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The Jewish Report Editorial

Apartheid didn’t bring peace

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Apartheid was instituted in South Africa in 1948 in order to make sure that one racial group could feel and act superior to another. The idea was to ensure that one group was kept down so the other could soar, so that the one group would always “have” while the other - no matter what they did to change this - were held back from “having”.
by PETA KROST MAUNDER | Mar 09, 2017

It was, in essence, a one-upmanship battle, where the one side had no chance.

This week, Israel Apartheid Week runs rampant across the world. And in this case, the one side is accusing Israel of being no different to apartheid South Africa and the other side is saying this isn’t true.

Israel is accused by supporters of the ever-growing Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement of being the oppressor pushing the poor Palestinians down… to keep them down.

Well, that is what it is about, in its simplest form. In reality, it is way more complicated than that, not least of all because the world at large views the Palestinians as being oppressed and incapable of defending themselves against this ogre of an Israel. So, BDS and the Palestinians get the sympathy vote around the world.

That is, when you discount that the Palestinians are a part of the greater Arab world, which one would imagine makes them a whole lot stronger.

Then, one needs to take into account any relationship between the Palestinians, suicide bombers, the horrendously cruel ISIS and other overt terror organisations.

For me, though, I wonder about the real reason behind Israel Apartheid Week. Not having been party to any of this before, I am witnessing a week where hatred and ugliness towards “others” is perpetuated around the world. It feels like an excuse for people to say and do abhorrent things.

I don’t get it - not least of all because people behind this are saying they are doing this in the name of peace and the ability for all people to have the right to self-actualisation.

Sorry, but as far as I know, self-actualisation, peace and freedom do not emerge from venomous vitriol and threatening each other’s lives.

As far as I am concerned, it stems from being adults sitting across a table from one another and consciously seeking a peaceful and equitable solution.

But bringing out various “personalities” who will push a “cause” and make one side look better than the other, to those who have not yet decided, is not about peace. Instead, it is about one-upmanship and perpetuating differences and ensuring that one side is right and the other is wrong.

And while South Africa understands what apartheid is - having lived through it - it is a very emotive word here. For many people, it symbolises the evil that people can do to others. It is so much easier for most people to sympathise with the “underdog”, those people supposedly living under “apartheid” in Israel.

In truth, this loaded term is totally unfair in that the basis of the population and the division of power precludes any semblance of apartheid. But the term works to aggravate and incense people – both those who deny that Israel is an apartheid state and those who insist it is.

Around the world, though, the term may not be as loaded, but the anger and hatred is just as bad. Israel’s ambassador to France pleaded with the French government to ban Israel Apartheid Week there because of the heightened anti-Semitism. This didn’t happen and so France opened itself to the threat of ugly racial violence.

At what point are all sides going to get that rather than fighting, showing how your difference is better than my difference and my way of thinking is better than yours, doesn’t have any positive impact for anyone? We have to try and find similarities, common grounds and ways we can work together. It is enough looking for reasons to fight and about time to find solutions and paths to peace.

Yes, I know how many times Middle East leaders have sat around tables to find peaceful solutions and they haven’t managed to. So, does that mean we stop and rather focus on proving the other side is the beast? That simply doesn’t make any sense to me.

Stop fighting and start finding a way towards peace!

In the meantime, so many young students at South African universities and others around the world are scared to go to their lectures for fear they will fall victim to Israel Apartheid Week’s perpetrators. Something is wrong with that!

Peta Krost Maunder

Editor

4 Comments

  1. 4 BDS WORKS 09 Mar
    is the Editor of the SAJR not aware of the role played by the BDS movement in ending Apartheid in South Africa?  During the dark days of South African apartheid, businesses, artists and individuals who boycotted Apartheid South Africa and companies trading with Apartheid did it as to not be complicit in Apartheid’s crimes and oppression. Their principled and ethical conduct was praised by Archbishop Desmond Tutu who said that “[t]he withdrawal of trade with South Africa by multinational corporations with a conscience in the 1980s was ultimately one of the key levers that brought the apartheid state – bloodlessly – to its knees. Those corporations understood that by contributing to South Africa’s economy, they were contributing to the retention of an unjust status quo”.
  2. 3 nat cheiman 14 Mar
    What utter claptrap, BDS WORKS. Apartheid collapsed because it was an unjust system, with many white South Africans fighting against it. In addition, the war on the borders was draining the coffers dry, in concert with the nationalist politicians. 
    BDS attempts to commandeer the role of ending apartheid, which, is as big a lie that is espoused by palestinians in their hatred of Jews, by playing the victims.
    BDS has no teeth. It has become emasculated by virtue of its anti-Semitic stance against Jews. Ordinary folk understand the rhetoric and propaganda that BDS embraces.
    As for Mr Tutu, he too is no friend of Israel, nor will he be instrumental in bringing about a solution for Israel.
  3. 2 David B 15 Mar
    There cannot ever be peace while the many of the Arab states (Iran + many )  and particularly the Palestinian organizations (Hamas & Hezbollah )  call for the death of every Jew and shout' push them into the sea'.
      Until this changes there will absolutely be no peace , or any meaningful negotiation.
      Try to fly thru Dubai with an Israeli passport or an Israeli stamp in your passport !
      And of course try to convince them that the heritage of the Jews is Jerusalem and this Icon will never be shared or given up, while Jews live in this crazy world 
  4. 1 nat cheiman 15 Mar
    Moreover, BDS WORKS, BDS started in 2005 with boycotts of Israel. It was never born nor was it alive during apartheid.
    Another example of BDS fiction/falsehood/deceit/calumny.

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