One way to confirm that a rhetorical device is a killshot is when the phrase is literally banned by the media:
Australian Broadcaster ABC has announced that they will not allow the use of the word ‘apartheid’ in their coverage of Israel and Palestine in an effort to “be as objective as possible.” The network has also noted the term’s “specific meaning in South African history” as part of its reasoning for the move, according to an “internal advisory note” reported in the Australian.While some of the network’s coverage has managed to stay away from using the word, it has still made its way onto the airwaves, recently on ‘Q+A’ when Palestine advocate Randa Abdel-Fattah accused Israel of being based “on a racial apartheid system,” leading to a fiery debate during which the word was used multiple times.
Now, the Australian organization is completely correct in the dialectical sense. The term “Apartheid” makes no literal sense outside of a historical South African context. Of course the same is true of commonly-used terms such as “Nazi” and “fascist”. And other highly-charged terms, like “racist” and “sexist” and “anti-semite” are far more often used as effective rhetorical weapons than in a literal dialectical sense.
So, this is little more than the usual “rhetoric for me, but not for thee” situation. And what it confirms is that “the apartheid State of Israel” is rhetorically effective in a way that “Zionazi” is not, because the best rhetoric always points toward the truth.
The fact is that Israel is a segregated state, and if it survives over time, it will become even more of one. After all, it was not apartheid, but rather, the abandonment of apartheid that led to the transformation of South Africa from a quasi-First World state to one that is threatening to collapse into anarchy. But Israelis should not hesitate to prioritize the actual nation over the civic state, any more than the Americans, the British, or the Russians should. At least, not if they wish to survive as a nation-state.
And speaking of rhetoric, “highly complicated” is a media and academic euphemism for “yes, we know we’re being hypocritical.”