Apartheid Week – A Global Hate Fest

Far be it for me to “rant” more than twice a week, so as to not clog up already bulging mail boxes but this is a topic that not only deserves a rant but the proverbial horse needs to be flogged again and again until the truth rears its head.  February 20th marks the starts of Apartheid Week, a delirious festival of anti-Israel hatred dressed up as a human right’s concern that plays out on a very troubling stage, University campuses around the world. From Canada to South Africa,  the wolves in sheep’s clothing will rant (okay, so I don’t have the monopoly on that!) and point fingers, ignoring real human rights travesties such as mass murder in Syria or Iranian nuclear programmes  and their dubious intent to focus on the favoured target, Israel. According to  the Apartheid Week official website, Apartheid Week will be marked as follows:

Europe: February 20 – March 10

Palestine: March 12-19
United States: February 26 – March 3
Canada: March 5-9
Arab World: March 5-11
South Africa: March 5-11

 

On many occasions I have lamented the tragic hijacking of the word “Apartheid” which in essence meant the legislated and enforced laws of racial segregation that classed the black citizens of South Africa as disenfranchised and second class.  Instead, this definition has become a sexy way to package, market and sell anti-Israel hatred. The word Apartheid is provocative, emotive and evocative and inspires a variety of strong emotions. In their haste to demonize Israel, detractors have forgotten to define what Apartheid was! The black people of South Africa suffered tremendously under the Apartheid regime and by comparing Israel, an imperfect but thriving democracy, to the former South Africa makes light of their suffering. It is an odious comparison to say the least.

 

This campaign of hatred is nothing more than a scurrilous attempt to delegitimize the State of Israel. One must note that even in the darkest days of Apartheid, NOBODY questioned South Africa’s right to exist as a country, no matter how much the world objected to its racist policies. Calling into question Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish State or the rights of Jews to organize themselves along political lines and call it Zionism IS racism. By painting Israel as a pariah state that has little right to exist and ignoring true racist states says more about those pointing fingers than our plucky little country. I grew up in South Africa and bore witness to the horrors of Apartheid and I live in Israel and while it is not perfect and yes, racism exists, comparing the two countries makes my flame red hair stand on end and inspires me to jump on my well used and battered soapbox.  South Africa is perhaps one of the most important centres for this campaign of delegitimisation because it is the country that not only holds the benchmark for defeating Apartheid but exports anti-Apartheid activists to the above mentioned centres to promote their Boycott Divestment and Sanction (BDS) campaign against Israel and spew forth their vitriol. Naturally disguised as concern for human rights abuse while ignoring those perpetrated by some of the most appalling leaders including those of Hamas, Iran and Syria, to name but a few.

 

Those advocating BDS assume that by “punishing” Israel with cultural, economic, sporting and other sanctions it will bring us to our knees, and we will abandon the idea of a Two State Solution. They assume that by isolating Israel  it will result in Palestinians and Israelis living  happily ever after in a giant rainbow nation like South Africa and everything will be sunshine, lollipops and roses. Except for one small detail. Palestinians want to live with Palestinians and we would like to retain our identity as a Jewish State that treats its minority communities with respect and equality.  Oh yes, and we would like to do this in peace please.

 

By advocating a One State Solution, BDS advocates not only patronize Palestinian national aspirations but Jewish as well. They are well aware that demographically Israel would not survive as the only Jewish state in the world.

 

Even notorious anti-Israel protagonist, Norman Finkelstein, has come out and publicly called the BDS movement a “Cult”. While I don’t think he will be pledging allegiance to the Israeli flag or singing Hatikvah anytime soon, it certainly quite a coup to have someone like Finkelstein speak out against BDS and expose it for what it really is. This has ruffled some feathers in the anti-Israel camp!

 

It has become trendy to join the anti-Israel frenzy on campus.  It saddens me that in order to become pro-Palestinian the trend is to become as anti-Israel as one can possibly be. Academic institutions are supposed to be hotbeds of free thinking so I am going to send this message to students: start a new trend – buck the system by becoming pro peace and  being informed of the realities in this part of the Middle East. Rebel by choosing not to harass Israeli speakers, diplomats and IDF who visit your campus. Come on students, this is YOUR time to challenge authority….

 

Perhaps it would behoove the organizers of Apartheid week to dedicate this time more productively. If you want to have a week that commemorates Apartheid, think of those in South Africa who were victims or use the time more positively to think of peaceful solutions to the conflict. Remember, some of the most famous cults no longer exist….

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8 thoughts on “Apartheid Week – A Global Hate Fest

  1. Unfortunately, the more blatant the lie, the easier it is for it to be believed, it seems. As Mark Twain once wrote, a lie will circle the globe before the truth ties its shoes. Israel has had to face countless scurrilous attacks, both on the airwaves of and from the skies itself, bomb blasts of shrapnel and bombasts of shrill screeches of hatred and threats. All too often, both have been met with the same tired defense mechanisms,
    It is time to be much more pro-active and attack the attackers. Sure, we can definitely point out the total ridiculousness of the charge of apartheid by pointing out that there were no black judges in South Africa as there are in Israel, that our Arab citizens attend all our universities unlike the blacks of Johannesburg and Capetown, that the only Western country on Earth to actively invite African black immigrants to its shores and grant them full civil rights upon their arrival is Israel, but these are facts and anti-Zionist loons and their racist and leftist fellow travelers aren’t interested in facts, they are interested in propaganda, lies and Jew hatred.
    Fortunately, as the international press has been reporting, the activities off these mud-slinging fests of Jew bashing vitriol on college campuses haven’t garnered the publicity that they have been hoping for, Thanks to programs like Birthright, StandWithUs,United for Israel and American Professors for Peace and Justice in the Middle East, along with an array of well known and honest intellectuals in Western Europe, these psychopathic anti-Semites and their odious Arab henchmen, have been met on more than one battlefield. Indeed, on more than one American college campus, the activities of those who would shout down Israeli or pro-Israel speakers have found themselves hauled before both civil and criminal courts and been fined and/or punished, if not expelled from their respective universities. Alumni associations have been approached to withhold funds from endowment centers and nothing hurts a private college more than not receiving the millions of dollars or pounds or euros that they rely upon.
    Israel has created a Israel Diplomacy Corps of young Israelis of all backgrounds-black, gay, Arab, Christian, over 120 of them this year alone, to go to college campuses all over America and Europe not to go on the defensive but to go on the attack!
    A war has many battlefields, soldiers in the frontlines need the moral support of the homefront and the people at home, need the stiffening of their spines to withstand the fury of the struggle. During World War 2, a rousing speech by Churchill or a fireside chat by Roosevelt, did more to keep the fighting spirit of the Allied forces in high gear as much as it encouraged the folks at home to keep hopeful that victory was always in sight. We can do no less to protect Israel that the soldiers who patrol our borders, the pilots who protect our skies and the sailors who keep our sea lanes clear of the enemy.

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  2. Great stuff Rolene and Irwin!

    I like particularly the approach of “going on the attack by the Israel Diplomatic Corps of young Israelis”; acting like FREE people in a FREE country – uncontaminated by a galut mentality.

    *Israelis – you make us a proud Jewish nation!

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  3. There are two types of people who use “apartheid” when criticizing Israel: Those who haven’t a clue as to what apartheid involved, and those who themelsves are racist anti-Semites who use the “a” word simply to denigrate and deligitimize Israel and Jews.
    Those belonging to the first group should read up on the subject (ignorance is inexcusable), while the second lot should recognize that racism – and anti-Semitism is most virulent kind of racism – is a vile characteristic that they should avoid.

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  4. As Richard Nixon once famously said- Dont confuse the issue with the facts..But here I would also add , please dont attack the messenger…..
    Here are some of the facts as I see them…….

    Apartheid was a failed attempt by a minority who defined themselves on racist lines to carve up a country into white and black areas to maintain hegemony. Whites actually controlled the whole country,but gave blacks limited self government in ‘their areas, but whites could and did violate even that if they found it economically feasible.
    Blacks could work and live in white areas only if they had work permits (called ‘passes’) and were not allowed to have their families living with them.
    Whites controlled all the security apparatus.
    The white government passed laws such as unlimited detention without trial which ,while applying to everyone,were used to stifle discontent amongst the disenfranchised .
    Only whites had a meaningful parliament which passed all the laws.
    Education systems were different , and public transport , entry to public facilities was segregated.
    Black refugeesfrom vicious black dictatorships to the north were denied entry even on humanitarian grounds.

    The system was underpinned ideologically by a doctrine of racial superiority linked to a Calvinist ,largely old testament ethic.
    .

    We do our argument no good to deny that there are similarities as well as differences between the systems ( eg non jews within Israel have full rights, while those in the ‘occupied’ West Bank dont.)
    Our argument that other regimes are worse is a weak one which doesnt address the issue at hand. (Their reply -two wrongs dont make a …..
    Our right to exist based on history, the holocaust especially,and the Tanach does not resonate with those who’s societies were not players in that history or affiliated to Judeo Christianity.

    I have no answers . These are only some of the facts as I see them.

    Ex South African Jew in Israel.

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