As we also reported strong>here on our other blog, South Africa’s Archbishop emeritus Desmond Tutu has said at a literary conference in England that it was urgent to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: “If we don’t solve that problem, you can give up on all other problems. You can give up on nuclear disarmament, you can give up on ever winning a war against terror, you can give it up. You can give up any hope of our faiths ever working clearly amicably and in a friendly way together. This, this, this is THE problem, and it is in our hands”. The full report was posted on The Guardian website here.
After all the brouhaha (continuing) of the Carter visit to the Middle East, Yossi Sarid has just written in Haaretz:
“Let’s let old Carter be, so he may let sleeping warriors lie; he will not be back. The contents of his words, however, should not be ignored. ‘Apartheid’, he said, ‘apartheid’ – a dark, scary word coined by Afrikaners and meaning segregation, racial segregation. What does he want from us, that evil man: What do we have to do with apartheid? Does a separation fence constitute separation? Do separate roads for Jewish settlers and Palestinians really separate? Are Palestinian enclaves between Jewish settlements Bantustans? There is no hint of similarity between South Africa and Israel, and only a sick mind could draw such shadowy connections between them. Roadblocks and inspections at every turn; licenses and permits for every little matter; the arbitrary seizure of land; special privileges in water use; cheap, hard labor; forming and uniting families by bureaucratic whim – none of these are apartheid, in any way. They are an incontrovertible security necessity, period.
“The white Afrikaners, too, had reasons for their segregation policy; they, too, felt threatened – a great evil was at their door, and they were frightened, out to defend themselves. Unfortunately, however, all good reasons for apartheid are bad reasons; apartheid always has a reason, and it never has a justification. And what acts like apartheid, is run like apartheid and harasses like apartheid, is not a duck – it is apartheid. Nor does it even solve the problem of fear: Today, everyone knows that all apartheid will inevitably reach its sorry end.
“One essential difference remains between South Africa and Israel: There a small minority dominated a large majority, and here we have almost a tie. But the tiebreaker is already darkening on the horizon. Then the Zionist project will come to an end if we don’t choose to leave the slave house before being visited by a fatal demographic plague.
“It is entirely clear why the word apartheid terrifies us so. What should frighten us, however, is not the description of reality, but reality itself. Even Ehud Olmert has understood at last that continuing the present situation is the end of the Jewish democratic state, as he recently said.
“The Palestinians are unfortunate because they have not produced a Nelson Mandela; the Israelis are unfortunate because they have not produced an F.W. de Klerk”. here .