9 January 2012

Israel and South African Apartheid – the Good Times

South African Politicians Never Hesitated to Compare Apartheid and Israel

Here is a quote from the last white South African Prime Minister, F W de Klerk. For those with long memories, you might recall that when the former South African Prime Minister PW Botha stepped down, he was succeeded by the most right-wing candidate de Klerk, leader of the Trasnvaal Nationalists. Which just goes to prove that the ‘leftists’ in settler-colonial countries aren’t necessarily those to do business with. [thanks to Jewssansfrontieres for this]
What I supported as a younger politician was exactly what the whole world now supports for Israel and Palestine, namely separate nation states will be the solution. In our case we failed. There were three main reasons.

We failed because the whites wanted too much land for themselves. We failed because the majority of blacks said this is not how we want our political rights. And we failed because we became economically totally integrated. We became an economic omelet and you can never again divide an omelet into the white and the yellow of the egg. And we realized in the early eighties we had landed in a place which has become morally unjustified.
It comes from a BBC 4 radio programme. Whereas the BBC was implacably opposed to the Boycott of South Africa at the time, something it conveniently forgets to mention now, it is more than happy to pick up the plaudits today.

There is also an excellent article by Chris McGreal in the Guardian Brothers in arms - Israel's secret pact with Pretoria which was published in February 2006.

Many have been the comparisons made by South African politicians, irked at the free ride that Israel was receiving, when Zionism was no different from Apartheid. As the South African press asked:
Is there any difference between the way the people of Israel are trying to maintain themselves amid the non-Jewish peoples and the way the Afrikaner is trying to remain what he is? The people of Israel base themselves upon the Old Testament to explain why they do not wish to mix with other people. The Afrikaner does this too. [Henry Katzew South Africa - A Country Without Friends' Midstream Spring 1962 p. 73, RP Stevens, 'Israel & South Africa' Zionism & Racism, p. l6]
Likewise Dr Verwoerd, in many ways the architect of Apartheid, wrote: “The Jews took Israel from the Arabs after the Arabs lived there for a 1000 years. In this I agree with them. Israel like South Africa is an apartheid- state.” And the Jerusalem Post made clear in April 1976 on the conclusion of a. pact between Israel and South Africa, after Vorster's visit there:

The Afrikaners were especially enthusiastic... seeing a similarity of interest in two 'white' nations at the head and foot of the African continent waging lonely fights for survival against overwhelming black numbers.
This alliance was not of recent origin. The founder of Political Zionism, Theodor Herzl, wrote to Cecil Rhodes, the British colonialist after whom Rhodesia was named:
Please give me a statement saying you have examined my programme and found it appropriate. And why do I come to you, Mr Rhodes, you will ask. Because- my programme is. a colonial programme. [T Herzl; Diaries, , Vol III p.105]


  1. Very good. I've mirrored this over at mine.


  2. The thing is, Mr Greenstein, what put paid to the apartheid regime of South Africa were the facts, not left-wing activism.

    In Israel the demographics are not remotely similar, the economic realities are poles apart and Jews have an indisputable connection with the land that can be traced back for millennia. You know... Jews do look and learn sometimes!

    The inconvenient truth is that Israel isn't an a apartheid regime. Period.

  3. Ah Mr Ballam, the facts. But facts don't just arise out of thin air. Someone has to create them and that was the fact of solidarity and BDS.

    I'm well aware that the demographics in Israel are not similar and that there is a rough parity between the numbers of Jews and Arabs. Hence why Jewish Israelis have even less to fear than their white cousins at the bottom of Africa.

    No one doubts that Jews had a religious connection with palestine, but it wasn't a political connection. Jews went there, as Muslims do to Mecca, on pilgrimage. Some went to die. Others existed on charity, Chalukkah. But the idea of a new Jewish state supplanting the indigenous people? This was the stuff of Christian evangelists and other anti-semites.

    As for Apartheid, Israel doesn't have petty apartheid. You don't see the signs 'No Arabs', but nonetheless it exists. Try boarding a settler bus if you are an Arab or going on to parts of Tel Aviv's beach. or trying to rent a flat in a JNF/ILA village and passing the test of 'communal standards'. There's more than one way to skin a cat.

  4. Thanks for the reply.

    The BDS movement makes little impact outside of a small group of left-wing activists, despite the noise they make in certain quarters. If the movement were to really grow the teeth it needs then it would do as much harm to its proponents than it could possibly do to the Israeli economy, which is also to ignore the harm it would do to Palestinian economic autonomy, but such is always the truth behind gesture politics. The real issue here is leverage and who owns it. In my view the BDS Movement has a small window of opportunity which will close altogether in about five years.

    All this, of course, is to ignore the "moral" dimension. I can remember the real event that brought the Apartheid Regime to its knees and it wasn't the boycotts and sanctions, it was due to the presence of a certain lawyer by the name of Nelson Mandela. The Palestinians have failed in their quest for statehood because of a catastrophic failure in leadership, and nothing else. Failure isn't a matter of Rights or Wrongs, it's simply failure and no amount of retrospective engineering can put it right. To overturn the status-quo will require the delegitimization of the state of Israel and then its deconstruction, Hamas knows this and is prepared to carry out what it will take, are we? Who in the West is seriously prepared to risk the lives of millions in an attempt to change history?

  5. For someone that claims that most Israelis see the Arabs as less then Human, you can claim what ever you want.
    You just make a joke out of yourself claiming those stupid idea's.
    You know nothing about the Israeli society, all you get is filtered news you get..... as they say, you read and hear what you want.

  6. Unlike our anonymous Zionist I know nothing of Israeli society and how enlightened it is. Presumably that is why its Arab minority is always complaining!

    Perhaps Yediot Aharanot, was wrong when it reported that:

    6. A total of 62 percent of Israelis want the government to encourage local Arabs to leave the country,http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3248693,00.html.

    In an article headed ‘Marriage to an Arab is national treason’ we learn that ‘Recent poll reveals steep rise in racist views against Arabs in Israel; many participants feel hatred, fear when overhearing Arabic, 75 percent don’t approve of shared apartment buildings’ 03.27.07.

    According to Roee Nahmias ‘Over half of the Jewish population in Israel believes the marriage of a Jewish woman to an Arab man is equal to national treason, according to a recent survey by the Geocartography Institute.’ and ‘Over 75 percent of participants did not approve of apartment buildings being shared between Arabs and Jews. Sixty percent of participants said they would not allow an Arab to visit their home.’

    7. About 40 percent of participants agreed that “Arabs should have their right to vote for Knesset revoked”. And over half of the participants agreed that Israel should encourage its Arab citizens to immigrate from the country. Over half of the participants said they would not want to work under the direct management of an Arab, and 55 percent said “Arabs and Jews should be separated at entertainment sites”.

    Err yes, you're right. I don't understand such attitudes but they certainly suggest that most Israelis don't consider Arabs fully human.

  7. To Mr Ballam, BDS is making a great impact, hence the recent legislation making it unlawful in Israel.

    As to Nelson Mandela. I'm old enough to remember when he was demonised. His rehabilitation into a star and institution came about because of facts on the ground, not the other way around.

    I certainly see Israel as an illegitimate state. Any state based on the principles of racism is illegitimate. Hamas though would quite happily settle for 2 states.

  8. Tony,

    It seems to me that you choose to forget that Zionism was founded on principles of national liberalism which were widespread at the time. Most of those movements were failures and we live in a world where the right to self-determine one's future is non-existent for many, many people. Those national liberation movements that succeed inevitably come at a cost to the rights of other people groups, but such is the way of the world. The thing is, not all will succeed, but that does not justify the subjugation of those minorities who are left. Indeed, the ironic truth is that the culture and self-identification of Palestinian Arabs has been preserved by the Zionist state in a way that would not have been the case if Syria, Jordan and Egypt had been left to fight over who runs the Holy Land after the Jews had been snuffed out in 48. Frankly, I too despise the racial prejudice seen in Israel against the Palestinians, but this does not make the Israeli State an apartheid system. What you're really trying to say is if Israel annexed the West Bank, produced a range of racial laws, and denied the Arabs a vote… it would be an apartheid state, and you would be right, but they haven't, and they won't!

    I know we Zionists are personas non grata these days, but I'll bet my bottom shekel it won't remain that way.

  9. Greenstein
    In case you ve failed to notice , the labelling of Israel as an apartheid state is purely the opinion of a few disparate far left organisations which are riddled with antisemites hence the current purge to improve the public image .
    Outside the Arab world and a few tinpot South American despots ,show me one first world nation that considers Israel an apartheid state . Unlike South Africa which was genuinely an apartheid state and was subject to a global state led boycott ,there is no such action in place when it comes to Israel for the simple reason that 'Israeli apartheid 'is all in your head . As usual you are simply howling at the moon !

  10. Playing with your English words.......
    suddenly its " most Israelis don't consider Arabs fully human."

    This is what I wrote, you get info from news you want to read..........
    Same as your "Anti Zionist" Comrade Atzmon, he also monitors the news he wants to read.....
    And as you know, (but as always in Israel for you its different), news are news are news...especially survey's ....

  11. Tony:

    I’m sure you’ve already seen it, but the PSC (and by extension you) is under attack by HP>HP over the Atzmon affair.

    ‘Funniest comments’ so far by a ‘Lamia’. I thought of wading in there for a minute but don’t fancy donning the hazmat suit today.

  12. Mr Baloney:

    ”Indeed, the ironic truth is that the culture and self-identification of Palestinian Arabs has been preserved […]”

    Oh really? Are you aware of the level of Naqba denial that is going on in mainstream Israel? Among so many of her cretinous supporters, Jewish or otherwise? The denial of Palestinians as actual people, as articulated loudly and proudly by one America’s most prominent (and potentially most powerful) Israel Firsters, Lizzard Gingrich? That Netanyahu supports this clown?

    The efforts of Zochrot to preserve the memory of Arab place names against Zionist revisionist ‘Judaisation’ of these place names (an effort to write the Palestinians out of history)?

    ”Frankly, I too despise the racial prejudice seen in Israel against the Palestinians, but this does not make the Israeli State an apartheid system. What you're really trying to say is if Israel annexed the West Bank, produced a range of racial laws, and denied the Arabs a vote… it would be an apartheid state, and you would be right, but they haven't, and they won't!”

    No, they won’t (what makes you so sure?), instead they have in place a system of fully militarised Apartheid, in the fake name of ‘security’, while continuing to transfer more and more Israeli Jews into territory obtained by military conquest and maintained by military occupation. It’s WORSE than Apartheid!

    Even the Zionist twit and drill master Jeffrey Goldberg wrote recently: "we're only a few years away, at most, from a total South-Africanization of this issue."

  13. Atzmon is no more a comrade of mine than you are anon. Behind all your bluster you seem unable to explain how it is that nearly half of Jewish Israelis want to strip Arabs of all rights and a large majority wouldn't even have one visit their home.

    For all your verbiage, and no I didn't visit Nazi Germany either but i hear it wasn't such a good place for Jews, you find these surveys impossible to explain away.

    One way of explaining them is that if a similar poll had been taken in pre-war Germany the figures would have been a lot lower.

    Let's see how u explain that!

  14. Ah Harvey joins the attack. Reminds me of Dennis Healey's famous witticisim about Geoffrey Howe, that being attacked by him is like being attacked by a dead sheep.

    I one mistook Harvey for Jonathan Hoffman's brother. Both being fat and ugly! But I was wrong as I am the first to admit.

    To reply to the points. No it isn't just a few disparate left organisations that call Israel an 'apartheid state' unless Jimmy Carter, Desmond Tutu etc. fall into that category.

    And of course unlike you and Jonathan holding hands with and demonstrating alongside the anti-Semites and racists of the EDL, we do indeed remove those who are genuine anti-Semites, of which there are very few.

    They are removed, not for image reasons, but because anti-racism is a core principle of Palestine solidarity.

    When will you remove the Israeli Foreign Minister Liebermann for wishing to drown thousands of Palestinian prisoners, or indeed those who sponsored a Family Unification Law which did the exact opposite, i.e. prevent Israeli Arabs living with a spouse inside Israel.

    Fact is that anti-Arab racism is endemic to the Israeli state. Yediot Aharanot posted the results of an opinion poll that over 75% of Israelis considered marriage to a non-Jew 'treason' and a similar percentage wouldn't want an Arab living next door to them or even invite them into their house.

    Let's see the Zionist movement deal with its racists. Problem is that there'd be noone left.

    Yes South Africa was an apartheid state hence why Desmond Tutu, Ronnie Kassrills and many others have made the comparison between Israel and Apartheid in South Africa. A few white liberals like Pogrund disagree but most Black South Africans who are politically aware of the collaboration that existed between Israel and South Africa are well aware that Israel was Apartheid South Africa's twin and that the Jewish/Zionist community was fully in favour of Apartheid too.

    It's a beautiful moon that brings BDS and there is no need to howl these days!

  15. Gert

    yes I've seen the HP stuff. I have no intention of commenting. But I do consider it libellous.

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  17. There were no ad hominem comments dear Garfield, merely home truths.

    You did demonstrate, side by side with the EDL and when I published the photograph to prove that, your friend Jonathan Hoffman called it 'photoshopped'. I think you are more than aware of what followed, viz. the threat of a libel suit and Hoffman grovelling and apologising.

    The facts are clear. Hoffman and you would have demonstrated side by side with the SS if it had been an Israeli shop that was being boycotted. As it is you had to make do with the EDL.

    I don't talk about states, which are instruments of oppression, though I think you will find that Hugo Chavez probably considers Israel and apartheid state. It is irrelevant to whether it one or not.

    The fact that one's ability to rent or lease land depends on whether one is Jewish or not, a key component of divorcing Jews from non-Jews in Nazi Germany, is proof enough. The fact is that Israel could commit any crime and any atrocity and hasbarists like you would justify it. Just as, in its day, Nazi Germany also had its British (& Zionist) poodles.

    I haven't got a clue who the 24 carat anti-Semite is. Probably the staff member of Ahava who informed a protestor that the Jews killed Christ AND who was defended by Millett and Hoffman. Atzmon also maintains this line so it's no surprise to see you in such close agreement. Do you also think the Jews killed Christ Harvey?

    You shouldn't engage in wishful thinking. Zionists have been accusing anti-Zionists and Palestinian supporters of 'anti-Semitism' for years. It's no surprise that a few have taken you to heart and it is even less of a surprise that they are led by an Israeli!

    Atzmon isn't even a member of PSC let alone its 'true face' I guess opposing racism, anti-Semitism and your kind of bigotry makes me a dinosaur and presumably Israel's butchery represents modernity.

    And having failed in your pathetic attempts to make any form of political critique you resort to trying to attack me via my family. But that too is a failure for reasons which are self-evident.

    It's often the case that children who disagree with parents who are fixed in their ways and views see little of each other. If I did the same with my kids I would expect the same. I guess you don't have children or if they do they are carbon copies of you and bro. Hoffman.

    Yes it is sad that my daughter never met her grandfather until she stood over his grave. That is life. But if I had been half as much of a dinosaur as you and married only someone of my religion rather than someone I loved then she wouldn't be here at all, so all in all I think it's better to be sad than not exist.

    You ask if my father said Kaddish for me? You seem to be even more stupid than I've previously given you credit for. If he knew nothing there was no reason to say kaddish and in any case kaddish is the Jewish prayer for the dead and I'm alive and kicking. And as Daniel says in the comments on my obituary, the saying of kaddish because someone marries out is not a religious custom. Probably another of those christian rituals that the Jewish religion has absorbed and which you find so fascinating.

    If I were you Harvey I'd keep your sympathy for the occasions when you are forced to look in the mirror.

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  20. I see anon is one of the more discerning intellectuals to have posted on this blog.

    Because HP [does s/he exist?] consider I am anti-Semitic therefore I am. Well that settles that. Pity I had to have a particularly obnoxious comment taken down last night or commence legal proceedings.

    Well of course it suits anon and fellows to equate genuine anti-Semites with anti-fascists. That is precisely why Atzmon has managed to gain an audience. It's the boy who cried wolf syndrome.

    And are the Zionists who pump out this nonsense perturbed by Atzmon? Of course not, because Zionism has historically welcomed anti-Semitism as providing a 'push' for Jews to emigrate to Palestine/Israel, so no change there.

    Anti-fascists have always opposed Zionism because they have always recognised it as a species of the racism they fight. Hence why during the Holocaust the Zionist movement denied there was a holocaust (see Shabtai Zvi, 'Ugandan Zionism During the Crucible of the Holocaust' [google it and you can download this excellent book] and it's also why Zionists used to describe Jews in the diaspora as 'vermin' and such like.

    Zionists and anti-Semites - twins of a kind

    So...... you managed to explain what you are, you don't need to comment anymore.

  21. Tony:

    '24 carat antisemite': the numpty means Jimmy Carter of course. If one considers Jimbo a '24 carat antisemite' it comes as no surprise one is willing to get into bed with the EDL!

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