Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Campus speakers against Apartheid in Palestine.

Margaret Thatcher's party admits that it was wrong to support Apartheid South Africa.


"Peace Train: End apartheid in Palestine:
"Speaker will address parallels to South Africa"

Thursday, November 13, 2008

On the Web at:

Just over 20 years ago, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher confidently voiced the opinion that "Nelson Mandela would never be the president of a free South Africa."

Seven years later, she had to eat her words. Apartheid, which had seemed firmly entrenched, was cast to the trash bin of history.

Apartheid is the unspoken policy within Israel/Palestine, and there, too, it must be ended.

It has been two years since the publication of Jimmy Carter's book "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid," which was met with a well-orchestrated and sustained campaign of vitriol.

For specifying Israeli policies that were consistent with apartheid, the former president and 2002 recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize was labeled an anti-Semite.

South African anti-apartheid activists Bishop Desmond Tutu, Blade Nzimande and John Dugard also identified features of apartheid in Israeli practices toward Palestinians in the occupied territories: the privilege of one group over another, detention without trial, control of movement through checkpoints and the wall, and deportation.

In some ways, they noted, Israel has imposed practices and policies much worse than the apartheid regime in South Africa.

Examples include the use of F-16s in residential areas, home demolitions, arrests of families of suspected "militants" and separate roads for Jewish settlers and the indigenous population.

Within Israel itself, state policies explicitly privilege Jewish citizens over Muslim and Christian citizens and as such are reminiscent of the Jim Crow south. In a December 2006 poll, 50 percent of Israeli Jews expressed the wish that the state encourage Palestinian citizens to leave -- in other words, they supported ethnic cleansing policies.

Israel's apartheid and exclusivist policies must be replaced by equal citizen rights irrespective of race, religion, ethnicity and gender.

Join us at 7 p.m. Monday in Humanities Room 1B50 on the University of Colorado campus for the lecture "Separate Is Never Equal: Stories of Apartheid from South Africa and Palestine," part of a national speaking tour sponsored by the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.

The speakers are internationally recognized human rights advocates Rev. Eddie Makue, General Secretary of the South African Council of Churches, and Diana Buttu, former legal advisor to the PLO.

--Ida Audeh is a Palestinian who grew up in the West Bank and now works as an editor in Boulder.