Red Herring? Or Black and White Herring?

November 24, 2016 22:54

The word “Apartheid” is from the Afrikaan language, meaning “apartness” and as we know it became the officially recognised term for the South African Government policy of racial segregation, where a small minority white population ruled over a much larger Black population.

Why has it become the new “trendy-lefty” buzzword for antisemitism?
It has nothing whatsoever to do with Israel and the problem of Palestinian Arabs.
Israel bashers, self-haters and “trendy-lefty” Guardian readers make an invidious and erroneous comparison between Israel and apartheid South Africa. Those who urge a worldwide divestment from Israel use this comparison, trying to rally the same forces that used the international divestment sanction as a significant factor in toppling the white supremacy regime in South Africa. The hope of Israel’s enemies is to bring down the Jewish state. Many pro-Israel groups, including many Christian groups, have countered this effort, so far successfully and the de-legitimisation of Israel campaign is doomed to failure as the connection, correlation is itself erroneous.
South Africa was a regime in which a small minority of whites ruled over a far larger majority of blacks. The whites had total control over the political and economic system. Blacks were denied voting rights, and any real participation in the political life of the country. There were laws prohibiting the fraternization of whites and blacks, and forbidding marriage between white and black. There was also the strict confining of blacks to specific native areas, and a general limitation on basic freedoms of all kinds, such as travel, public services and schooling.
When Israel is called a 'racist regime' like South Africa the first response is to point out that the concept of 'race' is not inherently connected with the definition of Jewish identity. There are Jews of all colours and races. Israel is the only state in the history of mankind to have made a major effort to bring a large group of black people – the Ethiopian Falashas to it in order to make them full citizens. Just look at the many photos of groups of Falasha Jews in religious services with Taleitim and Sifrei Torah –fantastic! How is that “apartheid”?
There are no laws on the statute books of The State of Israel which even consider the subject of racial preference. It is plainly nonsense to think otherwise.
Nonetheless, those who call Israel a racist state base their accusation on an erroneous connection of whites in South Africa with Jews in Israel, and blacks in South Africa with Arabs in Israel. Their contention is that the same kinds of discrimination and bias that applied against blacks in South Africa, apply to Arabs in Israel. This accusation is absurd not only because of the absence of the racial component in the Israel legislation but also because of the majority- minority element. The whites were a small minority in South Africa, and the Jews are the majority constituting close to eighty percent of the citizens of Israel.
The absurdity of the comparison is underlined further by the fact that Israel is a functioning democracy in which the Arab minority has full voting rights, and are amply represented in the Israeli parliament, the Knesset. There are no separate public services, no separate public transport systems. Israeli Arabs are free to come and go as they please.
Which “trendy-lefty Guardian reader can tell me of any Arab Country where are Jews afforded the same rights as Arabs are in Israel.
It is plainly spurious and nothing other than new-fangled, Liberal, Guardianesque, Galloway supporting, trendy-lefty, anti-Semitism to use the word “apartheid” when discussing Israel.

November 24, 2016 22:54

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive