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Concept.png Hafradah Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png

Hafradah is a Hebrew word for "separation", the Israeli system of control in the West Bank, a word which may translate directly into the word "apartheid" in Afrikaans.

The principle is that the state extends to one group a higher legal status than another, and in Israel is enforced so as to preserve a Jewish majority inside non-Palestinian areas. Explicitly privileged are half a million settlers living inside Palestine who have the right to vote in Israeli elections, while their non-Jewish neighbors (whose land and water has often been taken) are denied security or any right to vote for representatives of the government that controls their lives.[1]

A major difference between hafradah and South African bantustans is that the borders and governance of the "Palestinian areas" have not been defined and in some cases may be shrinking.

Israel and Apartheid

The State of Israel's treatment of the Palestinians has been compared by United Nations investigators, human rights groups and critics of Israeli policy to South Africa's treatment of non-whites during its apartheid era. Israel has also been accused of committing the crime of apartheid.[2][3][4]

Critics of Israeli policy say that "a system of control" in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, including Jewish-only settlements, separate roads, military checkpoints, discriminatory marriage law, the West Bank barrier, use of Palestinians as cheap labour, Palestinian West Bank enclaves, inequities in infrastructure, legal rights, and access to land and resources between Palestinians and Israeli residents in the Israeli-occupied territories resembles some aspects of the South African apartheid regime, and that elements of Israel's occupation constitute forms of colonialism and of apartheid, which are contrary to international law.[5]

Some commentators extend the analogy, or accusation, to include Arab citizens of Israel, describing their citizenship status as second-class.[2][6][7][8][9][10][11]


  1. Goldstone sugercoasts persecution to try to save Israel "Richard Goldstone’s op-ed in the Times today saying that it is “slander” to say that Israel practices “apartheid” is shocking at a number of levels" Mondoweiss 2nd Nov 2011.
  2. a b Davies, Uri Apartheid Israel: possibilities for the struggle within Zed books, 2003.
  3. Shimoni, Gideon Jews and Zionism: The South African Experience 1910-1967 Cape Town: Oxford UP, 1980. p.310–336
  4. Why "Apartheid" Applies to Israeli Policies "Israel, like South Africa, is an apartheid state" —Former South African President Hendrick Verwoerd, Rand Daily Mail, November 23, 1961. US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.
  5. Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, John Dugard, A/HRC/4/17, 29 January 2007, page 3 and 23.
  6. Seeking Mandela: Peacemaking Between Israelis and Palestinians Adam, Heribert & Moodley, Kogila. University College London Press, p.15.
  7. The A Word: Israel, Apartheid and Jimmy Carter, CounterPunch 19 December 2006
  8. Power and History in the Middle East: A Conversation with Ilan Pappe Logos Journal, vol 3 no 1, Winter 2004
  9. Our Apartheid State "The third racist decision was the one that banned Arab citizens of Israel from purchasing national land. Well, not all land, but only a part of it — Jewish National Fund land".
  10. Yes, it is apartheid Haaretz 2008.
  11. In day-long Security Council meeting, Palestine observer says Israeli security wall involves de facto annexation of occupied land "How can these Israeli war crimes be appropriately described?" he asked. "Is this classic colonization? We believe it is worse than that. Is this a new apartheid system? We believe it is worse than that. It is a combination that has drawn upon these two ugly phenomena, amounting to the lowest level thinking of racist colonizers." UN, 2003.