People often talk about South Africa when they’re talking about Israel. The word Apartheid is thrown around a lot. It’s as if it isn’t enough for Palestinians to ‘merely’ be occupied it has to be something especially awful and Apartheid has become the word that resonates.
Of course even the most die hard anti-Israel ideologue will admit that it’s “a different kind of Apartheid” to the government policy followed by racist South African governments.
I wonder if any of those ideologues have been to Johannesburg lately. If those who cry Apartheid have ever paused to stop and really look at what happened since those heady days when the might of Middle Class British and American activists (along with a tiny bit of help from some natives) threw off the shackles of Apartheid.
Perhaps they’ve been too busy demonstrating in Bilin.
While the European intelligentsia talks about Israel they refuse to learn clear lessons about South Africa. They ignore the endemic political corruption that has ensured beautiful South Africa is falling apart. There are entire city blocks disintegrating due to the fact that people have retreated from what were once the centers of commerce in South Africa a country with one of the highest murder rates in the world, where the term law and order is a joke. A country long since forgotten by the very people who desperately fought to end Apartheid. They solved one terrible problem only to turn their backs on all the problems that followed.
The reason why? Well I guess it just wasn’t a sexy, headline grabbing cause any more.
People are so busy trying to refute the claim that Israel is South Africa that they miss the most important point. For us here in Israel ending the occupation is the easy part. It’s the beginning. It’s what comes afterwards that really counts. If the settlers that we left languishing in the desert in the wake of the Gaza withdrawal coupled with the rise of Hamas as the power there are anything to go by we too have a lot of lessons to learn.
The campaign to end Apartheid was just, as is the campaign to end Israeli occupation of the West Bank, but don’t think that the darlings of the left are all that interested in what anyone here actually wants, they’re too busy trying to pigeonhole us into accepting their own vision of the world.
Those people who pontificate about Israeli Apartheid want to see a single state here for all of us. It fits into their world view of the way things should be, you know us and Palestinians living together in peace and harmony, a noble aim if ever there was one. Of course for some reason it’s more important that Israelis and Palestinians live together in peace and harmony than it is everyone else, everywhere else on the planet. A goal which for some reason very few people are chasing.
Were this plan to fall apart it would barely register in the consciousness of the very people who are so passionately advocating it. They’ll be too busy celebrating their own success to notice the collapse. If their solution sees Israel become Lebanon, disintegrating in blood and fire, if a government that is corrupt and ineffective comes to power, if the country falls apart in its entirety, if the murder rate is among the highest in the world they won’t care, well maybe they simply won’t notice.
If you need any persuading to that effect just look at the lack of interest in post Apartheid South Africa.
Personally I’d prefer the pampered sons and daughters of Europe and the United States to leave the sunburned sons and daughters of Isaac and Ishmael to iron out their problems by themselves.
Maybe then we actually have a chance.
*Warning this angry post may well have been influenced by a ridiculous article in the New York Times.