More on Chris McGreal’s error riddled Apartheid article.
Readers will remember that Chris McGreal of the Guardian (Mail & Guardian in SA) wrote a 15,000 word special feature equating Israel with Apartheid South Africa. In my earlier response I spoke about his selective use of quotes from Don Krausz, chairman of Johannesburg's Holocaust survivors association. What better way to depict Israel as a fascist state than to use quotes from a South African Holocaust survivor to support that view?
I said I would get hold of Don Krausz and determine whether or not Chris McGreal misled us with the quotes used from Don Krausz.
I have since been in contact with Krausz and below is the email I received from him.
|“Chris McGreal came to interview me many years ago in my capacity as chairman of the association of Holocaust survivors in Johannesburg. We discussed many topics. He did tell me that he worked for the Mail and Guardian, which at that time I never read. His views on Israel being an Apartheid state were not apparent to me.|
I certainly don’t think that Israel is an Apartheid state. When I worked in the oilfield at Heletz right next to the Gaza strip, we were constantly under attack from so-called Fedayeen. One drilling crew was murdered, our water and fuel supplies sabotaged and a bus load of civilians massacred at a nearby place called Maaleh Acrabim. At night everything moved in convoy from Beer Sheba south wards. We had military vehicles escorting us and soldiers in each of our cars.
When we went out for an evening to nearby Ashkelon, I and others had to ride shotgun. When a drilling crew of six worked at night, we often had 12 soldiers with 2 machineguns guarding us. They weren’t just sitting around a fire drinking coffee either – these boys lay behind their guns the whole night aiming at the Gaza border, while we were armed as well. Considering what Israel has had to suffer since that time, I fully agree that she must take every step possible to safeguard her citizens. If the world wants to describe that as Apartheid, then so be it.
McGreal mentions my work in Israel. In discussing that I must have spoken of the Arab attacks on us. That he does not mention. Bear in mind that I am speaking of the years 1954 to 58. At that time there was not one single Israeli settlement or soldier in Gaza or the West Bank. The Palestinians did not have the excuse that they were trying to drive out the occupier from those territories. Since that interview at least ten years ago, I have worked for an Israeli who blew up those Arab villages in the Hartuv area. They had been inhabited by the irregulars who caused the Haganah such heavy casualties when the Jews tried to supply besieged Jerusalem. Their action took place at a section of the road to Jerusalem called Bab el Wad. Ask anyone who lived through the War of Independence to tell you about that place. I am not surprised that Israel made sure that they would not be attacked again from those villages.
I know that the Palestinians got a rough deal with plenty of discrimination, but that was a result of their own hostile actions.
Now for my choice of the term FASCISM when describing Kahane’s and the Orthodox’s policy of regaining Greater Israel, which stretched from the Nile to the Euphrates and included Trans Jordan as originally envisaged. In Hitler’s schools the children were taught and his soldiers sang that: ”Today we own Germany and tomorrow the whole world.” They spoke of Lebensraum, breathing space, and planned to eliminate the Slavs from much of their land so that Germans could replace them. I cannot see much difference between those two concepts.
So Steve, I stand by what I said to McGreal. What he chose to do with my words, or how he selected to edit them to fit his own purposes I have no control over.
If further evidence is needed to show that Don Krausz was misrepresented then take a look at yesterday's Witness. It includes an article written by Don Krausz which contests that Israel has repeatedly tried to make peace with the Palestinians and that today she has no negotiating partner.
Chris McGreal cunningly selected out-of-context quotes from Don Krausz and used them to create the illusion that his thesis is supported by Don Krausz, a man who has tasted the horrors of both the Holocaust and Apartheid SA.
This is the sort of vindictive, unfair, and misleading reporting that you should continue to expect from Chris McGreal and his fellow stringers at the Mail & Guardian.