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December 26, 2014 / 4 Tevet, 5775
 
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Posts Tagged ‘South Africa’

Israel Beats Spain, One Win Away from Qualifying for World Baseball Classic

Saturday, September 22nd, 2012

First baseman Nate Freiman hit two home runs as Israel beat Spain 4-2 in the qualifying round of World Baseball Classic, putting the Israeli team one win away from a guaranteed spot in the tournament in March.

Nate Freiman, a standout first baseman for the San Diego Padres’ Class AA San Antonio Missions, matched his home run output from Thursday’s 7-3 victory over South Africa, accounting for Israel’s 4 RBIs on Friday afternoon.

In the modified double-elimination format, Spain will play the winner of Friday night’s matchup between France and South Africa on Saturday. Israel will face off against the winner of that game in Sunday’s championship game.

Israel Denounces South African Decision to mandate special labels on products from Judea and Samaria

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

Following the South African government’s decision to require special labeling of all products coming from Judea and Samaria in Israel, the Israeli Foreign Ministry has issued a strong condemnation of the action.

Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon stated that “Unfortunately, the changes we have witnessed in South Africa in recent years have failed to truly modify trends in the state, and it has remained an apartheid state. South Africa’s apartheid policy is currently targeting the State of Israel and the miners of South Africa itself. Instead of adopting a decision about Israeli products, the South African Government should have adopted brave resolutions regarding the thirty four innocent miners whose only desire was to improve their work conditions.

Deputy Foreign Minister Ayalon was relating in his statement to the 34 South African miners who were killed by SA police during a miner’s protest at the Lonmin mine a few days ago.

The South African ambassador to Israel will be summoned today (Thursday) by the Israeli Foreign Ministry which is demanding clarifications about his government’s decision.

Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini Accepts Israeli Invitation, Defying South Africa’s Policy

Friday, August 17th, 2012

Earlier this week, King Goodwill Zwelithini of Zulu accepted the invitation from Israel’s ambassador to South Africa, Dov Segev-Steinberg, to visit Israel early next year, according to the Israeli embassy in Pretoria, despite his government discouraging such visits.

An embassy statement said the king “vowed to use his official visit to explore ways to intensify the co-operation between South Africa and Israel, and especially between the Zulu people and the Israeli people.”

The Zulu are South Africa’s largest ethnic group, with an estimated population of more than 10 million.

The announcement came a day after the South African government reiterated its policy of discouraging its citizens from visiting Israel to protest Jerusalem’s treatment of the Palestinians. The government also announced earlier this year that products originating from Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria would be labeled as from the occupied territories instead of Israel.

“The decision is left to the individual or the organization that is invited to visit Israel,” said South Africa’s deputy minister of international relations, Ebrahim Ebrahim, at a news conference Tuesday. “There has been a policy of discouraging because we believe Israel is an occupying power and is doing all sorts of things in the Palestine-occupied territory which has been condemned by the entire international community.”

Zwelithini was installed as the eighth Monarch of the Zulus on December 3, 1971, and since then has been defying South Africa’s rulers, white and then black.

According to an official South African government website, in 1991 Zwelithini accused the African National Congress (ANC) of fostering anti-Zulu feelings. During the Convention for a Democratic South Africa (CODESA) Zwelithini’s status became a point of bitter contention between Inkosi Mangosuthu Buthelezi, founder of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and other delegates, over the king’s future. Buthelezi walked out of that convention in protest of a lack of clarity on the need to unseat the king and his six wives (and 27 children).

In July, 1992, Nelson Mandela assured Zwelithini that his status was secure under the new government.

Zwelithini’s finances are controlled by the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial authorities and his lavish lifestyle and the future of the Zulu royal house has been a matter of much debate – according to the government-run website.

Zwelithini, who has been to Israel before, will look into “new possibilities to cooperate with Israel in the fields of health, agriculture and education amongst other areas of interest for the benefit of the Zulu people,” the embassy statement said.

Segev-Steinberg told the South African website MyShetl that the king’s commitment to visit is “a sign that Israel still has good friends in this country, friends who are happy and willing to share experiences and ensure love and respect for Israel.”

JTA content was used in this report.

Ze’ev Jabotinsky: Civil Rights Champion

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

The popular image of the Jews who took part in battles for black civil rights is of liberal activists and idealistic college students. Yet several important early civil rights efforts in the United States and South Africa were undertaken by officers of the Irgun Zvai Leumi, the Jewish underground militia in British Mandatory Palestine.

Last week’s 70th anniversary of the passing of Ze’ev Jabotinsky, founder of Revisionist Zionism and the Irgun, is an occasion to reflect on Jabotinsky’s little-known legacy of anti-racism.

Jabotinsky was arguably was the most controversial Zionist leader of his era. He was dismissed as an alarmist when he predicted European Jews would be engulfed by anti-Semitism. Socialist Zionists bristled at his preference for free market economics over Marxism. Because he promoted weapons training, he was denounced as a militarist. And because he believed the Arabs would never accept a Jewish state, he was branded a racist.

Those familiar with Jabotinsky’s writings knew those labels did not do him justice. He envisioned a Jewish state that would have a large Arab minority alongside its Jewish majority. Arabs would have full civil, political, and cultural rights, including representation in parliament, and both Arabic and Hebrew would be official languages. Moreover, he argued that if there was a Jewish prime minister, there should be a deputy Arab prime minister (and vice versa).

Jabotinsky also had more than a passing interest in the question of American race relations. Following a wave of race riots that erupted in the U.S. after black boxer Jack Johnson defeated his white opponent in 1910, Jabotinsky wrote (in the Russian periodical Odesskie Novosti): “In the United States, the most free republic on earth, there are ten million citizens suffering a shocking lack of rights simply because of the color of their skin.… The political rights of the ‘free and equal’ black citizen are non-existent.”

Ten years later, on a visit to the U.S., Jabotinsky witnessed a Ku Klux Klan march in Texas. It reinforced his disgust at racism in America. In a letter to a friend at the time, he wrote that both Jews and blacks in the U.S. would soon find it necessary to physically defend themselves against their enemies. So perhaps it should be not be surprising that officers of the Irgun stood up for black civil rights.

In early 1940, Jabotinsky sent a number of young Irgun officers from Europe and Palestine to the United States to mobilize American support for the rescue of Jewish refugees and creation of a Jewish state. Led by Hillel Kook, using the pseudonym Peter Bergson, they organized rallies, sponsored newspaper ads, lobbied in Washington and, in 1946, staged a Broadway play to rouse support for Zionism.

The play, called “A Flag is Born,” served a surprising role in the fight against racial segregation. Starring a young Marlon Brando, “Flag” had a successful 10-week run at Manhattan’s Alvin Theater (today the Neil Simon Theater) and then hit the road. A planned performance at the National Theater in Washington, D.C. in early 1947 was relocated to Baltimore’s Maryland Theater because the play’s author, Ben Hecht, would not permit his works to be staged at theaters, such as the National, that barred blacks.

When Hecht discovered that the Maryland Theater restricted blacks to the balcony, Bergson’s group and the NAACP teamed up to protest: The NAACP threatened to picket and a Bergson official announced he would bring two black friends to sit with him at the play. The management gave in, allowing black patrons to sit wherever they chose. NAACP leaders hailed the “tradition-shattering victory” and used it facilitate the desegregation of other Baltimore theaters.

“I am proud,” Hecht declared in a statement afterward, “that my play has been the instrument to break down one of the most un-American and undemocratic practices that has disgraced our country.”

Meanwhile, Jabotinsky’s followers took an interest in the fight against racism in South Africa as well. Former Irgun commander Menachem Begin, leader of the opposition Herut Party, paid his first visit to South Africa in the autumn of 1953. Hertzel Katz, an Israeli attorney who was a leader of the local branch of the Revisionist youth movement Betar, recalls that Begin’s hosts arranged for a rickshaw, the customary form of local transportation, to take him to a speaking engagement.

Before The Deluge: Kenya-Uganda (British East Africa)

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

The stories in this column are translations by Mr. Nollet from Die Juden In Der Welt (The Jews in the World) by Mark Wischnitzer, a long out-of-print book published more than seven decades ago in Germany. The book examines Jewish communities, one country at a time, as they existed in 1935 – a time before the Nazis began their extermination campaign against the Jews and before there was a state of Israel.

Kenya-Uganda (British East Africa)

In 1903, the English colonial minister offered a district for a Jewish settlement in Uganda to the Zionist leadership, whereby the English government brought to realization its efforts “to bring to pass the improvement of the Jewish race.” The 6th Zionist Congress (August 23-8, 1903) concerned itself with the English offer and decided to send an investigative commission to Uganda, but because of strong resistance inside the Zionist organization, the project was not followed up.

Later, individual Jews went to the two largest regions of the British East Africa zone, namely Kenya and Uganda. In Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, there is today, in 1935, a Jewish community of over 100 souls. Likewise there are Jews in the port city of Mombassa who are owners of great export companies. Since 1933 there has been an immigration of Jews from Germany to Kenya/Uganda. They have been warmly accepted as much in Nairobi and Mombassa as in Kampala, the capital of Uganda, and have been brought into various commercial enterprises.

Kenya is a land with rich soil, though with a tropical climate. In the districts, which at one time were offered to the Jews, the English have built huge farms, coffee plantations, which deliver a fine harvest. Coffee agriculture of course requires hefty investment. Wheat, barley, maize (corn), and hemp are also grown.

Belgian Congo

The Belgian Congo, which covers an area of about 2,382,000 sq. kilometers [Translator’s Note:  roughly 850,000 sq. miles] offers great economic advantages. It is rich in wood, India rubber, copper, and other minerals. It was originally an independent state, but has belonged since 1908 to Belgium. According to a census from 1923, 177 Jews live in the Belgian Congo. There is a Jewish community in Elisabethville.

Angola And South-West Africa (Namibia)

[For our purposes, the only thing worth mentioning about Angola is Wischnitzer’s report that something called “the Angola Project” surfaced early in the 20th century. The Jewish Territorial Organization was created after the Zionist Congress of 1903 and met with the Portuguese government, which sponsored an expedition to Angola in order to ascertain the possibilities of creating settlements. The expedition brought back so few results that the Portuguese Senate first cut their budget; then WWI broke out, and that ended the project.

[Concerning South-West Africa, only Wischnitzer’s first paragraph would interest us:] South-West Africa, a German colony since 1884, was taken over by the Union of South Africa as a mandate after the Versailles Peace Treaty [of 1919]. It consists of a Jewish community of recently vintage in the capital city of Windhook, with its own rabbinate. Jews also live singly, scattered throughout the land. The possibilities of Jewish immigration have been recently considered.

Rhodesia

The British Crown colonies of North and South Rhodesia lie between the Union of South Africa and the Belgian Congo and Tanganyika, and have Jewish settlements of recent vintage.

After Cecil Rhodes, from whom the colonies derive their name, a Jew from Hamburg named Alfred Breit traveled there, in order to open up economic possibilities. In 1931, out of a population of under 49,910 Whites, there lived 2,011 Jews, mainly in Bulawayo, in the capital of Salisbury, and in Gwelo. Individual Jewish pioneers had already been there previously. Some 426 Jews live in North Rhodesia. [Rhodesia is today’s Zimbabwe.] There is a Jewish community in Livingstone, the seat of the colonial administration.

South Rhodesia exports asbestos, chromium, gold, and corn; North Rhodesia, tobacco, copper, and wheat.

At the moment, economic prospects are restricted. According to reports, the outlook is that opportunities beckon for immigrants who are interested in operating factories that produce chemicals, drugs, food products, etc.

Immigration of Jews from Germany is on a slow track.

Union Of South Africa

Since 1910 the Union of South Africa has been a dominion in the British Empire, and consists of four provinces: the Cape of Good Hope, Natal, the Orange Free State, and Transvaal. On a surface of about 1,234,000 sq. kilometers [about 450,000 sq. miles] lives a population of about 8,251,000 souls, 2 million of whom are White.

Alice Walker Kills Hebrew ‘Color Purple’ Deal Citing ‘Apartheid’

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

Alice Walker, author of “The Color Purple,” refused to authorize a Hebrew translation of her prize-winning work, citing what she called Israel’s “apartheid state.”

In a June 9 letter to Yediot Books, Walker said she would not allow the publication of the book into Hebrew because “Israel is guilty of apartheid and persecution of the Palestinian people, both inside Israel and also in the Occupied Territories.”

In her letter, posted Sunday by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel on its website, Walker supported the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement and offered her hope that the BDS movement “will have enough of an impact on Israeli civilian society to change the situation.”

Here is the full version of Walker’s letter:

June 9, 2012

Dear Publishers at Yediot Books,

Thank you so much for wishing to publish my novel THE COLOR PURPLE. It isn’t possible for me to permit this at this time for the following reason: As you may know, last Fall in South Africa the Russell Tribunal on Palestine met and determined that Israel is guilty of apartheid and persecution of the Palestinian people, both inside Israel and also in the Occupied Territories. The testimony we heard, both from Israelis and Palestinians (I was a jurist) was devastating. I grew up under American apartheid and this was far worse. Indeed, many South Africans who attended, including Desmond Tutu, felt the Israeli version of these crimes is worse even than what they suffered under the white supremacist regimes that dominated South Africa for so long.

It is my hope that the non-violent BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement, of which I am part, will have enough of an impact on Israeli civilian society to change the situation.

In that regard, I offer an earlier example of THE COLOR PURPLE’s engagement in the world-wide effort to rid humanity of its self-destructive habit of dehumanizing whole populations. When the film of The Color Purple was finished, and all of us who made it decided we loved it, Steven Spielberg, the director, was faced with the decision of whether it should be permitted to travel to and be offered to the South African public. I lobbied against this idea because, as with Israel today, there was a civil society movement of BDS aimed at changing South Africa’s apartheid policies and, in fact, transforming the government.

It was not a particularly difficult position to hold on my part: I believe deeply in non-violent methods of social change though they sometimes seem to take forever, but I did regret not being able to share our movie, immediately, with (for instance) Winnie and Nelson Mandela and their children, and also with the widow and children of the brutally murdered, while in police custody, Steven Biko, the visionary journalist and defender of African integrity and freedom.

We decided to wait. How happy we all were when the apartheid regime was dismantled and Nelson Mandela became the first president of color of South Africa.

Only then did we send our beautiful movie! And to this day, when I am in South Africa, I can hold my head high and nothing obstructs the love that flows between me and the people of that country.

Which is to say, I would so like knowing my books are read by the people of your country, especially by the young, and by the brave Israeli activists (Jewish and Palestinian) for justice and peace I have had the joy of working beside. I am hopeful that one day, maybe soon, this may happen. But now is not the time.

We must continue to work on the issue, and to wait.

In faith that a just future can be fashioned from small acts,
Alice Walker

In a June, 2011 interview with Foreign Policy, walker said:

“I think Israel is the greatest terrorist in that part of the world. And I think in general, the United States and Israel are great terrorist organizations themselves. If you go to Gaza and see some of the bombs – what’s left of the bombs that were dropped – and the general destruction, you would have to say, yeah, it’s terrorism. When you terrorize people, when you make them so afraid of you that they are just mentally and psychologically wounded for life — that’s terrorism. So these countries are terrorist countries.”

It was not clear when Yediot Books, an imprint of the daily Yediot Achronot newspaper, made the request, or whether Walker could in fact stop translation of the book. At least one version of the book has already appeared in Hebrew, in the 1980s.

“The Color Purple,” which won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, was adapted into a movie in 1985 directed by Jewish filmmaker Steven Spielberg.

The novel and the film, which was nominated for 11 Oscars, treat racism in the American South in the first part of the 20th century and sexism among blacks.

Walker has intensified her anti-Israel activism in recent years, traveling to the Gaza Strip to advocate on behalf of the Palestinians.

JTA content was used in this article.

The Big Lie: ‘Israel Apartheid’

Monday, March 12th, 2012

Campuses across Canada engaged in Israel Apartheid Week (IAW) events last week amid justified rebukes by the federal government. Immigration Minister Jason Kenney linked IAW to anti-Semitism and accused organizers of using “the cover of academic freedom to demonize and delegitimize the state of Israel” and paint it as racist. In pointing to Israel being the only liberal democracy in the Middle East and singled out for condemnation, Kenney also stated that organizers of IAW ignore the brutal slaughter of the Al-Assad regime of its own people and the suppression of basic human rights throughout many countries in the Middle East. Israel Apartheid Week began in Toronto in 2005 after Palestinian organizations called for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against the state of Israel. The groups erroneously compared Israel ‘s treatment of the Palestinians to the treatment of South African blacks, when powerful campus movements had lobbied for divestments and boycotts against South Africa for black liberation. In 1983, the UN levied its condemnation of the practice of apartheid at the World Conference against Racism, where over two dozen countries took part in trade sanctions against South Africa. At the 2001 Durban I Anti-Racism Conference, the agenda was hijacked by Israeli antagonists, led by Iran and then Palestinian Chairman Yasser Arafat. Israel was singled out as a racist regime and a similar course followed as in the South African anti-apartheid movements, only it was a demonization of Israel that was unjustified. Adding fuel was that South African Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu spuriously compared the conditions of which the Palestinians live to those of South Africa under apartheid.

The goal of Israel Apartheid Week is to erode Zionism and delegitimize the state of Israel. The strategy is a protraction of the Arab nationalist movement and that of Palestinian Radicalism which strives to work against Israel and the Jewish people, evidenced in the collaboration between Adolph Hitler, Adolph Eichmann and the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem during World War II. In an open letter, Palestinian students urge fellow students worldwide to unite for Israel Apartheid Week in widespread harassment, bullying and intimidation of Jewish students. Organizers also call for BDS. Nowhere is the mention of the Palestinian call for Israel’s destruction as outlined in both the PA and Hamas Charters.

Even before the state of Israel was established, Israel was sensitive to human rights, and Jewish leaders sought to avoid any situation similar to South Africa, as David Ben-Gurion expressed to Palestinian nationalist Musa Alami in 1934. Today, this commitment can be clearly seen in Israel where Arabs are full citizens with the right to vote, the right to establish their own political parties, the right to hold top positions, as they do in Israel’s supreme court, its diplomatic corps, all of Israel’s hospitals and universities, and even as members of Israel’s parliament, the Knesset. Under apartheid, black South Africans were not even allowed to hold citizenship or vote in the very country in which they held the demographic majority. The Palestinian experience in the territories along the separation fence and in the so-called “occupied territories” is a result of the determination of Palestinians – both in the PLO and Hamas to destroy Israel – as could be seen before the fence was built by the bombings of hotels, discotheques, cafes, and buses. The territories under dispute were taken by Israel in wars in 1947 and 1967, in which Israel – the size of Vancouver Island – was forced to defend itself: both times, five neighboring countries invaded Israel in efforts to destroy it. Israel still needs to defend itself, not only from rocket-fire and other attacks, but most recently from continued threats of genocide by Iran, especially should it acquire nuclear capability.

Even after the South African Judge, Richard Goldstone, later retracted his own, UN-sponsored Goldstone report, Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon said that Israel, like any country, would defend its citizens against Gaza attacks. This is a very different situation than under South African apartheid. Egypt too erected a wall of separation from the Gaza Strip; the barrier was dubbed the Wall of Shame by Arab writers and leaders for isolating 1.5 million Palestinians, yet Egypt has not been branded “apartheid” by their Muslim “brothers.”

While the propaganda of Israel Apartheid Week spreads, the economic growth in the West Bank stands at 4%, compared to 3% in the US, and an astronomical 28% in Gaza. The IDF’s Coordinator of Government Activities in Judea and Samaria, Major General Eitan Dangot noted that every day, Israel transfers luxuries into Gaza, including LCD screens, Mercedes and Hyundai jeeps, modern refrigerators, and whirlpool bathtubs. He added that Israel has invested over 50 million shekels, or over USD $10 million, in renovating and expanding the Kerem Shalom crossing through which most of the goods enter Gaza. Any segregation of the Palestinians is based entirely on Israeli security needs, not on racism.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/the-big-lie-israel-apartheid/2012/03/12/

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