As a rabbi raised in South Africa, I can’t ignore Israel is an Apartheid state

A regime of Jewish supremacy from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea: This is apartheid

Dear Friends,

Truthout just printed an article that I wrote about the extraordinary report that B’Tselem released a few weeks ago.

You can read my article here.

I believe the B’Tselem report is so very significant. It is the largest Israeli human rights organization with a reputation in the world for honest, and reliable human rights reports. Their latest report presents a bold and accurate assessment of Israel’s control over the entire area from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River as a manifestation of apartheid. As B’Tselem points out, while there are differences in how Palestinians are treated between Gaza, Israel within the Green Line and the Occupied West Bank, there is not one single instance in that entire area where the rights of a Palestinian is equal the rights of a Jew. Their report offers us the moral clarity that it is all Apartheid, albeit in different forms. For those of us who care about equality and human rights this is shocking statement and one that calls for urgent action. I have more to say on this but will include those thoughts in an upcoming post.

I encourage you to read the report itself. Please share my article with others, if you are so moved. You can read my article here.


  1. rbgray says:

    Rabbi Brian, I just read your article and had to respond. I (from Boulder and was introduced to the 2008 trip by Reb Tirzah) was on that 2008 Rabbis for Human Rights trip and have spoken many times about our experience in Hebron. I so remember that moment with the local police and the army. I remember how we were not allowed to go into the Cave of the Patriarchs because “we were a demonstration” and not a tour. I remember the rabbis on the trip arguing and having to call the lawyers in Jerusalem to know how to respond. At that point we were rushed on to the bus in order not to be arrested. And many more memories including the debates about President Carter’s book. Thank you for the article. Thank you for speaking out. I am going to circulate the article. When I returned from that trip I started a local Palestinian/Jewish Israeli group which is still active to day. I won’t bore you with all we have done locally to keep the dialogue open but it has gotten much harder in the past few years. Palestinians are tired of talking understandably. We all need each other to keep the information flowing. So I am writing just for that reason and thanking you for taking the next step on being out there. Be well. Reggie Gray member of Congregation Nevei Kodesh Boulder Colorado


    1. rabbibrian says:

      Thanks so much, Reggie, for reconnecting and for your kind words. So wonderful to hear from you and about your great work creating a dialogue group that has met in Boulder for decades. What an achievement! I think it is time for us all to think about next steps. My focus is trying to figure out what we can do as Jews to end American Jewish support for Apartheid in Israel. Unfortunately apartheid in Israel is supported by many liberal Jews who are attached to an exclusive Jewish state there while we enjoy a multiethnic democray here in the US.

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s