Miko Peled spoke at a conference, “The Israel Lobby: Is it Good for the U.S.? Is it Good for Israel?” published as a special supplement to the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs (his talk begins on page 44).
“The myth of Israel as a democracy has no factual basis, yet it, too, has become an indisputable fact. Israel has from the very beginning defined itself as a racist apartheid state that prefers Jews. No attempt has been made to hide this fact, and for almost seven decades Israeli lawmakers have made it their business to develop the state for the Jewish population at the expense of the Palestinian population, be they citizens, residents or simply people living without any legal definition at all. Palestinians have been pushed out of every aspect of the life of the state from the very beginning, not to mention the fact that they were pushed out of the country and not allowed to return. The web of laws that govern the lives of Palestinians, whether they live in Jaffa, Haifa, Jerusalem, the Naqab desert, Ramallah, Jenin or Khan Younis, is too complicated to even attempt to understand, yet regardless of where in Palestine Palestinians reside, they are governed by the state of Israel under laws that are vastly different than the ones that govern the lives of Jewish Israelis.
“And still, we hear that Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East.
“Israeli occupation of the West Bank, which took place in June of 1967, is sold as though it was the result of an inevitable war, a response to an existential threat at the end of which Israelis prevailed, and the ‘territories’ are the ‘spoils of war.’ But in fact, the conquest of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strep was the final stage of the occupation of Palestine, and all were planed far in advance. The war of 1967 concluded the occupation of Palestine and the creation of a single state over all of Palestine, with exclusive rights for Jewish people. What is Jewish about this, as Alice Rothchild asked earlier, I don’t know. Most Jewish people do not live and have never lived there, and today, the majority of those who live there are not Jewish, and Israeli certainly does not espouse any Jewish values.”
Peled describes his impressions of the mistreatment of Palestinians in Hebron in this detailed article.