16 thoughts on “Washed-Up, Right-Wing Ex-Leader Denounces BDS as Anti-Semitic – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Amazing how consistent are the arguments of the powerful against sanctions. From South Africa in the ’70s to Israel/Palestine today: “Sanctions will hurt the Blacks/Palestinians much more than the Whites/Israelis!” Why, then, do they care so much? Why is the suffering of their oppressed peoples of such great concern to them, all of a sudden? They bomb them, detain them, torture them, transport them, steal their land, destroy their livelihoods — and then get all weepy because sanctions will hurt them. Is it because the pain of sanctions would be inflicted by foreigners, instead of by them? They want to keep oppression “in the family”, perhaps? The whole thing is ridiculous, an obvious ploy. If sanctions really did hurt the oppressed most of all, the oppressors would have a very different response — they’d smirk & say, “Sure, bring it on!”

  2. To be fair to De Klerk, who I believe to be as a human being in a quite different league from Netanyahu, he mentions nowhere in his autobiography the effect of sanctions on the black population. He does acknowledge that sanctions, though making the South African economy in some ways more reliant (the weapons industry, oil from coal), “did serious damage to the country … It is estimated that sanctions cost us about 1.5 per cent in our annual economic growth rate during the eighties and early nineties … sanctions impeded economic growth, which I believe was by far and away the most important change factor in South Africa.”

    De Klerk says: “The reality is that isolation, sanctions and unbridled criticism seldom persuade people to change their positions. In our case they created a natural resistance among most white South African individuals and companies and often made them less willing to consider change. The National Party won more than one election by appealing to the resentment that many whites felt against the international community – and particularly the United States – for their role in imposing sanctions against us.”

    (F.W. de Klerk, The Autobiography, 1998 pp.70/71)

    “I belie

    Well yes, but as far as I am concerned I would like to have BDS that very effect in Israel, for the same reason that I wanted Netanyahu to be reelected. Israel is in a position quite different from South Africa. In the South African case foreign governments did not have to be persuaded to impose sanctions on the country – particularly the US was more than willing to do so. But in the case of Israel the morally putrid side of the regime has to come out more clearly in order for foreign politicians, particularly Americans, to become aware that they really can no longer support a regime of that nature.

    I dare say that De Klerk did not take that difference into account when he commented on Israel.
    Ultimately not only the Israelis but also many foreign politicians have to learn the lesson that De Klerk says the South African experience gave him: “I believe that the most important lesson that emerged from our experience in South Africa is that no vision of the future can justify any government to ignore the basic human rights of the human beings involved. No cause is so great that we should allow it to dilute our sense of justice and humanity.” (p.40)

  3. When De Klerk is quoted on Israel the hasbarists generally mention his judgment that calling Israel proper an apartheid state is unfair, without mentioning that he is also of the view that if the two state solution is not embraced Israel will end up that way.

    All the same I think that De Klerk should not have limited his judgment to Israel proper but should also have taken the situation in the occupied territories into account. And as far as Israel is concerned he looked too much for the signs of “petty apartheid” – such as separate beaches, park benches, cinema entrances etc.

    It is ironical that the first prominent South African who, as far back as 1963, called Israel an apartheid state was the main architect of South African apartheid, the arch conservative Prime Minister Dr. Hendrik Verwoerd.

    Ronny Kasril, a Jewish South African anti-apartheid activist, a cabinet minister in a democratic South Africa, and a supporter of BDS, explains:

    “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.”

    (so much for the Israeli claim that they are unfairly picked on because they are a Jewish state)

    Kasril continues:

    “To be sure Verwoerd was correct. Both states preached and implemented a policy based on racial ethnicity; the sole claim of Jews in Israel and whites in South Africa to exclusive citizenship; monopolised rights in law regarding the ownership of land, property, business; superior access to education, health, social, sporting and cultural amenities, pensions and municipal services at the expense of the original indigenous population; the virtual monopoly membership of military and security forces, and privileged development along their own racial supremacist lines – even both countries marriage laws designed to safeguard racial “purity”.”

    Kasril is of the firm opinion that the situation in the occupied territories and in Gaza is actually far worse than apartheid:

    “A further comment about the Bantustans. When I visited Yasser Arafat in his virtually demolished headquarters in Ramallah as part of a South African delegation in 2004, he pointed around him and said “See this is nothing but a Bantustan!” No, we responded, pointing out that no Bantustan, in fact not even our townships, had been bombed by warplanes, pulverised by tanks. To a wide-eyed Arafat we pointed out that Pretoria pumped in funds, constructed impressive administration buildings, even allowed for Bantustan airlines to service the Mickey Mouse capitals in order to impress the world that they were serious about so-called “separate development.” “

    And they were. They endeavoured to make these Bantustans livable, whereas in the occupied territories Israel does its level best to make the situation totally unlivable. In the end of course the black South Africans didn’t want these mini-states. For one thing they had been given too little of the land – about 13 %.

    Kasril continues:

    “It needs to be frankly raised that if the crimes of the Holocaust are at the top end of the scale of human barbarity in modern times, where do we place the human cost of what has so recently occurred in Gaza and against the Palestinians since 1948 in the ‘nakba’ (catastrophe) they have endured?

    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.For 22 days relentless bombardment whole families vaporised before the horrified eyes of a surviving parent or child”

    Kasril also totally disagrees with De Klerk about the effectiveness of the international boycot of South Africa:

    “But unquestioningly, what helped tip the balance, in Vietnam and South Africa, was the force and power of international solidarity action. It took some 30 years but the worldwide Anti-Apartheid Movements campaigns – launched in London in 1959 – for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions – not only provided international activists with a practical role, but became an incalculable factor in (a) isolating and weakening the apartheid regime (b) inspiring the struggling people (c) undermining the resolve of those states that supported and benefited from relations with apartheid South Africa, (d) generated a change of attitude amongst the South African white public generally, and political, business, professional, academic, religious and sporting associations in particular. Boycott made them feel the pinch in their pocket and their polecat status everywhere – whether on the sporting fields, at academic or business conventions, in the world of theatre and the arts they were totally shunned like biblical lepers. There was literally no place to hide.”

  4. South Africa and Apartheid [large pdf]

    The structure of apartheid policy as it emerged in the political system of our country is discussed elsewhere in the report [Truth and Reconciliation Commission]. It originated and developed as a result of different influences over at least a century. Some examples are quoted in the report. I highlight and add a few to widen the context and understanding:

    a The unchecked reign, for many decades, of colonialism, which is concomitant with exploitation and disruption of cultures, customs and mindsets, and operated as a closed system without real access for indigenous people to the worlds and structures of the colonising powers;

    b The influence of British Empire politics, especially under Rhodes;

    c The reactive phenomenon of Afrikaner Nationalism, which created its own myths and history of an Afrikaner people dating back to their founding with the arrival of Jan van Riebeeck in 1652 (purely to facilitate trade), with a mission from God to evangelise Africa as His chosen people, seen as a parallel with Israel. Amnesty hearings of right-wing applicants showed ample evidence of remnants of this frame of mind, continuing right up to the end of the Commission’s mandate period.

    South Africa’s De Klerk: Without peace, Israel heading toward apartheid | Haaretz – May 2014 |

  5. FW de Klerk: racial segregation and the subjugation of black South Africans by the white minority had failed

    White former South-African president sparks outrage after defending Apartheid | CNN Interview – May 2012 |

    The former statesman now lives in Cape Town and conducts work through the FW De Klerk Foundation. His spokesman Dave Stewart said the retired statesman had not intended to cause offence. He said:

    “What he was trying to say was that the Union of South Africa was an artificial creation. If you have an artificial creation you can go two ways – either by going your separate ways like in the Soviet Union or in what is being suggested for Israel and Palestine, or by trying to build a multicultural society.

    Mr De Klerk was saying that as a young man they tried to go for the first option in South Africa. They changed course when they realised it was not working.

    It is not immoral for the Afrikaners to want to rule themselves any more than it is for the Israelis or the Scots to wish for the same things.”

  6. This José María Aznar from Spain with George Bush at the Crawford ranch one month before the Iraq invasion?

    AZNAR. Actually the best outcome would be to win without firing a single shot and entering Baghdad.

    BUSH. For me this would be the perfect solution. I don’t want the war. I know what wars are. I know the destruction and the death that they bring with them. I am the one that has to console th mothers and the widows of the dead. Of course, for us this would be the best solution. Moreover, it would save $50 billion.

    AZNAR. We need you to help with Spanish public opinion.

    BUSH. We will do all we can. On Wednesday I will speak about the situation in the Middle East, proposing a new system of peace, of which you know, and about weapons of mass destruction, of the benefits of a free society, and I will put Iraq’s story in a higher context. That might help you.

    AZNAR. What we are doing is a profound change for Spain and for the Spanish. We are changing the politics the country has followed for the past 200 years.

    BUSH. I’m guided by a sense of history equal to yours. When after a few years history judges us, I don’t want the people to ask why Bush, or Aznar, or Blair did not confront face responsibilities. In the end, people want to enjoy liberty. Not so long ago, in Romania I remembered the example of Ceausescu: one woman calling him a liar brought the whole repressive regime down. It’s the uncontrollable power of freedom. I am convinced I will get the resolution.

    The ratification and staging of José María Aznar’s support to George Bush took at the famous Azores Summit meeting:

    Portuguese Prime Minister José Manuel Durão Barroso, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, U.S. Pres. George W. Bush, and Spanish Prime Minister José María Aznar holding an emergency summit meeting on March 16, 2003, in Portugal’s Azores, in the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq and the beginning of the Iraq War.

  7. Listed as members of “Global Leadership Foundation” with an odd lot of Honorary patrons, starting with George W. Bush. Exclusive club with a similar list of members as the Club of Madrid and likely also the Bilderberg Group to “promote democracy and globalization.” It’s not clear how they as individuals can make such a statement about Israel and the BDS Movement.

  8. This article (2011) is listed on the GLF website …

    American leadership lacks credibility by Hans van den Broek

    In the first few months after he was elected, President Obama aroused expectations that he had the necessary will. In his famous speech in Cairo he said in June 2009: “The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. This construction violates previous agreements and undermines efforts to achieve peace. It is time for these settlements to stop.”

    Little over a year later, there was no longer any trace of this firmness. Obama gave in to pressure from Netanyahu and the American Israel lobby; a settlement freeze was off the table. The efforts subsequently undertaken by the Americans to relaunch the negotiations were exercises in diplomatic window-dressing.

    In February this year, the lack of American leadership led to an embarrassing exposure. In a vote in the Security Council on a resolution condemning the Israeli settlement policy, the United Kingdom, France and Germany (EU-3) voted in favour, while the US used its veto in order to torpedo the resolution – even though the text was a reflection of American statements.

  9. RE: “There is absolutely no evidence supporting the notion that the white racist regime would’ve given up power more quickly had the opposition simply negotiated, rather than having a gun to the government’s head. Are we to buy the notion that white South African’s would’ve have been willing to give up their privileges and economic control had blacks simply been nice and asked for their rights in the form of negotiations?” ~ R.S.

    FROM foreignaffairs.com: “South Africa: Why Constructive Engagement Failed”, By Sanford J. Ungar and Peter Vale, Winter 1985/86

    Article Summary
    Ronald Reagan’s imposition of limited economic sanctions against the South African regime in September was a tacit admission that his policy of “constructive engagement”–encouraging change in the apartheid system through a quiet dialogue with that country’s white minority leaders–had failed. Having been offered many carrots by the United States over a period of four-and-a-half years as incentives to institute meaningful reforms, the South African authorities had simply made a carrot stew and eaten it. Under the combined pressures of the seemingly cataclysmic events in South Africa since September 1984 and the dramatic surge of anti-apartheid protest and political activism in the United States, the Reagan Administration was finally embarrassed into brandishing some small sticks as an element of American policy.
    [We’re sorry, but Foreign Affairs does not have the copyright to display this article online.]

    SOURCE – http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/40525/sanford-j-ungar-and-peter-vale/south-africa-why-constructive-engagement-failed

  10. Like Tony Blair, Aznar has earned a handsome living off shilling for Israel since he left office. He founded the Euro-hasbara initiative, Friends of Israel, which recently published a report exonerating Israel’s massacre in Gaza last summer. Aznar also signed a report similarly absolving Israel of responsiblity for the Mavi Marmara murders. Though I’m not well-schooled in European hasbara activities, I’d guess that Aznar, like Blair, is handsomely remunerated for his pro-Israel efforts. He and his NGO are either supported by pro-Israel private donors or possibly directly by official government channels

    Unless you can prove your accusations, Mr. Silverstien, you’re skirting (or perhaps even passing) the requirements of slander law. One can believe that Israel is generally in the right without being renumerated for that belief, just as one can be an Israel blackwasher such as yourself without being on the payroll of Hamas, Qatar or Iran.

  11. the BDS movement itself is not anti-Semitic. there are certainly large numbers of anti-Semites in the movement and amongst the supporters but most the people involved and associated in the West are well-meaning and many of them are mature and well-informed

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