Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Speaking out on the Unspoken Alliance

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Speaking out on the Unspoken Alliance

Article excerpt

AT A JUNE 4 event in Washington, DC hosted by the New America Foundation and moderated by the foundation's Daniel Levy, Sasha Polakow-Suransky, senior editor of Foreign Affairs and author of The Unspoken Alliance: Israel's Secret Relationship with Apartheid South Africa, discussed the findings and implications of his new book with South Africa-born Tony Karon, an activist in the anti-apartheid struggle and currently senior editor of Time Magazine. Levy introduced the discussion by referring to a recent and very relevant issue: what he called an aggressive vilification campaign in Israel against Justice Richard Goldstone, a Jewish South African, following the release of the Goldstone report on Israel's 2008-'09 assault on Gaza. Goldstone was attacked for having worked within the system of South Africa's apartheid regime, even as Polakow-Suransky's book reveals that, during the 1950s and 1960s, Israel had developed strong ties to the apartheid government. By the 1970s, these ties had led to a degree of ideological affinity.

Despite the book's many revelations, it has not been covered well in the U.S. press. It has, however, received much attention in Israel, South Africa, Brazil, several European countries, and other "unusual places." As Polakow-Suransky pointed out, an important response to the book in the British newspaper The Guardian focused only on one of several "shocking revelations": a very narrow correspondence between officials from both countries allegedly discussing the transfer of nuclear weapons from Israel to South Africa-weapons which Israel has never confirmed it possesses. …

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