Barry Shaw

The Apartheid of Poverty and Anti-Israel Hypocrisy in South Africa

My 2012 visit to South Africa to promote my book “Israel Reclaiming the Narrative” was timely.

My book highlights the lies and hypocrisy of the Arab narrative which positions Palestinians as the innocent victims of oppression. The truth is that they have a long history of violence and terror and have rejected every pragmatic peace deal offered to them. Whenever any group of organization pose as “pro-Palestinian” you can bet they are, at the same time, virulently anti-Israel. Scratch them and you will find, more often than not, this extends to them being anti-Semitic.

My visit coincided with the infamous and fraudulent “Israel Apartheid Week” in which South African campuses were the scene of hideous “Hate-Israel” theater where half-truths and innuendos posed as facts.

Most telling was the endorsement of this hateful circus by the South African Council of Churches who, in their official letter dated 24th February, spoke in anti-Semitic terms of Israeli violence against “non-Jews,” positioning the Palestinians as a Jesus figure, and Israelis as a form of anti-Christ. This blasphemy harks back to the dark days when Jews were portrayed as Christ killers and demonized and led to their slaughter at the hands of the Church. Indeed, under the cloak of Replacement Theology, this Jew hatred festers today as was evidenced by the decision of the SACC to isolate one country, and one country only, for condemnation – Israel.

With all the heinous crimes in the world, only Israel warrants a whole week of “academic” assault. Israel is pilloried as evil beyond all other nations on earth. The SACC, in their letter, questioned what sort of regime Israel is. Let me answer them.

Israel is the one regime that airlifted more than fourteen thousand Ethiopians out of their war-torn country and given new lives in the Jewish state.

Israel was the first country to recognize the newly independent Christian nation of South Sudan. Israel is there now helping to develop their agricultural, medical, security, and industrial infrastructure. Where is the South African Council of Churches on this issue? They are strangely silent when it comes to the suffering and slaughter of their co-religionists in Africa and the Middle East. Instead, they concentrate their bile on the one Jewish state in the world in an attempt to turn it into the one pariah state in the world.

Dare I say that these accusations can be levelled at the ANC-led South African government?

Israel is the regime that flew half way across the globe to rescue and help the earthquake stricken people of Haiti. Israel was the first country to set up field hospitals to operate and treat the victims.

Israel is the only country in the Middle East in which the Christian population is growing and living in peace and security. That alone should merit the praise of the South African Council of Churches – but, no! Not even that.

So when people like members of SACC, the BDS Movement and ANC leaders including Archbishop Tutu, call Israel a racist, oppressive, country I would ask them to look, as I did during my visit to South Africa, at the townships of South Africa. There I saw what I call an Apartheid of Poverty. They are not townships. That name is deceptive. They are slums.

Nobody, not even the Palestinians, live in tin shacks with no sanitation or electricity. The Palestinians are middle class compared to the abject condition I witnessed throughout South Africa in these slums.

I would have thought that these people, numbering in their millions, deserve a week of campus activity. Instead, they are ignored. The South African Council of Churches would rather spend their resources criticizing the Jewish State of Israel rather than addressing the human rights crime of poverty in their backyard. I wonder why? Maybe it’s the Replacement Theology, that leads directly to anti-Semitism, that has a leading role in their hypocrisy?

So I left South Africa with one troubling thought in my mind. On an issue like this, it is clearly not Israel that is the racist. It is people like the SACC, ANC and BDS activists that have perverted South Africa into becoming the leading hub of delegimitization against my country to cover up the shame of their failures in their own country.

For decades, it sponsored and fostered malevolent events such as the infamous Durban “Zionism is Racism” horror show, through to the Tutu inspired “Russell Tribunal,” a one-sided and hateful kangaroo court. This circus tried, once again, to pose Israel as an Apartheid state. With its tainted jury and manufactured half truths it had nothing to do with truth or reconciliation. It was not an attempt to further peace between Israel and the Palestinians. It was yet another showcase for bias and hate mongering that has continued to this day with horrendous official statements of the ANC party.

The situation has worsened in South Africa since then.

Truth be told, if these frauds and liars dare look honestly northward up the sweep of Africa and across the Middle East, they would find only one country that can genuinely be called the “Rainbow Nation” of liberal democracy where people of all faiths are free to express themselves both religiously and politically. That nation is Israel.

Until they can speak to God, and to themselves, with honesty, organizations like the BDS Movement, the South African Council of Churches ANC and, yes, the government, South Africa has a long road to travel before it can be considered a place that contributes to peace in our troubled region.

Barry Shaw is the author of “Israel Reclaiming the Narrative”.

He is also the Special Consultant on Delegitimization Issues to The Strategic Dialogue Center at Netanya Academic College.

About the Author
Barry Shaw is the Senior Associate for Public Diplomacy at the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies. He is also the author of ‘Fighting Hamas, BDS and Anti-Semitism,' '1917. From Palestine to the Land of Israel, 'BDS for IDIOTS,' and his latest work 'A Tale of Love and Destiny,' the dramatic life of a Jewish heroine.
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