A former head of Israel’s Mossad spy agency has said that the state is imposing a form of apartheid on the Palestinians, AP reported on Wednesday. Tamir Pardo compared the Israeli occupation of the West Bank to South Africa’s defunct system of racial oppression.
“There is an apartheid state here,” he explained.
In a territory where two people are judged under two legal systems, that is an apartheid state.
Speaking to AP, Pardo said that Israeli mechanisms for controlling the Palestinians, from restrictions on movement to placing them under military law while Jewish settlers in the occupied territories are governed by civilian courts, matched the old South Africa.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appointed Pardo, 70, head of the Mossad in 2011. Netanyahu’s Likud Party condemned Pardo’s remarks, saying that he “should be ashamed” of his comments. “Instead of defending Israel and the Israeli military, Pardo slanders Israel.”
Pardo has thus joined an increasing number of senior Israeli officials comparing the state’s treatment of the Palestinians in the occupied West Bank to apartheid in South Africa. A number of major human rights organisations, have declared that Israel has passed the legal threshold to be described as an apartheid state, including B’Tselem, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.