FW de Klerk's support for Israeli apartheid no surprise - YCL

League says former president also actively opposed the global non-violent boycott, divestment and sanctions against apartheid SA

FW De Klerk supporting Israeli Apartheid? He was an Apartheid president!

24 June 2015

We are amused, but not surprised, that Israeli government supporters are celebrating the unsurprising remarks made by the last President in charge of the violent and racist Apartheid regime president FW De Klerk. De Klerk has come out saying that we should not boycott Apartheid Israel.

Israel and its supporters seem desperate in attempts to thwart the growing isolation and boycott that Israel is facing for its human rights abuses against the indigenous Palestinian people and for its violations of international law. Israel is undersatandbly desperate because they find themselves in a moral dustbin, thus they celebrate even the most embarrassing support they recieve.

The Young Communist League of South Africa [uFasimba] is not surprised by FW De Klerk's opposition to the non-violent boycott of Israel. because its common knowledge that he actively opposed the global non-violent boycott, divestment and sanctions against Apartheid South Africa. In his recent Israeli interview he went so far as to claim that “sanctions hurt the very people they are meant to help", this is an arrogant and dishonest statement. This statement exposes how De Klerk truly believes he can rewrite the history of South Africa with his narrative, a false narrative of the gracious white Apartheid president who freed Nelson Mandela and handed the majority democracy. His illusions and misrepresentations grow day by day. 

The YCLSA wishes to remind the young people of South Africa that Apartheid was wrong, that sanctions helped bring freedom to South Africa and that Palestine needs our support. Let us also remind our young people that the racist Apartheid government of De Klerk's tortured, letter bombed and killed many of our heroes.

Indeed the De Klerk lie must come to an end, he was and is an Apartheid supporter, if it were not for the ground swell of mass demonstrations and resistance, combined with the certain impact of global isolation achieved through Boycotts Sanctions and Divestment, Apartheid would still be here in South Africa. Indeed De Klerk was forced to the negotiating table, he knows it and the we all know it, he must stop his denial. He is a dishonest old man, a villain who wants to play hero. He never loved us and we never loved him, history must be honest and corrected. 

On the issue of Israel, we must remind South Africa that his Apartheid government benefited from Israeli resources, military hardware and arms, he always supported Israel as it shared his values of Apartheid. It would seem that that his old apartheid-era relationship still exists today. 

YCLSA wonders whether the FW De Klerk Foundation with its racist imperialist agenda receives funding from the Israeli Government and its lobbyists, both to undermine the democratic ANC led South African government and BDS South Africa.

As for De Klerk’s suggestion that the boycott against Apartheid South Africa did not lead to our freedom we simply quote Archbishop Desmond Tutu who has said: “The withdrawal of trade with South Africa by multinational corporations with a conscience in the 1980s was ultimately one of the key levers that brought the apartheid state – bloodlessly – to its knees. Those corporations understood that by contributing to South Africa’s economy, they were contributing to the retention of an unjust status quo”.”

Anti-Aparhteid struggle icons such as Ahmed Kathrada, Denis Goddberg, John Dugard and various others have -given their experience under apartheid- compared Apartheid South Africa to current day Israel. Given that De Klerk oversaw Apartheid as opposed to overthrow that regime, we urge and invite the former Apartheid ruler to refer to the 2009 South African Government commissioned HSRC report that has found Israel guilty of Apartheid. 

F W De Klerk sounds like USA’s right-wing Ronald Reagan in suggesting that boycotts harm the people that they are intended to assist. Oliver Tambo said of Reagan:  “The special attachment of the Reagan Administration to the South African racists should be understood. South African fascists in turn, isolated and facing inevitable defeat, have lost no time in exploiting the Reagan regime`s commitment to colonialism, fascism, racism, Zionism and even Nazism - anything criminal.

The result is that in the perpetration of its barbarous crimes the South African regime feels free to tell any lie whatsoever, secure in the knowledge that the Reagan Administration will swallow it hook, line and sinker.” It would seem that the Israeli lie that the boycotts harm Palestinians (who themselves called for BDS) has been bought hook line and sinker by De Klerk.

Finally, we would like to correct the perception that De Klerk was responsible for releasing Nelson Mandela from prison. It was us, the people of South Africa, communists around the world, revolutionary countries like Cuba and our civil society partners overseas that released Mandela through civil disobedience, international boycotts and other pressure. In fact, De Klerk should be held accountable for having imprisoned Mandela and other anti-apartheid heroes! 

Furthermore, De Klerk did not end Apartheid, he was forced to. We, the people led by the SACP, ANC and other political organisations, ended Apartheid not because of De Klerk but in spite of De Klerk and the National Party. Lastly, De Klerk and the Apartheid Government did not just wake up and decide to negotiate, they negotiated because they had no choice. The country was ungovernable, the country was isolated.

Likewise it would seem that Israel too needs to be isolated if we are to bring its leaders to the negotiating table. We invite all peace and justice loving people to join the YCLSA in supporting the growing non-violent boycott, divestment and sanctions movement called for by the indigenous oppressed Palestinian and increasingly supported by progressive Israelis. 

FW De Klerk never loved us.

Statement issued by Khaya Xaba. YCLSA National Spokesperson, June 24 2015