No Parallels between Israel and Apartheid South Africa

Cape Times (South Africa), March 7, 2012 | Go to article overview

No Parallels between Israel and Apartheid South Africa


When the dust of historical calamities settles, there is no more pressing and pertinent responsibility of the subsequent generation than to preserve the history of the persecuted.

It is of grave concern when a generation not only fails to do so, but in addition, effectively robs the persecuted of their meagre surviving solace, that of their story of persecution.

Introducing Israel Apartheid Week: a worldwide cross-campus campaign which not only distorts history and current affairs, but also, tragically, robs black South Africans of their story of suffering under what genuinely was a racist regime.

Explained: if the current status quo in Israel genuinely does resemble apartheid, the black South African narrative must then, in order to represent a true parallel, change accordingly.

Instead of one where black people had little or no rights, it would tell of one where their freedoms surpassed those of their immediate neighbours. Instead of prohibition from benches and public amenities, instead of exclusion from education and public discourse, apartheid South Africa would have entailed the story of individual democratic leverage so high, a black judge could hypothetically have prosecuted HF Verwoerd.

After all, it is the target of the above-mentioned campaign, "apartheid" Israel and its "racist" policies, whose thriving democracy allowed for Israeli president Moshe Katsav to be sentenced to seven years' imprisonment by Arab judge George Kara in September 2010.

Or consider the South African tricameral system, which would similarly be replaced by a story of equal representation in Parliament, through a fair and all-inclusive electoral process - just as the Israeli electoral process is indiscriminate towards its 23 percent Arab population.

The worldwide campaign to isolate South Africa through sanctions and boycotts would not have occurred externally, but rather driven by black people from leading academic institutions within SA itself, such as Wits or UCT - just as BDS (boycotts, divestment and sanctions) was launched by Arab Israeli Omar Barghouti from Tel Aviv University.

In the "revised" apartheid South Africa, the Springboks have star black players - just as today, Israeli national sports teams have star Arab players. …

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No Parallels between Israel and Apartheid South Africa
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