Perspectives-Winter 2022-1

inequality in official government policy during their service as Israeli ambassadors to South Africa. In their June 2021 GroundUp post, Baruch and Liel conclude that Israel’s “occupation is not temporary, and there is not political will in the lsraeli government to bring about its end.” Their words echo and reference an April report from Human Rights Watch, which found that Israeli policies in the West Bank now meet the legal definition of apartheid under international law. “Israel is the sole sovereign power that operates in this land, and it systematically discriminates on the basis of nationality and ethnicity. Such a reality is, as we saw ourselves, apartheid,” write the former ambassadors. More recently, a former Attorney General of Israel, Michael Ben-Yair, went even a step further to say that policies in Israel-proper, not just the West Bank, amount to apartheid. “The apartheid regime is in all areas controlled by Israel, between the sea and the Jordan River,” said Ben-Yair in remarks translated from Hebrew. “The distinction… between democratic Israel and the West Bank that it controls is wrong.” RECONSIDERING THE STATUS QUO When Israel’s own ambassadors and premier legal authorities are using the “A” word to describe West Bank policy, it might be time to seriously ponder the implications. Perhaps it might even be time to rethink how best to help the Jewish state grapple with the harsh responsibilities of self-governance. In doing so, we may want to once again follow the words of Baruch and Leil, who encourage us to “work towards building a future of equality, dignity, and security for Palestinians and Israelis alike.” WINTER 2022 9