Raised in South Africa, Rabbi Brain Walt has written about how his upbringing makes it impossible for him to “ignore Israel is an apartheid state.” He has also written in-depth about his spiritual and ethical journey to find a Judaism without Zionism.
The identification of Israel’s treatments of Palestinians under Israel’s control as apartheid is not a recent phenomenon. Rabbi Walt shares his view here.
He states, “The confiscation of vast tracts of Palestinian land, discriminatory zoning practices that restrict Palestinian housing while towns with thousands of homes are built for Jews, the creation of huge exclusive Jewish settlements on the West Bank, intense restrictions on freedom of movement, imprisonment without trial, the arrest of children in the middle of the night -– these are only some of the discriminatory policies reminiscent of the injustices that Goodman and I witnessed as young people growing up in South Africa.” Rabbi Walt ends, “It is about ending systemic discrimination and oppression and about the struggle for dignity and human rights for all.”
Rabbi Walt also shared his view of Israeli apartheid in this February 17, 2021, Truthout OpEd. He describes the “systemic inequality and discrimination” he saw in Israel, a country who he loves dearly.
Rabbi Brian Walt serves on the Jewish Voice for Peace Rabbinic Council and was the founding executive director of Rabbis for Human Rights–North America (2003-2008), now known as T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights. He has also written “When Silence is Betrayal.”