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Mainstream, VOL 61 No 46-47 November 11 & November 18, 2023

US support for Israeli apartheid aggression against Palestinians smacks of racism | Faraz Ahmad

Saturday 11 November 2023, by Faraz Ahmad


South Africans who suffered apartheid for over half a century under a white supremacist occupation regime, are the first to show to the world how to react to the apartheid regime of Israel’s depredation of Gaza and annihilation of the Palestinians.

Bolivia, then Colombia and then Chile too have recalled their ambassadors and suspended diplomatic relations with Israel. These Latin American nations have demonstrated, in this horrific situation created by the Zionist apartheid regime of Benjamin Netanyahu, how to react to his acts, amounting to nothing short of war crimes, deserving a trial by the International Court of Justice on the lines of Nuremberg.

On December 2, 1968. the United Nations General Assembly requested all States and organisations "to suspend cultural, educational, sporting and other exchanges with the racist regime and with organisations or institutions in South Africa which practiced apartheid.

What is Apartheid? Amnesty International on its website describes it as “Apartheid is a violation of public international law, a grave violation of internationally protected human rights, and a crime against humanity under international criminal law.

The term ‘apartheid’ was originally used to refer to a political system in South Africa which explicitly enforced racial segregation, and the domination and oppression of one racial group by another. It has since been adopted by the international community to condemn and criminalize such systems and practices wherever they occur in the world.

The statute of Rome Convention on Apartheid held Apartheid as the act perpetrated by an institutionalised regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over another, with the intention to maintain that system as a crime against humanity.

It held Apartheid as a system of prolonged and cruel discriminatory treatment by one racial group of members of another with the intention to control the second racial group.

How did the international community deal with the racist white regime of South Africa, practising apartheid? The UN General Assembly passed Resolution 1761 on November 6, 1962, condemning South African apartheid policies. On August 7, 1963 the UN Security Council passed Resolution 181 calling for a voluntary arms embargo against South Africa, and that very year, a Special Committee Against Apartheid was established to encourage and oversee plans of action against the regime.

It is significant that the credit for dismantling the apartheid system of discrimination in South Africa goes to a great extent to the newly independent African governments some of whom formed the Organisation for African Unity (OAU) in 1963. The OAU censured apartheid and demanded sanctions against South Africa. African states swore to aid the freedom movements in their fights against apartheid. In April 1969 at Lusaka, Zambia in what was widely known as the ‘Lusaka Manifesto”,

As expected, South Africa’s white racist regime rejected the Lusaka Manifesto’s call to South Africa to dismantle apartheid. This resulted in another OAU declaration in 1971, called the ‘Mogadishu Declaration’ which stated that "there is no way left to the liberation of Southern Africa except armed struggle". It also condemned African states which maintained diplomatic and other relations with South Africa in spite of its apartheid practice.

However, the US-led Western Europe and its other allies looked upon the South African apartheid administration as an important ally in the Cold War. Concerned about their economic and other related interests Britain and America refused to describe South African regime as apartheid and voted against financial sanctions at UN conferences. The US in fact, lacked conviction to act against apartheid when its states in deep south, quite a few of them, at least, had similar policies under the Jim Crow laws, in force and openly discriminated against the dark skinned. Jim Crowe was in fact a pejorative form of address to the non-whites in southern states. Besides, the USA weighed economic opportunities for South African investment. Imports and exports between the two states came to many millions of dollars. Financial ties aside, there were also numerous socio-cultural links between the white South Africans and the Anglo Saxons of Britain and the USA. Naturally then the Western Europe tilted racially towards the White rulers.

Is it any surprise then that the main reason for the US, and Western Europe to blindly support the European White jews, pushed away post fascist holocaust from their original habitat to Palestine, is racial identification with these White Jews? But why should certain Arabs and India uphold Israeli aggression and determined destruction of Gaza in the name of “right of self-defence” of the racist Ziionists?

Former US President Richard Nixon and his Secretary of State Henry Kissinger adopted a policy through which US maintained close ties with the apartheid regime. And US under Nixon-Kissinger duo further expanded and consolidated trade relations with that country. Instead, it condemned the African National Congress (ANC) fighting for the rights of the majority black population of that country as "a terrorist organisation." The Reagan administration went a step further by evading international sanctions against South Africa and vetoed the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act, which mandated compliance with the sanctions. The US also provided diplomatic support to the South African government in international fora because many countries refused to hold diplomatic relations with that white apartheid regime, however, sporting and cultural boycotts became important gadgets in South Africa’s isolation from international society.

If we look back how US fully supported White apartheid regime of South Africa, despite growing international pressure, it may not be difficult for us to comprehend why and how the US is behaving today. But it is worth pondering why is it that the international community, which achieved remarkable success in dealing with apartheid in South Africa, has been as yet unsuccessful in eliminating racial discrimination from Earth? And are there any further lessons to be learned from the struggle against apartheid?

On the one hand international human rights groups have underlined the totality and severity of human rights violations against the Palestinian population in occupied territories, and even against the Palestinians living in Israel proper, which amounts to crime against humanity. US and its Western allies have rejected the accusation, with the former often labelling the charge antisemitic.

The US is openly supporting another Nakba, as prominent members of Netanyahu government have proudly proclaimed. They besiege the Al Shifa Hospital killing new born along with adults on the specious pretext that Hamas headquarters are underneath the Hospital. Which means they would demolish that only remaining health centre for Gazans and kill Palestinians even without firing a bullet. It won’t matter if they fail to find anything eventually. Because there will be no media to report this. The latest reports stated that the Director of the Shifa Hospital and all the remaining patients died for lack of oxygen and electricity needed to keep their machines running because all power and water had been cut by Israeli army.

But how does it matter to Israel whose Defence Minister Yoav Gallant described on camera Palestinians as ‘Human animals’.

In December 2019, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination announced commencing a review of the Palestinian complaint that Israel’s policies in the West Bank amount to apartheid. But with the Big Dad US and its White European allies fully backing the apartheid murderous regime of Benjamin Netanyahu, who cares about the plight of millions of Palestinians slaughtered in the latest Nakba.

Joe Biden’s latest utterances clearly betray this, "My hope and expectation is that there will be less intrusive action relative to hospitals and we remain in contact with the Israelis,” Biden told reporters at the White House on November 13.

“Also there is an effort to get this pause to deal with the release of prisoners and that’s being negotiated, as well, with the Qataris…being engaged,” he added. “So I remain somewhat hopeful but hospitals must be protected” Reuters reported.

The only way to deal with Aparthied Israeli aggression against Palestinians is for the international community to isolate Israel diplomatically, economically, socially, culturally and pressurise US to stop all aid, arms and monetary to Israel, failing which the world has to take note of US refusal to fall in line with the larger world view and proceed with diplomatic initiatives against US as well. Sounds far- fetched? But if they do it to Russia, why should the US and Israel be treated differently?

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