Israel is implementing apartheid in the occupied Palestinian territories and will never accept a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine problem, a visiting Israeli academic has told a UNSW audience.

Controversial scholar Professor Jeff Halper said South African-style apartheid already could be seen in Israel's 'cantonisation' of Palestinian populations and the segregation of Arabs from Jews by construction of Israel's security wall.

More than 100 people packed the Law Faculty lecture titled "Reframing the Israel-Palestine Conflict: a human rights perspective".

Many in the audience rejected the views, labelling them inaccurate and over-simplistic and accusing Professor Halper of "infantalising" the Palestinian people by stripping them of any responsibility for the conflict.

In an often-fiery exchange with audience members, Professor Halper said Israel's presence in the occupied territories was now so great that he could not see how a viable Palestinian state could come about. There was no political will to secure a two-state solution, he argued.

An American Professor of Anthropology and lecturer at Haifa and Ben Gurion universities, Professor Halper is the recipient of the Olive Branch Award from Jewish Voice for Peace in the USA and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 by the American Friends Service Committee.

He is the author of several books on the Middle East and was director and head of the Middle East Centre for Friends World College and coordinating director of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions.

Professor Halper was a guest of UNSW's Australian Human Rights Centre.

Click here for a podcast of the talk.

Contact: Steve Offner | 02 9385 8107 |