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South Africa

  • The road from apartheid: Lessons, warnings and hope from South Africa

    Democracy didn’t solve apartheid’s problems – it sparked a process of addressing them that could not start beforehand. South Africa should remind Israeli and Palestinian leaders that the road to transformation is long and imperfect – and it must start now. With the possibility that four-term Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could one day fall due to corruption investigations, and succession speculation around aging Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, might a new generation of leadership finally boost the ossified peace process? [tmwinpost] It’s hard to be optimistic. Israeli leaders have become too comfortable for too long doing nothing, while the Palestinian leadership…

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  • One of Israel's most painful chapters comes to life in Jerusalem

    After 60 years of covering up the disappearance of hundreds of Yemeni babies in the early years of the state, the time has come for justice and accountability. There were moments during Wednesday night's rally to commemorate the Yemenite children affair in which I wondered how the tiles beneath us, in Jerusalem's Mashbir Square, failed to crack under the unbearable weight of pain and grief. [tmwinpost] Veteran Jerusalemites will likely remember this plaza as "Talita Komi," one of the city's most vibrant areas. On Fridays people would stand here and deliver speeches to passersby, on Saturday evenings it was where young men and…

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  • Why 'it's not apartheid' arguments fail: Response to NYT op-ed

    A New York Times op-ed argues that Israel is not the South African apartheid its author sat in jail to expose. But to make his case, Benjamin Pogrund ignores the heart of what occupation really is. In an impassioned New York Times op ed, Benjamin Pogrund lays down the best possible arguments for why Israel is not an apartheid state. He brings out the full arsenal: his personal experience as a South African. His knowledge as a reporter who investigated and exposed the horrors of the system. He even paid the enormous price of jail time. It’s hard to top that level of…

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  • Top Israeli university marketing country's arms industry to the world

    A new university course at Israel's Technion Institute of Technology teaches students how to brand and market Israel's defense industry to global audiences. By Shimrit Lee Contrary to popular belief, Israel’s military-industrial complex doesn’t run on government and arms manufacturers alone. Academia, a sphere often imagined as a bastion of free speech, independent from corporate interests, plays a crucial, though less visible, role in the establishment. Its complicity in violence shouldn’t be ignored. [tmwinpost] That’s why last Thursday evening, I joined a small group of activists from Coalition of Women for Peace in central Tel Aviv to protest a new program, put…

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  • Why Africa won't embrace Netanyahu

    No matter how many technological advancements or solutions to terrorism he offers, Netanyahu won't be able to convince African states to love Israel before the occupation comes to an end. By Ilan Baruch Spokespersons for the Israeli government have recently decided to define Israel's diplomatic ties with Africa as a strategic goal. During his visit to the continent in July, the Prime Minister's Office told the media that it hopes the African Union, based in Addis Ababa, will renew Israel's status as observer. Ethiopia's prime minister even went so far as to say that "Israel is working hard in many countries…

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  • Why an economic boycott of Israel cannot succeed

    And why it might even hinder a political solution. By Yonathan Mizrachi Political movements calling for an economic boycott of Israel are working to advance a model based on the boycott of Apartheid South Africa and the critical role it played in ending white minority rule in that country. The parallel drawn between the economic boycott of South Africa and the one advanced by Palestinians and pro-Palestinians activists against Israel reinforces the view that Israel is an apartheid state. However without going into the question of whether Israel is an apartheid state, it is clear that one of the central…

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  • Why Herzog's diplomatic plan looks an awful lot like apartheid

    Looking closely at Labor's plan, the logic behind it becomes clear: since it is difficult to envision a Palestinian state in the foreseeable future, Israel should no longer be ashamed of putting Palestinians in Bantustans. By Neve Gordon On Sunday night, Israel's Labor Party unanimously approved their leader's diplomatic plan. [tmwinpost] Labor's premier Isaac Herzog laid out his vision a few weeks earlier at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, telling the audience that he “wish[es] to separate from as many Palestinians as possible, as quickly as possible.” Herzog continued by explaining that “we’ll erect a big…

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  • The Zionist dream is over — it's time to move forward

    The Zionist dream is disappearing due to the rise of the messianic Right. Jews who are worried must know there is an alternative: building a society based on equality and democracy. The end of the Zionist era is upon us. Perhaps it is time to close this chapter in the history of the Jewish people. The Zionist movement has succeeded, and now it is time to take down the monster before it goes too far. [tmwinpost] You, our Jewish cousins, established a state in the most unjust way possible. One cannot hide the Palestinian people or what they have gone…

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  • S. African Jews in Lubya: We're here to acknowledge the Nakba

    Among the ruins of the destroyed Palestinian village of Lubya, a group of South African Jews publicly apologizes to descendants of Lubya's refugees for their donations to the Jewish National Fund, donations that were used to plant part of the forest that covers the village's remains. In a forest glade set atop the remains of the destroyed Palestinian village of Lubya in the Lower Galilee, a delegation of South African Jews made a public apology to the descendants of refugees from Lubya and their families Friday evening. The event, a joint initiative of the South African delegation and representatives of…

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  • The one thing that could have defeated Netanyahu — hope

    There was a sense of misplaced joy on some parts of the Israeli Left as Netanyahu's carefully crafted messaging began to unravel in the days leading up to elections. Finally, the world would see his true colors. But the same thing that keeps Netanyahu in power is the same thing that perpetuates the occupation: lack of an alternative vision. It would have been pretty tempting to write a headline along the lines of, “Netanyahu rules out two-state solution, Israel votes for him anyway.” But that would have been silly. First off, Benjamin Netanyahu didn’t support the two-state solution when he…

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  • The day that Mandela Square graces Jerusalem

    Like Mandela, we in Israel have fought for our liberation from colonialism. But the world Mandela inspires is far from accepting Israel's occupation of Palestine. By Ilan Baruch On December 5th, South Africa and the world commemorated the passing away of Neslon Mandela, one of the most illustrious men in the history of modern times. In the duration of my tenure as Ambassador of Israel to South Africa, Mandela was no longer playing a role in the political dynamics of the country, and ambassadorial courtesy visits to his office were nearly impossible. Thanks, however, to the extraordinary help of a prominent…

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  • Israeli petition to European lawmakers: Recognize Palestine

    Prominent Israelis call on European parliamentarians to formally recognize a Palestinian state. But what kind of impact can European votes have when the real power broker in Israel-Palestine relations is still the U.S.? Nearly 700 prominent Israelis, including former ambassadors, academics, IDF officers, top playwrights and poets, winners of the Israel Prize and Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman have signed a letter appealing to the parliaments of various European countries to recognize Palestine in upcoming votes. We the undersigned, Citizens of Israel who wish it to be a safe and thriving country, are worried by the continued political stalemate and by…

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  • South African Jewry erupts over Palestinian keffiyeh

    After South African Jewish schoolboy Josh Broomberg donned a Palestinian keffiyeh in solidarity with Gazans at the opening of the World Debating Championships, the local Jewish community exploded in a torrent of vitriol against anyone who dared to deviate from the strict communal line of full support for Israel's military operation in Gaza. By Yoni Bass When Josh Broomberg left for the World Debating Championships in Thailand last month, he left as one of the crowning products of South Africa’s Jewish community, which stands at a humble 60,000 people. He was the deputy head boy of King David Victory Park Jewish day…

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