The post-apartheid state in South Africa inherited many colonial legacies. It has transformed considerably over the past 25 years. But it retains mechanisms of a state that secured power for a select few at the expense of most of its citizens.
As a Palestinian citizen of Israel, it is a strange experience to watch your humanity become a subject of national debate between a prime minister and a model. Responding to criticism by the well-known Israeli actor Rotem Sela this week, Benjamin Netanyahu took it upon himself to declare, via Instagram: “Israel is not a state of all its citizens. According to the nation-state law we passed [in July 2018], Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people – and not anyone else.” His assertion quickly dominated international headlines. Israeli Hollywood actor Gal Gadot (who played Wonder Woman in the 2017 blockbuster), President Reuven Rivlin, and other public figures joined the fray to defend Sela, who had posted the question: “When the hell will someone in this government convey to the public that Israel is a state of all its citizens and that all people were created equal?”