The term apartheid (Afrikans for “separateness” or “aparthood”) originated and is most often used to refer to a system of racial segregation that existed in South Africa from 1948 to the early 1990s. Though the population was 90% black and only 10% white, many things were segregated including beaches, healthcare, schools, housing, etc. subjecting the black population to slums and poverty. A movement led by Nelson Mandela and other activists, along with sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), brought an end to the Apartheid regime.

Although the South African Apartheid has ended, this term still sees frequent use today. The term apartheid is widely used to describe the “implementation and maintenance of a system of legalized racial segregation in which one racial group is deprived of political and civil rights”. Many have adapted apartheid to fit other situations, as seen in terms like gender apartheid, climate apartheid, and political apartheid.

While most across the political spectrum agree on the heinousness of apartheid systems, many disagreements are centered around what qualifies as apartheid and who perpetrates it. 

For example, there is much debate on whether Israel is a modern “apartheid state”. Several organizations, Democratic politicians, and governments say that Israel is committing apartheid against Palestinians. Other politicians, on both the left and right, do not think that Israel meets the qualifications for apartheid or racism. Some say that Palestinians are committing apartheid against Israelis

Other states have been accused of apartheid including Islamic states against non-muslims and Arab states against Palestinians

There may be some disagreements over what policies are considered apartheid and what should be done about it, but one thing that many across the spectrum can agree on is that apartheid should be brought to an end wherever it may be found to flourish.