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« The Story Behind the Memorial | Main | A Tale of 2 Democracies »

September 06, 2007

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James Clark

I don't think people realise the degree to which they insult the victims of real Apartheid when they compare it to current Israeli policy, which is more progressive than any country South or East of Israel for thousands of miles.

I optimistically chalk it up to historical ignorance.

Using the Israel=Apartheid analagy cheapens the memory of the Struggle. It's like analogies with Nazi Germany. There are certain atrocities you do not draw parallels with lightly.

BlackSAn

I always find it amazing when Black people get told what should or should not insult us. James Clark, are you Black? Are you South African? Are you or have you been a victim of Apartheid? If not, then dont tell us what cheapens our struggle. When lots of Black people who suffered from Apartheid say that Israel is an Apartheid state and we say that the oppression of Palestinians by Israel is worse than Black people's in Apartheid South Africa, you should respect us enough to believe that we know what we are talking about. We do not draw these parallels "lightly". We suffered and so we can recognize other peoples suffering. To compare the views of a Christian Zionist like Quiba, who is heavily influenced by his religious beliefs, with the testimonies of thousands of other Black South Africans is very silly.

JustPlainSAn

BlackSAn,

Are you a Christian Zionist? Are you religious? If not, then dont tell us what beliefs influence my positions!

Your attack on Christian Zionists is immature.

"When lots of Black people who suffered from Apartheid say that Israel is an Apartheid state and we say that the oppression of Palestinians by Israel is worse than Black people's in Apartheid South Africa, you should respect us enough to believe that we know what we are talking about."

Rubbish. I could just as easily tell you to respect Jewish positions on right and wrong merely because they have suffered so much.

And though I can respect your "thousands of blacks" know about apartheid, why should I just respect that they know what they talking about when it comes to Israel? SHould I just respect any Jew knows what he talk about because he has suffered?

BlackSAn

If I, as a non-Jew, claimed to understand Jewish suffering and the deep significance of the Holocaust on the lives and phsyche of Jews individually and collectively, then I would be talking rubbish. And if Jews who live with the reality of the Holocaust only a half century after it happened say that, for example, Rwandan survivors of their genocide have similar issues as Jewish survivors of the Holocaust did for reasons a, b and c, then it would be disrespectful for me to say Rwandans who look to the Jewish experience for a comparison are insulting the survivors of the Holocaust. Who am I to suggest that when those Jewish survivors themselves make that comparison. (Please note I am not saying this is a real comparison. I am just using an example.)

Mike

Blacksan, Just because someone has been part of a people that has suffered does not mean they are qualified to analyze its historical context. Jewish perspectives on the Holocaust are certainly not monolithic. Some take great offense at comparing anything to it. While others like to focus on the commonality between say Sudan and Rwanda. And just because some Holocaust victims say its doesn’t make it. One would need to analyze the facts in a more academic and less emotional manner. I would argue the same with the Israel=Apartheid analogy.

L

Well,
I didn't read Carter's book, but I did hear him speak about it in an interview.
And I think that if the people who flipped out over his choice of words actually WENT to the West Bank and saw the way things work over there, they'd understand the comparison. It's creepy. Your ID card is your life, determines where you can go, mostly where you can't go, plainly says what religion you are, etc. If you are a young man living in Ramallah, it's absolutely impossible to go 20 min over to Jerusalem. (Or basically to Nablus either for that matter. Or to your own farm land if there happens to be a settlement or military outpost nearby.) And yes, it's all because you're an Arab. Period.
And furthermore, the fact that there are Ethiopian Israelis does not make the occupation any less of an offense to humanity. I don't get the point. (Note by the way that the Darfur refugees aren't in the photo ops, they were put in prison and many of them sent to Egypt to whatever fate.) The whole system of the occupation is based on assuming that every one of the 5 or 6 million Palestinians is a terrorist. I've been living in Be'er Sheva for two years, I know that most Israelis want peace and security just like everyone else, but it does take an impressive amount of racism to justify this kind of system. Occupation is occupation, even if you think it's justified in the name of "security," don't pretend it's anything less.
(And this is 2007, by the way. 1947 borders do not apply. There are no real borders here, only a big wall inside an invisible "green line" with a whole bunch of illegal settlements penetrating inside anyway.)

Hi I just want to say I enjoyed your blog and site! thanks for sharing, keep up the hard work.

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