Dear Letter to the Editor:
At “progressive” cocktail parties, at “mideast studies programs” across America and among mainstream media “mideast experts,” the phrase “Israel apartheid” is always applauded. Of course the entire world community correctly understands apartheid as South African apartheid. Rarely have any of these “revelers” of “Israel apartheid ” been to Israel and to South Africa. Rather they rely for their “knowledge” on “human rights organizations” such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and B’Tselem.
Yet Paul O’Brien, US Director for Amnesty International, recently called for the delegitimization of Israel — the only Jewish country on earth. O’Brien, on behalf of Amnesty International declared that ” Israel should not exist as a Jewish state.” Words one expects to read in a Der Sturmer editorial and which are pure antisemitism as defined in the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism which is why Amnesty International is a “human rights” organization in name only. O’Brien’s words reveal the foundational antisemitism of everyone associated with Amnesty International.
As far as Human Rights Watch: in 2009 in a famous Op Ed in The New York Times, Robert L. Bernstein, the founder and former president of Human Rights Watch, declared Human Rights Watch to be biased against Israel. On December 5, 2022 Steven Postal in the Jewish News Service wrote that “NGO Monitor finds over 300 flaws with Human Rights Watch report on Israel’s ‘apartheid.'”
In a similar fashion, B’Tselem traffics in the centuries old antisemitic trope of “Jewish supremacy.” In January 2021 B’Tselem initiated an antisemitic campaign under the title “A Reign of Jewish Supremacy from the Jordan River to the Sea: This is Apartheid.” B’Tselem might as well have stolen “Jewish Supremacy” from David Duke’s book “Jewish Supremacism.”
Grasping at known bastions of antisemitism like Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and B’Tselem to prop up anti Israel positions like “Israel apartheid” reveals jew hatred and nothing more.
As Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr. Martin Luther King Jr said with great wisdom and prescience at Cambridge shortly before his death: “When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews; you’re talking antisemitism”.
For anyone to accuse Israel of being an “apartheid state” is to wallow in antisemitic myopia and to ignore the knowledgeable opinions of South Africans.
SWU South Africa Executive Director Cassandra Mayekiso recently said: “The truth is that Israel bears no resemblance to the oppressive apartheid regime that oppressed my people.”
South African Klaas Mokomole, head coordinator of Africans for Peace and a former BDS activist says: “Israel is not a settler state. The Jewish population is indigenous to Israel and are the descendants of refugees who were cast out centuries ago. It is irreconcilable how one considers the original inhabitants returning to their ancestral homelands participating in a settler colonial project.” He also stated, “I’m South African. Calling Israel ‘Apartheid’ puts the BS in BDS.” (Jewish News of Northern California, 4/22/22).
The reality of South African apartheid is well known to the general public, notwithstanding the obfuscation of documented antisemitic “human rights groups” such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. Israel’s ethnic democracy bears no resemblance to South African apartheid. South African Rev. Kenneth Meshoe, president of the African Christian Democratic Party, recently said: “Those who know what real apartheid is, as I, know that there is nothing in Israel that looks like apartheid.” He added that calling Israel an apartheid state is an “empty political statement that does not hold (any) truth.”
Further, anyone who is not antisemitic understands that a foundational linchpin of South African apartheid was zero upward mobility for Blacks.
Since 2019 the CEO of Bank Leumi, the largest bank in Israel, has been an Arab, Samer Haj-Yehia. Under South African apartheid, if a black stepped into a “white” bank for any reason, he or she was immediately arrested and imprisoned. An Arab, Khaled Kabub, is a justice on Israel’s Supreme Court. He replaced another Arab, George Karra. The medical professions in Israel are overrepresented by Arabs in terms of their percentage of the population. Academia in Israel includes many Arab professors and administrators.
Finally, Nobel Peace Prize winner and South African Nelson Mandela in 1997 accepted an honorary doctorate from Israel’s Ben Gurion University of the Negev. No rational person would believe that Mandela would have accepted such recognition from an apartheid state. Further in 1993 Nelson Mandela said: “We recognize the legitimacy of Zionism as Jewish nationalism.”
Virtue signaling about “Israeli apartheid” may make progressive anti-semites (antisemitic progressives?) feel good, but it is ahistorical antisemitic balderdash — as Nelson Mandela understood — in the perverse tradition of The Nuremberg Laws.