French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian warns of the risk of “long-lasting apartheid” in Israel in the event the Palestinians fail to obtain their own state.
Le Drian is one of the first senior French officials to use the term “apartheid” in reference to Israel, an accusation usually voiced by pro-Palestinian activists.
The veteran politician makes the remarks in an interview with RTL radio and Le Figaro newspaper in reference to the clashes between Jews and Arabs that erupted in several Israeli cities during the latest conflict.
The violence, which included many incidents in which Arab mobs assaulted Jews and torched synagogues, as well as Jewish revenge attacks, shattered years of peaceful coexistence within Israel.
“It’s the first time and it clearly shows that if in the future we had a solution other than the two-state solution, we would have the ingredients of long-lasting apartheid,” Le Drian says, using the word for the white supremacist oppression of blacks in South Africa from 1948 to 1991.
Le Drian says the “risk of apartheid is high” if Israel continues to act “according to a single-state logic” but also if it maintains the status quo.
“Even the status quo produces that,” he says.