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3.6 out of 5 stars
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on 14 July 2009
What a wonderful and refreshing book! This writing shows courage and tenacity which has produced a superb work. This book deals with a highly controversial & emotive topic (hence the above rather subjective reviews!) However, this book will hold a lot of weight within the Israel/Palestine ongoing debate because of the authors extensive experience of the situation & his excellent academic insight. Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner's Guide is a refreshing change from the usual Zionist literature which has often dominated. On a literary note this book is very informative and readable, an absolute must for anyone interested in the Israel/Palestine debate.
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on 18 November 2016
Rather dull, predictable,Contemporary Anti Semitism propaganda. But if you are searching for more ways to focus venom on the only tiny strip of land in the world where Jews live, and the only country in the Middle East which affords equal rights to Gays, Woman and multi- religions and cultures, enjoy. If you want a cheaper version, just get a free leaflet from the B.D.S. fanatical campaign.
If you truly wish for Peace in the Middle East then quit blaming and awarding responsibility for all ills on the tiny population of Jews in the Arab dominated lands. instead, join a group which advocates for peace not hatred.
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on 16 July 2009
Ben White's book is an excellent critique and criticism of the Israeli policy of apartheid in the occupied territories. It offers a historical overview which stretches from the birth of the Zionist movement up until the last few years. What makes this book interesting is that White considers the pro-Israeli counter-arguments and offers answers to these - especially in the section entitled 'Frequently Asked Questions. Great as an introduction to the arguments against the policy of apartheid developed over the years and should be supplemented with other books on the history of the Israel/Palestine conflict.
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on 12 September 2012
I would very much recommend this book to anyone interested in gaining a clear-sighted perspective on the nature of the current Israeli state from an impartial perspective. I am aware that applying the term 'impartial perspective' to this book may sound odd to an American audience for whom 'the legitimacy of the state of Israel as a Jewish' has become an item of faith. However, most people outside of America do not subscribe to this doctrine, and, to the extent that they are interested at all, are more concerned with the on-the-ground reality of life for both Palestinians and Israelis. Ben White's great achievement in this book is to calmly introduce the reader to the reality that lies behind the rhetoric on this issue by presenting us with facts and clear analysis.

From the outset he explains that his use of the term 'apartheid' is not intended to imply that Israel resembles the apartheid of South African in all details, but rather that the Israeli control over the lives of Palestinians meets the broad definitionn of apartheid as defined by the UN's General Assembly in 1973. This definition includes "any legislative measures and other measures calculated to prevent a racial group or groups from participation in the political, social, economic and cultural life of their country...."

From there the book goes on to provide a chapter detailing the deliberate programme of ethnic cleansing of Palestinians that provided the basis for the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, and a brief description of the second major 'transfer' operation of 1967 in which 300,000 fled or were expelled from the Gaza Strip and the West Bank (the majority from the latter). The second part of the book then goes on to detail how Israeli apartheid has been maintained over the past 60 years by means of a series of laws that provide a cover for an deliberate policy of land theft, colonisation, and ethnic separation within both the internationally recognised boundaries of the state of Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories (including East Jerusalem). The third part of the book provides details of some of the organisations resisting Israeli apartheid before providing a response to frequently voiced objections in a section entitled 'Frequently Asked Questions.'

Although comprising only fifteen pages the 'Frequently Asked Questions' section is impressive for the clear-sighted and level-headed responses that it provides to the commonly heard objections including the idea that it is wrong not to support the idea of Israel as a 'Jewish State', that Israel deserves praise as 'the only democracy in the Middle East' (supposedly), and that it is wrong to demonise Israelis in view of the historical persecution of Jews, to which White responds:

"To describe Israel in terms of apartheid is not to dehumanise Israelis. In fact, the struggle for a just peace in Palestine/Israel emerges from insisting on the humanity of both Palestinians and Israelis.... Anti-Jewish persecution certainly helps to explain how Zionism emerged, but cannot justify, or detract from, the realities of Israeli apartheid. It's not about name calling, or denying how after the Holocaust, many European Jews felt like there was no where else for them to go. It is about recognising that the Palestinians also have a profound and deeply rooted attachment to their country and the question, then, is whether or not they will share that land as equals. At the same time as it is vital to respect and understand the impact and legacy of the Holocaust, it is also sadly necessary to refuse those who would manipulate and exploit Nazi crimes in order to justify the oppression of the Palestinians."
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on 9 August 2012
Ben White's book is a great start for newcomers to the conflict. The real situation is often ignored by mainstream media. White's book gives an insight into the segregation and restrictions Palestinians face everyday. Military checkpoints that have no real basis in security prevent ambulances from reaching the injured and children from getting to school. Home demolitions occur daily in order to build illegal Jewish settlements on Palestinian land. Definitely a recommended title.
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on 22 November 2012
I needed a simple explanation of this conflict -with facts and dates that would be devoid of sensationalist opinions- to pass onto younger siblings to read who see the news and don't understand the history if this battle and the problems being faced. I read this through and felt it was suitable and concise so I passed it on and have recommended it to others also
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on 5 January 2012
This book is a absolutely essential for the Palestinian activists as it includes everything in one small concise book. If you want to understand what Israel has been, or is currently doing to the Palestinians this is an excellent book to start! Cant wait to read Ben White's latest book!
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on 17 June 2013
I found this book to be really enlightening to the true facts that are going on in Palestine.
He brings to light all the facts with photo's and statistics.
You will never again believe the propaganda that the Israelis give out.
Yours eyes will be opened at what went on, and is still going on.
A very brave writer, he is like Illan Pappe, 'who wrote 'The ethnic cleansing of Palestine.'
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on 19 December 2012
Hard hitting.

Israel's brutal treatment of the its remaining Palestinians eased up somewhat in the 60s while Israel spread its grip over a much larger number in order to steal their land as well.
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on 17 October 2011
Journalist Ben White has written a very useful introduction to the Israel/Palestine dispute. He first looks at a definition of apartheid under international law and notes some points of comparison with apartheid South Africa.

In Part 1 he explores how the Zionist settlement in Palestine developed, how the Zionist leaders were clear about their intention to expel the indigenous Palestinians (Ben Gurion wrote in 1937, "We must expel Arabs and take their place") and how this was achieved in the Naqba of 1948. He examines the notions of `a land without a people' and looks at the `transfer' (the Zionists' euphemism for ethnic cleansing) - the expulsions of 700,000 Palestinians from their homes, achieved through massacres like Deir Yassin.

Part 2 shows how Israeli apartheid has been maintained for the last 60 years, legally and practically, and what this has meant for the day to day lives of Palestinians. Israel is a state for only some of its citizens: only its Jewish citizens are nationals. By Israel's Basic Law, it is `the state of the Jewish people'.

Its illegal occupation of Palestine entails land theft, colonisation, ethnic separation, discrimination (Chaim Weizmann, Israel's first President, wrote, "There is a fundamental difference in quality between Jew and native"), illegal settlements, separate `bypass roads', checkpoints, the illegal Separation Wall, detention, torture, home demolitions, military brutality, the bantustisation of Palestine, and the killing of children (200 in the first Intifada, 545 in the second). White concludes, "Perhaps the core of Israeli apartheid as it affects the country's Palestinian citizens is the `exclusionary land regime', a reflection of the historic objective of political Zionism: the land of Palestine without the Palestinians."

In Part 3, he looks briefly at Palestinian and international resistance to Israeli apartheid. Finally, he answers some frequently asked questions.
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