Citizenship here is reminiscent of South Africa's in the past: Jews are 'white' citizens, Arabs in Israel have 'colored' (in other words, partial) citizenship; and Palestinians in the territories have 'black' citizenship, without political rights.
So what can be done? First, we must call this thing by its name. In other words, opponents of the occupation must update their image of the phenomenon and use legal, conceptual and political tools to fight it. Military occupation can be justified as essential and even legal, as many in Israel do. Colonialism and apartheid are illegal and undemocratic. Using these terms would significantly strengthen the struggle.
Second, because of the complex history and geography involved, we must think about new, creative approaches that are not limited to “one-shot” solutions such as unilateral withdrawal. An example of this is the “Two States, One Homeland” movement founded recently, which offers a vision of an Israeli-Palestinian union.
This arrangement would have two states established on the two sides of the Green Line, which would become an open border with freedom of movement, and Jerusalem serving as a joint, unified capital for both states.
Whatever the solution, Israeli society must stop hiding its head in the sand and understand that the apartheid process is the most serious security threat facing the residents of this entire land – “white,” “colored” and “black.”
The writer is a professor of political geography at Ben-Gurion University and a founder of “Two States, One Homeland.” The opinions in the article are his alone.