This is an excerpt from a talk I gave to Telfed Raanana on July 21, 2011. Telfed is the association of South African immigrants in Israel.
As most of this audience is ex-South Africans let me begin by informing you of an event that will take place in Cape Town this November.
Winnie Mandela with join Archbishop Desmond Tutu in what they are calling an “International People’s Court”. They will decide whether Israel is practicing apartheid against Palestinians. The chair person announced that they would determine if the treatment of Palestinians by Israel meets the criteria of the United Nations convention against the crime of apartheid.
This sounds wonderful, and these personalities will have the sympathy of the world as the perceived champions of the apartheid battle successfully won in South Africa in the last century. But, there is a disturbing undercurrent going on as we approach the date for this lynch mob trial against Israel. The chair person, Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge, said that the tribunal was being assembled to examine Israel’s “recognized violation of international law.”
Another panel member is Ronnie Kasrils who is closely associated with the BDS Movement. In 2006 he said in an article in South Africa’s “Mail & Guardian”,
“We no longer recognize the state of Israel. We could not recognize the apartheid regime. We call child murderers ‘child murderers.’”
He also said “Those who use methods reminiscent of the Nazis must be told they are behaving like Nazis.” He went on “We feel sorrow for those who died under rocket fire in Israel, but we do not blame Hizbollah or Palestinian resistance any more than we blamed the South African liberation forces when civilians died.”
In other words, for Kasrils, terrorism that slaughters civilians is OK. If you are on the side of the terrorists then civilian deaths can be justified. Kasrils said that this kangaroo court “must take strong measures against Israel. We applaud governments that decided to sever ties with Israel.”
Clearly, Israel is guilty before this hearing even begins. With the additional presence of Irish Mairead Maguire who participated in the 2010 Gaza flotilla, and Alice Walker, who participated in the 2011 Gaza flotilla, the odds are heavily stacked against Israel.
Another associate of this tribunal, Jackie Achmat, complained that Palestinians who hurled rocks at Israeli soldiers were being tried in military courts. “Even under apartheid, we didn’t have separate legal systems for black and white people.” His logic is confusing but, in Achmat’s words, any Israeli apartheid is worse than South Africa’s apartheid. In late 2009, Achmat told an Open Shuhada Street audience that “95% of Israelis are racists.” It is clear what he thinks of Israelis in advance of the people’s court.
Don’t expect Israel to participate in this witch hunt. Why is this significant for Israel? Because this panel will have international resonance to people who are impressed with names linked to the apartheid issue. Because a world will be inclined to listen to their voices and their decisions, even if their foregone conclusions are warped and incorrect. Because a powerful minority is forcing delegitimization onto Israel based on crimes against humanity, and apartheid is considered a crime against humanity.
What they are ignoring is that true apartheid is being practiced by the Palestinians and the Arabs as they seek to remove the Jewish state of Israel from their presence in the Middle East. Not only apartheid but also incitement to genocide, and ethnic cleansing. To this we can add blatant anti-Semitism.
In support of the Palestinians, this panel would accuse Israel of being a racist state but, in a recent poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion, 73% of Palestinian polled supported Islamic teachings to murder Jews. 80% agreed with the Hamas Charter which says,
“The time will not come until the Muslims will fight the Jews and kill them, until the Jews hide behind trees and rocks who will cry out ‘O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me. Come on and kill him!’”
The Tutu/Mandela tribunal has no intention of examining or including this in their findings.
The poll found that 61% of Palestinians reject the idea of a peaceful Palestinian state living alongside Israel as a solution to the Arab/Israeli war. 66% said that their real goal should be to set up a Palestinian state alongside Israel as the first step to creating a single Palestinian-controlled state. Kasrils clearly identifies with this ambition.
72% of Palestinians deny Jewish history and connection to the land of Israel. An overwhelming 92% of Palestinians say that Jerusalem should only be the Palestinian capital, and only 3% of them said it should be the capital of both Israel and a Palestinian state.
Mahmoud Abbas has repeatedly said that any Palestinian state must be free of Jews – Judenrein. Is that not ethnic cleansing? Is that not apartheid? The Palestinian Authority has threatened that any Arab who sells land to a Jew will be executed. Is that not Nazi Nuremberg justice?
These are just some of the extenuating circumstances that Israel finds itself in. These, together with three major and aggressive wars waged by the Arabs against the Jewish state together with decades of the most brutal and inhuman acts of terror, force Israel to fight for its survival. Yet, the Cape Town delegitimizers have no intention of letting facts cloud their preconditioned judgment. Israel will be found guilty, and the implications will resound around the world.
So, when I hear about Israel being compared to an apartheid state I am reminded what my friend, Raanan Gissin, told an audience at a recent IBCA event in Herzlia. He said that he had compared Israel to South Africa and the only thing he could find was that Israel was roughly the size of South Africa’s Kruger National Park. That’s the place where they put their endangered species, fence the place off, and have an army of game wardens protect these endangered animals from people who come with weapons to kill them. This reminded Gissin, and me, of Israel today.
The Jews, an endangered species, found refuge in the Zionist state and are protected by our game wardens, the IDF, who defend us from those who come to kill us. The only difference between our game wardens and those in the Kruger Park is that sometimes our game wardens have to make house calls on those who want to kill us, before they set out to do so.