I've heard the apartheid comparison before, and it depresses
me that people take it seriously. If apartheid in South
Africa were repealed, the newly empowered population would
take their place in society, and South African people, white
and black, would do their best to improve the country for
everyone. This is, in fact, largely what happened.
If the Israelis totally free these camps, the newly
empowered population would respond by murdering Israelis.
It's not the same situation. Jewish settlers live in homes
vacated when the residents fled to Jordan during the War of
Independance. They left of their own free will, and when
Jordan turned them out, they came back.
Does this mean that Israel manages the refugee camps in the
best way possible? No. The Israeli government has the
impetus to do something, anything to protect the
populace. A governemnt that even appears to fail to do so
will be voted out in favor of one that does. This is a risk
of Parlimentary democracies, and is in fact the reason a
hawk like Sharon is in power. The situation needs to be
remedied such that a government that does not counter murder
with violence can keep its power. To do the "right" thing,
the Israeli government must watch its citizens be murdered
and not retaliate as it has recently. It is easy for us to
say that from here, but it is not when every night you find
someone you knew is dead because they felt like going out to
The black people of South Africa never claimed that they
wanted to run the white people out of the country or kill
them. They merely wanted equal standing under the law. The
situation is not the same, and to compare it
belies the murder that has been done in the name of the
The only possible solution for the Middle East is one that
creates an environment where Hamas and the like cannot
exist. An environment where Israel, the Palestinian state,
and the states around them all persecute such groups. that
environment is far off, especially since the current
Palestinian leadership supports the actions of such groups.
As long as their charter and there actions read "We will not
rest until the state of Israel is destroyed and the Israelis
are dead or gone", this will be an untenable situation.