Words, in the battle of Liberation are of prime importance, but in the age of Internet, where Cyber Battles are waged, between truth and falsehood, the use of the right word becomes more vital than ever.
We have observed how the word, “apartheid” has crept in and has been intensely used by many Palestinians and their supporters without much reflection upon the meaning, implications or outcome of such use.
The definition of “Apartheid”
1. An official policy of racial segregation formerly practiced in the Republic of South Africa, involving political, legal, and economic discrimination against nonwhites.
2. A policy or practice of separating or segregating groups.
3. The condition of being separated from others; segregation.
Thus, the use of apartheid to describe “Israel”, the entity which was established by terror, planned ethnic cleansing and continues to practice slow genocide is extremely inappropriate, insufficient and falls very short from giving a complete and accurate portrait.
Calling “Israel” an Apartheid is a CONCEALMENT of Genocide
Calling the Zionist entity mere “apartheid”, i.e “separation”, would only serve in concealing the true genocidal nature of the Jewish state, and present it as a “normal” and “legitimate” political system with only few holes, some racist laws, and wrong policies which can be easily changed. Such use would promote the legitimization of this entity. From a legal aspect, crimes of apartheid does not carry the same weight in International Law as Crimes against Humanity, thus it may be harder to prosecute.
Campaigning to demand that the existing Jewish state, would change some of its policies (rather than to call for its dismantling and delegitimisation, to end this entity, once and for all) would simply enable the usurpation of historic Palestine.
Calling for ODS (one democratic state, as a continuation of “Israel”), while ignoring the right of Palestinians to FULL LIBERATION, would enable the Zionist entity to expand and enlarge its boundaries, to encompass the ENTIRE land of Palestine, by annexing what remains of Palestine.
Calling for “equal rights” between mass-murderers and their victims, means willful participation in wiping out the Palestinian Identity, under “Israeli” authority thus promoting giving Palestinians “Israeli” citizenship, which means unwittingly promoting the “Israelization” of what remains of Palestinians, i.e upgrading their state from “occupied Palestinians” to “Israeli slaves”.
I call upon our people and our supporters to be alert and not to participate in whitewashing the crimes of the Jewish state, by calling it an “apartheid” rather than what it really is, a genocidal, supremacist, expansionist, ethnic-cleansing entity.
The Genocide Convention
Article 2 of the United Nations issued Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide states:
“any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group as such:
1. Killing members of the group; [Israel …guilty]
2. Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; [Israel …guilty]
3. Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; [Israel …guilty]
4. Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; [Israel …guilty]
5. Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”
Article 4 states:
Persons committing genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in Article 3 shall be punished, whether they are constitutionally responsible rulers, public officials or private individuals.
(a) Crimes against peace:
(i) Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances;
(ii) Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the acts mentioned under (i).
(b) War crimes:
Violations of the laws or customs of war which include, but are not limited to, murder, ill-treatment or deportation of slave labor or for any other purpose of the civilian population of or in occupied territory; murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war or persons on the Seas, killing of hostages, plunder of public or private property, wanton destruction of cities, towns, or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity.
Murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation and other inhumane acts done against any civilian population, or persecutions on political, racial, or religious grounds, when such acts are done or such persecutions are carried on in execution of or in connection with any crime against peace or any war crime.”
The Sanhedrin Principles:
- Wars of aggression . . . NO PROBLEM
“A king should not wage other wars before a milchemet mitzvah. What is considered as milchemet mitzvah? The war against the seven nations who occupied Eretz Yisrael, the war against Amalek, and a war fought to assist Israel from an enemy which attacks them.
Afterwards, he may wage a milchemet hareshut, (war of aggression) i.e. a war fought with other nations in order to expand the borders of Israel or magnify its greatness and reputation.“
- Extermination . . . NO PROBLEM
Mishneh Torah, Chapter 1, Halacha 2:
“Amalek’s seed should be annihilated before the construction of the Temple”
6) The obligation to destroy the seven nations living in the Land of Canaan;
7) The prohibition against allowing any one of them to remain alive;
8) The obligation to destroy the descendents of Amalek;
9) The obligation to remember what Amalek did;
- Subjugation and Enslavement . . . NO PROBLEM
“If the enemy accepts the offer of peace and commits itself to the fulfillment of the seven mitzvot that were commanded to Noah’s descendents, none of them should be killed. Rather, they should be subjugated as ibid.:11 states: ‘They shall be your subjects and serve you.’
If they agree to tribute, but do not accept subjugation or if they accept subjugation, but do not agree to tribute, their offer should not be heeded. They must accept both.
The subjugation they must accept consists of being on a lower level, scorned and humble. They must never raise their heads against Israel, but must remain subjugated under their rule. They may never be appointed over a Jew in any matter whatsoever.”
Hezbollah condemned on Friday the stances announced by US President Brarack Obama during his visit to the Zionist entity, stressing that this position proves the rightfulness of the resistance path.
“Obama’s visit to the occupied Palestinian territories… assures the continuous and full American commitment to support the Zionist entity and its offensive and criminal policies, especially regarding the right of Palestine, its people and the people of the region,” Hezbollah said in a statement released by it Media Relations office.
“It was clear, according to Obama’s remarks, that the US President doesn’t respect the Islamic and the Arab governments, as he turns away from the simplest and legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.”
“He (Obama) also goes further in voicing full commitment to the Zionist project in the Palestine, through imposing conditions on Arabs to accept the enemy’s entity as a pure Jewish state in the region”, the statement added.
Hezbollah slammed the US President, saying he “speaks like an employee of the Zionist entity (Israel) and not the highest-ranking official in the administration of the independent state that is the United States.
“And the speech of Obama would not be consummated except if the US leader attacks the resistance through urging the world to brand Hezbollah a terrorist organization”.
The party said it was not surprised by Obama’s speech “which have gotten to be repetition to the choir of the hostile and boring stances of the US”.
However, Hezbollah denounced the US stances “which are adopting the Zionist projects, something that makes Washington an accomplice in the crimes committed by the Israeli enemy.”
“All these stances assure again that betting on negotiations and compromises is fruitless, therefore the rightfulness of the resistance choice becomes deep-rooted,” the statement concluded.
Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip “violated the laws of war” by firing rockets at populated areas in the Zionist Entity during the eight-day war last month, Human Rights Watch said on Monday.
Citing Zionist army figures, HRW said that approximately “1,500 rockets were fired at Israel between November 14 and 21,” of which “at least 800 struck Israel, including 60 that hit populated areas.”
These attacks “killed three Israelis, wounded at least 38, several seriously, and destroyed civilian property,” HRW said, noting that there were also rockets fired from Gaza “that fell short of their intended targets in Israel apparently killed at least two Palestinians”.
“Palestinian armed groups made clear in their statements that harming civilians was their aim,” Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement.
HRW rejected claims by the armed wings of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Popular Resistance Committee that their targeting of Israeli civilians was a legitimate “reprisal for Israeli attacks that killed civilians in Gaza”.
Last week, HRW said that the Zionist Entity’s attacks on media facilities and journalists in Gaza also violated the laws of war. But the organization didn’t mention the bombing of the Palestinian civil infrastructure and houses in Gaza.
191 Palestinians and six Israelis were killed during that fighting. Most of the Palestinian fatalities were civilians, although Israel says 30 senior militants were among the dead. Four of the Israelis killed by rocket strikes were civilians, and two were soldiers.
HRW said that under the laws of war, “civilians and civilian structures may not be subject to deliberate attacks or attacks that do not discriminate between civilians and military targets.”
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr., April 16, 1963
The rhetoric used in recent speeches by top Iranian officials has garnered much attention in the mainstream media. In addition to the outrage expressed over the statement that the Israeli governmental system and guiding Zionist ideology is an “insult to humanity,” comments that the “Zionist regime” is a “cancerous tumor” have also met fierce condemnation.
The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs has compiled a list of recent reported statements made by Iranian officials. National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor told the press that the United States government “strongly condemn[s] the latest series of offensive and reprehensible comments by senior Iranian officials that are aimed at Israel,” adding, “The entire international community should condemn this hateful and divisive rhetoric.”
Rabbi David Wolpe took to the pages of The Los Angeles Times to specifically condemn the cancer analogy. Wolpe incidentally did so by presenting a litany of outrageous statements of his own. He writes that the “state of Israel” is 3000 years old, thus absurdly conflating an ancient Biblical minority community with a modern, settler-colonial nation-state. He insists Israel is not expansionist, a claim that doesn’t stand up to even the most cursory awareness of basic facts, the historical record and current aggressive Israeli policy.
Wolpe also states that the cancer analogy “leads inevitably, inexorably, to the prospect of genocide,” which he obviously follows up by invoking the Holocaust and asserting that “Iran eagerly pursues nuclear weapons,” thereby ignoring the consistent conclusions of U.S. intelligence and IAEA inspections. He concludes by suggesting that, were Israel not to maintain such a destructive military capability, segregationist occupation infrastructure, rampant legal discrimination, and a two-tiered justice system, the result would be the “wholesale slaughter” of Jewish Israelis, presumably by vengeful Arab hordes.
Such a characterization recalls the ludicrous fears that beset the vast majority of white South Africans just years before Apartheid ended, many of whom were consumed by “physical dread” at the prospect of equality and their loss of racial dominance and superiority and foresaw a future full of “violence, total collapse, expulsion and flight.” Even in 1987, as Apartheid was becoming increasingly untenable, about 75% of white South Africans feared that their “physical safety…would be threatened” as a result of “black rule.” Nearly 73%, including over 85% of Afrikaners, believed “white women would be molested by blacks.” Incidentally, as recently pointed out in Ha’aretz, in 1987, “Israel was the only Western nation that upheld diplomatic ties with South Africa” and was one of the last countries to join the international boycott campaign.
Southern whites in the antebellum United States nurtured the same irrational apprehension, fearful that the violent and successful 1791 slave rebellion in Haiti would be replicated across the Gulf of Mexico, especially in states like South Carolina where slaves outnumbered whites two to one. Following emancipation, and in reaction to the Civil Rights Act of 1866, southern states enacted “black codes” restricting the voting, land ownership, and speech of former slaves. Whites feared that their loss of racial dominance and an enslaved labor force would not only ruin the southern economy, but also that the newly-freed black population would seek revenge on their masters and rape white women; this led to numerous race riots and the rise of the Ku Klux Klan that same year.
In April 1868, Alabama newspaper editor Ryland Randolph praised the Klan for opposing what he called the “galling despotism” of the federal government over the southern states, which he “deemed a fungus growth of military tyranny” with the goal of “degrad[ing] the white man by the establishment of negro supremacy.”
Forrest G. Wood writes in Black Scare: The Racist Response to Emancipation and Reconstruction:
Although white men certainly feared for their jobs and income, they were more alarmed by the threat to their physical safety that the “savage African” presented… Pointing to the absence of an advanced (by Western standards) African civilization, extremists described the Negroes as primitive, barbaric, and cruel… Freedom, the white supremacist now asserted, would stimulate the black man’s worst passions, leading him to crimes of arson, murder, and rape.
Newspapers often deliberately published grossly exaggerated or wholly fictitious stories of criminal acts and violence committed by blacks, stoking even more fear in the racist white population. For these white supremacists, rape was “the most frightful crime which negroes commit against white people” and the accusation of sexual assault (or even consensual interracial relationships) was a surefire way to spark a lynch mob.
Just this past Spring, Israel’s Interior Minister Eli Yishai said that many Israeli women have been raped by African migrants and refugees, “but do not complain out of fear of being stigmatized as having contracted AIDS,” insisting that “most of the African infiltrators are criminals.” At an anti-African rally, Tel Aviv resident Carmela Rosner held a sign that read: “They rape girls and elderly women, murder, steal, stab, burglarize. We’re afraid to leave home.”
Yishai said that Africans, “along with the Palestinians, will bring a quick end to the Zionist dream,” while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that the growing population of African immigrants “threatens our existence as a Jewish and democratic state,” as well as “the social fabric of society, our national security and our national identity.” Palestinians in Israel along with their actual and potential offspring are regularly referred to as a “demographic threat” and a “demographic bomb,” a racist construction that exposes the discriminatory and supremacist nature of Zionism itself.
The Israeli Education Ministry is currently attempting to overturn a district court ruling that “migrant children… be fully integrated in the municipal school system and not be taught in a separate school.” The state appeal in favor of segregation claims that the education of Israeli children will suffer if done alongside the children of African immigrants. Meanwhile, extremist Jewish groups continue to try to “rescue” Jewish Israeli girls who date Palestinian men and threaten Palestinians with violence if they flirt with Jews.
In 2008, a Jewish Israeli woman filed a police report after discovering that a man she had just had consensual sex with was Palestinian and not Jewish, as she had assumed. After spending two years under house arrest, an Israeli court convicted the man of “rape by deception” and sentenced him to 18 months in prison. A former senior Justice Ministry official was quoted as saying, “In the context of Israeli society, you can see that some women would feel very strongly that they had been violated by someone who says he is Jewish but is not.”
This is to be expected, as The Palestine Center‘s Yousef Munayyer explains: “An ideology that seeks to build a society around a certain type of people defined by ethnicity or religion is inevitably going to feature racism, supremacy and oppression—especially when the vast majority of native inhabitants where such an ideology is implemented are unwelcomed.”
Unsurprisingly, commentators who routinely denounce cancer analogies when they come from Iranian officials blatantly avoid addressing the use of the identical rhetoric by Israelis themselves when referring to the growing presence of non-Jewish communities within areas controlled by Israel. When IDF chief Moshe Ya’alon referred to Palestinian babies as “cancerous manifestations” and Likud Knesset member Miri Regev called African migrants and refugees “a cancer in our body,” they were silent.
While calling the government and founding ideology of a state a “cancerous tumor” is certainly not a nice thing to say and supporters of that state’s policies have every reason to take offense to such a description, it is quite obviously a political statement. Iranian rhetoric attacks a political entity, namely the “Zionist regime“, which systematically discriminates against and oppresses people based solely on their ancestry and religious affiliation. In contrast, Ya’alon and Regev’s statements employ the cancer analogy to defend the concept of ethnic-religious exclusivity and have everything to do with people, whether Palestinian or African, who somehow threaten the continued dominance of a deliberately demographically engineered and maintained state.
To be sure, regardless of its intended target, this kind of rhetoric is purposefully harsh and often gratuitous. Yet, like Ahmadinejad’s “insult to humanity” line, the cancer analogy is neither new nor original. While Iranian officials have been employing it since 2000, it has long been wielded for the express purpose of condemning a political system or ideology one vehemently opposes.
In the 1820s, former president John Adams wrote to Thomas Jefferson that “slavery is a cancer to be isolated.” On October 16, 1854, in an stridently abolitionist speech in Peoria, Illinois, Abraham Lincoln likened the Constitution’s vague references to slavery to a “cancer,” hidden away, which an “afflicted man… dares not cut out at once, lest he bleed to death; with the promise, nevertheless, that the cutting may begin at the end of a given time.”
A New York Times article from September 8, 1863 quoted then-Tennessee Governor Andrew Johnson as telling a Nashville crowd in late August, “Slavery is a cancer on our society, and the scalpel of the statesman should be used not simply to pare away the exterior and leave the roots to propagate the disease anew, but to remove it altogether.” Johnson endorsed the “total eradication” of slavery from Tennessee.
In the final chapter of the first volume of Das Kapital (1867), entitled “The Modern Theory of Colonization,” Karl Marx excoriated British politician Edward Gibbon Wakefield for his efforts “to heal the anti-capitalistic cancer of the colonies.”
The 1968 platform of Bermuda’s first political party, the Progressive Labor Party, proclaimed, “No government can be either responsible or democratic while under the rule of another country, ” adding, “Colonialism is a cancer.”
A February 23, 1962 article in Time Magazine profiled U.S. General Paul Donal Harkins, the commander of a newly created U.S. Military Assistance Command in South Vietnam, which is described as “the first step in a more broadly based anti-Communist campaign.” Harkins is quoted early in the piece as defining his mission as “doing all we can to support the South Vietnamese efforts to eradicate the cancer of Communism.”
In early June 1983, just a few months after Ronald Reagan delivered his “Evil Empire” speech in which he declared his belief that “Communism is another sad, bizarre chapter in human history whose last pages even now are being written,” Illinois Representative Henry Hyde told the House Foreign Affairs Committee that, because “Communism is a cancer,” Congress should support covert action and assistance to Contras and anti-Sandinista forces in Latin America in an effort to “fight for freedom.”
Hamas reportedly used “Communism is a cancer inside the nation’s body and we will cut it out” as a political slogan in opposition to Fatah soon after its establishment in the late 1980s.
Perhaps most applicable, however, are the comments made by South African Reverend Allan Boesak who, in 1983, formed the United Democratic Front, a legal umbrella organization for hundreds of anti-Apartheid groups. In his opening address to the UDF, Boesak stated:
Apartheid is a cancer on the body politic of the world. A scourge on our society and on all human kind. Apartheid exists only because of economic greed and political oppression maintained by both systemic and physical violence and a false sense of racial superiority. So many have been forced into exile. So many have been thrown into jail. Too many of our children have been shot down mercilessly on the streets of our nation.
In the same speech, Boesak called Apartheid “a thoroughly evil system” that “can never be modernized or modified, it must be totally eradicated” and, in 1985, denounced the white South Africans who continued to support Apartheid as the “spiritual children of Adolf Hitler.”
In 1988, Jim Murray echoed Boesak in the Los Angeles Times, writing that “apartheid is a cancer on the world body politic–to say nothing of its soul. You combat it the best way you can.”
Just as many others, including numerous Israelis, have described the state of Israel as practicing Apartheid, Boesak himself has endorsed such a comparison, and has gone even further.
In a November 2011 interview, Boesak reaffirmed his statement that the oppression of and discrimination against Palestinians by Israel is “in its practical manifestation even worse than South African apartheid,” adding, “It is worse, not in the sense that apartheid was not an absolutely terrifying system in South Africa, but in the ways in which the Israelis have taken the apartheid system and perfected it, so to speak; sharpened it.”
He cited the physical barriers, travel and employment restrictions, and the “two separate justice systems” for Palestinians and Israelis in the West Bank as examples of why “in many ways the Israeli system is worse.” He offered his wholehearted support for the Palestinian civil society call for boycott, divestment, and sanctions to impel Israel to comply with international law.
When asked whether Palestinians could ever be expected to recognize Israel as a “Jewish State,” Boesak replied:
They can’t. There is no such thing as a specifically Jewish state. You can’t proclaim a Jewish state over the heads and the bodies and the memories of the people who are the ancient people who live there. That is Palestinian land we are talking about. Most of the Jews who are there come from Europe and elsewhere and have no claim on that land and we mustn’t allow it to happen to the Palestinians what happened to my ancestors who were the original people in this land (South Africa) but now there are hardly enough of them to be counted in the census. That is Palestinian land and that should be the point of departure in every political discussion.
Similarly, official Iranian state policy maintains that the international community must “allow the Palestinian nation to decide its own future, to have the right to self-determination for itself” and that in “the spirit of the Charter of the United Nations and the fundamental principles enshrined in it… Jewish Palestinians, Muslim Palestinians and Christian Palestinians [must] determine their own fate themselves through a free referendum. Whatever they choose as a nation, everybody should accept and respect.”
Hysteria over Iranian phraseology (rhetoric with a long political history) relies solely on the presumption – repeated ad nauseum by politicians and the press – that the nation’s leadership has threatened to attack Israel militarily and wipe it off the map. But Iran has never made such threats. Quite the contrary.
Speaking to Wolf Blitzer in April 2006, Iran’s representative to the IAEA, Ali Ashgar Soltanieh directly addressed claims that Iran seeks the physical destruction of Israel (whatever that means). Blitzer asked, “Should there be a state of Israel?,” to which Soltanieh replied, “If Israel is a synonym and will give the indication of Zionist mentality, no. But if you are going to conclude that we have said the people there have to be removed or they have to be massacred, this is a fabricated, unfortunate selective approach to what the mentality and policy of Islamic Republic of Iran is.”
In a June 2006 letter to The Washington Post, a spokesman for the Iranian Mission to the United Nations wrote, “Iran’s position is very clear: We have not threatened to use force nor have we used force against any country or government in the past 250 years. We’ve never done that in the past, and we’ll never do it in the future,” adding, “We wonder whether Israel or the United States can make the same statement.”
The letter also noted that, the same month, Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei declared that “We have no problem with the world. We are not a threat whatsoever to the world, and the world knows it. We will never start a war. We have no intention of going to war with any state.”
In October 2006, President Ahmadinejad stated, “Nuclear weapons have no place in Iran’s defense doctrine and Iran is not a threat to any country… We are not a threat to anybody; even our solution to the Zionist regime is a referendum.” The following year, Ahmadinejad was asked by the Associated Press whether Iran “would ever make a first strike against Israel.” He replied, “Iran will not attack any country,” and insisted Iran has “always maintained a defensive policy, not an offensive one” and has no interest in territorial expansion, something Israel could never seriously claim.
In a 2008 CNN interview with Larry King, Ahmadinejad stated bluntly that “we don’t have a problem with the Jewish people,” and added, with specific reference to Israel, “We are opposed to the idea that the people who live there should be thrown into the sea or be burnt.”
The same year, at a news conference during the D8 Summit in Kuala Lumpur, Ahmadinejad told reporters that because he believes the Zionist enterprise of ethnic cleansing and colonization is “inherently doomed” to failure, “there is no need for Iranians to take action” to hasten the inevitable political outcome in Palestine. He also assured the press, “You should not be concerned about a new war.”
He also made his position clear in an NPR interview, saying, “Let me create an analogy here — where exactly is the Soviet Union today? It did disappear — but exactly how? It was through the vote of its own people. So therefore in Palestine too we must allow the people, the Palestinians, to determine their own future.”
During an October 2011 interview, Ahmadinejad told Al Jazeera that Iran “will never enter any war against the U.S. or against any other country. This is our policy… We have never attacked anybody. Why should we do that? Why should we start a war?”
This past July, Mohammad Khazaee, Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations said, “We will react if there is any provocative act from the other side. We will not initiate any provocative steps.”
Official assessments by both Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Lieutenant General Ronald Burgess, Director of Defense Intelligence Agency have affirmed that “Iran is unlikely to initiate or intentionally provoke a conflict or launch a preemptive attack.”
The alarmism that inevitably follows boilerplate speeches by Iranian officials serves an agenda of decontextualized demonization that paints the Islamic Republic as a genocidal, eliminationist aggressor and Israel as a victim, just one spinning centrifuge away from eradication. In fact, it is Israel that consistently threatens Iran with an illegal military assault, not the other way around.
But it is not a military attack that actually threatens the future of Israel, it is exactly the kind of struggle undertaken by those like Allen Boesak, who fought against an unjust system of ethnocentrism and supremacy and prevailed.
Were Israel to finally respect international law, put an end to decades of racism, occupation and Apartheid, and begin to consider each and every human being as equal and worthy of the same human rights and dignity, freedom of movement and opportunity, it would no longer be subject to the harsh analogies that have for so long been directed at the most oppressive and inhumane ideologies the world has ever known.
- Rabbi Warns Of Similarities Between Ahmadinejad And Hitler (raptureimminent.wordpress.com)
- Some Notes on Ahmadinejad’s “Insult to Humanity” Comment (alethonews.wordpress.com)
As tends to happen whenever Mahmoud Ahmadinejad delivers a speech, especially one in commemoration of Al-Quds Day that explicitly rejects the ideology of Zionism and condemns the Israeli government for its inherently discriminatory, exclusivist, and ethnocentric policies and actions, all hell broke loose after the Iranian President addressed a large crowd at Tehran University on Friday.
“The existence of the Zionist regime is an insult to all humanity,” Ahmadinejad said, adding that “confronting the existence of the fabricated Zionist regime is in fact protecting the rights and dignity of all human beings.”
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon referred to the remarks as “offensive and inflammatory.” The European Union’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who is leading nuclear negotiations with Iran, also denounced Ahmadinejad’s speech as “outrageous and hateful.”
Naturally, Ahmadinejad’s words also sparked the usual shock and horror from the usual people, the same people who still insist that (1) Ahmadinejad called for Israel to be “wiped off the map” and (2) believe that such a comment constituted a direct threat of military action against the superpower-backed, nuclear-armed state of Israel.
Without delving into the persistent myths and deliberate falsehoods surrounding that particular talking point (one that has been sufficiently debunked countless times though obviously never seems to cut through the hasbara) or seeking to justify anything said by Ahmadinejad, a few things should be noted:
First: While Associated Press described Ahmadinejad’s comment as “one of his sharpest attacks yet against the Jewish state,” which seemed to indicate that this is the first time such language has been used, they failed to point out that Ahmadinejad has used this exact same phrase before.
After Ahmadinejad delivered a speech at a “National and Islamic Solidarity for the Future of Palestine” conference in February 2010, Ha’aretz reported he had said that “the existence of ‘the Zionist regime’ is an insult to humanity, according to Iranian news agency IRNA.”
Later that year, he said the very same thing.
Second (and more important): The “insult to humanity” phrase was not coined by the Iranian President to describe a political power structure defined by demographic engineering, colonialism, racism, and violence.
For example, a December 11, 1979 editorial in California’s Lodi News-Sentinel stated clearly, “Apartheid is an insult to humanity” and “must be ended.”
But the phrase has far deeper roots – roots with which the UN Secretary-General himself should be well acquainted.
A joint declaration by 20 Asian and African countries issued to the General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on October 1, 1963 called upon the agency to reject the membership of South Africa due to its racist and discriminatory regime of Apartheid. It noted “with grave concern that the South African Government continues stubbornly to disregard all United Nations and Security Council resolutions and to maintain its apartheid policies in defiance of the United Nations General Assembly, of the Security, and consequently of the IAEA Statute.”
The declaration stated:
1. We condemn categorically the apartheid policies of the Government of South Africa, based on racial superiority, as immoral and inhuman;
2. We deprecate most strongly the South African Government’s irresponsible flouting of world opinion by its persistent refusal to put an end to its racial policies;
3. The apartheid policies of the Government of South Africa are a flagrant violation of the principles of the United Nations Charter, as well as being an insult to humanity.
The very first International Conference on Human Rights, held by the UN in (get this) Tehran from April 22 to May 13, 1968, “condemned the brutal and inhuman practice of apartheid,” “deplore[d] the Government of South Africa’s continuous insult to humanity,” and “declare[d] that the policy of apartheid or other similar evils are a crime against humanity.”
On February 15, 1995, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights adopted a resolution praising the end of “the era of apartheid in South Africa” which also reaffirmed that “apartheid and apartheid-like practices are an insult to humanity…”
The UN General Assembly has repeatedly reaffirmed “that the conclusion of an internal convention on the suppression and punishment of the crime of apartheid would be an important contribution to the struggle against apartheid, racism, economic exploitation, colonial domination and foreign occupation” and, more specifically, the UN has affirmed time and again that “the inalienable rights of all peoples, and in particular… the Palestinian people, to freedom, equality and self-determination, and the legitimacy of their struggles to restore those rights.”
No one can accuse Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of having any affinity whatsoever for Zionism or the government of Israel. Clearly he believes that Israel practices its own form of Apartheid against the Palestinian people. And he is not alone.
In April 1976, just two months before the Soweto Uprising, South African Prime Minister (and known former Nazi sympathizer) John Vorster took an official state visit to Israel, where he was hosted by Israeli Prime Minster Yitzhak Rabin. A number of friendship pacts and bilateral economic, military and nuclear agreements were signed. At a banquet held in Vorster’s honor, Rabin hailed “the ideals shared by Israel and South Africa: the hopes for justice and peaceful coexistence” and praised Vorster as a champion of freedom. Both Israel and South Africa, Rabin said, faced “foreign-inspired instability and recklessness.”
Vorster lamented that both South Africa and Israel were victims of the enemies of Western civilization. Only a few months later, an official South African Government document reinforced this shared predicament: “Israel and South Africa have one thing above all else in common: they are both situated in a predominantly hostile world inhabited by dark peoples.”
Michael Ben-Yair, Israel’s attorney general from 1993 to 1996, has written that following the Six Day War in June 1967,
We enthusiastically chose to become a colonial society, ignoring international treaties, expropriating lands, transferring settlers from Israel to the occupied territories, engaging in theft and finding justification for all these activities. Passionately desiring to keep the occupied territories, we developed two judicial systems: one ‑ progressive, liberal ‑ in Israel; and the other ‑ cruel, injurious ‑ in the occupied territories. In effect, we established an apartheid regime in the occupied territories immediately following their capture.
That oppressive regime exists to this day.
Avraham Burg, Israel’s Knesset Speaker from 1999 to 2003 and former chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel, has long determined that “Israel must shed its illusions and choose between racist oppression and democracy,” insisting the only way to maintain total Jewish control over all of historic Palestine would be to “abandon democracy” and “institute an efficient system of racial separation here, with prison camps and detention villages.” He has also called Israel “the last colonial occupier in the Western world.”
Yossi Sarid, who served as a member of the Knesset between 1974 and 2006, has written of Israel’s “segregation policy” that “what acts like apartheid, is run like apartheid and harasses like apartheid, is not a duck – it is apartheid.”
Yossi Paritzky, former Knesset and Cabinet minister, writing about the systematic institutionalization and legalization of racial and religious discrimination in Israel, stated that Israel does not act like a democracy in which “all citizens regardless of race, religious, gender or origin are entitled to equality.” Rather, by implementing more and more discriminatory laws that treat Palestinians as second-class citizens, “Israel decided to be like apartheid‑era South Africa, and some will say even worse countries that no longer exist.”
Shulamit Aloni, another former Knesset and Cabinet member, has written that “the state of Israel practices its own, quite violent, form of Apartheid with the native Palestinian population.”
In 2008, the Association of Civil Rights in Israel released its annual human rights report which found that the dynamic between settlers, soldiers and native Palestinians in the occupied West Bank was “reminiscent, in many and increasing ways, of the apartheid regime in South Africa.”
Ehud Olmert, when he was Prime Minister, told a Knesset committee meeting, “For sixty years there has been discrimination against Arabs in Israel. This discrimination is deep‑seated and intolerable” and repeatedly warned that if “we face a South African-style struggle for equal voting rights (also for the Palestinians in the territories), then, as soon as that happens, the State of Israel is finished.”
Ehud Barak has admitted that “[a]s long as in this territory west of the Jordan river there is only one political entity called Israel it is going to be either non-Jewish, or non-democratic. If this bloc of millions of Palestinians cannot vote, that will be an apartheid state.”
Shlomo Gazit, former member of Palmach, an elite unit of the Haganah, wrote in Ha’aretz that “in the present situation, unfortunately, there is no equal treatment for Jews and Arabs when it comes to law enforcement. The legal system that enforces the law in a discriminatory way on the basis of national identity, is actually maintaining an apartheid regime.”
Last summer, Knesset minister Ahmed Tibi told the Jerusalem Post that “keeping the status quo will deepen apartheid in Israel as it did in South Africa,” while Gabriela Shalev, former Israeli ambassador to the UN, told The Los Angeles Times last year that, in terms of public opinion of Israel, “I have the feeling that we are seen more like South Africa once was.”
Council on Foreign Relations member Stephen Roberts, after returning from a trip to Israel and the West Bank, wrote in The Nation that “Israel has created a system of apartheid on steroids, a horrifying prison with concrete walls as high as twenty-six feet, topped with body-ravaging coils of razor wire.”
In April 2012, Benjamin Netanyahu’s own nephew, Jonathan Ben Artzi wrote that Israel’s “policies of segregation and discrimination that ravaged (and still ravage) my country and the occupied Palestinian territories” undoubtedly fit the definition of Apartheid.
Linguist, cultural anthropologist, and Hebrew University professor David Shulman wrote in May 2012 in The New York Review of Books that there already exists “a single state between the Jordan River and the sea” controlled by Israel and which fits the definition of an “ethnocracy.” He continues,
Those who recoil at the term “apartheid” are invited to offer a better one; but note that one of the main architects of this system, Ariel Sharon, himself reportedly adopted South African terminology, referring to the noncontiguous Palestinian enclaves he envisaged for the West Bank as “Bantustans.”
These Palestinian Bantustans now exist, and no one should pretend that they’re anything remotely like a “solution” to Israel’s Palestinian problem. Someday, as happened in South Africa, this system will inevitably break down.
Whether those who get hysterical over Ahmadinejad’s rhetoric agree with the above assessments – all of which were made by prominent Israeli and Jewish politicians, officials, and academics – is irrelevant. It’s clear that Ahmadinejad himself would agree.
Consequently, his reference to Israel (which he sees as an Apartheid state) as an “insult to humanity” (which repeats the same verbiage used repeatedly by the United Nations itself) appears to be far less inflammatory then the outrage that followed would suggest.
On May 10, the BBC released the results of its annual Global survey of world nations and how their influence is viewed by 24,090 participants from 27 nations. The participants were asked to rate the influence of each of 16 nations and the EU as “mostly positive” or “mostly negative”.
According to the survey – Germany received top positive views followed by Britain, Japan and Canada – while Iran received the highest negative views (55%, improved from last years’ 59%), followed by Pakistan (51%), North Korea (50%) and Israel (50%, up from 40% in 2010).
Among EU nations, Spain topped the negative opinion of Israel (74%), followed by Germany (69%), Britain (68%) and France (65%).
The United States, Nigeria and Kenya gave Israel more positive views than the rest of nations surveyed. In Canada, the negative ratings increased from 52% to 59% – while in Australia it went up from 58% to 65%. Israel received the highest negative opinion in Egypt (95%)and Turkey (73%).
The BBC survey paints a darker picture about Israel than the results of a survey conducted by the pro-Israel group, ADL, in March 2012. It revealed that a significant majority of Europeans believe that Jews are more loyal to Israel than the countries they live in.
Israel’s rise in unpopularity confirms Israel’s Reut Institute 2010 report – which warned the Netanyahu government of the ‘delegitimization’ of the Zionist entity.
“There are two main generators of attacks on Israel’s legitimacy. The Resistance Network – which operates on the basis of Islamist ideology and includes Iran, Hezbollah, and Hamas; and the Delegitimization Network – which operates in the international arena in order to negate Israel’s right to exist and includes individuals and organizations in the West, which are catalyzed by the radical left,” noted the report.
Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says there is no need to take up arms against Israel in order to destroy it.
Criticizing the regional countries for buying billions of dollars worth of weaponry from certain powers, Ahmadinejad said, “If their objective for buying these weapons is to fight with the Zionist regime (Israel), they should know that a war is not necessary for destroying the regime.”
“If the regional countries cut their ties with the Zionists and give the Zionist regime (Israel) a small frown, this fabricated regime will be over,” President Ahmadinejad added.
The Iranian chief executive made the remarks in the city of Kashmar in the eastern province of Khorasan Razavi on Saturday.
The president also criticized certain regional rulers for spending their oil revenues on USD 60 billion worth of [Western] arms.
In December 2011, the US formally announced a USD 30-billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia which included the sales of F-15 fighter jets to the Arab monarchy.
The deal is part of a multi-year arms agreement between Washington and Riyadh, unveiled in October 2010, which is worth a whopping USD 60 billion overall.
The Iranian president also slammed the massacre of Afghan civilians at the hands of the US military forces stationed in Afghanistan.
In the Zionist Entity: The Authorities and the Public would prefer to outlaw Human Rights Organizations
By Adib Kawar – May 25th, 2010
“Promised Land”– news and opinion from Israel – Ma’ariv (p. 12) by Arik Bender, wrote an article dated April 29th 2010 entitled Knesset moves to outlaw human rights organizations in Israel, “Something very troubling is happening to “the only democracy in the Middle East”.
“More than 20 MKs, including members of opposition party Kadima, proposed a new bill which will make it possible to outlaw important human rights groups in Israel. Among the organizations mentioned in the proposed bill are Doctors for Human rights, The Coalition of Woman for Peace, The Public Committee against Torture in Israel, and Adalah: the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights. All these organizations receive funds from the New Israeli Fund.
The article proceeded by saying:
“According to a report in Maariv, the new bill will outlaw any organization “which is involved in activity intended to lead to the prosecution or arrest of IDF officers and government officials for war crimes.” The word “involved” gives it a very broad definition.
Note the phrase with which the article was started with: “Something very troubling is happening to “the only democracy in the Middle East”. Isn’t this more than true? More than probably it is, when we see that more than 20 MKs of the “Israeli Knesset”, which is the “Israeli” parliament, “proposed a new bill which will make it possible to outlaw important human rights groups in Israel”, and more than half of those who are considered “Israeli” support limiting and curbing activities of Human Rights organizations!
So what is left of democracy if the activities of human rights organizations are limited, curbed and illegitimated, especially in what is claimed to be the only democracy in an entire region and a central part of the world?
We mean the rights of the occupied people being trampled on by a certain group of people, including the occupier taking the liberty of restraining freedom of expression in addition to limiting the human rights of other people by denying them free movement. The occupiers, citizens of the Zionist state, illegally occupy and steal land other kinds of property, and have been doing so continually. Not only is property their concern, but they take the lives of the occupied people, be they young or old, by any sort of assassination or targeting. Let us not forget how they demolish and then take possession of the property of Palestinian Arabs and throw their residents in the street to be replaced by Zionist racist invaders.
We mean in an entity where the death penalty by its courts is banned against its citizens, but where its executive body and its elected juridical body, including its supreme court of justice, the highest judicial body, permits its executive body to overturn law to permit assassination of those it chooses by its armed forces or intelligence, whether internal or external. This means that the death penalty is not permitted by law against the entity’s first class citizens belonging to a certain religious faith, which the state claims to assume this religious character, but it certainly may be imposed on other categories of citizens and occupied non-citizens who belong to other religious faiths and ethnicities.
We mean this entity which permits itself to threaten its neighbors in Arab and non-Arab states and resistance forces and punishes them just because they dare to arm themselves. An occupied people is entitled to arm themselves by prescriptions of international law so as to enable themselves to defend their sovereignty with effective arms and weapons. They do this because it is their right. They must simply “break the existing balance of power with an illegal entity” that uprooted an entire population from its ancestral homeland, an entity that owns formidable conventional and unconventional arsenals of arms and weapons. These arsenals have allowed this rogue entity to wage an unending series of wars and terror operations against the indigenous population of the land it occupied with the aim of replacing them, as well as threatening its Arab neighbors and far away non-Arab and non-neighboring countries with demolition and destruction, just because they want to develop their lands and strengthen their citizens.
We mean this entity that issues an order it calls No 132 by the strength of which it is legal to put infants on trial and imprison them.
A public opinion poll published in the “Israeli” daily Haaretz showed that the majority of Jews in occupied Palestine desired to curb the activities of human rights organizations, and wants to punish those who uncover unethical and illegal military activities and also to strike the press that publishes information about that. The results of this poll simply demonstrate how undemocratic the Zionist entity is and what little interest and respect for human rights its first class citizens have. This extends as well into the public and governmental bodies, at all branches, executive, judicial and legislative.
We mean in this entity where prisoners of war who number about 8,000 in the prisons and detention camps of Zionist occupation who suffer from catastrophic health conditions and health care that is almost unavailable, and in most cases the detention is harmful for their health if not deadly, which the occupation authorities subject them to in order to achieve certain special aims. Reports said that in addition to that Zionist doctors who practice various types of torture against the prisoners of war, these doctors use them for experiments for “Israeli” pharmaceutical companies. Also proved reports said that the Zionist entity and those belonging to it steal organs of Palestinian Arab martyrs and these organs become valuable merchandise.
This poll showed that a majority of the Jewish inhabitants of occupied Palestine are Zionist by all means of the word, and not simply people who belong to the Jewish faith and respect human rights and human dignity irrespective of their religious faith or ethnicity.
The published poll results exposed the racism of the vast majority of Jewish faith inhabitants though many of their presence in occupied Palestine is illegal in every international statute regarding occupation.
The poll said that the vast majority of “Israelis” want to severely curtail, or in a less drastic, but still scandalous way, they at least support limiting activities of Human Rights organizations, and believe it is just to punish not the perpetrator of human rights abuses but rather anyone who uncovers unethical and illegal military actions. They believe it is crucial to bar the press from publishing anything about that.
The poll revealed that almost six “Israelis” out of ten, a massive 58% of those canvassed, declared that human rights organization should not be allowed to uncover unethical “Israeli” practices nor should they be permitted to practice their activities freely, while half of them, 51%, said that there is excessive freedom of expression in “Israel”.
56% said that that “Israelis” who support punishing the “Jewish state” or boycotting it should themselves be punished.
73% support severely punishing journalists who publish reports that uncover information about unethical and illegal activities committed by the “Israeli” army and/or the (Shabak).
64% see that the “Israeli” press should not be allowed to publish reports that security bodies consider to cause danger to public security.
42% said “Israelis” should not be allowed to publish reports of Palestinian sources, which puts the army in a negative position, even if what was written had proven to be correct.
We ask ourselves and we ask you, is it not time to outlaw an entity that has such little tolerance for human rights and democracy before this tendency brings more suffering and disaster to the region?
Original Arabic on http://gulagnik.wordpress.com
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- The Failure of Peace without Partners (alethonews.wordpress.com)