That’s a volatile word, but what does it mean?
Jonathan Kuttab with Bethlehem Bible College is an international human rights attorney. He says, “International law (in three different conventions) has a clear definition of what constitutes apartheid as a crime. One of them, of course, is separation, creating a system of separation for one group from the others.” An apartheid system also uses laws to give one group the upper hand over another.
Israel denied these charges, saying they originate from antisemitism. Kuttab says it’s important to distinguish between the Israeli government and the Jewish people. “We oppose antisemitism, and we also oppose racism. We oppose it because God loves everybody. Because we are created in the image of God. Jesus came to destroy the distinction between Jew and Gentile, male and female, master and slave. Jesus came to bring us all together.”
Apartheid in South Africa
Kuttab says apartheid is a relatively new crime under international law. People often think of South Africa when they hear the word. “A lot of the conversation goes, ‘Is this like South Africa or isn’t it? How different it is? How do we compare it?’ And this is not really a very useful approach, because every country is different.”
For instance, large dividing walls separate Israeli and Palestinian populations, something South Africa did not have.
South Africa did separate white and black populations in all aspects of life and prevented black people from voting or owning land. These laws lasted from 1948 until 1991, when Nelson Mandela was elected as president.
How to Pray
Pray for Palestinian Christians. They live in difficult conditions, but they have a strong love for Jesus. And ask God to bring peace and break down walls in Israel and Palestine.
The heard photo shows a separation wall in the West Bank. (Photo courtesy of Marc Venezia, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)