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The Myth of Apartheid Israel- political sex appeal?

 article about apartheid israel
2009-10-26 04:53:14
When it comes to selling a product, most marketers and advertisers will tell you that it is all about how you package, position and sell it. Slick branding or packaging and a sexy catchphrase help the greater public buy yours over your competitors. Brand Britney has amassed more wealth through the coverage of her alleged demise than over her meteoric rise to fame. Nowhere in the fight for public opinion is this more apparent than the "Israel is an Apartheid State" analogy. This statement is the seductive byline in helping to convince people to "Buy this product and you too can paint Israel as a pariah state, divest economically and academically and call into question the existence of this sovereign and democratic entity." Graduates of the Joseph Goebbels School of Public Relations are pulling out all the stops to place their product in the global political consciousness.

Those of us who lived through the Apartheid era and also know a thing or two about Israeli society, know that not only does this dangerous analogy denigrate the crime that was Apartheid and mock the suffering of its victims but it also shows a complete lack of understanding and ignorance about the conflict in the Middle East. Comparing Israel to Apartheid South Africa is blatant Antisemitism and ignorance.

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The conference’s intent was to explore worldwide racism and intolerance but instead spiraled into a festival of Israel bashing and Antisemitism that resulted in both the Israeli and American delegations to walk out in protest.
It is politically incorrect to be anti-semitic and I am sure that some of Israel's greatest detractors' best friends are Jewish. However it is decidedly more palatable to be anti-Zionist. The axiom seems to be "we love your Jewish traditions, Mazel Tov! Gefilte fish! It is just your racist Zionist ideology we disagree with." As if the two can be remotely separate! So what does this have to do with comparing Israel to Apartheid South Africa and where on earth does this ridiculous analogy originate from?

Ironically the analogy came to light at the height of Apartheid in 1975. The United Nations passed a resolution sponsored by the Former Soviet Union equating Zionism with Racism. This has since been refuted but the seeds were planted for this nefarious campaign. The idea gained momentum and accelerated worldwide after the UN Conference on Racism that was held in Durban 2001. The conference's intent was to explore worldwide racism and intolerance but instead spiraled into a festival of Israel bashing and Antisemitism that resulted in both the Israeli and American delegations to walk out in protest.

The fact that the launching pad of such a campaign took place in once-pariah South Africa is a bitter irony that is not unnoticed. The symbolism of the quest to package and treat Israel the same way that South Africa was treated and therefore call into question her legitimacy as a state is not lost on us. Strange that nobody ever questions the legitimacy of existence for countries like Zimbabwe, Saudi Arabia and even during the Apartheid years, nobody questioned the existence of South Africa as a country. Only Israel is singled out for this kind of judgment.

Israel is singled out for opprobrium and is the chief scapegoat for all of the world's ills. From the crimes of practicing Apartheid to the Mossad allegedly having caused the Asian Tsunami, there is not an incident that hasn't been blamed on Israel.

If we sit and compare Israeli and Apartheid legislation law for law, this comparison is shown to be ridiculous, Oh but wait, that is the fundamental difference! 1948 was the birth year of Apartheid South Africa but it was also the birth year of democratic Israel. Israel's Declaration of Independence advocated inclusiveness for all her citizens – a concept unheard of in that neighborhood. It is easy to make grand comparisons but we tend to forget definition behind catchy slogans. Apartheid was state sanctioned laws of discrimination and forced removals that made it possible for a white minority to rule and subjugate the black majority.

In making the case for Israel the role of cause and effect is irrefutable. Is there a separation fence? Yes, because in an effort to eradicate terror attacks on her citizens, Israel has erected a barrier after all, fences can be torn down but lives never replaced. Only the Palestinians hold the key to tearing down the barrier by ensuring a sustainable peace. What about checkpoints? And separate roads? Aren't these the tools favored by Apartheid practitioners? No, they are the mechanisms used by a sovereign country to fulfill its most important mandate – the protection of its citizens.

Trying to mete out the same justice to Israel that was administered to Apartheid South Africa not only robs both sides of national determination but denies sincere peace loving people their dignity.

Israel's critics are confident that their competitive product comes in a glossier packaging, don't be fooled by glitter and sparkle. Buy brand Israel, it may not be as seductive but morally, ethically, democratically and intellectually, it is by far the superior product.




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