Israel as a Racist Endeavour: 11 Examples

Image: The Electronic Intifada

JVL Introduction

This list of examples of Israel’s racism, compiled by Independent Jewish Voices Canada,  shows the character of the Israeli state.

However, it is important to notice that the IHRA examples do not stigmatise calling THE (actually existing) State of Israel ‘a racist endeavour’ although many of those trying to brand anything and everything antisemitic often suggest it does.

The proscription is much narrower, it refers to A State of Israel – the idea that any state of Israel at any time and any place is a racist endeavour.

Do not let them intimidate you into silence about Israel’s racism.

This article was originally published by IJV Canada blog on Mon 23 Nov 2020. Read the original here.

Israel as a Racist Endeavour: 11 Examples

The misleading IHRA antisemitism definition comes with a list of 11 examples. One of their so-called examples of antisemitism includes “claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavour”.

For the next 11 days, we will be posting examples of how the state of Israel is indeed a racist endeavour.

For more info about IJV’s NoIHRA campaign, visit

#1: Theodor Herzl, the father of modern Zionism, proposed a Jewish state in Palestine as “an outpost of civilization as opposed to barbarism”, and, taking as his model the British colony in South Africa, described his project as “something colonial”.

Further reading: “Under Zionism, Jewish lives have always mattered more” (972 Magazine)

#2: Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, wrote to his son in 1937, prior to the founding of the state, that Jewish settlers “must expel Arabs and take their place.”

Further reading: “‘The old will die and the young will forget’ – Did Ben-Gurion say it?” (Electronic Intifada)

#3: In March 1948, Zionist leaders approved the blueprint for the ethnic cleansing of Palestine. By 1949, at least 750,000 Palestinians had fled or been expelled by Zionist militias in what Palestinians call the Nakba (“catastrophe”).

Further reading: “Plan Dalet: Blueprint for Ethnic Cleansing” (IMEU)

#4: Israel deemed Palestinians who were expelled during the Nakba ‘absentees’ without the right of return. Meanwhile all Jewish people have the right to immigrate to Israel and become citizens.

Further reading: Absentees’ Property Law, Law of Return (Adalah)

#5: Following the Nakba, Palestinian ‘absentee property’ was allocated to the Jewish National Fund, which explicitly reserves it’s land (13% of Israel) for Jewish lease only, discriminating against 21% of Israel’s citizens.

Further reading: “Off the Map” (Human Rights Watch)

#6: The founders of Israel maintained that white European Jews were superior to Mizrahi Jews of colour, leading to the state-sponsored kidnapping of hundreds of Mizrahi babies in the 1940s and 50s and ongoing anti-Mizrahi racism today.

Further reading: “The roots of anti-Mizrahi racism in Israel” (972 Magazine)

#7: Since 1948, Israel has authorized the creation of 900+ Jewish localities, but not one for Palestinian citizens of Israel, with the exception of a few government-planned townships to concentrate Bedouin communities.

Further reading: “Israel: Discriminatory Land Policies Hem in Palestinians” (Human Rights Watch)

#8: In an effort to maintain a Jewish demographic majority Israel prevents Palestinians from the West-Bank and Gaza who are married to Israelis from joining their spouses in Israel.

Further reading: “Israel renews racist marriage law” (Electronic Intifada)

#9: Israel maintains an ID system for all Palestinians under its control, which severely restricts their movement, residency and civic rights.

Further reading: “Identity Crisis: The Israeli ID System” (Visualizing Palestine)

#10: According to Israeli legal NGO Yesh Din, not only is Israel committing the crime against humanity of apartheid in the West Bank, but the Israeli regime in its entirety can be considered an apartheid regime.

Further reading: “The Occupation of the West Bank and the Crime of Apartheid: Legal Opinion” (Yesh Din)

#11: The 2018 Nation-State law declared “the right to national self-determination in the State of Israel” as “unique to the Jewish people.” Palestinians have no such right.

Further reading: “The Basic Law: Israel – The Nation-State of the Jewish People” (Adalah)

Comments (11)

  • Jaye says:

    I don’t think that the writer should get carried away with semantics about “A” or “THE” particularly when numerous grammatical/spelling/typing errors appear in his article. Poor proof-reading devalues the content and does JVL no favours either.

    And his examples are not earth-shattering since you’ll find one or more quote or deed from any prominent person in the world, or a law on the statute books from any and every country, which will enable you to brand them as this or that. Biden is a good example: Harris (his now VP) tried to brand him a racist because of a congressional vote 40+ years ago, ignoring everything else he’d ever said or done.

  • dave says:

    Indeed. As I’ve said several times, if Israel were a peaceful secular state we wouldn’t be seeing the antisemitism smear because there would be no racist state to defend. I dare say the right may have found some traction with capitalist/Rothschild memes but nothing like we have seen.

  • steve mtchell says:

    TUC confirms Israel and apartheid state. Israel supported the white South African state to the bitter end.

  • John Webster says:

    Jaye – The difference between ‘A’ and ‘THE’ is critical. Ask the man who drafted the definition, Kenneth Stern. And I believe that this already has had a hearing in Court and been clarified. Forgive the grammatical errors but I think they are not significant. What I find much more interesting is the tepid reaction to this contribution by Independent Jewish Voices Canada. This is not a set of ‘smears’. It is a set of facts. The current allegations of antisemitism in the UK and elsewhere are essentially about deflecting attention from these facts. I can understand those who see Israel as a ‘refuge’ not wanting to accept what it has become and feeling hurt that attention is drawn to them. But Israel is actually trapped. It has no future unless it radically changes. Some feel that the idea of a Jewish Homeland is threatened. The idea of a Jewish State certainly is. But either you make the Palestinians disappear, or you continue on the road to apartheid, or you allow them a state, or you make them equal. It occupies the heads of those who have been victimised to know that they have actually become the victimisers. It makes then angry, sad and ruthless – and believe their own propaganda.

  • DAVID ROGER says:

    A very useful list and an Interesting point that we can call THE state of Israel a racist endeavour ,, just not A state of Israel
    Let’s do it !

  • Philip Horowitz says:

    Do those who call the state of Israel a racist endeavour, call its supporters racists?

  • Jaye says:

    Thank you John Webster for you civil and sincere comments on my earlier post. Resolution 242 of the UNSC made sure that “THE” was not used so as to avoid mandating that Israel must withdraw from ALL territories conquered in 1967, but it’s never made any difference, whereas realism has.

    Reading between the lines it’s heartening to see that you don’t see Israel as a racist endeavour but lament what it has become (unlike many on the hard Left who are obsessive in their hatred of Israel and the existence of ANY Jewish State and they are indeed antisemites). The current Israeli coalition is very unsavoury but not 100% bad. Israel is still a refuge for Jews and it wouldn’t be if it were just a “homeland” as you suggest rather than a sovereign state. It’s far from doomed even though borders are an important issue. It has a very bright present and future, with no shortage of problems, but far less than those of the UK, the EU and the USA.

    For the record, my personal preference is for Jordan, which is already a majority Palestinian state and encompasses around 80% of the mandated area of Palestine prior to 1922, to incorporate most of the West Bank. However any realistic solution would suit me as it would most Jews. A State where Jews are not a majority would not and any well meaning person knows that this is nothing to do with racism but with realism.

  • Greg Douglas says:

    John Webster says that either Israel could make the Palestinians disappear or continue on the road to apartheid. That sounds like a ‘final solution’,how terrible to postulate!

  • John Thatcher says:

    Jaye, Zionism must not be allowed to profit from its crimes in any way, and to continue to insist on a State in historic Palestine where an artificial majority of Jews is maintained is unambiguously supporting racism. The creation of the Jewish State of Israel although “legal” in international law can never be anything but morally wrong.

  • John Bernard says:

    In contradistinction to some of the rather bland self congratulatory comments about Israel above, and irrelevant angels on pinheads discussions about semantics – here’s another take on this article. It’s a good summation of a disgraceful catalogue of either incitement to racial hatred, or racism in practice. Israel is, in the view of many, not least Palestinians, a vile hermetically sealed lunatic asylum for intolerant racist bigots (Flag Day is a good example), whose foundation let us not forget was based on the lie of “a people with no land for a land with no people” plus the subsequent genocide of the resident population. It was never about Jewish self determination just theft and violence by a group of Zionists, and today seventy years or so after its unilateral declaration of “statehood” most of the world’s jewish community do not live in Israel. No sensible person on the Left suggests Israel should not exist because there is unfortunately, no practical or ethical way of dismantling it, but that does not equate to tacit approval. Israel could do.much to improve its poor international standing if it simply stopped shooting Palestinians, stopped building illegal settlements, stopped stealing Palestinian homes and stopped allowing racist incomers, (being desperately flown in to counteract the Palestinian demographic time bomb), to run riot in Palestinian olive groves or do unspeakable things like flood Palestinian schools with sewage. All that before you even consider the issue of water which sees Jewish communities with enough to fill swimming pools whilst Palestinian communities have stand pipes. Israel is a gangster state and a disgrace, and the only thing it understands, and actually fears, as evidenced by the huge amounts of money the Ministry of External Affairs devotes to countering it, is the BDS movement. Anyone with a scintilla of political awareness and compassion, should support BDS, the various Palestinian charities there are, and of course last but not least, Jewish organisations like B’tselem and Jewish Voice for Peace.

  • Alan Marsden says:


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