By Dr Gideon Polya
03 July, 2013
We all saw an awful display of hypocrisy and lying when US President Barack Obama visited Africa this week, giving lip-service to African “freedom” with US-backed military and demonstrators about to overthrow democracy in Egypt, US-backed French forces occupying Mali, US Alliance forces occupying Somalia (2 million refugees and 2.2 million dead from violence or war-imposed deprivation since 1992) and Libya devastated by the US Alliance (0.1 million killed, 1 million refugees ). However, the greatest dishonesty and hypocrisy was exhibited by pro-Apartheid Israel Obama on his visit to South Africa that emerged from rule by the US- , UK- , and Apartheid Israel-backed, White supremacist, anti-African, anti-Asian, racist Apartheid regime only 20 years ago.
(A). University student Obama’s opposition to Apartheid.
As an African-American college student Barack Obama was opposed to Apartheid in South Africa – but that was well before he became a plaything of the Neocon Americans and Zionist Imperialists who run America . Thus US writer Margot Mifflin writing in the New Yorker (2012) recalled Obama’s support for divestment as a means oif fighting Apartheid: “On February 18, 1981, a student at Occidental College, Barack Obama, delivered his first public speech. As the opening speaker at a rally protesting Occidental’s investments in companies that were doing business in apartheid South Africa, he stood with one hand in his pocket, spoke in declarative spurts, and showed no sign of being the orator who would become President nearly twenty-eight years later. Before he could say much, he was carried off by two students pretending to be oppressive Afrikaners… In retrospect, one clear narrative emerges: The rally was not, as advertised, entirely about apartheid. It was about the racial issues smoldering on our own privileged, largely white campus, a subject some of the speakers passionately addressed. Students of color felt marginalized, and the faculty was not diverse. “We call this rally today to bring attention to Occidental’s investment in South Africa and Occidental’s lack of investment in multicultural education,” Obama said, before he was carried off. Though the rally had no effect on the former (the college didn’t divest), Occidental’s minority population, which is now over forty per cent, has since quadrupled.” .
American writer Juliet Eilperin put this early Obama anti-Apartheid and pro-divestment activism into the current context of Obama’s visit to South Africa (June 2013) : “In a Thursday press conference in Senegal, Obama recalled, “My first act of political activism was when I was at Occidental College. As a 19-year-old, I got involved in the anti-apartheid movement back in 1979, 1980, because I was inspired by what was taking place in South Africa .”… Throughout the 1980s the anti-apartheid movement galvanized college students across the U.S. , as they successfully pressured U.S. companies and universities to divest of their South Africa holdings. For many students, this represented their entry point into political activism.” .
This is an extended version of what President Obama said in Senegal on his recent Africa trip (June 2013): “My first act of political activism was when I was at Occidental College . As a 19-year-old, I got involved in the Anti-Apartheid Movement back in 1979, 1980, because I was inspired by what was taking place in South Africa . I think at that time I didn’t necessarily imagine that Nelson Mandela might be released, but I had read his writings and his speeches, and I understood that this was somebody who believed in that basic principle I just talked about — treating people equally — and was willing to sacrifice his life for that belief. When I was in law school, in 1990, 1991, to see Nelson Mandela step forward after 27 years of captivity and not only help usher in democracy and majority rule, and one person, one vote in South Africa, but as importantly, for him to say, I embrace my former captors and my former oppressors, and believe in one nation and believe in judging people on the basis of their character and not their color — it gave me a sense of what is possible in the world when righteous people, when people of goodwill work together on behalf of a larger cause. ” .
At the President Obama press conference with South African President Zuma, Obama gave the same message: “I have to begin, of course, by saying that our thoughts — and those of Americans and people all around the world — are with Nelson Mandela and his family, and all South Africans. The struggle here against apartheid, for freedom; Madiba’s moral courage; this country’s historic transition to a free and democratic nation has been a personal inspiration to me. It has been an inspiration to the world — and it continues to be. In so many regions that are divided by conflict, sectarian disputes, religious or ethnic wars, to see what happened in South Africa — the power of principle and people standing up for what’s right I think continues to shine as a beacon.”
President Obama visited the Robben Island jail where anti-Apartheid hero Nelson Mandela was kept for 18 years. Obama wrote in the guestbook: “On behalf of our family, we’re deeply humbled to stand where men of such courage faced down injustice and refused to yield” .
However this is utter hypocrisy from a President Obama who supports the race-based, nuclear terrorist, genocidally racist, racist Zionist-run, democracy-by-genocide, rogue state of Apartheid Israel that practises a version of Apartheid that is more violent and deadly than that in Apartheid Israel-backed Apartheid South Africa .
(B) President Barack Obama’s flagrant lying in support of racist Zionist-run Apartheid Israel .
On his March 2013 visit to Apartheid Israel Obama gave a speech in which he totally ignored the 1.6 million Indigenous Palestinian Israelis and the over 10 million further Indigenous Palestinians stripped of all human rights by the genocidal racist Zionists and was fulsome is his praise for Apartheid Israel : “Shalom. (Applause.) President Peres, Prime Minister Netanyahu, and most of all, to the people of Israel , thank you for this incredibly warm welcome. This is my third visit to Israel so let me just say tov lihiyot shuv ba’aretz. (Applause.) I’m so honored to be here as you prepare to celebrate the 65th anniversary of a free and independent State of Israel. Yet I know that in stepping foot on this land, I walk with you on the historic homeland of the Jewish people. More than 3,000 years ago, the Jewish people lived here, tended the land here, prayed to God here. And after centuries of exile and persecution, unparalleled in the history of man, the founding of the Jewish State of Israel was a rebirth, a redemption unlike any in history. Today, the sons of Abraham and the daughters of Sarah are fulfilling the dream of the ages — to be “masters of their own fate” in “their own sovereign state. And just as we have for these past 65 years, the United States is proud to stand with you as your strongest ally and your greatest friend. As I begin my second term as President, Israel is the first stop on my first foreign trip. This is no accident. Across this region the winds of change bring both promise and peril. So I see this visit as an opportunity to reaffirm the unbreakable bonds between our nations, to restate America ‘s unwavering commitment to Israel ‘s security, and to speak directly to the people of Israel and to your neighbors. I want to begin right now, by answering a question that is sometimes asked about our relationship — why? Why does the United States stand so strongly, so firmly with the State of Israel? And the answer is simple. We stand together because we share a common story — patriots determined “to be a free people in our land,” pioneers who forged a nation, heroes who sacrificed to preserve our freedom, and immigrants from every corner of the world who renew constantly our diverse societies. We stand together because we are democracies. ” .
Claiming that Apartheid Israel is a “democracy” was the biggest lie of Obama’s speech. Apartheid Israel is certainly not a democracy – it is a democracy-by-genocide that is far, far worse than the former Apartheid South Africa . The US is a Murdochracy, Lobbyocracy and Corporatocracy in which Big Money of the Neocon American and Zionist Imperialist One Percent buys politicians, parties, policies, public perception of reality, votes and political power. Of 12 million Palestinians, 6 million are forbidden to even step foot in their own country that has been continuously inhabited by their forebears for thousands of years to the very dawn of agrarian civilization. Of 12 million Palestinians, only 13% are permitted to vote for the government ruling all of Palestine , namely the1.6 million Palestinian Israelis who subsist as Third Class citizens under Nazi-style. Apartheid Israeli race laws. Indeed of 12 million Palestinian adults and children only 6.7% are permitted top vote for the government ruling all of Palestine, namely the 0.8 million adult Palestinian Israelis, noting that 6.7% is the percentage of seats held in the Myanmar (Burma) parliament by Nobel Laureate Aung Sang Suu Kyi’s overwhelmingly popular National League for Democracy Party .
Over 4 million Occupied Palestinians have zero human rights, and after they overwhelmingly voted for Hamas in the democratic 2006 Occupied Palestinian elections held under occupier guns, the Hamas MPs were declared to be terrorists by Apartheid Israel and the US Alliance and were either killed, imprisoned, exiled or hounded into the Gaza Concentration Camp.
President Obama’s assertion that Apartheid Israel is a democracy is a flagrant lie. One can understand why American psychiatrist and former long-term State department official Dr Steve Pieczenik has slammed Obama as an ” obsessional pathological liar ” .
(C). Anti-racist South Africans disagree with pro-Apartheid Obama and condemn Israeli Apartheid.
Major figures in the fight against Apartheid in South Africa, most notably Nobel Laureates Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, disagree with pro-Apartheid Obama, have unequivocally condemned Israeli Apartheid and support Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Apartheid Israel (as successfully employed against Apartheid in South Africa) as exampled below.
1. Sidumo Dlamini (President of the Congress of South African Trade Unions, COSATU) on South African Labor support for Palestinians against Apartheid Israel (2010) : “Almost a year ago, Gaza was run down by the occupying forces of Israel in a barbaric show of might and in pursuit of their colonial expansionist ambitions. Schools, clinics, UN buildings, social services, water and electrical installations, cultural institutions and businesses literally crumbled under the weight of heavy bombs and artillery. Dangerous and banned warfare chemicals, like white phosphorus were used in an attempt to annihilate the entire population, in which case women and children were the worst victims. That was Israel at its best, doing what it knows best and what it has always done over the years to instill fear and terror amongst the occupied people. Funded and supported by the US , Israel has no regard, whatsoever, for international law and continues to expand its colonial project to-date. Illegal settlements are all over Palestine and the inhumane treatment of the people of Gaza bears testimony to the savage occupation that some refuse to see, even when evidence is so naked…COSATU has, on several occasions, been asked by opportunists why is it interested in a matter so far away from our land. The answer is simple, solidarity knows no boundaries or even geography, its about living people and their plight. Our destiny is tied to theirs, our liberation is tied to theirs, our humanity is tied to theirs. Therefore, no worthy human being would tolerate the suffering and pain of others, wherever they are, worst still, those of us who have fought heroic struggles against apartheid, colonialism and occupation immediately feel it however far. We received solidarity from people we have never seen and were far away from Africa , let alone our country. They heard and responded to our cries. They did not ask how far are we from them. They asked what can we do to assist and they assisted, hence we are free. Finally, dear comrades, we salute the courageous efforts of the Palestine Solidarity movement for organising these bold initiatives and they have our full support. We shall not be intimidated by attempts to silence us or some of our comrades. We shall be inspired to speak out even more louder and anger for the threat to deny us our right to shout loud against savagery. We are here to affirm the correctness of our legend, Nelson Mandela’s words,“… our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians”. On our part, we do not promise to do everything, but our most humble, yet effective contribution which we have no doubt shall make a decisive difference. Each one of us must do our part and together we shall conquer. Amandla intifada!!” .
Sidumo Dlamini (2010): “They support Zionism, a version of global racist domination and apartheid based on the doctrine that Jews are superior to Arabs and therefore have a right to oppress them and occupy their country.” .
2. Professor John Dugard (South African professor of international law, former Judge ad hoc on the International Court of Justice, former Special Rapporteur for both the former United Nations Commission on Human Rights and the International Law Commission and former U.N. Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Occupied Palestine) : “It is difficult to resist the conclusion that many of Israel’s laws and practices violate the 1966 Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination. … Can it seriously be denied that the purpose […] is to establish and maintain domination by one racial group (Jews) over another racial group (Palestinians) and systematically oppressing them? Israel denies that this is its intention or purpose. But such an intention or purpose may be inferred from the actions described in this report” .
Professor John Dugard (2007): “But what is interesting is that every black South African that I’ve spoken to who has visited the Palestinian territory has been horrified and has said without hesitation that the system that applies in Palestine is worse” .
Professor John Dugard on the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the crime of Apartheid: “The Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid (hereinafter Apartheid Convention) has it roots in the opposition of the United Nations to the discriminatory racial policies of the South African Government – known as apartheid – which lasted from 1948 to 1990. Apartheid was annually condemned by the General Assembly as contrary to Articles 55 and 56 of the Charter of the United Nations from 1952 until 1990; and was regularly condemned by the Security Council after 1960. In 1966, the General Assembly labelled apartheid as a crime against humanity (resolution 2202 A (XXI) of 16 December 1966) and in 1984 the Security Council endorsed this determination (resolution 556 (1984) of 23 October 1984). The Apartheid Convention was the ultimate step in the condemnation of apartheid as it not only declared that apartheid was unlawful because it violated the Charter of the United Nations, but in addition it declared apartheid to be criminal. The Apartheid Convention was adopted by the General Assembly on 30 November 1973, by 91 votes in favour, four against ( Portugal , South Africa , the United Kingdom and the United States ) and 26 abstentions. It came into force on 18 July 1976. As of August 2008, it has been ratified by 107 States… That the Apartheid Convention is intended to apply to situations other than South Africa is confirmed by its endorsement in a wider context in instruments adopted before and after the fall of apartheid. In 1977, Additional Protocol I of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 recognized apartheid as a “grave breach” of the Protocol (art. 85, paragraph 4 (c)) without any geographical limitation. Apartheid features as a crime in the Draft Code of Crimes against the Peace and Security of Mankind adopted by the International Law Commission on first reading in 1991 without any reference to South Africa and in 1996 the Draft Code adopted on second reading recognized institutionalized racial discrimination as species of crime against humanity in article 18 (f) and explained in its commentary that this “is in fact the crime of apartheid under a more general denomination”(Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its forty-eighth session (A/51/10), p. 49). In 1998, the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court included the “crime of apartheid” as a form of crime against humanity (art. 7). It may be concluded that the Apartheid Convention is dead as far as the original cause for its creation – apartheid in South Africa – is concerned, but that it lives on as a species of the crime against humanity, under both customary international law and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court” .
3. Ronald (Ronnie) Kasrils ( South African Jewish hero in the fight against Apartheid, a member of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the African National Congress (ANC) (1987- 2007), member of the Central Committee of the South African Communist Party (SACP) (1986-2007) and Minister for Intelligence (2004-2008)) on Apartheid Israel (2007) : “Travelling into Palestine’s West Bank and Gaza Strip, which I visited recently, is like a surreal trip back into an apartheid state of emergency. It is chilling to pass through the myriad checkpoints — more than 500 in the West Bank . They are controlled by heavily armed soldiers, youthful but grim, tensely watching every movement, fingers on the trigger… The West Bank, once 22% of historic Palestine , has shrunk to perhaps 10% to 12% of living space for its inhabitants, and is split into several fragments, including the fertile Jordan Valley , which is a security preserve for Jewish settlers and the Israeli Defence Force. Like the Gaza Strip, the West Bank is effectively a hermetically sealed prison. It is shocking to discover that certain roads are barred to Palestinians and reserved for Jewish settlers. I try in vain to recall anything quite as obscene in apartheid South Africa .” .
Ronnie Kasrils on Apartheid Israel and Apartheid South Africa (2009): “At the onset of international “Israel Apartheid Week” in solidarity with the embattled Palestinian people, I want to start by quoting a South African who emphatically stated as far back as 1963 that “ Israel is an apartheid state.” Those were not the words of Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Tutu or Joe Slovo, but were uttered by none other than the architect of apartheid itself, racist Prime Minister, Dr. Hendrik Verwoerd. He was irked by the criticism of apartheid policy and Harold Macmillan’s “Winds of Change” speech , in contrast to the West’s unconditional support for Zionist Israel…To conclude: we must spare no effort in building a world-wide solidarity movement to emulate the success of the Anti-Apartheid Movement which played such a crucial role in toppling the apartheid regime in South Africa. Nelson Mandela stated after South Africa attained democratic rule that “ we South Africans cannot feel free until the Palestinians are free.” A slogan of South Africa ‘s liberation struggle and our trade union movement is “An injury to one is an injury to all!“ That goes for the whole of humanity. Every act of solidarity demonstrates to the Palestinians and those courageous Jews who stand by them in Israel – that they are not alone.” ;
Ronnie Kasrils re pro-Zionist Canadian university and government blocking of anti-Apartheid Israel activism (2009) : “I’ve been quite taken a back by what is happening here. These university presidents, and your government, are locked in a time warp. They don’t get it. Being anti-Israel, or anti-Zionism does not in any way equal anti-Semitism. But this fact is lost with the presidents of various universities. It’s lost on the Jason Kenney’s. They still hold on to that notion if you “cry wolf,” and say this is anti-Israel and therefore anti-Semitic, that this will still carry any weight. And what I say in dialogue with Zionists, is that around the world this claim is really something that is now over. It is finished. Finito.” .
Ronnie Kasrils to Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), a New Hampshire student group promoting divestment in Israel (2009): “As a South African freedom fighter and recently retired minister in our democratic government I salute your stand against apartheid Israel !” .
Ronnie Kasrils on Apartheid Israel and Apartheid South Africa : “ The occupation reminds me of the darkest days of apartheid, but we never saw tanks and planes firing at a civilian population. It’s a monstrousness I’d never seen before. The wall you built, the checkpoints and the roads for Jews only – it turns the stomach, even for someone who grew up under apartheid. It’s a hundred times worse.” .
Ronnie Kasrils speech at Israel Apartheid Week (2009) .” Israel came to resemble more and more apartheid South Africa at its zenith — even surpassing its brutality, house demolitions, removal of communities, targeted assassinations, massacres, imprisonment and torture of its opponents, collective punishment and the aggression against neighbouring states.” .
Ronnie Kastrils comparing Apartheid Israel and Apartheid South Africa (2009): “ In its conduct and methods of repression, Israel … resemble[s] more and more apartheid South Africa at its zenith — even surpassing its brutality … How do we evaluate the inhumanity of dropping bombs and blazing white phosphorous on civilian populations, burning people alive, gassing them in a Gaza ghetto under relentless siege with no place to run or hide?” .
4. William Mothipa “Willie” Madisha (former President of both the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU; from 1999-2008) and the South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU; from 1996-2008) in a letter supporting CUPE Ontario’s resolution (the Canadian Union of Public Employees represents 600,000 working women and men across Canada; its Ontario branch voted in 2006 to support divestment, boycott and sanctions against Apartheid Israel): “As someone who lived in apartheid South Africa and who has visited Palestine I say with confidence that Israel is an apartheid state. In fact, I believe that some of Israel ‘s actions make the actions of South Africa ‘s apartheid regime appear pale by comparison.” .
5. Nelson Mandela (born 18 July 1918) (first democratically –elected President of South Africa , leader of the African National Congress (ANC). served 27 years in prison, awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993) in a Letter to Thomas L. Friedman (columnist New York Times) (2001):
“ March 30, 2001
To: Thomas L. Friedman (columnist New York Times)
From: Nelson Mandela (former President South Africa)
I know that you and I long for peace in the Middle East , but before you continue to talk about necessary conditions from an Israeli perspective, you need to know what’s on my mind. Where to begin? How about 1964. Let me quote my own words during my trial. They are true today as they were then:
“I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”
Today the world, black and white, recognise that apartheid has no future. In South Africa it has been ended by our own decisive mass action in order to build peace and security. That mass campaign of defiance and other actions could only culminate in the establishment of democracy.
Perhaps it is strange for you to observe the situation in Palestine or more specifically, the structure of political and cultural relationships between Palestinians and Israelis, as an apartheid system. This is because you incorrectly think that the problem of Palestine began in 1967. This was demonstrated in your recent column “Bush’s First Memo” in the New York Times on March 27, 2001.
You seem to be surprised to hear that there are still problems of 1948 to be solved, the most important component of which is the right to return of Palestinian refugees.
The Palestinian-Israeli conflict is not just an issue of military occupation and Israel is not a country that was established “normally” and happened to occupy another country in 1967. Palestinians are not struggling for a “state” but for freedom, liberation and equality, just like we were struggling for freedom in South Africa .
In the last few years, and especially during the reign of the Labour Party, Israel showed that it was not even willing to return what it occupied in 1967; that settlements remain, Jerusalem would be under exclusive Israeli sovereignty, and Palestinians would not have an independent state, but would be under Israeli economic domination with Israeli control of borders, land, air, water and sea.
Israel was not thinking of a “state” but of “separation”. The value of separation is measured in terms of the ability of Israel to keep the Jewish state Jewish, and not to have a Palestinian minority that could have the opportunity to become a majority at some time in the future. If this takes place, it would force Israel to either become a secular democratic or bi-national state, or to turn into a state of apartheid not only de facto, but also de jure.
Thomas, if you follow the polls in Israel for the last 30 or 40 years, you clearly find a vulgar racism that includes a third of the population who openly declare themselves to be racist. This racism is of the nature of “I hate Arabs” and “I wish Arabs would be dead”. If you also follow the judicial system in Israel you will see there is discrimination against
Palestinians, and if you further consider the 1967 occupied territories you will find there are already two judicial systems in operation that represent two different approaches to human life: one for Palestinian life and the other for Jewish life. Additionally there are two different approaches to property and to land. Palestinian property is not recognised as private property because it can be confiscated.
As to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza , there is an additional factor. The so-called “Palestinian autonomous areas” are bantustans. These are restricted entities within the power structure of the Israeli apartheid system.
The Palestinian state cannot be the by-product of the Jewish state, just in order to keep the Jewish purity of Israel . Israel ‘s racial discrimination is daily life of most Palestinians. Since Israel is a Jewish state, Israeli Jews are able to accrue special rights which non-Jews cannot do. Palestinian Arabs have no place in a “Jewish” state.
Apartheid is a crime against humanity. Israel has deprived millions of Palestinians of their liberty and property. It has perpetuated a system of gross racial discrimination and inequality. It has systematically incarcerated and tortured thousands of Palestinians, contrary to the rules of international law. It has, in particular, waged a war against a civilian population, in particular children.
The responses made by South Africa to human rights abuses emanating from the removal policies and apartheid policies respectively, shed light on what Israeli society must necessarily go through before one can speak of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East and an end to its apartheid policies.
Thomas, I’m not abandoning Mideast diplomacy. But I’m not going to indulge you the way your supporters do. If you want peace and democracy, I will support you. If you want formal apartheid, we will not support you. If you want to support racial discrimination and ethnic cleansing, we will oppose you. When you figure out what you’re about, give me a call. ” .
Nelson Mandela speech on International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinians (excerpt) : “The temptation in our situation is to speak in muffled tones about an issue such as the right of the people of Palestine to a state of their own. We can easily be enticed to read reconciliation and fairness as meaning parity between justice and injustice. Having achieved our own freedom, we can fall into the trap of washing our hands of difficulties that others faces. Yet we would be less than human if we did so. It behooves all South Africans, themselves erstwhile beneficiaries of generous international support, to stand up and be counted among those contributing actively to the cause of freedom and justice. Even during the days of negotiations, our own experience taught us that the pursuit of human fraternity and equality — irrespective of race or religion — should stand at the centre of our peaceful endeavours. The choice is not between freedom and justice, on the one hand, and their opposite, on the other. Peace and prosperity; tranquility and security are only possible if these are enjoyed by all without discrimination. It is in this spirit that I have come to join you today to add our own voice to the universal call for Palestinian self-determination and statehood.” .
Nelson Mandela (2001): “ Apartheid is a crime against humanity. Israel has deprived millions of Palestinians of their liberty and property. It has perpetuated a system of gross racial discrimination and inequality. It has systematically incarcerated and tortured thousands of Palestinians contrary to the rules of international law and waged war against a civilian population, in particular children.” 
6. Winnie Madikizela-Mandela (born Nomzamo Winifred Zanyiwe Madikizela ; headed the African National Congress Women’s League, member of the ANC’s National Executive Committee, former wife of anti-Apartheid hero Nelson Mandela ) on defeating Apartheid Israel: “Apartheid Israel can be defeated, just as apartheid in South Africa was defeated.” .
7. Archbishop Desmond Mpilo Tutu (first black South African Archbishop of Cape Town and primate of the Anglican Church of the Province of Southern Africa, chaired the post-Apartheid Truth and Reconciliation Commission, received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984, the Albert Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism and the Gandhi Peace Prize in 2005 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009 ) on Occupation, Apartheid and Divestment from Apartheid Israel (2002) : “The end of apartheid stands as one of the crowning accomplishments of the past century, but we would not have succeeded without the help of international pressure– in particular the divestment movement of the 1980s. Over the past six months, a similar movement has taken shape, this time aiming at an end to the Israeli occupation.
Divestment from apartheid South Africa was fought by ordinary people at the grassroots. Faith-based leaders informed their followers, union members pressured their companies’ stockholders and consumers questioned their store owners. Students played an especially important role by compelling universities to change their portfolios. Eventually, institutions pulled the financial plug, and the South African government thought twice about its policies.
Similar moral and financial pressures on Israel are being mustered one person at a time. Students on more than forty campuses in the U.S. are demanding a review of university investments in Israeli companies as well as in firms doing major business in Israel . From Berkeley to Ann Arbor , city councils have debated municipal divestment measures.
These tactics are not the only parallels to the struggle against apartheid. Yesterday’s South African township dwellers can tell you about today’s life in the Occupied Territories . To travel only blocks in his own homeland, a grandfather waits on the whim of a teenage soldier. More than an emergency is needed to get to a hospital; less than a crime earns a trip to jail. The lucky ones have a permit to leave their squalor to work in Israel ‘s cities, but their luck runs out when security closes all checkpoints, paralyzing an entire people. The indignities, dependence and anger are all too familiar.
Many South Africans are beginning to recognize the parallels to what we went through. Ronnie Kasrils and Max Ozinsky, two Jewish heroes of the anti-apartheid struggle, recently published a letter titled “Not in My Name.” Signed by several hundred other prominent Jewish South Africans, the letter drew an explicit analogy between apartheid and current Israeli policies. Mark Mathabane and Nelson Mandela have also pointed out the relevance of the South African experience.” .
Archbishop Desmond Tutu on occupation and divestment (2002) : “The end of apartheid stands as one of the crowning accomplishments of the past century, but we would not have succeeded without the help of international pressure– in particular the divestment movement of the 1980s…a similar movement has taken shape, this time aiming at an end to the Israeli occupation…if apartheid ended, so can this occupation, but the moral force and international pressure will have to be just as determined. The current divestment effort is the first, though certainly not the only, necessary move in that direction.” .
Archbishop Desmond Tutu (1989): “I’ve been very deeply distressed in my visit to the Holy Land; it reminded me so much of what happened to us black people in South Africa . I have seen the humiliation of the Palestinians at checkpoints and roadblocks, suffering like us when young white police officers prevented us from moving about.” .
Archbishop Desmond Tutu on Apartheid Israel (1989): “ If you change the names, the description of what is happening in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank would be a description of what is happening in South Africa .” .
Archbishop-Emeritus Desmond Tutu advocating Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against an Apartheid Israel (2012): “The Jewish Holocaust, engineered and implemented primarily by Europeans, gave some ideologues within the Jewish and Christian community an excuse to implement plans that were in the making for at least 50 years, under the rubric of exceptional Jewish security. In this way began the immense oppression of the Palestinian people, who were not at all involved in the Holocaust. Not only is this group of people being oppressed more than the apartheid ideologues could ever dream about in South Africa , their very identity and history are being denied and obfuscated. What is worse, is that Europe and the USA are refusing to take responsibility for their actions with regard to both the Holocaust and the over-empowering of the Israelis, their disregard for the international conventions and regulatory framework of the nuclear industry and their continued oppression of the Palestinian people. But God, who is the same yesterday, today and forever, neither slumbers nor sleeps. Prophetic voices have been calling this empowered people who were once oppressed and killed, to their deepest values of justice and compassion, but they have refused to listen even to the most reasonable voices. The human community cannot be silent in the face of the gross injustice being meted out to the people of Palestine . If international courts and governments refuse to deal with this matter, we in the churches and in the rest of civil society really have no choice but to act in small ways and big ways. God is busy doing a new thing. And God is using all of us to be partners with him. Both the Israelis and the Palestinians have to be liberated, but at this stage the greater onus is on the Israelis since they are the ones who are in power, economically, politically and militarily. We have to think about ways that will allow them to reflect deeply on what it is that they are doing and bring them back from the brink, not out of spite or revenge, but because we love them deeply. I therefore wholeheartedly support your action to disinvest from companies who benefit from the Occupation of Palestine. This is a moral position that I have no choice but to support, especially since I know of the effect that Boycotts, Disinvestment and Sanctions had on the apartheid regime in South Africa . May God bless your conference as you deliberate on this matter, and I pray that your decision will reflect the best values of the human family as we stand in solidarity with the oppressed. God bless you. Archbishop-Emeritus Desmond Tutu Cape Town, South Africa .” .
Archbishop Desmond Tutu in support of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Apartheid Israel (2012): “ Black South Africans and others around the world have seen the 2010 Human Rights Watch report which “describes the two-tier system of laws, rules, and services that Israel operates for the two populations in areas in the West Bank under its exclusive control, which provide preferential services, development, and benefits for Jewish settlers while imposing harsh conditions on Palestinians.” This, in my book, is apartheid. It is untenable. And we are in desperate need of more rabbis joining the brave rabbis of Jewish Voice for Peace in speaking forthrightly about the corrupting decadeslong Israeli domination over Palestinians. These are among the hardest words I have ever written. But they are vitally important. Not only is Israel harming Palestinians, but it is harming itself. The 1,200 rabbis may not like what I have to say, but it is long past time for them to remove the blinders from their eyes and grapple with the reality that Israel becoming an apartheid state or like South Africa in its denial of equal rights is not a future danger, as three former Israeli prime ministers — Ehud Barak, Ehud Olmert and David Ben Gurion — have warned, but a present-day reality. This harsh reality endured by millions of Palestinians requires people and organizations of conscience to divest from those companies — in this instance, from Caterpillar, Motorola Solutions and Hewlett Packard — profiting from the occupation and subjugation of Palestinians. Such action made an enormous difference in apartheid South Africa . It can make an enormous difference in creating a future of justice and equality for Palestinians and Jews in the Holy Land .” .
As a college student, Barack Obama, like billions of other people around the world, was inspired by the anti-Apartheid fight of heroes like Nelson Mandela. However as President of the United States of America he resolutely supports egregious, race-based Apartheid by the US-backed State of Israel . On his recent visit to Apartheid Israel Obama lied when her referred to democracy-by-genocide Apartheid Israel as a “democracy” (of 12 million Palestinians fewer than 7% can vote for the government ruling all of Palestine and 50% are forbidden to even step foot in their own country). On his recent visit to Africa Obama ignored the horrendous realities that about 7 million Africans die avoidably each year in the post-colonial neocolonial aftermath  and that the US Alliance has occupied Mali and Somalia , devastated Libya and is now destroying hard-won Egyptian democracy. On his recent visit to South Africa Obama was egregiously dishonest and hypocritical in decrying the Apartheid overthrown by Nelson Mandela and his fellow heroes when he supports an even worse Apartheid in Palestine .
Climate criminal and war criminal Obama is a ruthless warmonger yet won the Nobel Peace Prize, demands action on climate change while resolutely refusing to take effective action, and decries Apartheid in South Africa while resolutely supporting it in Apartheid Israel . The Obama Administration has vehemently attacked the call by outstanding, anti-racist Jewish American and U.N. special rapporteur for the Occupied Palestinian Territories , Professor Richard Falk, for a boycott of companies involved in illegal Israeli settlements.  but Obama has recently called for Americans to “divest” to tackle greenhouse gas pollution.  . One can well understand therefore why American psychiatrist and former long-term State Department official Dr Steve Pieczenik has slammed Obama as an “obsessional pathological liar”. The Emperor has no clothes. As 4 July, Independence Day for America , approaches, the billions of victims of One Percenter American state terrorism, subversion and corporate greed around the world will be hoping for the time when 4 July can be celebrated as a Day of Independence from America .