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This is a short, readable guide to the realities of life for Palestinian citizens of Israel. Notionally equal, they suffer widespread discrimination. It is, White argues, systematic, not accidental – built into the fabric of the so-called ‘Jewish and democratic’ state.
The burdens to which Palestinian citizens of Israel are subject are explored under five headings: the nature of the state; the land regime; the ‘demographic threat’; discrimination in other aspects of daily life; and how the system in Israel thwarts democratic change.
When the Jewish and democratic aspects of the state are perceived to be in conflict, it is the former that trumps the latter. Any attempt to advocate change to make Israel into a state of all its citizens is widely perceived as a threat to the very existence of the state itself. Discrimination is seen most clearly in the areas of citizenship and land rights, but it expresses itself in almost every aspect of daily life – education, government and private employment, and a pervasive racism on the streets.
All Jews, no matter where they live, are by definition entitled to Israeli citizenship; most Palestinians are not. Following 1947, the Palestinians that remained as notionally ‘full citizens’ of the state of Israel cannot in reality live in over 90 per cent of the country. Efforts to Judaise the Galilee and the Negev have been intensified in response to Palestinian population growth – perceived as a ‘demographic threat’ – with Jewish settlements built up around the Palestinian population or Palestinians forced off their land entirely.
The book also outlines how Palestinian citizens are on average much poorer and less well-educated, and have a much lower percentage of state and municipal funding directed their way than do Jewish citizens. Israel is, White shows, not a genuine democracy but an ethnocracy: ‘The truth is that policies that would be considered grotesquely racist applied in other contexts are routine and institutionalised in Israel.’
This is an important book, dealing with a much-neglected but key aspect of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Grace Blakeley investigates the curious case of Carillion: how the company’s slow decline and abrupt liquidation reveals the nature of modern capitalism.
The collapse of Carillion could be a watershed moment. Let's seize it to end economically disastrous outsourcing schemes. By Cat Hobbs.
Campaign groups highlight UK complicity in Saudi Arabia's human rights abuses.
Three founders of Momentum talk to Ashish Ghadiali about the two years that have transformed their lives and the fortunes of the British left.
Andrew Smith from Campaign Against the Arms Trade gives the run-down on one of the UK's most profitable - and most deadly - industries.
The real story behind the fire in Grande Synthe’s Linière refugee camp, Dunkirk. From 'Bordered Lives – How Europe fails refugees and migrants' by Hsiao-Hung Pai
Javier Pérez De La Cruz writes about the working class Berlin neighbourhood wrung dry by gentrifiers.
Across the world, thousands of protesters are taking on the planet’s biggest fossil fuel companies. We should support them – and if we can, we should join them. By Kara Moses
Students are suffering the effects of financial instability, stress, and slashed mental health services. Mark Crawford reports.
They're not defending free speech - they're just seeking to shore up their own power, writes Ilyas Nagdee
Jeremy Hunt is poised to flog the last of the NHS
Peter Roderick sounds the alarm on an 'attack on the fundamental principles of the NHS'.
Viva Siva, 1923-2018
A. Sivanandan, who died this week, was a hugely important figure in the politics of race and class. As part of our tributes, Red Pepper is republishing this 2009 profile of him by Arun Kundnani
Sivanandan: When memory forgets a giant
Daniel Renwick calls for the whole movement to discover and remember the vital work of A. Sivanandan, who died this week
A master-work of graphic satire
American Jewish cartoonist Eli Valley’s comic commentary on America, the US Jewish diaspora and Israel is nothing if not near the knuckle, Richard Kuper writes
Meet the frontline activists facing down the global mining industry
Activists are defending land, life and water from the global mining industry. Tatiana Garavito, Sebastian Ordoñez and Hannibal Rhoades investigate.
Transition or succession? Zimbabwe’s future looks uncertain
The fall of Mugabe doesn't necessarily spell freedom for the people of Zimbabwe, writes Farai Maguwu
Don’t let Corbyn’s opponents sneak onto the Labour NEC
Labour’s powerful governing body is being targeted by forces that still want to strangle Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, writes Alex Nunns