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Israeli Occupation "worse than apartheid"

Posted by on Jun. 13, 2010 at 3:41 PM
  • 16 Replies

Some quotes from South Africans:

Here is an excerpt from an article describing the reactions of Veteran African National Congress members after visiting the Palestinian Occupied Territories.

Veterans of the anti-apartheid struggle said last night that the restrictions endured by Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied territories was in some respects worse than that imposed on the black majority under white rule in South Africa.

Members of a 23-strong human-rights team of prominent South Africans cited the impact of the Israeli military’s separation barrier, checkpoints, the permit system for Palestinian travel, and the extent to which Palestinians are barred from using roads in the West Bank.

After a five-day visit to Israel and the Occupied Territories, some delegates expressed shock and dismay at conditions in the Israeli-controlled heart of Hebron. Uniquely among West Bank cities, 800 settlers now live there and segregation has seen the closure of nearly 3,000 Palestinian businesses and housing units. Palestinian cars (and in some sections pedestrians) are prohibited from using the once busy streets.

Even with the system of permits, even with the limits of movement to South Africa, we never had as much restriction on movement as I see for the people here,” said an ANC parliamentarian, Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge of the West Bank. “There are areas in which people would live their whole lifetime without visiting because it’s impossible.”8

Israeli journalist Gideon Levy also wrote an article on this visit by South African dignitaries. Here are excerpts from his report:

Lunch is in a hotel in the city, and Madlala-Routledge speaks. “It is hard for me to describe what I am feeling. What I see here is worse than what we experienced. But I am encouraged to find that there are courageous people here. We want to support you in your struggle, by every possible means. There are quite a few Jews in our delegation, and we are very proud that they are the ones who brought us here. They are demonstrating their commitment to support you. In our country we were able to unite all the forces behind one struggle, and there were courageous whites, including Jews, who joined the struggle. I hope we will see more Israeli Jews joining your struggle.”

She was deputy defense minister from 1999 to 2004; in 1987 she served time in prison. Later, I asked her in what ways the situation here is worse than apartheid. “The absolute control of people’s lives, the lack of freedom of movement, the army presence everywhere, the total separation and the extensive destruction we saw.”

Madlala-Routledge thinks that the struggle against the occupation is not succeeding here because of U.S. support for Israel – not the case with apartheid, which international sanctions helped destroy. Here, the racist ideology is also reinforced by religion, which was not the case in South Africa. “Talk about the ‘promised land’ and the ‘chosen people’ adds a religious dimension to racism which we did not have.”

Equally harsh are the remarks of the editor-in-chief of the Sunday Times of South Africa, Mondli Makhanya, 38. “When you observe from afar you know that things are bad, but you do not know how bad. Nothing can prepare you for the evil we have seen here. In a certain sense, it is worse, worse, worse than everything we endured. The level of the apartheid, the racism and the brutality are worse than the worst period of apartheid.

The apartheid regime viewed the blacks as inferior; I do not think the Israelis see the Palestinians as human beings at all. How can a human brain engineer this total separation, the separate roads, the checkpoints? What we went through was terrible, terrible, terrible – and yet there is no comparison. Here it is more terrible. We also knew that it would end one day; here there is no end in sight. The end of the tunnel is blacker than black.9

Here is what other prominent South Africans have to say about the issue of Israel and Apartheid.


“I’ve been very deeply distressed in my visit to the Holy Land; it reminded me so much of what happened to us black people in South Africa. I have seen the humiliation of the Palestinians at checkpoints and roadblocks, suffering like us when young white police officers prevented us from moving about.”
– Archbishop Desmond Tutu10

“When I hear, ‘that used to be my home’, it is painfully similar to the treatment in South Africa when coloureds had no rights.”
– Archbishop Desmond Tutu11

“… the fundamental cause of the conflict — lest anyone remains unclear. It stems from the Zionist world view — its belief in a perpetual anti-Semitism that requires that Jewish people around the world — a faith group — should have a national home of their own. The biblical narrative was evoked to proclaim Palestine as the promised land reserved exclusively for God’s ‘chosen people’ and their civilizing mission. It sounds all too familiar as a vision the Voortrekkers had in this country. It gives rise to racism, apartheid and a total onslaught on those who stand in your way, whether blacks or Arabs or red Indians. Many Jews do not agree with this Zionist world view, and declare that being anti-Zionism and critical of Israel does not equate with anti-semitism.”
– Speech given to the South African Parliament by Government Minister Ronnie Kasrils12

“… Israel came to resemble more and more apartheid South Africa at its zenith – even surpassing its brutality, house demolitions, removal of communities, targeted assassinations, massacres, imprisonment and torture of its opponents, collective punishment and the aggression against neighbouring states.”
– Former South African Intelligence Minister Ronnie Kasrils from a speech at Israel Apartheid Week 2009.13

But what is interesting is that every black South African that I’ve spoken to who has visited the Palestinian territory has been horrified and has said without hesitation that the system that applies in Palestine is worse.”
– Professor John Dugard, Former U.N. Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Occupied Palestine.14

“Apartheid Israel can be defeated, just as apartheid in South Africa was defeated.”
– Winnie Mandela15

“”When I come here and see the situation [in the Palestinian territories], I find that what is happening here is ten times worse than what I had experienced in South Africa. This is Apartheid.”
– Arun Ghandi16

The horrendous dehumanisation of Black South Africans during the erstwhile Apartheid years is a Sunday picnic, compared with what I saw and what I know is happening to the Palestinian people.”
– Willie Madisha, former head of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU)17

As someone who lived in apartheid South Africa and who has visited Palestine I say with confidence that Israel is an apartheid state. In fact, I believe that some of Israel’s actions make the actions of South Africa’s apartheid regime appear pale by comparison.”
– Willie Madisha, in a letter supporting CUPE Ontario’s resolution.18

I say with confidence that Israel is an Apartheid state. The trade union movement must move beyond resolutions, otherwise history will look back on us and spit on our graves.”
– Willie Madisha, at a trade union conference held in London, England.19

Indeed, for those of us who lived under South African Apartheid and fought for liberation from it and everything that it represented, Palestine reflects in many ways the unfinished business of our own struggle.
– Farid Esack, Writer, Visiting Professor at Harvard and Anti-apartheid Spokesperson.20

They support Zionism, a version of global racist domination and apartheid based on the doctrine that Jews are superior to Arabs and therefore have a right to oppress them and occupy their country.”
– Current COSATU President, Sidumo Dlamini.21



by on Jun. 13, 2010 at 3:41 PM
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Replies (1-10):
tericared
by on Jun. 13, 2010 at 3:42 PM

 

Even with the system of permits, even with the limits of movement to South Africa, we never had as much restriction on movement as I see for the people here,” said an ANC parliamentarian, Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge of the West Bank. “There are areas in which people would live their whole lifetime without visiting because it’s impossible.”8

fnpdocgrrl
by Boudica on Jun. 13, 2010 at 4:39 PM

My gestalt....based on new facts I never knew until about three days ago....

Mandela supports the Palestinian cause.

That fact speaks for itself.  He is a true humanitarian in every way. 

The frightening thing?  Many of the images I've seen of South Africa's Apartheid truly sickened me.

To say that the Israeli/Palestinian version of apartheid is even WORSE?

Just. Wow.

The Gaza Strip and West Bank areas are miniscule compared to the land now allotted for Jewish settlement.

If they could go back to the UN partition plan....at least the areas of land were nearly equal. 


MooiMeisie
by Bronze Member on Jun. 13, 2010 at 4:44 PM

It was this that got me the most:

Nothing can prepare you for the evil we have seen here. In a certain sense, it is worse, worse, worse than everything we endured. The level of the apartheid, the racism and the brutality are worse than the worst period of apartheid.

The apartheid regime viewed the blacks as inferior; I do not think the Israelis see the Palestinians as human beings at all.


mrs_khan07
by Silver Member on Jun. 13, 2010 at 4:45 PM

Great post. Shocking. Good to see you MooiMeisie. This is an article that EVERYONE should read.

Mrs. Khan



fnpdocgrrl
by Boudica on Jun. 13, 2010 at 5:03 PM

It is hard sometimes to digest all of this.  My best friends...one in particular but there have been more....have ALL been Ashkenazi Jew.  My oldest friend (29 years) is a Polish Jew...100%.  Her daughter is my "goddaughter" (ok I am not religious...but it's the term we use lol)

Emily (the daughter) is 18 and is slated to go to Israel VERY soon....yep.....that whole birthright thing.

It is so hard for me to be what feels like playing both sides of the fence. Obviously, I want Emily to be safe.  If anything happened to her....it would crush me.

At the same time....my tongue wags more now whenever I speak to my friend....who only recently has married and is now embracing full-blown Orthodox Judaism.  Still....I talk to her about the issues over there.....how the Palestinians have been unjustly thrown out....just as the Jews were in WWII.

It is a hard position to be in.  My GOY ass preachin to her about issues I am sure are close to her heart......

Still....I don't keep silent.  It is the least I can do on behalf of those citizens of Israel/Palestine who have NO voice any longer.

Quoting MooiMeisie:

It was this that got me the most:

Nothing can prepare you for the evil we have seen here. In a certain sense, it is worse, worse, worse than everything we endured. The level of the apartheid, the racism and the brutality are worse than the worst period of apartheid.

The apartheid regime viewed the blacks as inferior; I do not think the Israelis see the Palestinians as human beings at all.


MooiMeisie
by Bronze Member on Jun. 13, 2010 at 5:07 PM


Quoting mrs_khan07:

Great post. Shocking. Good to see you MooiMeisie. This is an article that EVERYONE should read.

Thank you!

Here's a link to the full article.

Another article of interest:

ADDRESS BY PRESIDENT NELSON MANDELA AT THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF SOLIDARITY WITH THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE


mrs_khan07
by Silver Member on Jun. 13, 2010 at 6:15 PM


Quoting MooiMeisie:


Quoting mrs_khan07:

Great post. Shocking. Good to see you MooiMeisie. This is an article that EVERYONE should read.

Thank you!

Here's a link to the full article.

Another article of interest:

ADDRESS BY PRESIDENT NELSON MANDELA AT THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF SOLIDARITY WITH THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE

That is powerful and moving. I was not previously fully aware of the relationship between Palestine and SA. It is very encouraging. Call me naive, but I feel like all Jews should sympathize with Palestine. You see how SA feels, after what they have gone through. They know how it feels. And the Jews should too, maybe even more. I know that there are a lot of Jews who are against what israel is doing, but it surprises me that any of them could support it. Even though most of them did not personally go through the Holocaust, it wasn't that long ago. I guess that must make me naive. Nelson Mandela is a remarkable man.

Mrs. Khan



MooiMeisie
by Bronze Member on Jun. 22, 2010 at 5:30 PM


Quoting mrs_khan07:

I was not previously fully aware of the relationship between Palestine and SA. It is very encouraging. Call me naive, but I feel like all Jews should sympathize with Palestine. You see how SA feels, after what they have gone through. They know how it feels. And the Jews should too, maybe even more. I know that there are a lot of Jews who are against what israel is doing, but it surprises me that any of them could support it.

After the ANC came to power, the government recognised the state of Palestine in 1995.

Many prominent ANC activists were Jews, such as Ronnie Kasrils and Denis Goldberg.

The former was released to Israel in 1985, and was so disgusted by the oppression he saw there, he went straight to London.

Goldberg commenting on Israeli support for SA apartheid:

Jan Halldin did a whole page report on an interview with me about Israel's role in support of apartheid. I had made a statement criticising Israel and was heavily attacked by the Israeli ambassador. The statement I had made was that Israel had an open-ended agreement to supply arms to South Africa and was supporting the killing of our people and participating in it. Their excuse was their security, but I found it totally reprehensible.

The Israeli ambassador said, “How can Goldberg know? He has just come out of prison, he can't possibly know these things”.” Well, I had been in prison with Dieter Gerhardt, a very high-ranking South African naval officer, a Commodore in the South African navy in command of the Simonstown Naval Dockyard, who knew what was going on. He was in prison because he had been a spy for the Soviet Union and he told me these things. There is also a logic in the situation.

This journalist asked me what I had to say in answer to the ambassador. In the end I said if the Israeli ambassador wants to prove that this is not the case, let him produce the treaties and the secret codicils. Israel says they are winding down the treaties, and will not renew them. There was a clause in the treaties, which said they do not have to be renewed, they are self-renewing unless cancelled. So let him show us the documents. Let him prove that what I am saying is wrong. I do know, and the logic of the situation is this: Why does Israel no longer steal yellow cake from French nuclear fuel reprocessing plants? Because South Africa is supplying it. Let him come and argue these points.

Kasrils, a former Minister of Information, has been outspoken in his denouncement of Israeli apartheid (see quotes above).

Recently, he put it very well when he said he shouldn't be forced between "being Jewish or having a conscience" over Israel's crimes against the Palestinians.

This is from a speech he gave on Israeli Apartheid Week last year:

I will state clearly, without exaggeration, that any South African, whether involved in the freedom struggle, or motivated by basic human decency, who visits the Occupied Palestinian Territories are shocked to the core at the situation they encounter and agree with Archbishop Tutu’s comment that what the Palestinians are experiencing is far worse than what happened in South Africa, where the Sharpeville massacre of 69 civilians in 1960 became international symbol of apartheid cruelty.

I want to recall here the words of an Israeli Cabinet Minister, Aharon Cizling in 1948, after the savagery of the Deir Yassin massacre of 240 villagers became known. He said: “Now we too have behaved like the Nazis and my whole being is shaken.”

....Guernica, Lidice, the Warsaw Ghetto, Deir Yassin, Mai Lei, Sabra and Shatilla, Sharpeville are high on that scale - and the perpetrators of the slaughter in Gaza are the off-spring of holocaust victims yet again, in Cizling’s words, behaving like Nazis. This must not be allowed to go unpunished and the international community must demand they be tried for war crimes and crimes against humanity. For the lesson is that if apartheid Israel is not stopped in its tracks these crimes will get greater and spread not only to engulf the entire Middle East and Iran, but indeed anywhere that Israel is challenged . Like the apartheid security forces the hand of Mossad stretches very far indeed. And of course with Israel a key ally in the USA’s “War on Terror” and all the motives for that onslaught, oil resources included, there will be no end to this bloody saga - with the Palestinians targeted to go the way of the extinct peoples of the former colonial era.

.....It took some 30 years but the worldwide Anti-Apartheid Movements campaigns - launched in London in 1959 - for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions - not only provided international activists with a practical role, but became an incalculable factor in (a) isolating and weakening the apartheid regime (b) inspiring the struggling people (c) undermining the resolve of those states that supported and benefited from relations with apartheid South Africa, (d) generated a change of attitude amongst the South African white public generally, and political, business, professional, academic, religious and sporting associations in particular. Boycott made them feel the pinch in their pocket and their polecat status everywhere - whether on the sporting fields, at academic or business conventions, in the world of theatre and the arts they were totally shunned like biblical lepers. There was literally no place to hide from universal condemnation backed by decisive and relentless action which in time became more and more creative.

To conclude: we must spare no effort in building a world-wide solidarity movement to emulate the success of the Anti-Apartheid Movement which played such a crucial role in toppling the apartheid regime in South Africa. Nelson Mandela stated after South Africa attained democratic rule that “ we South Africans cannot feel free until the Palestinians are free.” A slogan of South Africa’s liberation struggle and our trade union movement is “An injury to one is an injury to all!“ That goes for the whole of humanity. Every act of solidarity demonstrates to the Palestinians and those courageous Jews who stand by them in Israel - that they are not alone.


tericared
by on Jun. 22, 2010 at 5:32 PM

 

Quoting mrs_khan07:

Great post. Shocking. Good to see you MooiMeisie. This is an article that EVERYONE should read.

 I so agree...

muslimah
by on Jun. 22, 2010 at 8:43 PM


Quoting MooiMeisie:


Quoting mrs_khan07:

Great post. Shocking. Good to see you MooiMeisie. This is an article that EVERYONE should read.

Thank you!

Here's a link to the full article.

Another article of interest:

ADDRESS BY PRESIDENT NELSON MANDELA AT THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF SOLIDARITY WITH THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE

So I'm curious to know mooi being a South African yourself and all that you have learned about the Apartheid in Palestine what are the similarities to Apartheid in South Africa to the Apartheid in Palestine that you have noticed the most? How close do you compare the 2 and do you think Apartheid in Palestine is worse or was it worse in South Africa?

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