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Israel and South Africa

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  • Neri Sevenier
    Dear friends, Dr Alet Kruger wrote: ...so that we can prevent a second Holocaust and a second era of apartheid. To echo Mariano Gracia-Landa s words, it is
    Message 1 of 2 , Jul 2, 2002
      Dear friends,

      Dr Alet Kruger wrote: "...so that we can prevent a second Holocaust and a second era of apartheid."

      To echo Mariano Gracia-Landa's words, it is because I love you that I want to spare you an embarrassing error in judgement and save you from parroting propaganda, which is not the recommended practice for scholars.

      One: there is no Apartheid in Israel.
      There are other wrongs and problems, but Apartheid is not one of them.

      In an Apartheid system people are born into a certain social group (never
      to mix with other groups), are doomed to remain in it forever, and the group determines their social status and their human rights. A black person in
      South Africa could never become a white person, no matter what he/she did. The sect system in India is a form of Apartheid.

      Israel is a "Jewish State" (run according to Jewish law, customs and philosophy) and also the "State of the Jews" (in which priority is given
      to Jews). It is NOT an Apartheid state. We have black Jews from Ethiopia, brown Jews from Yemen, White Jews from Finland. If you want to become a Jew, you can join the Jewish people and then you have all the rights and privileges (and obligations) that Jews have. Anyone can become Jewish if, for some strange reason, they feel like sharing our fate. Labeling Israel an Apartheid
      state is tantamount to saying that the Roman Catholic church is an Apartheid system (you
      have to be baptized to become a Catholic, remember).

      Non-Jewish residents born in Israel are citizens with full human and civil rights. (Moslem ones even have an advantage over Jews, because they are exempted from military service, which in Israel is no holiday, believe me.) I am not saying the implementation of these rights leaves nothing to be desired, but can any of you claim perfection in the treatment of minorities in your own countries? Let them cast the first stone.

      Non-Jews who want to receive Israeli citizenship must first join the Jewish people. We are sorry, but after being persecuted and landless for 2000
      years, we deserve to have one spot on this planet where Jews are given preference. Not equality, thank you very much, we've tried that one. Preference.

      Two: the Holocaust
      Garcia-Landa wrote:
      "...the present israeli government is pursuing a policy of extermination of the Palestinian people.
      This is a fact that cannot be denied."

      It can, but some people don't want to be confused by the facts.

      The only party in the Israeli-Arab conflict that openly declares its intention to exterminate the other are the Arabs ("throw the Jews into
      the sea").
      The only massacres in the Middle East so far were perpetrated by Moslems against Moslems (Syria 20,000 dead, Algeria 100,000 dead and still going
      strong, to mention just a few); by Lebanese Christians against Lebanese Moslems and vice versa (the civil war in Lebanon, Sabra and Shatila); and by the Palestinians, who are currently engaged in daily massacres of Israeli men, women and children by suicide bombings - not as an act of
      folly by a few fanatics, but something that is endorsed and extolled by Palestinian society. This terror did not start recently, it has been going on since the inception of Israel, including the period of the peace negotiations. On the other hand, in 50 years of unrelenting attack against Israel, there was one instance of an Israeli individual who opened fire and killed some 30 Palestinians in Hebron, and
      one instance in which a group of soldiers massacred civilians in the Kfar
      Qasem village in the 50's. The soldiers were put to trial and served prison sentences (real ones, not the revolving-door sort). Both cases are deplorable, but I think that considering the circumstances such a record is an absolute wonder. And don't tell me "Jenin". See Human Rights Watch's report at http://hrw.org/reports/2002/israel3 - sad, but no, there was no massacre.

      Two years ago we were on the verge of solving the conflict. It is the Palestinians that have chosen to restart and maintain violence, and as soon as they stop it, closure, aimed at protecting Israeli citizens, will be lifted. This is no Holocaust, folks, even if you'd love to think so. There is no extermination policy. It's just a banal, ugly, armed conflict.

      I apologize for this long message, but some things can't be expressed in a one-line slogan.

      Neri Sevenier
      Translator and Interpreter
      Tel Aviv

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • bronzetrans
      Neri, I found your message profound and clarifying. I wish there were some more thinkers out there, that can see reason and not just acts. Best regards Sandra
      Message 2 of 2 , Jul 3, 2002
        I found your message profound and clarifying. I wish there were some more
        thinkers out there, that can see reason and not just acts.
        Best regards
        Sandra Morgan
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