At The National, Tony Karon wrote:
The former US president Jimmy Carter set off a firestorm in 2006 when he said that Israel would have to choose between maintaining an apartheid occupation of the West Bank and Gaza and a two-state peace agreement with the Palestinians. That Mr Carter brokered Israel’s most important peace treaty with an Arab country was immaterial; he was branded an enemy of Israel, an anti-Semite and even a Holocaust-denier.
Israel’s friends in the US reacted out of instinct, knowing that an association with apartheid – South Africa’s erstwhile system of racial oppression – would bring international condemnation and isolation. But there was no word of protest from that quarter last week when Israel’s defence minister said what Mr Carter had. “If, and as long as between the Jordan (River) and the (Mediterranean) Sea there is only one political entity, named Israel, it will end up being either non-Jewish or non-democratic,” warned Ehud Barak, speaking at Israel’s annual Herzliya security conference. “If the Palestinians vote in elections it is a binational state and if they don’t vote it is an apartheid state.”
Which, of course, is exactly what Mr Carter was arguing. The former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert warned in November 2007 that without a two-state solution, Israel would “face a South African-style struggle for equal voting rights”, which it would be unable to win because American Jews would not support a state that denies voting rights to all of its subjects.
Haaretz reports that the UN is likely to to refer the findings of the Goldstone report to the International Court of Justice in The Hague:
A decision to bring the report on last year’s Gaza war before the court would follow a debate in the UN General Assembly over Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s response to the document last week.
Assembly president Ali Abdussalam Treki announced on Saturday that member states were drawing up a plan of action over Ban’s answer to the report, in which retired South African Judge Richard Goldstone accused both Israel and Hamas of war crimes.
Treki, a senior Libyan diplomat, did not give a target date for a debate by the assembly – but the tone of his press release implied that he would push for a full discussion of the issue, diplomats said.