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What you won't be hearing during Israel Apartheid Week

Michael Coetzee
19 February 2014

Michael Coetzee says Hamas is not interested in a peaceful settlement, whatever its local boosters may claim

It is that time of the year again when groups that have nothing in common but a hatred of Israel go on an all-out propaganda offensive known as Israeli Apartheid Week.

The main instigator, as always, is the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

The co-ordinator of the South African branch, Muhammed Desai, made headlines last year when he defended the behaviour of protests who changed "shoot the Jew" outside a concert by an Israeli musician at Wits University.

I've written before about how rabid and often ill-concealed antisemitism can unite disparate groups who wouldn't normally deign to be in the same room as one another. What else has the power to unite leftist feminists, right wing Islamists, anarchists and fascists?

Those who are truly interested in seeing life improve for the inhabitants of the Palestinian Territories would do better to focus on the impact groups such as Hamas are having on the prospects for peace, instead of expending energy on the chimaera of Israeli "apartheid".

Take as just one example the Hamas government in Gaza's rejection of school textbooks dealing with human rights, submitted for approval by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, which runs 245 schools in the Gaza Strip.

The Times of Israel quoted a statement by education ministry spokesman Mu'tasim Al-Minawi, who lamented that the curriculum promoted "peaceful resistance as the only way of achieving freedom and independence" and fostered "negative feelings toward armed resistance".

He also complained that the "vast majority of examples [in the books] refer to Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Helen Suzman, the Soweto Uprising, the Magna Carta and apartheid, even though Islamic-Arab-Palestinian alternatives exist".

Al-Minawi's comments are a simple restatement of what has always been the position of Hamas. It is not interested in learning lessons of reconciliation from South Africa, or in how Helen Suzman or the youth of 1976 fought against apartheid - despite the fervent efforts of the local self-appointed saviours of the Palestinian people to promote such narratives.

It is interested in one thing, and one thing only: the utter destruction of Israel and its replacement with an Islamic state under Sharia law.

Since taking over the Gaza Strip in 2007 it has intensified its terrorisation of the population it governs in what has been described by observers as the "Talibanisation" of Gaza. Women especially have suffered, and non-Muslim minorities continue to be oppressed.

It deals violently and lethally with political opponents, especially those who would prefer to see a lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

These are facts easily verifiable, yet it's not what you'll hear about at Israeli Apartheid Week. There won't be any talk about the suffering imposed by Hamas, or the plight of Palestinian refugees facing discrimination in Arab countries. But then there will also be no mention of the fact that Arab citizens of Israel enjoy the same rights as all other citizens, irrespective of race, or religion, or sex.

And so no contrasts will be struck with the corresponding situation in territories governed by the Palestinian Authority, which does not grant its citizens freedom of speech, or religion, or a host of other freedoms enjoyed by all citizens of Israel - Arab or Jew, Muslim or Christian.

The most striking lessons to be learned from this campaign are not about separation between Israelis and Palestinians, but about BDS propaganda's separation from the truth.

Michael Coetzee is a Johannesburg-based journalist. He writes in his personal capacity.

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 responses to this article

superb!
I have asked for years why this hypocrites never criticise the arabs. I suspect it is to deflect attention away from the real tragedy... The Arab Emirates of Hate

by Shaun on February 19 2014, 18:29
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BDS is a noisy, toothless mongrel
Spot on, Michael. As a gentile myself with no particular axe to grind, it occurs to me that Israel probably doesn't give a stuff about Desmond Tutu, Ronnie "Casseroles", Muhammed Desai and their motley array of degenerates and scumbags.
Given what . .more

by Graham on February 19 2014, 18:43
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Very well put Michael.

Like it or not, the Israelis have the 'Midas touch' Whatever they touch turns to gold!!

This is purely by dint of application and very hard work!! Observe how, with their limited water supplies they have turned the State of Israel into a net . .more

by Roy Allen on February 19 2014, 19:22
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a real shame that the anc supports this.....but no surprise...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3AR5gvoDXI

by onlooker on February 19 2014, 22:50
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What have both sides given us?
While hard working and intelligent Israelis creat such technologies as instant messaging or navigation on your cell phone, the Palestinans have given us fanatical racist laws and suecide belts.
While Israelis are making the desert bloom and sea water . .more

by Johan Fourie on February 19 2014, 23:21
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@Johan Fourie

Very well said mate!

You are NOT a racist, you merely speak the uncomfortable truth, that these apologists of cowardly terrorists do not like to hear.....

How many Nobel Laureates from Israel and how many from . .more

by SHALOM on February 19 2014, 23:38
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Not the point
That's all fine, but it's also all completely beside the point of whether Israel is an apartheid state. Hamas has nothing to do with it, Israel vs. Palestine has nothing to do with it, the apartheid is or is not all contained right there within Israel . .more

by Kenneth on February 20 2014, 00:12
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@Kenneth

Must be some good Durban Poison you are smoking there buddy.

What point were you actually attempting to make???

by Dalk is ek net dof..... on February 20 2014, 00:25
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@Dalk
Sorry, I thought my point was pretty clear: I don't disagree with Michael about Hamas, but it has nothing at all to do with whether Israel is an apartheid state. He is deflecting the issue. Sure, Hamas are scumbags, so what? Is discrimination against . .more

by Kenneth on February 20 2014, 05:59
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Apartheid Week
Agree, well said. Interesting, people do not want to hear the truth.

by fbs on February 20 2014, 06:06
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The BSA are the racists.
If Israel is an apartheid state (by BDS definition), then so is Switzerland, the USA, South Africa, Saudi Arabia and many other countries.
But only Israel is attacked by the racist anti-Semitic BDS.
Because they themselves are the racist!

by jonathan. on February 20 2014, 06:36
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Ancient History -- or whats left of it
Unfortunately everyone misses the central and most important point

WHO are the people that today call themselves the "jews" what is their relationship to the ancient people of the middle east ? ( Israel and Judah and the ancient tribes . .more

by Bibliophile on February 20 2014, 08:14
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Israeli Apartheid week
Since time immemorial labels and demonisation of a group leads to a bitter, irrational and debate-stopping situation. This is what the BDS and related groups have achieved by calling Israel an apartheid state.
Nothing transcends the self-righteous . .more

by Sara Gon on February 20 2014, 08:56
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Well said, Michael
I certainly appreciate Michael's accurate and succinct argument.
Kenneth above is an example of the `"rabid and often ill-concealed antisemitism" he speaks of.

by danepol on February 20 2014, 09:23
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@danepol
what did i say that could possibly be construed as antisemitism?

by kenneth on February 20 2014, 09:39
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Noble Prize
Philosopher Bertrand Russel would have not received the Noble Prize for Philosophy if he had written the book: Why I am not a Christian before receiving the honoured award. He was forced to abandon his appointment at City University New York after . .more

by Pezulu Nkomo on February 20 2014, 09:50
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God Bless all
Alles sal reg kom boeties

by Verwoerd the SAVIOUR on February 20 2014, 09:53
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Shoot the Jew or shoot the Gogo?
Shoot the Jew or shoot the Gogo? http://medialternatives.com/2013/10/08/shoot-the-jew-or-shoot-the-gogo/

by David Robert Lewis on February 20 2014, 09:59
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Hamas in their own words
Hamas makes no qualms in its constitution about the desire to destroy Israel and kill all Jews (that includes the likes of Red Ronnie) The document is readily available on the net.

by Edna Croxford on February 20 2014, 11:05
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@Bibliophile....
....you are missing something...black people of sa lay the same claim to land in sa......your logic is similar to the nazis......

by onlooker on February 20 2014, 11:16
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Obsessive anti-semitism?
Death statistics are manipulated and hard to find, but the death toll in the Arab-Israel conflict is about ten thousand (over decades) while the death toll in the three-year Syrian conflict is well over 120,000 and climbing (to say nothing of the . .more

by Loudly South African on February 20 2014, 11:26
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Shoot 2 defend
Does this "shoot the jew" means i can shoot zille also?????????? & others

by GHALIEL on February 20 2014, 13:05
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Explosive new book Why Israel? Exposes Zionist Myths & Lies!
Why Israel? The Anatomy of Zionist Apartheid - A South African Perspective written by South African authors is the Ultimate Hasbara Combat Kit for Israeli Apartheid Week 2014...

by Why Israel? on February 20 2014, 13:38
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The right direction.
Most Christians support Israel.

by Paul C on February 20 2014, 13:53
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@ by onlooker on February 20 2014, 11:16
The UN passed a resolution declaring that apartheid was a "Crime against Humanity"
ie. Akin to the jewish holocaust ( Shoah )

HOW did the state of Israel vote or react to this UN resolution ???
How did the SAJBD ?

Indeed -- has . .more

by Bibliophile on February 20 2014, 14:35
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Hamas backed by Iran
I would also be seriously pissed off if someone was lobbing rockets everyday into my backyard. And the Anuus Comrades support all this @rap. Their days are numbered.

by Foghorn Leghorn on February 21 2014, 20:53
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