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A Critical Analysis of Apartheid Practices

posted on: May 15, 2024

Fadi Zanayed has now accomplished a very daring task – he has written a book about the Israeli Apartheid system.

Apartheid is defined in the book as it relates to Israel— Apartheid is a segregated political system that separates people of different religions “for the benefit of one at the expense of the other, i.e., people of the Jewish faith are allowed to use the basic needs of the necessities of life to the detriment of the people of the Muslim and Christian faiths.”

Observations of Israel’s Apartheid System is an informative book about how Israel subjugates the Palestinians through its occupation, apartheid, and colonization. All aspects of what Palestinians must endure in their daily lives are observed–from discriminatory practices regarding water distribution, electricity manipulation, land confiscations, building permit frustrations, educational intrusions, identity manipulations, license plate restrictions, travel limitations,  silencing of Palestinian’s aspirations, to unequal criminal justice applications.

Zanayed observes the landscape and sees Apartheid. He looks at the ugly and numerous water tanks atop Palestinian residences and questions why there are no tanks upon the “illegal trespassing Israeli dwelling”—a term he uses to refer to the Israeli settlements. He refuses to call them “settlements” because the word means “a place, typically one that has hitherto been uninhabited, where people establish a community” [and] is a flavored description to entice sympathy for the occupiers of Palestine. Palestine has always been inhabited and therefore the term “settlements” is not an accurate description of Israelis who are, in all aspects, trespassing dwellers on Palestinian land.” He also refers to the Israeli Defense Force as the “Israeli Occupation Force” stating that it is not a defensive army.

While Zanayed criticizes Israel, he is not afraid to criticize the Palestinians. He gives examples of how the Palestinians have acted like children when negotiating with Israel; how they were ill-prepared for those negotiations; and how the division between the Fatah and Hamas political parties has hindered the Palestinian cause and allowed the occupation and apartheid to continue.

The cover of the book depicts “depicts a young child being hurled away by soldiers. The image is blurred, only the face of the young child is somewhat clear, although he is blindfolded. The blur is a symbol of the horridness of the wickedness of the injustice. Confrontations between Palestinians and the Israeli Occupation Forces occur all too often.  To Palestinians, this is a daily occurrence that can happen during any day or night, any hour, any second. It represents life under occupation, life under apartheid, life under colonization.” He chose this picture to highlight the work of a Jordanian-Palestinian visual artist–Safaa Abueid. 

Zanayed further explains how Israel confronts and cajoles the Palestinians into accepting their fate as an occupied people. While Zanayed observes that Palestinians have acquiesced themselves to the occupation and apartheid conditions, he vehemently states that “The Palestinian human spirit to be free is alive and well and no method of suppression can or will destroy it. It is inherently built into the mindset of every Palestinian.” In writing about Israel’s suppression of Palestinian education, Zanayed states, “Denying the Nakba is to the Palestinians as the denial of the Holocaust is to the Jewish people.” 

Throughout the book, Zanayed’s message is simple: it is the occupation and apartheid that is the root cause of an unstable Middle East, and the US would be better served to confront this issue head-on.

Fadi Zanayed has been an author, poet, community activist, and attorney since 1985. He graduated from Loyola University Chicago (1983) and Loyola School of Law (1985). 

The book can be purchased here.

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