The accusation of Apartheid thrown at Israel is a very sore point with Israel’s supporters, and it appears that promoters of the Apartheid claim are situated in very high places. Giuolio Meotti, writing in Ynet, levels an extremely harsh, though unfortunately accurate, accusation against Archbishop Desmond Tutu – that he is leading a “vile, racist campaign against Israel and Jewish people”.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, whose role in the fight against South African apartheid in the 1980s gained him the Nobel Peace Prize and global fame, is among the world’s most respected figures.
Barack Obama awarded him the US highest honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Tutu has been called “an inspiration” and was compared to Albert Schweitzer and Gandhi. The Wall Street Journal labeled him “the best known priest in the world.” Tutu was even asked to donate his genome to scientists to discover the African roots of mankind.
With Nelson Mandela in jail, it fell to Tutu to steer the struggle against institutionalized racial oppression in a nonviolent direction. From his church in segregated Soweto, Tutu urged the imposition of economic sanctions against the white government. Since then, Tutu’s face has become the symbol of tolerance and goodness.
However, the Archbishop’s iconic voice has also found another cause no less popular: The global campaign against Israel and the Jewish people. Tutu just promoted an appeal to the US pension fund of the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association for cutting the partnership with Israeli companies. He also helped the Australian Marrickville Council approve a boycott of Israel’s goods.
Recently, Tutu convinced the University of Johannesburg to end its relationship with Ben-Gurion University as part of a boycott against Israeli academic institutions, resembling the dark time when German universities banned famous Jewish intellectuals such as T.W. Adorno and Albert Einstein. Archbishop Tutu also promoted the boycott of all Israeli goods by the US Food Co-Cop and he became the poster leader of the Western NGOs promoting campaigns for divestment and sanctions against the Jewish State.
Tutu has ideologically built this conceptual mousetrap of “Zionist apartheid,” where the Jewish question is the cheese and the victim. The Archbishop perfectly knows that charging Israel with apartheid is simply a blood libel, as Arabs and Jews live and work together in Israel, while sharing all public facilities (hospitals, schools, malls, buses, cinemas, parks.)
Making apartheid accusations against a state that undertook major operations to save black Jews in Africa is ludicrous. But the Christian Archbishop is not interested in preaching the truth, but rather, in promoting the liquidation of Israel, creating a new, horrible Jewish Diaspora. On university campuses worldwide, in the mainstream media and in large parts of Western public opinion, Tutu’s analogy is a very popular cause and “Zionist apartheid” is already the new codeword for racist evil.
Tutu has demonized the “Jewish lobby” as too “powerful” and “scary,” resorting to a vile myth rooted in anti-Jewish stereotype, whereby the Jews control Washington. According to Tutu’s horrific and false accusation against the Jewish people, Israel is a sadistically colonialist entity, a blind persecutor of children, and a mad builder of apartheid walls.
Tutu proclaimed, many years before Iran’s Ahmadinejad, that the West had muted criticism of Israel because of guilt over the Holocaust. He has accused Israel of acting in an “un-Christian” way. He has complained of “the Jewish monopoly of the Holocaust” and has demanded that its victims must “forgive the Nazis for the Holocaust,” while refusing to forgive the “Jewish people” for “persecuting others.”
Tutu has asserted that Zionism has “very many parallels with racism.” He has compared Israel to Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Soviet Union, saying that they too were once “very powerful” but they “bit the dust,” as will “unjust” Israel. Tutu has claimed that the Christian God sides with the Palestinians, whom he compares to the Israelites under slavery in Egypt.
Tutu is also responsible for the “apartheid wall” mythology that has been one of the most repugnant propagandistic manipulations that Israel has ever suffered, because it is based on ignoring of the cause-effect nexus. All decent people know that Israel is not Soweto. But Tutu resembles those Christian bishops who fomented the Final Solution by the idea that the wandering Jew is the symbol of God’s rejection of the Jewish people.
To counter these slanderous claims, Elder of Ziyon brings us a letter (a talkback really) written in the New York Observer in response to an article about the Boycott Divestment Sanctions movement and in reply to a Mr. Mazza who had commented earlier in support of BDS.
I’m from South Africa. An African South African, not a colonialist. (Americans just call me black.)
I experienced Apartheid. Separateness. It was ugly. Many of my friends died.
I’ve been to Israel. The West Bank. Gaza. Inside of Israel. Lived there for a year touring for a book I want to write.
Mr. Mazza, you don’t know what Apartheid is. For all of Israel’s faults, you dishonor yourself and my fallen mates by using the word.
The UN does not use the phrase “Israeli Apartheid” and you repeating it over and over again does not give it authority. There is really no comparison between Israel and South Africa. We appreciate your help over there in the US for “saving” us back in the eighties, but we here in S.A. did the dirty work. We suffered. We went to jail. We died. You stayed safe, signed a few pieces of paper, spoke at a meeting or two maybe. You follow the same route for your work on human rights in the Middle East.
Tutu is beloved here, but he is not our polestar. He is as political as anyone and we all know it. SA is still quite corrupt and dangerous and he is beholden to make statements reflecting those interests. Sadly, because atrocities were committed by both sides in our war for freedom,
corruption and crime are what we have reaped, and freedom is still very hard to find today in SA. You are, I’m sorry to say, very uninformed about what causes you take up.
Elder of Ziyon has a series of very entertaining yet informative “anti-Apartheid” posters which you might enjoy.
Another extremely well written article countering the Apartheid accusation against Israel is by Stan Goodenough, a Christian Zionist born in South Africa and living in Israel.
The charge is that Israel’s treatment of the Palestinian Arabs is similar to White South Africa’s treatment of South African black citizens (which included full-blood “Africans,” mixed-race “coloreds” and the descendants of immigrant Asian laborers).
The whole argument collapses right there, because the Palestinian Arabs have never been Israeli citizens. Nor did/do they have any national history as “Palestinians” – neither in Israel nor anywhere else. They are Arabs – their country of origin is Arabia.
For starters, then, it is fallacious to compare Israel’s relationship with the Palestinian Arabs in any area to the apartheid governments’ relationships with their black South African citizens.
Let us then turn to the Israel’s Arab citizens. Most are also Palestinian Arabs, but unlike the majority of their people – who remain stateless – they were willing to take citizenship and be integrated into the country of Israel.
Israeli Arabs comprise a little over 1.5 million of Israel’s 7.7 million citizens – approximately 20 percent of the population. They are, therefore, a minority.
They live in 15 towns and cities, mostly in and around the Galilee. They have full voting rights. Five Arab political parties are represented in the Knesset; there are 14 Arab members of Knesset, one has attained to a ministerial portfolio, one is a former and another is a current deputy Knesset Speaker.
Israeli Arabs enjoy complete freedom in their country. They can live, study, work and travel where they please. They have national health coverage and enjoy the same benefits as their fellow, Jewish, citizens.
Looking through a list of the above-mentioned “Apartheid Laws,” we see how it could be for Israel’s Arabs were the Jewish state an apartheid state:
Read the rest. It is makes for horrifying reading because it brings home the reality of what real Apartheid was actually like. “Apartheid” is an epithet that is so casually bandied about regarding Israel that we forget, or never really understood in the first place what an utterly miserable life was suffered by the South African blacks under Apartheid. The article sharply clarifies how slanderous is the Apartheid accusation against Israel. It takes both a black and a white South African to make us face ourselves in the mirror and be able to say quite clearly: “We do not practice Apartheid. We are innocent of these charges”.
Mr. Goodenough’s closing words are apt indeed:
To suggest that Arabs in Israel live lives in any way comparable to the miserable existence endured by black South Africans is to do a terrible injustice both to Israel and to apartheid’s victims.
Apartheid week: a fiction enthusiastically embraced by those ignorant of history, and died-in-the-wool Hebraphobes.
They do not merit attention, just scorn and perhaps pity.