Can you spot the difference? 😢 I can't

South Africa during the apartheid era.

Israel today.


Israel 1

Looks like the same sticks in the police hands to me.

I’ll probably end up with Pegasus on my phone for posting this.


The 2 countries were quite close in the aparthied era, obviously useful exchanges for both.
I once caused a thread to be locked elsewhere because I criticised Israeli treatment of Palestinians, the allegation was that I was racist. It was later used together with 2 other equally far fetched infringments to ban me completely. And no, not the one I wrote about in a thread here recently. :wink: :grinning:

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They were indeed David. There was a lot of cooperation between Israel and the SA arms company Danel during SA’s apartheid period. No talk of boycotts or embargoes from them.

I visited a military museum in Jo’burg on one occasion and I was impressed with an artillery piece that the blurb claimed was capable of hitting Pretoria, 60 odd kilometres away. The shells had a “rocket” on the back of them which didn’t provide any propulsion but the gas filled the void behind the shell which would normally have held it back and decreased its range.

If I remember correctly the engineer behind it was a Canadian, Gerald Bull, who later went on to design a super gun for Saddam Hussain. It’s pretty well accepted, I believe, that the Israelis subsequently murdered him in Brussels.

As for comments on Israel, they are top notch at closing down any discourse they don’t like. For example, they trawl through comments pages and have people join the discussions with suspiciously recent user iDs :joy: spouting obvious Israeli propaganda. I’ve watched it happen in realtime :slightly_smiling_face:

Their biggest trick is conflating the State of Israel with Jewish people. Thus a criticism of the first, no matter how valid, can be shutdown as a criticism of the second no matter how far fetched the perceived association might be. All very clever stuff.


That is exactly what happened to me, a clearly stated disapproval of the State of Israel in its treatment of conquered and disposessd Palestinians was interpreted as being anti-Semitic. I think this is where Jeremy Corbyn came unstuck though I don’t know enough about his comments to be sure.

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This is what Israel relies on. They conflate the two whilst we know that they are doing this to stop genuine criticism of their policies of building in Palestinian settlements etc. etc.

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Did you read any of Desmond Tutu’s many speeches and articles condemning apartheid in Israel John? The Guardian printed a number over the years.

I’m afraid an enormous tragedy is unfolding there - and the conflation of anti-zionism with anti-semitism actively propagated by the Israeli government and it’s right-wing apologists adds considerably to the danger, because it ends up draining all meaning from the term ‘antisemitism’ itself.


I agree, doesn’t one have a moral responsibility to call this out?


Indeed - and one practical step everybody can take is to support the BDS movement - also endorsed by Tutu.


I’m signed up and have stickers on my cars to prove it :saluting_face:

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It’s interesting for me, as a devout atheist, how the far right US Christian states (home of the unprovoked gun atrocity) adore militant Zionism.


To be honest I don’t think it has much to do with religion - either christian or jewish. What’s going on in Israel and Palestine is really colonialism - Europeans and Americans (primarily) occupying and exploiting other people’s land - and the far right everywhere are apologists for colonialism. Many American states practiced apartheid until the 1960s, and those attitudes take a long time to recede. Left-wing christians (eg. Tutu) and jews (eg. Jewish Currents) see it for what it is: colonial apartheid.


Many people in many American states still do.


I’m not Jewish and I’m not a fan of Israel. But I can spot the difference! It’s very, very easy…

The population of South Africa was approximately 90% black and 10% white.
The country was ruled by the white minority.

The population of Israel is 75% Jewish and 20% Arab.
Israel has universal sufferage.

In the Democracy Index, compiled by the Economist newspaper, Israel is rated as being the 23rd most democratic country in the world (just behind France and just in front of Spain). For interest, the UK rates at 18th and the USA at 26th. Every other country in the Middle East is classed as “Authoritarian”. Palestine is the 109th most democratic country and Saudi Arabia is the 102nd.

The Human Development Report 2020, produced by the United Nations Development Programme, rates Israel at 19th, just behind Austria but ahead of Luxembourg, France and Spain.

It is because they both look at the Old Testament as the actual word of God, although it is only the Orthodox Jews who really seem to hold to that.
When you look at the reasons that the Jews give for not accepting Christ as their Messiah, it seems impossible for anyone to fulfil their requirements as they have to rebuild the Temple of Solomon for one.
Of course they both see themselves as superior to the rest of us!

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The Economist? Not a good source Dave. Israel’s own leading independent human rights group says Israel is NOT a democracy:

I can’t find the source for your statistics in the UNDP Human Development Report - but my guess is they’re using the same trick as The Economist - and the Israeli government - simply not including disenfranchised Palestinians as citizens.


All good points Dave.

I can certainly agree with that. When I lived in the M/E I had a couple of large contracts in Saudi and visited often, once in a moment of boredom I started counting the Saudi visas in my passports and gave up at fifty. I always thought the atmosphere in Riyadh was akin to that in East Berlin before the wall came down.

Jeddah was less severe and a fascinating city but overall the Country is grim.

That’s interesting Geof.

I heard this same line so often from white South Africans: people here, including black people, are better off than in [pick another African country convenient at the time]. It is, of course, nothing more than ‘whataboutery’ - or maybe worse: ‘look how our colonisation of their country is benefiting these poor backward peoples’?


Try Googling “UNDP Human Development Report”
The first entry is