Jews and Arabs in Israel: What Would You Call It?

I’m fairly sure that if I used the word “apartheid,” to describe the socio-political reality in Israel/Palestine, I’d be tarred and feathered six ways to Sunday by the American Jewish establishment.

Meanwhile, some truth-tellers in the Israeli press are openly using the “a-word” because, well, because it’s just becoming impossible to ignore what’s really going on in their country.

From an October 29 article in Ha’aretz, “Segregation of Jews and Arabs in 2010 Israel is Almost Absolute:”

Under the guise of the deceptively mundane name “Amendment to the Cooperative Associations Bill,” the Knesset’s Constitution, Law and Justice Committee this week finalized a bill intended to bypass previous rulings of the High Court of Justice. If indeed this legislation is approved by the Knesset plenum, it will not be possible to describe it as anything other than an apartheid law.

And from today’s Ha’aretz, “South Africa is Already Here:”

Israel’s apartheid movement is coming out of the woodwork and is taking on a formal, legal shape. It is moving from voluntary apartheid, which hides its ugliness through justifications of “cultural differences” and “historic neglect” which only requires a little funding and a couple of more sewage pipes to make everything right – to a purposeful, open, obligatory apartheid, which no longer requires any justification.

OK, forget the a-word, forget the loyalty oath and the “Amendment to the Cooperative Associations Bill.” Just read this report by Adalah: Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel and come up with your own word for it.


33 Comments on “Jews and Arabs in Israel: What Would You Call It?”

  1. Richard Kahn says:

    Can you define apartheid? I’m not really sure what it means independent of South Africa.

    • From Article II, International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid, UN General Assembly Resolution 3068, November 30, 1973:

      For the purpose of the present Convention, the term “the crime of apartheid,” which shall include similar policies and practices of racial segregation and discrimination as practised in southern Africa, shall apply to the following inhuman acts committed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one group of persons over any other racial group of persons and systematically oppressing them:

      Among the “inhuman acts” specified in the Convention, I’d highlight these definitions apropos of Israeli policy:

      – Denial to a member or members of a racial group or groups of the right to life and liberty of a person…by the infliction upon the members of a racial group or groups of serious bodily or mental harm, by the infringement of their freedom or dignity, or by subjecting them to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

      – Any legislative measures and other measures calculated to prevent a racial group or groups from participation in the political, social, economic and cultural life of the country…(including) the right to leave and to return to that country, the right to a nationality, the right to freedom of movement and residence…

      – Any measures including legislative measures designed to divide the population along racial lines by the creation of separate reserves and ghettos for the members of a racial group or groups…the expropriation of landed property belonging to a racial group…

  2. Richard Kahn says:

    Do you think a Jewish state is apartheid by definition?

    • Richard,

      I think it depends upon what definition of “Jewish state” you use. Which is part of the problem: no one can seem to agree on what that definition means in practice.

      Indeed, this issue was never fully resolved by the state’s founders. Although Israel’s Declaration of Independence states that the Jewish state shall “ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex,” Israel never developed a Constitution that would guarantee this equality under rule of law.

      Which brings us to where we are today. In 2001, Adalah issued a report which explicitly identified more than 20 Israeli laws that actively privilege Jews over non-Jews. The most important immigration laws, The Law of Return (1950) and The Citizenship Law (1952), allow Jews to freely immigrate to Israel and gain citizenship, but exclude Arabs who were forced to flee their homes in 1947 and 1967.

      Israeli law also confers special quasi-governmental standing on the World Zionist Organization, the Jewish Agency, the Jewish National Fund and other Zionist bodies, which by their own charters serve Jewish citizens only.

      Various other laws such as The Chief Rabbinate of Israel Law (1980), The Flag and Emblem Law (1949), and The State Education Law (1953) and its 2000 amendment give recognition to Jewish educational, religious, and cultural practices and institutions, and define their aims and objectives strictly in Jewish terms.

      Is the very concept of a Jewish state ipso facto apartheid? That’s really just an academic question. In the end, the facts on the ground represent the bottom line. And by whatever term you choose to term it, I believe we should be profoundly concerned over the institutional inequity that has been established – and continues to grow – in Israeli society.

  3. Richard Kahn says:

    What definition of a Jewish state would not qualify as apartheid? I can’t imagine a Jewish state that does not in some way serve the worldwide Jewish community, which you would then call apartheid. You can bring as many racist laws as you want, but they don’t mean anything if you think that the mere concept of a Jewish state is apartheid.

    • Eric Selinger says:

      Richard–it sounds like you’re saying it’s better to have a Jewish state with racist laws than a state without such laws that isn’t Jewish. But are you also saying that a Jewish state is inevitably an apartheid state? That there’s no way that such a state could exist without meeting the UN definition of apartheid? That strikes me as somewhat more extreme than what Brant is saying here.

      • Richard Kahn says:

        I’m saying that automatically. I’m saying that it’s better to have a Jewish state than to not have a Jewish state. Once we get past the fact that a Jewish state is by definition racist, we can minimize the institutional racism without resorting to the term “apartheid,” which could just as accurately be applied to any form of a Jewish state. If Brant is against a Jewish state, he should say so. But I fail to see how any laws that Israel makes make a shred of difference when he (and ostensibly the UN) think that the very concept is apartheid.

      • Eric Selinger says:

        “A Jewish state is by definition racist.” Wow. Well, that’s hard to misunderstand–thanks for being so blunt!

        (Cue nostalgic flashback to the days when “Zionism is Racism” was a charge that we were taught to rebut, back in religious school. Now it’s a “fact” to “get past.” Things have changed.)

      • Richard Kahn says:

        Saying that Zionism is racism has the truth value of saying that homosexuality is a disease. Both can theoretically be justified according to strict definitions, but if you use those same definitions consistently, you’ll end up with a lot of diseases and a lot of racisms that you didn’t intend. (Not to mention that Judaism isn’t exactly a race, but for lack of a better word, I guess “racism” works.) Specifically, if you are a Zionist but also support the right of self-determination for all peoples (i.e., you think there should be a Kurdistan, a Palestine, etc.), you are racist, but it’s a good thing.
        When I say that a Jewish state is by definition racist and we should just get past it, I mean that people should stop using terms and pretending that they’re technical, when in fact they’re just looking for the connotations. Zionism is racism (usually) means “I hate Zionism.” Homosexuality is a disease also usually means “I hate gay people.” Both statements are in some respect true, but that’s neither here nor there. All of this can be applied to apartheid.

      • Richard,

        Boy, you are opening up so many cans of worms I don’t know where to respond first.

        I’m almost afraid to ask, but I’ll bite:

        What do you mean when you say that the claim “homosexuality is a disease” is “in some respects true?”

        (More responses later…)

      • Richard Kahn says:

        I realized that I was opening up a can of worms. Here goes:

        Wikipedia: A disease is an abnormal condition affecting the body of an organism.
        Homosexuality is an abnormal condition in that most of the population is heterosexual. Homosexuality affects the body of an organism in that it is attracted to those of its own gender.

        This doesn’t mean anything. It would be just as accurate to say that having small hands is a disease. When someone says that homosexuality is a disease, they’re looking for the connotations–namely that homosexuality bad that can be cured. The connotations are not part of the definition, they’re just what most people would conclude.

      • Eric Selinger says:

        But small hands aren’t “abnormal” or a “disease”–they’re part of the normal range of variation for the organism, just as homosexuality is. Odd analogy, and not a useful one.

  4. Y. Ben-David says:

    I presume “progressive Jews” are asking these questions about whether we should consider Israel an “apartheid state” in order to get Jews and other Americans to be prepared to consider, particularly the American government, to stop supporting Israel, because the implication is that Israel, by supposedly having these “apartheid” laws, has lost its moral right to exist.
    Fine. But why is the question not applied to all the other countries that have such laws. For instance, the Palestinians, Egyptians, Pakistan all have laws giving preference to Islam. The US gives generous amounts aid and other support to all these countries. Pakistan was set up SPECIFICALLY as an ethnocentric Muslim state and millions of Hindus and Sikhs were expelled from the country in order to make it “religiously” pure. Religous minorities are suffering massive violence there by the majority Sunni population. Yet, these “progressive” Jews, as an American citizens whose tax dollars support this state has never asked any question about whether the his government should stop support for them. Only Israel is subject to this scrutiny.
    In Kashmir, India has used massive force to suppress an uprising by the Muslims there, who are the majority. They want independence. As a result of this violence, tens of thousands of Kashmiris have been killed in the last 20 years, far, far more than the number of Palestinians killed in the same period. Yet, the “progressive Jews” have never questioned American support for India, nor have they demanded at least the possibility of applying BDS to India. Only Israel gets such scrutiny.
    We may here, “well as Jews we have to be primarily concerned with cleaning up Israel’s problems”. Thatg is merely enthocentrism. “Progressive Jews” are proud of their committment to all of humanity. Time to here about all these other problem areas in the world and not just Israel at these “progressive” Jewish discussion groups.

    • I presume “progressive Jews” are asking these questions about whether we should consider Israel an “apartheid state” in order to get Jews and other Americans to be prepared to consider, particularly the American government, to stop supporting Israel, because the implication is that Israel, by supposedly having these “apartheid” laws, has lost its moral right to exist.

      No, progressive Jews are asking these questions because no one else in the Jewish community is asking them. There is no “implication that Israel has lost its moral right to exist.” There is only the implication that Israel, which is overwhelmingly the largest beneficiary of unconditional US military aid, the state that we consistently refer to as “the only democracy in the Middle East,” and the state that purports to represent Jews and Jewish values, should be expected to respect values such as human rights, justice, equity and equality.

      We may here, “well as Jews we have to be primarily concerned with cleaning up Israel’s problems”. Thatg is merely enthocentrism. “Progressive Jews” are proud of their committment to all of humanity. Time to here about all these other problem areas in the world and not just Israel at these “progressive” Jewish discussion groups.

      Yes, we progressive Jews are proud of our commitment to all humanity. That is why we are represented significantly in the leadership and membership of organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch (institutions that focus scrutiny on a myriad of nations besides Israel.)

      In Kashmir, India has used massive force to suppress an uprising by the Muslims there, who are the majority. They want independence. As a result of this violence, tens of thousands of Kashmiris have been killed in the last 20 years, far, far more than the number of Palestinians killed in the same period. Yet, the “progressive Jews” have never questioned American support for India, nor have they demanded at least the possibility of applying BDS to India. Only Israel gets such scrutiny.

      As far as BDS is concerned, that is not a call for Jews to make. BDS is a call that is coming from the overwhelming majority of Palestinian civil society. If some progressive Jews support BDS against Israel, it is only because they choose to respond to that call. (If there was a call from Kashmiris in India for BDS, I suspect many progressive Jews would respond to that call as well.)

      There are a myriad of human rights abusers around the world, and they all receive a their share of scrutiny in the public eye. But Israel is the only place, it seems to me, where these abuses are actively denied or explained away by a vociferous movement of advocates and supporters. If it feels as if my attention is unduly weighted toward Israel, it is largely because as a member of the Jewish community, I seek to re-right that balance.

      I can’t help but notice that you have chosen not to respond to the substance of my post. The thrust of your argument seems to be: “well, Israel isn’t the only human rights abuser in the world.” For a country that seeks to be considered to be part of the Western family of democracies, that feels like damning with faint praise.

    • Dan Solomon says:

      Hi Y. Ben-David:

      First I don’t agree with you that progressive Jews are trying to make the case that Israel “has lost its moral right to exist”. Israel has every right to exist and it’s people have a right to live in safety just like any other country.
      Your complaint seems to be that progressive Jews are judging Israel by a higher standard then other countries. I think you are correct about this. The reason for this is that Israel is not just any other county. It is a Jewish state. It is the only Jewish state in the world. It claims to represent, and look out for, the world wide Jewish community. It also desires the support and allegiance of the world wide Jewish community. There are probably a lot of people that are unable to distinguish between the state of Israel and the Jewish people as a whole. Therefore we should find the possibility that the “Jewish” state would end up being an “apartheid” state very disturbing.
      If Israel is to be identified as the Jewish state then it should live up to Jewish values. I believe that Hillel said “What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow: this is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn”. This is just the Golden Rule. We learned it in kindergarten. It shouldn’t be that difficult.

      Dan Solomon

  5. Shirin says:

    My dear Lisa, please do not insult our intelligence by asking us to take SPME seriously as a source of reliable, or even remotely unbiased information. I could provide a lengthy list of evidence, but the very facts of its affiliation with Campus Watch, along with Daniel Pipes’ Board of Directors membership tell us exactly what kind of organization SPME is, what their goals are, and just how much we can trust anything that comes from them.

    As for the content of article itself, note that Abu Mazin clearly specifies ther presence of Jewish soldiers, not Jews per se as unacceptable. That hardly seems unreasonable, racist, or anti-Semitic under the circumstances of the last 67 years during which Jewish soldiers have made Palestinians’ lives a living hell. On the other hand, Jews, including Israeli Jews have always been welcomed by the Palestinians provided they are there for friendly and peaceful purposes.

    • Y. Ben-David says:

      How does Shirin explain the massacre of Jews by Arabs in 1929 in Hevron and Tzefat (Safed), both of which were communities of NON-ZIONIST Jews of the old yishuv that had existed for many centuries in both places.?
      The Jews of Hevron were offered weapons before the massacre and they turned them down saying they were a non-Zionist community that had lived in close relations with the Arabs for generations.

  6. Richard Kahn says:

    I’d first like to observe that partisan left-wing sources are presented here all the time as a source of reliable information. I never post partisan sources, but Shirin, if you object to spme, you should also object to most of the sites that R. Brant posts.

    “Jews, including Israeli Jews have always been welcomed by the Palestinians provided they are there for friendly and peaceful purposes.”
    Really? Are you sure that this has “always” been the case?

  7. Steve says:

    Israel is at peace. The peace is by Israel’s unilateral actions. The enemies of Israel are unhappy with this peace. So, the strategy du jour is delegitimization and calling Israel an apartheid state. They use anti semetic canards but say that is for the Zionists and not for the Jews. Please read the piece by Rupert Murdoch that appeared in the Jerusalem Post: http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Op-EdContributors/Article.aspx?id=191899

  8. Muhannad says:

    I can not help wondering what would have happened if Israel treated the palestinians better through out the years. Where would we be right now?.

    It does not matter if we call it apartheid or whatever name, what matters is there has been and continue to take place an unbelievable injustice. how can anybody argue with that? we do not need right- wing or left-wing sources for that. do we think the refugees came from the moon? not to mention the west bank and gaza. I was thinking during “cast lead “, what if the majority of Gaza residents were Jewish, and Hamas somehow took over Gaza, would the Israeli army bomb the city the same way? would they leave behind all these injured,handicapped, traumatized children and not care? of course not, because not all lives are of equal value according to the way they behave. So anybody can call it whatever name he/she likes, it will not change the reality.

    As for the argument : how come you are not talking about Kashmir or Pakistan or PA . This is one of my all time favorite arguments, and the reason for it being one is that everybody uses it.

    It was used by Sudan: how come international organization not going after Israel? it is used by Hamas when human right groups comment on the way they run Gaza : how come you are not looking at the PA in the west bank? of course Israel supporters use it too. why not? it is hip. it is what everybody is saying. As if instead of addressing the issues, questioning the intention of the organization or the person who is raising it will make everything just O.K. because if that person/organization can prove that they are active in all the other issues, then Israel will definitely change its policies.

    • Richard Kahn says:

      When it comes to protesting unjust policies, I agree with you. (However, I must admit that it irks me when people who don’t have a personal connection with the conflict (i.e. they are neither Jewish/Israeli nor Palestinian/Arab/Muslim) makes it their number one issue. Pick something else to protest.) However, when it comes to terminology like apartheid, people like R. Brant should realize that strictly adhering to the UN resolution means that many, many countries are apartheid states.

  9. Shirin says:

    it irks me when people who don’t have a personal connection with the conflict (i.e. they are neither Jewish/Israeli nor Palestinian/Arab/Muslim) makes it their number one issue.

    Does it irk you equally when people who have no personal connection with the the conflict in Kashmir make it their number one issue? What about people who have no personal connection with Darfur making it their number one issue? THAT bother you at all? What about white European-American males who make the issue of rape in the Congo their number one issue despite being neither African, African-American, or female? Does that irk you at all?

    No, I didn’t think so.

    • Richard Kahn says:

      I don’t know enough about the conflict in Kashmir to comment.
      The conflict in Darfur is arguably the biggest human rights battle of our day (or at least of the past ten years). It is a genocide of large proportions that should be a top priority. Israel’s inhumane treatment of the Palestinians is not the largest genocide so far in the 21st century. Please do not compare the two.
      A UN representative described rape in Congo: “The intensity and frequency is worse than anywhere else in the world.” For someone who feels strongly about sexual violence (and you just have to be human to feel strongly about sexual violence), it is natural to target the worst sexual violence in the world. Israel’s inhumane treatment of the Palestinians does not constitute the most intense and frequent sexual violations in the world. Please do not compare the two.
      If you have a reasonable comparison to make, please do so and we can discuss. You have a point, but you just make it too easy to respond.

      • Eric Selinger says:

        You’re missing Shirin’s point, and taking offense where none was meant.

        The point wasn’t to compare Israel’s treatment of Palestinians with what’s going on in Darfur or Congo. The point was that those with no personal connection to Darfur and to Congo who make those their “number one issues” don’t seem to offend other people when they do, nor do they often hear someone say “pick something else to protest.”

      • Richard Kahn says:

        I don’t think I’m misunderstanding Shirin’s point. Darfur and Congo are arguably the two greatest human rights violations occurring in our day. The same argument cannot be made for Israel’s mistreatment of the Palestinians. As such, it is appropriate for someone concerned with human rights in general with no personal connection to a conflict to be an activist for the people of Darfur or for Congo. I wouldn’t say “Pick something else to protest” to them because I think that they have mindfully picked the most important thing to protest. If the same person decided that protesting Israel was the most important thing, it would bother me. I would be curious to know why that person chose to protest Israel and not any of the other human rights violations in the world. If they have an intelligent answer, great. But I don’t believe that the question itself is offensive.

      • Muhannad says:

        Richard,
        I understand your point, but I still think we should focus on the issues not on who is raising them. And that goes for anything in life.
        But if I was to go along with your point, then I would say Americans have connection to the conflict in I/P , since big chunk of the tax money going to Israel and the PA. But none of that money is going to Sudan. You also could say British people have connection, since they were there, and had something to do with the conflict..

    • Richard Kahn says:

      Point taken. I’m just saying that it bothers me. “Go pick something else to protest” shouldn’t be interpreted as “This issue is not important.”

  10. Shirin says:

    You are not only missing my point by miles, Richard Kahn, you are coming across, at least to me, as increasingly disingenuous.

    • Richard Kahn says:

      That’s just not useful. Please explain to my how I am missing your point by miles. Also please explain how I am coming across as “increasingly disingenuous.”

  11. Shirin says:

    Well, Ben David and Richard Kahn, I was referring specifically to Palestinians living under the occupation of the Jewish State. Maybe that was not obvious, but it was strongly implied given the context in which I was responding.

    As for the tragic and criminal massacres in Al Khalil (aka Hebron) and Safad, those are interesting examples given the common false portrayal that they are examples of hate-based violence by Palestinians who inexplicably turned against the same Jewish neighbors whom they had enjoyed good relations with for generations and who had been their friends the day before. Of course, your version does not explain why the lives of so many Jews were saved by their Palestinian neighbors and colleagues who risked their own lives to protect them. In fact, the evidence strongly suggests that those terrible crimes were committed by criminal gangs from outside the city.

    It is also the case that by 1929 Palestinians were becoming increasingly aware and justifiably alarmed by the Zionist agenda. Nothing can justify crimes committed against Jews in Palestine any more than anything can justify crimes committed against the indigenous non-Jews there, but we ignore at our peril the context in which events take place.

  12. Thanks Brant for prompting a discussion on Israel and the analogy with apartheid. Please see other examples:

    1. Comparisons made between Israel and Apartheid South Africa

    Hendrik Verwoerd’s speech 1963
    [South African Prime Minister – often cited as the architect of apartheid in South Africa]
    http://bdsmovement.net/?q=node/347
    George Jabbour, Settler Colonialism in South Africa and the Middle East, 1970
    Uri Davis, Israel: An Apartheid State, 1987.
    Israel Shahak, Israeli apartheid and the intifada, Race and Class; (Jul/Sep 88) p.1-12
    Benjamin Joseph, Besieged Bedfellows: Israel and the Land of Apartheid, 1988
    Ronnie Kasrils & Max Ozinsky’s petition: a Declaration of Conscience, [Pretorian newspaper] June 2001.
    [Both South African Jews involved in anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa. Their petition denounced Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians and drawing a parallel with apartheid.]
    Michael Ben-Yair [Attorney general of Israel from 1993-96], “The war’s seventh day”, Haaretz, March 2002.
    http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/the-war-s-seventh-day-1.51513
    “In effect, we established an apartheid regime in the occupied territories immediately following their capture. That oppressive regime exists to this day.”
    Desmond Tutu, “Of Occupation and Apartheid:
Do I Divest?”, Counterpunch, 17 October 2002.
    http://www.counterpunch.org/tutu1017.html
    Ian Urbina, “The Analogy to Apartheid”, Middle East Report, No. 223 (Summer, 2002), pp. 58-61+64.
    http://www.merip.org/mer/mer223/223_urbina.html
    Daryl Glaser, “Zionism and Apartheid: A Moral Comparison”, Ethnic and Racial Studies, vol. 26, no. 3, pp. 403-421, May 2003
    Meron Benvenisti [Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem 1971-1978], “Bantustan plan for an apartheid Israel”, The Guardian, 26 April 2004.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2004/apr/26/comment

    2. Ian Urbina, “The Analogy to Apartheid”, Middle East Report, No. 223 (Summer, 2002), pp. 58-61+64.

    “It was not a novel comparison, but it caused quite a stir. In June 2001, Ronnie Kasrils and Max Ozinsky, two Jewish heroes of South Africa’s struggle for liberation from state-driven racism, published a letter in the Pretoria newspaper comparing Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands to South African apartheid. The letter, signed by several hundred other prominent Jewish leaders and titled “Not in My Name,” called for an immediate end to the occupation and sparked a frenzy in the South African press in the months that followed. Most recently, Nobel laureate Bishop Desmond Tutu drew the apartheid parallels in his editorial calling for Israel’s full withdrawal. The Kasrils-Ozinsky petition continues to inspire both support and opposition in South Africa. The Israeli left has been discussing this comparison since at least the late 1980s, when Israeli anthropologist Uri Davis published his famous work, Israel: An Apartheid State. At the September 2001 UN conference on racism in Durban, South Africa, calls to compare occupation with apartheid were drowned out by the more incendiary claim that “Zionism is racism,” and therefore received little substantive or even-handed coverage in the press. But suddenly, the analogy is getting wider circulation…”

    “In early September 2000, Israeli activists organized a conference in Neve Shalom to announce a Campaign Against an Emerging Apartheid,which some on the radical left feel is an apt description of Israel’s “matrix of control”-composed of settlements, bypass roads, security zones and checkpoints-in Palestine..”

    “A famous redoubt of the activist left, the city of Berkeley is partly kown for its pioneering decision to divest from South Africa in 1979, an important turning point in the effort to end apartheid. In subsequent years the city also boycotted companies abetting repressive activities in Indonesia, Nigeria and Tibet. More recently, the city itself became the target of a threatened boycott following its call for an end to US bombing in Afghanistan.”

    3. Chris McGreal, “Brothers in arms – Israel’s secret pact with Pretoria”, The Guardian, 7 February 2006.

    “Many Israelis recoil at suggestions that their country, risen from the ashes of genocide and built on Jewish ideals, could be compared to a racist regime. Yet for years the bulk of South Africa’s Jews not only failed to challenge the apartheid system but benefited and thrived under its protection, even if some of their number figured prominently in the liberation movements. In time, Israeli governments too set aside objections to a regime whose leaders had once been admirers of Adolf Hitler. Within three decades of its birth, Israel’s self-proclaimed “purity of arms” – what it describes as the moral superiority of its soldiers – was secretly sacrificed as the fate of the Jewish state became so intertwined with South Africa that the Israeli security establishment came to believe the relationship saved the Jewish state.”

    … For decades, the Zionist Federation and Jewish Board of Deputies in South Africa honoured men such as Percy Yutar, who prosecuted Nelson Mandela for sabotage and conspiracy against the state in 1963 and sent him to jail for life (in the event, he served 27 years). Yutar went on to become attorney general of the Orange Free State and then of the Transvaal. He was elected president of Johannesburg’s largest orthodox synagogue. Some Jewish leaders hailed him as a “credit to the community” and a symbol of the Jews’ contribution to South Africa.”

    … White South Africa and Israel painted themselves as enclaves of democratic civilisation on the front line in defending western values, yet both governments often demanded to be judged by the standards of the neighbours they claimed to be protecting the free world from.”

    4. Israel and Apartheid: Wiki

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel_and_the_apartheid_analogy

  13. Shirin says:

    Richard Kahn, Eric explained my point to you very clearly and succinctly. One of the reasons you are coming across increasingly as disingenuous is that even after it has been clarified very well to you by a third party you insist upon arguing based on your very convenient misinterpretation. Another reason you are increasingly coming across as disingenuous is that a clear pattern is emerging in which you make a very convenient misinterpretation that others do not appear to share, and then refuse to abandon it even after multiple clarifications.

    But let me give you some additional examples. Does it also irk you when people choose the plight of American Indians when they have no personal connection with it? What about American gringos who choose as their number one issue human rights abuses by Latin American regimes? Does that irk you? What about people who choose as their number one issue the abuse of Kurdish rights in Iraq, Iran, and Syria despite the fact that they are neither Kurdish nor Iraqi nor Iranian nor Syrian and have no familial connection at all the Middle East? Do you urge them to choose another cause? What about Americans who choose as their number one issue the human rights abuses by the regime in Burma despite having no connection with Burma? What about Americans who chose as their number one issue Saddam’s real and fictional human rights violations against Shi`as despite the fact that they are neither Muslim nor Iraqi, nor Arab? Does that irk you as well? Do you suggest that THEY should choose another cause?

    No, I didn’t think so.


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