Anti-Imperialism/Foreign Policy

Don’t call Israel an apartheid state

I would agree with this only in the sense that the occupied territories are less like the former South African apartheid and more like the Warsaw Ghetto.

By Giles Fraser, The Unherd

Arnold Schwarzenegger meant well, but there was nonetheless something ill-judged about his borrowing the term Kristallnacht to describe events at the Capitol. The murder of a hundred Jews, the destruction of 267 of synagogues, the transportation of 30,000 Jewish men to concentration camps, the prelude to the Holocaust – it really isn’t in the same ball park. America, it isn’t always all about you. And borrowing this sort of language for domestic political purposes risks watering down the horror of the Holocaust.

A similar anxiety struck me with the recent borrowing of the term “apartheid” to describe Israel. “There is an undercurrent of disrespect directed to African people coming from the pro-Palestinian groupings, through the appropriation of our culture and lived experiences” claims South African, Vuyolwethu Mkhuseli Xulu. “The term ‘Apartheid’ has been taken from us with its true meaning being lost in translation.” He concludes: “Each people’s struggles should be addressed in their specificity and not blended with the experiences of others.” Well said.


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