You Want To Know What Apartheid Is?

Ask a real expert. In the histories and the modern consciousness of the world, perhaps, it was Nelson Mandela who ended apartheid in South Africa. But in as much as such an event can ever be the work of a small number of people, there is another man who made it happen as much as Mandela. He jointly received the Nobel Prize with Mandela.

That other man was F.W. de Klerk. Yesterday he was awarded an honorary degree by the (highly integrated) Haifa University and he gave an interview to Israeli Channel 2 news. Israel Muse has translated and transcribed it and I reproduce his work here.

But the headline quote for me has to be: “When we had deadlocks, our biggest success was when Mandela put himself in my position and went out of his way to understand my position and I at the same time put myself in Mandela’s position and went out of my way to accommodate his core concerns and to break a deadlock you need initiatives.”.

South Africa had two great men, one on either side to end an historic conflict without large-scale violence. Who has ever filled the role of a true partner which Israel and Jews could work with? When has the Arab side EVER thought about what we Jews need? We have countless NGO’s wailing and gnashing their teeth trying to make Israel nicer to our Arab neighbours. Name one Arab NGO that fights for Jewish rights in Hebron!


John Kerry, threw the word Apartheid into the Middle East debate a few weeks ago, which is what the radical Left in Israel also claims, but the person who knows the word Apartheid very well, the person who ended this racist regime as the President of South Africa, FW De Klerk, he is now the one who said today in a special interview with Udi Segal that this comparison is unnecessary and not fair.

On the other hand he says to learn from his experience to initiate this and to walk in the enemies shoes in order to try solve the conflict. Tonight he is receiving his honorary doctorate from the Haifa University. Here are his words:

Udi Segal:
This man who made history when he brought down the Apartheid regime with Nelson Mandela, former South African president FW De Klerk, rejects the international comparisons and he states, as someone with experience, that Israel is not an Apartheid state, and as opposed to Kerry’s comment, Israel is not on the way there.

FW de Klerk:
You have closed borders but America has closed borders, they dont allow every Mexican who wants to come in come in. You have Palestinians living in Israel with full political rights represented in the Knesset. You dont have discriminatory laws against them that they may not swim on certain beaches or anything like that. I think its unfair to call Israel an Apartheid state. If Kerry did so I think he made a mistake.

Udi Segal:
To be fair, Kerry said that Israel can be an Apartheid state if it will not go to the 2-state solution. Do you think it can be an Apartheid state?

FW de Klerk:
The test will be, does everybody living then in such a unitary state, will everybody have full political rights? Will everybody enjoy their full human rights? If they will, it’s not an Apartheid state.

Udi Segal:
In other words this is not the situation and Israel might only get to this state in the case where 1 state has 2 Nationalities.
De Klerk claims that the situation is different between the 2 states (IL & SA), that the idea of separation couldn’t have worked in South Africa but could be the most moral solution in Israel, however it may disappear.

FW de Klerk:
In the case of South Africa, we became economically totally integrated and it no longer made sense. We became an economic omelette and once you make an omelette out of eggs you can never separate the yellow and the white again. So no, in our case, the concept of separateness failed. I’m not saying its the right solution for Israel but there will come in Israel a turning point where if the main obstacles at the moment which exist through a successful 2 state solution are not remove, the 2 state will become impossible. So, as an outsider I would say, believing that a 2 state solution might be the best one, you will have to move fast, see the window of opportunity, jump through it, it might close.

Udi Segal:
This evening De Klerk received the honorary doctorate from the Haifa University.
It’s his 6th visit to Israel. He knows and loves Israel and he is careful not to give advice but give hints as to what the way is to get out of this deadlocks of the negotiations. In short, Netanyahu and Abu Mazzen are doing the opposite of this.

Its called trust.

FW de Klerk:
When we had deadlocks, our biggest success was when Mandela put himself in my position and went out of his way to understand my position and I at the same time put myself in Mandela’s position and went out of my way to accommodate his core concerns and to break a deadlock you need initiatives. We sat down and said lets draw a list, what do we agree upon? ,and the list was longer than we expected and then slowly but surely we worked first on the easier things, where it was more easy through a give or take process to find each other and we reserved the most difficult ones for later and in the end we forced ourselves, we weren’t forced by outside forces, we forced ourselves to say we have made such big progress, we must now resolve these difficult points.


About Brian of London

Brian of London is not the messiah, he's a very naughty boy. Since making aliyah in 2009, Brian has blogged at Israellycool. Brian's interests include electric cars, world peace and an end to world hunger. Besides blogging here, Brian of London now writes at the Times of Israel. Brian of London also hosted Shire Network News

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  • Itna Dahij

    I found this very interesting – especially the mechanics of real ‘peace-making.’ Creating understanding and trust by placing oneself in the other in the other’s position. Then using common denominators to move forward. But of course both De Klerk and Mandela were Christians which simplified matters somewhat…

    It might be difficult to apply this same tactic to the Israel / Palestine conflict: Under Sharia,’Peace’ really means subjugation under Islam: For an infidel (Jews – Christians) in order to gain peace the choices are indeed stark:
    1 Conversion to Islam will bring about the “Realm of Peace” (Dir-el-Islam) in Palestine.
    2 Dhimmitude, living under an Koran ordained system of oppressive laws that can change at any time – viz The Copts of Egypt)

    The second main issue is that in numerous places throughout the Koran, Jews are belittled and Muslims are commanded to never befriend Jews – and worse still, to kill them, where ever they are found.

    I am afraid that unless the Arabs are willing to officially abrogate certain passages in the Koran and in Sharia – Peace (as we Israeli’s define it – will remain elusive forever

    • Norman_In_New_York

      Absolutely true, although interloping diplomats have been in denial about this for the last 65 years. Nothing will change, I’m afraid, until Arabs receive the same sort of attitude adjustment Americans gave Japan in August of 1945.

  • Lewis

    If only anti-Semitism could collect dust! Anti-Semitic terrorists often wear a mask: anti-Zionism. Jews have been unwelcome in places simply due to their beliefs. (1) While it’s true life is not easy for Palestinians, countries will go through a “potentially dangerous period” and the only thing holding them back is when they try “not to think of” any solution to violence! (2) It is due to these threats that Israel is carrying out well-teseted security traditions (which have also faced unfair boycotts in the past). (3) Thus, the legitimacy of Israel should not be in question any more than other European people’s fighting for their nationalism in the same way. The president of America himself said “Israel thrives as a diverse and vibrant democracy.” (4) While it’s true some Palestinians might fall through the cracks of a very complex legal system faced with the problem of so many different groups, folks like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch never include this fact: it’s very common for a country surrounded by enemies to have to defend itself. This has happened in history before. (5) Israelis frequently volunteer their time to enforce the law when the state has laxed. (6) As the great Zionist Max Nordau wrote, it is impossible for a Jew to hate since he “knows what terrible harm centuries of slavery… have done to his originally proud and upright character, and seeks to cure it by means of intense self-training.” (7)


  • jhertzli

    About closed borders: If a Palestinian state expels the West Bank settlers, it is also an example of closed borders.

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