France fears ‘apartheid’ in Israel if Palestinians don’t get their own state

Published May 24, 2021
Protesters hold Palestinian flags in Paris as they take part in a rally supporting Palestinians. — AP
Protesters hold Palestinian flags in Paris as they take part in a rally supporting Palestinians. — AP

PARIS/JERUSALEM: French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian warned on Sunday of the risk of “long-lasting apartheid” in Israel in the event the Palestinians fail to obtain their own state.

Le Drian is one of the first senior French officials to use the term “apartheid” in reference to Israel, which has angrily denied any policy of racial discrimination.

The veteran politician made the remarks in an interview with RTL radio and Le Figaro newspaper in reference to the violence that erupted in several Israeli cities.

The violence, which revealed simmering anger among Israeli Arabs over the crackdown on Palestinians in Jerusalem, shattered years of peaceful coexistence within Israel.

“It’s the first time and it clearly shows that if in the future we had a solution other than the two-state solution, we would have the ingredients of long-lasting apartheid,” Le Drian said, using the word for the white supremacist oppression of blacks in South Africa from 1948 to 1991.

Le Drian said the “risk of apartheid is high” if Israel continued to act “according to a single-state logic” but also if it maintained the status quo. “Even the status quo produces that,” he said.

He added that the 11-day violence had shown the need to revive the moribund Middle East peace process.

“We have take one step at a time,” he said, expressing satisfaction that US President Joe Biden had reiterated support for creating a Palestinian state alongside Israel.

Israeli police escort Jews

Israeli police escorted more than 250 Jewish visitors on Sunday to a flashpoint holy site in Jerusalem where attacks on Palestinian protesters helped trigger violence in Gaza, according to the Islamic authority overseeing the site.

With tensions still high, police cleared young Palestinians out of the Al Aqsa Mosque compound and barred entry to Muslims under the age of 45, according to the Islamic Waqf, which oversees the site.

Muslims who entered were required to leave their IDs with police at the entrance. It said six Palestinians were detained, with four later released.

Published in Dawn, May 24th, 2021

Opinion

Disrupted rhythms of the Indus
18 Jun 2021

Disrupted rhythms of the Indus

The glaciers, the monsoon, the snowmelt and the aquifers evolved over millions of years and created one of the most reliable
Quest for truth
18 Jun 2021

Quest for truth

News travels quickly and without any editorial checks.
Controversial poll reforms
Updated 17 Jun 2021

Controversial poll reforms

If govt doesn’t engage opposition in dialogue, its last two years may be spent in dealing with a controversy over electoral laws.

Editorial

Poll bill reservations
Updated 18 Jun 2021

Poll bill reservations

Reforming the electoral process is vital for Pakistan, and doing so by taking everyone on board is equally important.
18 Jun 2021

E-fund transfer fee

THE State Bank’s decision to withdraw the facility of free of cost digital fund transfer services is disappointing...
18 Jun 2021

Gaza bombed again

MEMORIES of last month’s savage assault by Israel targeting Gaza had not yet faded when earlier this week news...
Shameful behaviour
17 Jun 2021

Shameful behaviour

Both opposition and treasury members should create space for opinions to be heard and aired.
17 Jun 2021

Sindh budget

A CURSORY reading of the Sindh budget 2021-22 reinforces the impression that Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah’s...
17 Jun 2021

West on China

IN what seems like a distinct return to Cold War rhetoric, the Western bloc has issued back-to-back statements...