinking about Gaza?

In 1985 Bono joined forces with a group of artists concerned about Apartheid in South Africa. Inspired by his meetings with several of them, he wrote "Silver and Gold"

"Yep, silver and gold.
This song was written in a hotel room in New York City.
'Round about the time a friend or ours, little Steven,
was putting together a record of artists against apartheid.
This is a song written about a man in a shanty town outside of Johannesburg.
A man who's sick of looking down the barrel of white South Africa.
A man who is at the point where he is ready to take up arms against his oppressor.
A man who has lost faith in the peacemakers of the west while
they argue and while they fail to support a man like bishop Tutu
and his request for economic sanctions against South Africa.
Am I buggin' you?"

Dear 20th Century Artists Against Apartheid,

Have you heard about 21st century Apartheid in the 'Holy' Land; for it is in pieces: Bantustans!

In 2004 the International Court of Justice ruled that The Wall is a violation of International Law because it cuts through the West Bank appropriating Palestinian land and destroying Palestinian villages and economy to make way for further Israeli settlements, all of which are illegal under international law.

Negligently unreported by corporate media are the thousands of indigenous Palestinians and hundreds of Israelis and internationals who have been waging a major grassroots nonviolent campaign of resistance to the route of Israel's Wall.

In November 2005, this reporter attended the Gainesville, Florida, Anarchist's Against the Wall Power Point Lecture by Ayed Morrar from the West Bank village of Budrus and Jonathon Pollak, an intense young Israeli and committed activist and organizer for Anarchists Against the Wall/AAtW.

Anarchy is best understood as Rebellion against UNJUST laws.

The Yang/male force of anarchy resists authority and causes disorder and is socially and politically incorrect by the norms of the status quo for it seeks the higher ground of justice.

The Yin/feminine force of anarchy births a new order out of the chaos and chaos is creativity in action.

Pollak: "I was six years old at my first demonstration and active on my own at thirteen. I am 23 now. When they started to build the Apartheid Wall in the West Bank I would go a few times a week and watch them deceive the world. The Israeli government successfully marketed the Apartheid Wall as a security barrier. But it is all about segregation, separation and ethnic cleansing. The Apartheid Wall has put 76% [of what had been the village of] Jayous on the Israeli side of the Wall."

"Not such a great shock when government lies to you.

"Civilian uprising and non-violent activism is not like the Gandhi movie. It's not carrying posters and saying we don't like your wall, go away. We stand in front of Caterpillar's knowing we will be shot and arrested. I was shot five times in the last two years by rubber bullets which are 1/2 inch steel bullets covered with plastic. I have been shot in the head and the more I experience I have the scarier it is. One learns to recognize the ritual of it all: when the IDF will begin using the billy clubs, when the tear gas will come, when the bullets will come.....We are not a dialogue group, AAtW is an Israeli organization and we are not colonial liberators. All the strategy is done by Palestinians, we are with them seeking justice and giving support. There is no price to high to pay for freedom, equality and universal rights. Without justice there can be no peace.

"Although Israel marketed the Wall as a security barrier, logic suggests such a barrier would be as short and straight as possible. Instead, it snakes deep inside the West Bank, resulting in a route that is twice as long as the Green Line, the internationally recognized border. Israel chose the Wall's path in order to dispossess Palestinians of the maximum land and water, to preserve as many Israeli settlements as possible, and to unilaterally determine a border.

"In order to build the Wall Israel is uprooting tens of thousands of ancient olive trees that for many Palestinians are also the last resource to provide food for their children. The Palestinian aspiration for an independent state is also threatened by the Wall, as it isolates villages from their mother cities and divides the West Bank into disconnected cantons [bantusans/ghettos]. The Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem conservatively estimates that 500,000 Palestinians are negatively impacted by the Wall.

"We believe that, as with Apartheid South Africa, Americans have a vital role to play in ending Israeli occupation - by divesting from companies that support Israeli occupation, boycotting Israeli products, coming to Palestine as witnesses, or standing with Palestinians in nonviolent resistance." [1]

According to a UN report, Haaretz columnist Danny Rubinstein admitted that "Israel today was an apartheid State with four different Palestinian groups: those in Gaza, East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Israeli Palestinians, each of which had a different status...even if the wall followed strictly the line of the pre-1967 border, it would still not be justified. The two peoples needed cooperation rather than walls because they must be neighbors." [2]

"An apartheid society is much more than just a 'settler colony'. It involves specific forms of oppression that actively strip the original inhabitants of any rights at all, whereas civilian members of the invader caste are given all kinds of sumptuous privileges." [3]

On May 14, 1948, The Declaration of the establishment of Israel affirmed that, "The State of Israel will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel: it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion it will guarantee freedom of religion [and] conscience and will be faithful to the Charter of the United Nations."

However, reality intrudes, for "The truth which is known to all; through its army, the government of Israel practices a brutal form of Apartheid in the territory it occupies. Its army has turned every Palestinian village and town into a fenced-in, or blocked-in, detention camp."- Israeli Minister of Education, Shulamit Aloni quoted in the popular Israeli newspaper, Yediot Acharonot on December 20, 2006.

How could a state founded on "equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants" come to be such a state of hypocrisy?

A Little History:

On July 5, 1950, Israel enacted the Law of Return by which Jews anywhere in the world, have a "right" to immigrate to Israel on the grounds that they are returning to their own state, even if they have never been there before. [4]

On July 14, 1952: The enactment of the Citizenship/Jewish Nationality Law, results in Israel becoming the only state in the world to grant a particular national-religious group—the Jews—the right to settle in it and gain automatic citizenship. In 1953, South Africa's Prime Minister Daniel Malan becomes the first foreign head of government to visit Israel and returns home with the message that Israel can be a source of inspiration for white South Africans. [IBID]

In 1962, South African Prime Minister Verwoerd declares that Jews "took Israel from the Arabs after the Arabs had lived there for a thousand years. In that I agree with them, Israel, like South Africa, is an apartheid state." [IBID]

On August 1, 1967, Israel enacted the Agricultural Settlement Law, which bans Israeli citizens of non-Jewish nationality- Palestinian Arabs- from working on Jewish National Fund lands, well over 80% of the land in Israel. Knesset member Uri Avnery stated: "This law is going to expel Arab cultivators from the land that was formerly theirs and was handed over to the Jews." [IBID]

On April 4, 1969, General Moshe Dayan is quoted in the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz telling students at Israel's Technion Institute that "Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages. You don't even know the names of these Arab villages, and I don't blame you, because these geography books no longer exist. Not only do the books not exist, the Arab villages are not there either… There is not one single place built in this country that did not have a former Arab population."[IBID]

On April 28, 1971: C. L. Sulzberger, writing in The New York Times, quoted South African Prime Minister John Vorster as saying that Israel is faced with an apartheid problem, namely how to handle its Arab inhabitants. Sulzberger wrote: "Both South Africa and Israel are in a sense intruder states. They were built by pioneers originating abroad and settling in partially inhabited areas." [IBID]

On September 13, 1978, in Washington, D.C. The Camp David Accords are signed by Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and witnessed by President Jimmy Carter. The Accords reaffirm U.N. Resolutions 242 and 338, which prohibit acquisition of land by force, call for Israel's withdrawal of military and civilian forces from the West Bank and Gaza, and prescribe 'full autonomy' for the inhabitants of the territories. Begin orally promises Carter to freeze all settlement activity during the subsequent peace talks. Once back in Israel, however, the Israeli prime minister continues to confiscate, settle, and fortify the occupied territories. [IBID]

On September 13, 1985, Rep. George Crockett (D-MI), after visiting the Israeli-occupied West Bank, compares the living conditions there with those of South African blacks and concludes that the West Bank is an instance of apartheid that no one in the U.S. is talking about. [IBID]

In July 2000, President Bill Clinton convenes the Camp David II Peace Summit between Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat. Clinton—not Barak—offers Arafat the withdrawal of some 40,000 Jewish settlers, leaving more than 180,000 in 209 settlements, all of which are interconnected by roads that cover approximately 10% of the occupied land. Effectively, this divides the West Bank into at least two non-contiguous areas and multiple fragments. Palestinians would have no control over the borders around them, the air space above them, or the water reserves under them. Barak called it a generous offer and Arafat rightly refused to sign. [IBID]

August 31, 2001: Durban, South Africa. Up to 50,000 South Africans march in support of the Palestinian people. In their Declaration by South Africans on Apartheid and the Struggle for Palestine they proclaim: "We, South Africans who lived for decades under rulers with a colonial mentality, see Israeli occupation as a strange survival of colonialism in the 21st century. Only in Israel do we hear of 'settlements' and 'settlers.' Only in Israel do soldiers and armed civilian groups take over hilltops, demolish homes, uproot trees and destroy crops, shell schools, churches and mosques, plunder water reserves, and block access to an indigenous population's freedom of movement and right to earn a living. These human rights violations were unacceptable in apartheid South Africa and are an affront to us in apartheid Israel." [IBID]

October 23, 2001: Ronnie Kasrils, a Jew and a minister in the South African government, co-authors a petition "Not in My Name," signed by some 200 members of South Africa's Jewish community, reads: "It becomes difficult, from a South African perspective, not to draw parallels with the oppression expressed by Palestinians under the hand of Israel and the oppression experienced in South Africa under apartheid rule." [IBID]

Three years later, Kasrils will go to the Occupied Territories and conclude: "This is much worse than apartheid. Israeli measures, the brutality, make apartheid look like a picnic. We never had jets attacking our townships. We never had sieges that lasted month after month. We never had tanks destroying houses. We had armored vehicles and police using small arms to shoot people but not on this scale." [IBID]

April 29, 2002: Boston, MA. South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu says he is "very deeply distressed" by what he observed in his recent visit to the Holy Land, adding, "It reminded me so much of what happened in South Africa." The Nobel peace laureate said he saw "the humiliation of the Palestinians at checkpoints and roadblocks, suffering like us when young white police officers prevented us from moving about. Referring to Americans, he adds, "People are scared in this country to say wrong is wrong because the Jewish lobby is powerful—very powerful. Well, so what? The apartheid government was very powerful, but today it no longer exists." [IBID]

"From Moses to Jeremiah and Isaiah, the Prophets taught...that the Jewish claim on the land of Israel was totally contingent on the moral and spiritual life of the Jews who lived there, and that the land would, as the Torah tells us, 'vomit you out' if people did not live according to the highest moral vision of Torah. Over and over again, the Torah repeated its most frequently stated mitzvah [command]: "When you enter your land, do not oppress the stranger; the other, the one who is an outsider of your society, the powerless one and then not only 'you shall love your neighbor as yourself' but also 'you shall love the other.'" [5]

For more information about AATW, please visit:

[1] Eileen Fleming, Memoirs of a Nice Irish-American 'Girl's' Life in Occupied Territory, pages 55-56
[3] Apartheid Ancient, Past, and Present Systematic and Gross Human Rights
Violations in Graeco-Roman Egypt, South Africa, and Israel/Palestine, By Anthony Löwstedt. Page 77.
[4] The Link, "About That Word Apartheid", April-May 2007, Published by Americans for Middle East Understanding, Inc.
[5] Rabbi Lerner, TIKKUN Magazine, page 35, Sept./Oct. 2007



September 1, 2008: Imagine: Lennon's Response to McCartney's 'Friendship First' Concert in Israel:

Prophets on Apartheid: Part 1

Prophets on Apartheid: Part 2


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The Paradoxical Commandments
by Dr. Kent M. Keith

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.

© 1968, 2001 Kent M. Keith

" In the final analysis, it is between you and God.  It was never between you and them anyway."-Mother Teresa

“You cannot talk like sane men around a peace table while the atomic bomb itself is ticking beneath it. Do not treat the atomic bomb as a weapon of offense; do not treat it as an instrument of the police. Treat the bomb for what it is: the visible insanity of a civilization that has obey the laws of life.”- Lewis Mumford, 1946

The age of warrior kings and of warrior presidents has passed. The nuclear age calls for a different kind of leadership....a leadership of intellect, judgment, tolerance and rationality, a leadership committed to human values, to world peace, and to the improvement of the human condition. The attributes upon which we must draw are the human attributes of compassion and common sense, of intellect and creative imagination, and of empathy and understanding between cultures."  - William Fulbright

“Any nation that year after year continues to raise the Defense budget while cutting social programs to the neediest is a nation approaching spiritual death.” - Rev. MLK
Establishment of Israel
"On the day of the termination of the British mandate and on the strength of the United Nations General Assembly declare The State of Israel will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel: it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion it will guarantee freedom of religion [and] conscience and will be faithful to the Charter of the United Nations." - May 14, 1948. The Declaration of the Establishment of Israel
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