Loss of Land, Ethnic cleansing, Discrimination and Segregation
THE APARTHEID STATE : The Case of South Africa
Apartheid is not just a particularly bad kind of racism. The word means “apart-ness” in Afrikaans.
The doctrine of Apartheid advocates that white people are racially superior to blacks and other people.
Blacks and other races should not challenge or compete with white South Africans for control over the country’s land, resources, economy and political power. After 1948 this doctrine was formalized by the Nationalist Party into a comprehensive system of laws and practices governing every aspect of black people’s life (control) and to ensure a total separation (apart-ness) between blacks and whites of SA.
Unlike apart-ness, togetherness will foster living together in mixed cities and economic competition by the races thus exposing the premise of white racial superiority giving rise to demands for political representation.
The affinity between Apartheid South Africa and Zionism was nurtured by two individuals long before Israel was established and continued thereafter. The two men are Jan Christiaan Smuts, prime minister of the Union of South Africa from 1919 until 1924 and from 1939 until 1948 and Chaim Weizmann, a leading Zionist leader in the first president of Israel from 1949 – 1952. The relationship and close cooperation between the two individuals started in 1917 and ended with the death of Mr. Smuts in September 1950. But the close special relationship between the two countries continued until Apartheid South Africa was officially dismantled in 1994.
Observe how those two individuals employ racist words when talking about the Arab of Palestine. Sarah G. Millin, Mr. Smuts biographer noted:
As to the Arabs, a Bedouin Arab quite naturally cannot seem so romantically strange to a South African as to a European, for the South African very well knows dark skinned peoples; peoples resembling, indeed, the Arabs- and with reason since Arab blood is in them. All his life the South African has been surrounded by millions of these dark peoples, who, like the Bedouins, live in huts or wander over the land; are more courtly, courageous and poetic than he will admit; and (unless civilization compels them) like the Bedouin again, do, make, grow, want and own nothing. Smuts thinks as a European rather than as a South African- yet dark skinned people cannot seem exotic to him.
Chaim Weizmann wrote in 1929:
Yet even today we hear people saying: “Well, yes, perhaps what you have done is all very good, but the Arabs in Palestine were used to a quiet life. They rode on camels; they were picturesque; they fitted into the landscape. Why not preserve it as a Museum, as a National Park? You came in from the West with your knowledge and your Jewish insistence. You are not picturesque. You do not fit into the landscape. You drain the marshes. You destroy malaria. And you do it in such a way that the mosquitoes fly on to the Arab villages. You still speak Hebrew with a bad accent, and you have not yet learned how to handle the plough properly. Instead of a camel you use a motor car.” It reminds one of the eternal fight of stagnation against progress, efficiency, health, and education. The desert against civilization.
The affinity between the two systems outlasted Smuts and Weizmann. In April 1976 during a visit to Israel by John Vorster, president of the apartheid regime of South Africa, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin toasted the “ideals shared by Israel and South Africa.”
- In summary, the motives shaping apart-ness is to preserve white economic and political power through laws justified by racial prejudices.
- Under pressure from the international community, the ideologues of apart-ness tried to cosmetically beautify its ugly face and to justify the evil of its systematic oppression of African and colored people by arguing that different races and cultures should naturally live apart. Each people had unique cultures and mental qualities that required separate states, they said. Those ideologues had the audacity to call for self-determination for the whites thus stuffing blacks and other races into “homelands” (Cantons) that may eventually qualify for independence as separate states but always under white government’s control.
Different Variations of APARTHEID
- Apartheid is a different variation of the Zionist doctrine of “two peoples in one land” which proposes that Jews and Arabs in Palestine cannot live together as one people in one state on the same land.
- Another variation of apart-ness was also advocated and practiced in the USA, “separate but equal” that used basic racial differences to divide white and black areas and to enforce a ruthless and oppressive system of white supremacy.
Is Israel an Apartheid State?
- The State of Israel maintains a system of laws, practices and doctrines that match the definition of Apartheid in the Apartheid Convention.
- Most of the “inhuman acts” cited in the Convention read like a list of Israeli practices.
- UN, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the Red Cross and other international organizations have documented these practices for decades.
How Apartheid Israel Differs from Apartheid South Africa?
- Unlike Apartheid South Africa, Apartheid Israel insists on “Jewish” sovereignty over all of historic Palestine, the ethnic cleansing of its indigenous Palestinian population, and the “Jewish” character of the state. The Apartheid system of SA favored whites over blacks and colored- Being a white included both Christians and Jews.
- Desmond Tutu stated the following: “I have been to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and I have witnessed the racially segregated roads and housing that reminded me so much of the conditions we experienced in South Africa under the racist system of Apartheid.” For more, please visit:
The Palestinian Vision for a Common Future in Historic Palestine
- Palestinians recognize that the Apartheid system in Israel is evil pure and simple.
- Also, Palestinians know that they are the sovereign owners of the land of historic Palestine.
- In an attempt to restore justice and transcend bloody conflicts, Palestinians are reaching out to Israeli-Jews to unite in rejecting the Zionist project in Palestine, Apartheid laws and practices by Israel, and to transform Apartheid Israel into a one democratic state in historic Palestine for its citizens.
This VISION for durable and just peace in Palestine has been debated widely and is based on the outcome of various initiatives and conferences that have taken place in many cities including in Palestine. It Exists in Three Variations: The Dallas, Munich and Jaffa Declarations. The Differences between them are minor. Here I am presenting a copy of The Munich Declaration of June 2012.
The Munich Declaration
This Declaration consists of Ten points.
The framers of the Munich Declaration appeal and welcome additional statements that expand and clarify the goals expressed in this Declaration, as long as they are consistent with its goals and principles, especially its commitment to universal human rights, anti-racism and the fundamental equality of all people in dignity and rights. We urge those who share the vision and goals in this Declaration to set aside differences and join in this historic struggle to realize the ideals of one democratic state in Palestine.
The Munich Declaration reads as follows:
1. One Democratic State (ODS) shall be established in the entire territory of historic Palestine between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River as one country that belongs to all its citizens including all those who currently live there and all those who were expelled over the past century and their descendants.
2. The country shall be an independent sovereign State in which all citizens enjoy equal rights and all can live in freedom and security.
3. ODS in Palestine will end ethnic cleansing, occupation and all forms of racial discrimination from which the Palestinian people suffered under Zionism/Israel.
4. The reunified Palestine shall be a democracy in which all of its adult citizens shall enjoy equal rights to vote, stand for office and contribute to the country’s governance. No State law, institution, practices or activities may discriminate among its citizens on the basis of ethnicity, religion, language, nationality or gender.
5. The State shall not establish or accord special privilege to any religion and shall provide for the free practice of all religions.
6. One of the primary objectives of the new state is to enable the Palestinian refugees to realize their right of return to all the places from where they were expelled, rebuild their personal life, and participate in creating the new state. Private property of Palestinian refugees shall be restored and restitution and compensation arranged.
7. Public land of the State shall belong to the nation as a whole and all of its citizens shall have equal access to its use. The natural and economic resources of the country shall benefit all of its citizens equally.
8. The State shall provide the conditions for free cultural expression by all of its citizens. It shall ensure that all languages, arts and culture can flourish and develop freely. All citizens shall have equal rights to use their own dress, languages and customs, and to express their cultural heritage free of insults or discrimination.
9. Citizens shall have equal access to employment at all levels and in all sectors of the society. Employment shall not be determined or restricted by language, race, religion, gender, or nationality. Education and vocational training shall not be segregated or specialized in any way that impedes equal access of all citizens to employment and other opportunities to fulfill their talents and dreams.
10. The State shall uphold international law and seek the peaceful resolution of conflicts through negotiation and collective security in accordance with the United Nations Charter. The people of a unified Palestine shall reject racism and promote anti-racism, social, cultural and political rights as set out in relevant United Nations covenants. The State shall seek and contribute to the establishment of a Middle East that will be free of all weapons of mass-destruction.
Call To Action
We call on all those who cherish freedom, justice, equality and democracy and reject racism and segregation to join us in building this movement.
a. We call on Palestinians everywhere to undertake free democratic debate about the goals and principles of this Declaration in order to reunify the people and direct the exercise of their inalienable right to self-determination into establishing one democratic state in Palestine.
b. We call on Jews in Israel and throughout the world to look beyond the entrapping illusions of Jewish statehood, which must rest on discrimination and so can lead only to endless conflict and insecurity, and channel their dreams for peace into establishing one shared country in all of Palestine between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, in which Jewish aspirations, whether religious, cultural or ethnic, can be fulfilled without dominating others.
c. We urge individuals and groups active in the Campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions and the entire Palestine solidarity movement to adopt the principles of this Declaration and add its goals openly to their platforms and campaigns.
d. We call on civil society organizations that oppose racism and racial discrimination throughout the world to join us in building this movement, on the conviction that racism anywhere is a threat to equality and justice everywhere.
e. We urge civil societies in the Arab and Muslim worlds to support a unified non-ethnic democracy in Palestine by building public consensus and issuing public statements to embrace it and by formalizing platforms that promote ethnic and sectarian equality in their own countries.
f. We call on Muslim, Jewish and Christian religious scholars and philosophers to draw on and disseminate wisdom from the holy and treasured texts that can guide the faithful to seek and support a shared state in Palestine with full hearts and spiritual resolve.
On this platform, with our international friends and allies, we commit ourselves to restore justice to the people by establishing a unitary democratic state in Palestine in which all citizens can live in security, peace, equality and freedom.