Forwarding from Professor Wintemute. I found it fascinating, and given our
recent discussions on pinkwashing, I find this post to be relevant as well.
Hope this will lead to some lively discussion on the issues raised.
Aditya B

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Professor Wintemute, Robert
Date: 15 August 2012 23:54
Subject: "Europe's Last Colony", (2012) 21 Social & Legal Studies 121-134

Dear Friends,

In addition to LGBT human rights, I have taken up the cause of Palestinian
human rights, and thought I would share with you my first publication in
this area.

"Europe's Last Colony:  1918 Palestine's Arab Majority, Jewish Immigration,
and the Justice of Founding Israel Outside Europe"

Robert Wintemute, Social and Legal Studies 2012, vol. 21, pp. 121-134
attached PDF)
This review essay was inspired by a trip to Ramallah, Occupied West Bank,
in December 2009, to speak at a conference about a proposed Constitutional
Court of Palestine.  My reaction when I saw the replica of the Berlin Wall
that Israel has built in the West Bank, and experienced the Qalandiya
checkpoint (through which some Palestinians with permits may pass, with
difficulty, to travel from Ramallah to East Jerusalem), was similar to that
of Roger Water of Pink Floyd:

I also take inspiration from Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu (the most
famous living graduate of King's College London), and brave Jewish-Israelis
like Jonathan Ben-Artzi (a nephew of Binyamin Netanyahu).  See  below.

Those of us working on LGBT human rights must consider to what extent we
might be involved in "pinkwashing" Israel's image.  Prof. Sarah Schulman of
the City University of New York wrote about this phenomenon in the New York
Times in Nov. 2011:
The Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies at CUNY is organising a conference
on "Homonationalism and Pinkwashing" on 10-11 April 2013:

For me, citing (and attempting indirectly to benefit from) Israel's
progress against sexual orientation discrimination means "looking the other
way", by ignoring Israel's severe, ongoing problem of racial discrimination
against ethnically-cleansed non-citizen Palestinians denied the right of
return since 1948 (or 1967), non-citizen Palestinians living under military
rule (or external control) in the West Bank and Gaza since 1967, and
second-class Palestinian citizens of Israel.  In 2010, I stopped citing
positive developments in Israeli law with regard to LGBT human rights.
They add relatively little to developments elsewhere and, in my opinion,
are overwhelmed, tainted and discredited by Israel's negative record on
Palestinian human rights.

My apologies to anyone who finds my position upsetting.  Please let me
assure you that it is based on "tough  love" for Jewish-Israelis, and a
determination to challenge racial discrimination wherever it occurs,
especially when our governments are silent about it.

Best wishes,


*Against Israeli Apartheid
*Desmond Tutu and Ian Urbina (July 2002)**********

(International Herald Tribune, The Nation (magazine), Atlanta Journal and
Constitution, The Morning Call (Allentown, PA), Cairo Times, Middle East
Times, Manila Times)****

The end of apartheid stands as one of the crowning accomplishments of the
past century, but we would not have succeeded without the help of
international pressure -- in particular the divestment movement of the
1980s. Over the past six months a similar movement has taken shape, this
time aiming at an end to the Israeli occupation.****

Divestment from apartheid South Africa was fought by ordinary people at the
grassroots. Faith-based leaders informed their followers, union members
pressured their companies' stockholders and consumers questioned their
store owners. Students played an especially important role by compelling
universities to change their portfolios. Eventually, institutions pulled
the financial plug, and the South African government thought twice about
its policies.****

Similar moral and financial pressures on Israel are being mustered one
person at a time. Students on more than 40 US campuses are demanding a
review of university investments in Israeli companies as well as in firms
doing major business in Israel. From Berkeley to Ann Arbor, city councils
have debated municipal divestment measures.****

These tactics are not the only parallels to the struggle against apartheid.
Yesterday's South African township dwellers can tell you about today's life
in the Occupied Territories. To travel  only blocks in his own homeland, a
grandfather waits on the whim of a teenage soldier. More than an emergency
is needed to get to a hospital; less than a crime earns a trip to jail. The
lucky ones have a permit to leave their squalor to work in Israel's cities,
but their luck runs out when security closes all checkpoints, paralyzing an
entire people. The indignities, dependence and anger are all too familiar.**

Many South Africans are beginning to recognize the parallels to what we
went through. Ronnie Kasrils and Max Ozinsky, two Jewish heroes of the
anti-apartheid struggle, recently published a letter titled "Not in My
Name." Signed by several hundred other prominent Jewish  South Africans,
the letter drew an explicit analogy between apartheid and current Israeli
policies. Mark Mathabane and Nelson Mandela have also pointed out the
relevance of the South African experience.****

To criticize the occupation is not to overlook Israel's unique strengths,
just as protesting the Vietnam War did not imply ignoring the distinct
freedoms and humanitarian accomplishments of the United States. In a region
where repressive governments and unjust policies are the norm, Israel is
certainly more democratic than its neighbors. This does not make
dismantling the settlements any less a priority. Divestment from apartheid
South Africa was certainly no less justified because there was repression
elsewhere on the African continent. Aggression is no more palatable in the
hands of a democratic power. Territorial ambition is equally illegal
whether it occurs in slow motion, as with the Israeli settlers in the
Occupied Territories, or in blitzkrieg fashion, as with the Iraqi tanks in
Kuwait. The United States has a distinct responsibility to intervene in
atrocities committed by its client states, and since Israel is the single
largest recipient of US arms and foreign aid, an end to the occupation
should be a top concern of all Americans.****

Almost instinctively, the Jewish people have always been on the side of the
voiceless. In their history, there is painful memory of massive roundups,
house demolitions and collective punishment. In their scripture, there is
acute empathy for the disfranchised. The occupation represents a dangerous
and selective amnesia of the persecution from which these traditions were

Not everyone has forgotten, including some within the military. The growing
Israeli refusenik movement evokes the small anti-conscription drive that
helped turn the tide in apartheid South Africa. Several hundred decorated
Israeli officers have refused to perform military service in the Occupied
Territories. Those not already in prison have taken their message on the
road to US synagogues and campuses, rightly arguing that Israel needs
security, but that it will never have it as an occupying power. More than
35 new settlements have been constructed in the past year. Each one is a
step away from the safety deserved by the Israelis, and two steps away from
the justice owed to the Palestinians.****

If apartheid ended, so can the occupation, but the moral force and
international pressure will have to be just as determined. The current
divestment effort is the first, though certainly not the only, necessary
move in that direction.****

[*Archbishop Desmond Tutu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his
work against apartheid. Ian Urbina is associate editor with the Middle East
Research and Information Project*.]
Peace for Israelis and Palestinians? Not without America's tough love.

An Israeli student explains why the US should act on moral outrage over
Israel’s discriminatory policies before it’s too late.

By Jonathan Ben-Artzi / April 1, 2010  [Christian Science Monitor] [now at Univ. of Cambridge,
Providence, R.I.

More than 20 years ago, many Americans decided they could no longer watch
as racial segregation divided South
Compelled by an injustice thousands of miles away, they demanded that their
communities, their colleges, their municipalities, and their government
take a stand.

As Martin Luther King
Jr.<> said,
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

Today, a similar discussion is taking place on campuses across the United
States <>. Increasingly,
students are  questioning the morality of the ties US institutions have
with the unjust practices being carried out in
Israel<> and
in the occupied Palestinian territories. Students are seeing that these
practices are often more than merely “unjust.” They are racist.
Humiliating. Inhumane. Savage.

Sometimes it takes a good friend to tell you when enough is enough. As they
did with South Africa two decades ago, concerned citizens across the US can
make a difference by encouraging
Washington<> to
get the message to Israel that this cannot continue.

A legitimate question is, Why should I care? Americans are heavily involved
in the conflict: from funding (the US provides Israel with roughly $3
billion annually in military aid) to corporate investments
one of its major facilities in Israel) to diplomatic support (the US has
vetoed 32 United Nations Security
unsavory to Israel between 1982 and 2006).

Why do I care? I am an Israeli. Both my parents were born in Israel. Both
my grandmothers were born in
Palestine<> (when
there was no “Israel” yet). In fact, I am a ninth-generation native of
Palestine. My ancestors were among the founders of today’s modern

Both my grandfathers fled the Nazis and came to Palestine. Both were
subsequently injured in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. My mother’s only brother
was a paratrooper killed in combat in 1968. All of my relatives served in
the Israeli military for extensive periods of time, some of them in units
most people don’t even know exist.

In Israel, military service for both men and women is compulsory. When my
time to serve came, I refused, because I realized I was obliged to do
something about these acts of segregation. I was denied conscientious
objector status, like the majority of 18-year-old males who seek this
status. Because I refused to serve, I spent a year and a half in military

Some of the acts of segregation that I saw while growing up in Israel
include towns for Jews only, immigration laws that allow Jews from around
the world to immigrate but deny displaced indigenous Palestinians that same
right, and national healthcare and school systems that receive
significantly more funding in Jewish towns than in Arab towns.

As former Prime Minister Ehud
Olmert<> said
in 2008: “We have not yet overcome the barrier of discrimination, which is
a deliberate discrimination and the gap is insufferable.... Governments
have denied [Arab Israelis] their rights to improve their quality of life.”

The situation in the occupied territories is even worse. Nearly 4 million
Palestinians have been living under Israeli occupation for over 40 years
without the most basic human and civil rights.

One example is segregation on roads in the West
where settlers travel on roads that are for Jews only, while Palestinians
are stopped at checkpoints, and a 10-mile commute might take seven hours.

Another example is discrimination in water
Israel pumps drinking water from occupied territory (in violation of
international law). Israelis use as much as four times more water than
Palestinians, while Palestinians are not allowed to dig their own wells and
must rely on Israeli supply.

Civil freedom is no better: In an effort to break the spirit of
Palestinians, Israel conducts sporadic arrests and detentions with no
judicial supervision. According to one prisoner support and human rights
association, roughly 4 in 10 Palestinian males have spent some time in
Israeli prisons. That’s 40 percent of all Palestinian males!

And finally, perhaps one of the greatest injustices takes place in the Gaza
Strip <>, where Israel is
collectively punishing more than 1.5 million Palestinians by sealing them
off in the largest open-air prison on earth.

Because of the US’s relationship with Israel, it is important for all
Americans to educate themselves about the realities of the conflict. When
they do, they will realize that just as much as support for South Africa
decades ago was mostly damaging for South Africa itself, contemporary blind
support for Israel hurts us Israelis.

We must lift the ruthless siege of Gaza, which only breeds more anger and
frustration among Gazans, who respond by hurling primitive, homemade
rockets at Israeli towns.

We must remove travel restrictions from West Bank Palestinians. How can we
live in peace with a population where most children cannot visit their
grandparents living in the neighboring village, without being stopped and
harassed at military checkpoints for hours?

Finally, we must give equal rights to all. Regardless of what the final
resolution will be – the so-called “one state
the “two state solution,” or any other form of governance.

Israel governs the lives of 5.5 million Israeli Jews, 1.5 million Israeli
Palestinians, and 4 million Palestinians in  the West Bank and Gaza. As
long as Israel is responsible for all of these people, it must ensure that
all have equal rights, the same access to resources, and the same
opportunities in education and healthcare. Only through such a platform of
basic human rights for all humans can a resolution come to the region.

If Americans truly are our friends, they should shake us up and take away
the keys, because right now we are driving drunk, and without this wake-up
call, we will soon find ourselves in the ditch of an undemocratic, doomed

*Jonathan Ben-Artzi was one of the spokespeople for the Hadash party in the
Israeli general elections in 2006. His parents are professors in Israel,
and his extended family includes uncle Benjamin
Mr. Ben-Artzi is a PhD student at Brown
 in Providence,


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