2014 Abstracts Stage 2

Israeli Apartheid …

My project examines the justifiability of the State of Israel’s discriminatory treatment of Arab Palestinians and Israelis, which constitutes the ‘Crime of Apartheid’ under international law, in light of the conventional justification that such measures are necessary in order to maintain the freedom and security of Israel’s Jewish population. After outlining the mechanisms of Israeli apartheid, I will demonstrate that, whilst they are unjust from the perspective of both Kantian ethics and Millian liberalism, traditional utilitarianism considers them morally permissible, and thus, as some later liberals, such as John Rawls, recognized, does not provide a suitable foundation for a liberal political philosophy. I will argue that, whilst Israeli apartheid is undoubtedly unjust, and whilst many of the mechanisms of which it is constituted have no conceivable security function, putting an end to all aspects of Israeli apartheid ultimately requires a solution to the larger Arab-Israeli conflict. Finally, I will briefly explain why I consider a two-state solution to be the only viable means of resolving this conflict, and outline two conditions, from Kant’s Perpetual Peace, that could facilitate the actualization of such a solution.