Bibi has revived the vile history of Israel

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could not have brought more shame upon his country and his countrymen. By refusing to attend Nelson Mandela's memorial service, he indeed reserved the darkest corner in hell for Israel and of course for himself as well. It was an absolute disgrace which brought forth once again an Israeli abomination which we would never and cannot ever forget. Bibi has fed fresh fodder to a vile reality that Israel was and is still a depraved apartheid country.

Political commentator Matthew Norman has been relentless in his criticism of Bibi's refusal to attend the memorial service of a man who has been one of the most inspiring personalities of our time. He is right in surmising that Netanyahu's refusal speaks of Israel's growing isolation. That is obvious but to look at Bibi's refusal from this perspective is taking a rather simplistic stand.

Norman has hit the nail on its head subsequently. Actually Bibi was scared of being booed in the stadium by those who remember that Israel was the apartheid regime's last and doughtiest friend in the developed world, and by those who detect similarities, however vague, between the maltreatment of black South Africans and the subjugation of Palestinians in the occupied territories.

In his telling and well-researched book, The Unspoken Alliance: Israel's Secret Relationship with Apartheid South Africa, Sasha Polakow-Suransky has revealed a well-kept Israeli secret and exposed how since 1987 Israel developed a despicable alliance with apartheid regime of South Africa and became a partner in the crime against humanity.

When hundreds and thousands in Europe and elsewhere were taking to streets demanding release of Nelson Mandela and in denunciation of the apartheid Israel and the Israelis remained shamefully silent; carried on with a covert weapon deal with supremacist South Africa; perpetrated a crime of the worst crime by exchanging "billions of dollars' worth of extremely sensitive materials, including nuclear technology, boosting Israel's sagging economy and strengthening the beleaguered apartheid regime."

We remain grateful to Sasha Polakow-Suransky for exposing how since the right-wing Likud Party came to power in 1977 Israel had all but abandoned the moralism of its founders in favour of close and lucrative ties with South Africa. For nearly twenty years, Israel denied these ties, claiming that it opposed apartheid on moral and religious grounds even as it secretly supplied the arsenal of a white supremacist government.

Israel's moral compromise then has been chilling and contemptible and it is still loathsome. In sharp contrast to the global sentiments that were building up then against apartheid Israel continued to remain a staunch ally of supremacist South Africa for which Tel Aviv has not yet begged forgiveness. Two leper states, two pariahs, remained locked in an unholy alliance and in their crimes against mankind. 

Israel's support for the white supremacist South Africa has been a classic example of extreme debauchery. It refused to join the sanctions the world had slapped on the racist regime but fell in subsequently under mounting global pressures. But more than this, what evokes our indignation for the Zionists is the fact that Israel supported the South African apartheid knowing fully well that the white regime had sided with Nazi Germany and supported Hitler's genocide.

Today as we walk down the lanes of history we feel nauseated and disgusted at an event that happened in Israel in April 1976. The then Israeli government rolled out red carpets and offered full diplomatic protocols to the then supremacist South African prime minister Balthazar Johannes Vorster. Vorster, said Sasha Polakow-Suransky, was not only the architect of South Africa's brutal crackdown on the black democratic opposition but had also served as a general in the Ossewa Brandwag, a militant Afrikaner nationalist organization that had openly supported the Nazis during World War II.

Clearly, Netanyahu's refusal to attend Mandela's memorial service was not just a piece of bad judgement. It was a deliberate act of a racist and an amoral prime minister of an apartheid and rogue nation that treats its Arab citizens with chilling racism.

By refusing to attend Mandela's memorial service Netanyahu has actually reaffirmed his own, his party's and his nation's avowal for apartheid; Israel still shamelessly remains deeply allied to supremacist South Africa even after nineteen years since apartheid has been done away with; Israel still remains incorrigibly ethnocentric. 

We often hear being asked, especially from the Zionists in Israel, why there has not been a Palestinian Nelson Mandela. To them we have one question. May we be explained why there hasn't been a Frederik Willem de Klerk, the seventh and last State President of apartheid-era South Africa who brokered the end of apartheid, in Israel? Why has there been none in the Zionist land to tell that ethnocracy cannot continue forever.

Netanyahu, at least, can never be the de Klerk that Israel is in need of. In fact, there isn't anyone now among the present breed of leaders in the country who is expected to lead transition of Israel towards pluralism or multi-ethnic democracy.

By refusing to attend Madiba's memorial Netanyahu has confirmed that Israel is apartheid and has perpetuated the crime that his fathers and predecessors perpetrated. Netanyahu must now ask forgiveness from Mandela and black South Africans for his country's immoral collaboration with evil.

But given his moral obtuseness to expect this from Netanyahu will certainly be like asking a cat to give up eating fish.

The author is the Opinion Editor of Times of Oman


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