The ‘Apartheid Plot’ Is No Less Dangerous Than a Nuclear Iran
Anti-Israel protest in London on May 15, 2021. (Alisdare Hickson/Flickr)

The ‘Apartheid Plot’ Is No Less Dangerous Than a Nuclear Iran

Ma’ariv, Israel, February 6

The report published by Amnesty International last week dropped the diplomatic equivalent of the atomic bomb on the State of Israel: the “apartheid” accusation.  This is a lie that has no basis in reality. It dishonors the victims of the real South African apartheid and stems from another form of ancient hatred: antisemitism. But its corruption and deception make it no less dangerous. The intent of those who label Israel with apartheid is exactly the same as that of the Iranian regime: to destroy the Jewish state. I say this as someone who grew up in South Africa in the 1980s, and experienced firsthand the effects of the sanctions imposed by the world on the apartheid government. It was a moral struggle to subdue the evil regime of the National Party, and to bring an end to the injustice of a real apartheid system. And it was painfully successful. The campaign made being a South African citizen a shame. It completely shattered the ability of white South Africans to pursue apartheid policies. The economic sanctions hit peoples’ pockets, and the boycott of cultural and sporting events around the world – which have tremendous symbolic significance – made South Africans feel marginalized. Traveling around the world with a South African passport felt like walking around with a stigma. The intent behind falsely accusing Israel of apartheid is to break the determination of its brave citizens, make them ashamed of their country, and force them to renounce their citizenships or evade their national duties. Therefore, the Israeli government must act with the determination appropriate to the severity of the existential threat posed upon it by this plot. It took Amnesty experts four years to compile this report, but its bottom line – the declaration that Israel is an apartheid state and a call for international sanctions – was given from day one. So why the weak response? The Israeli government’s efforts to prevent a nuclear Iran are quite comprehensive. But the apartheid plot is an existential threat no less serious, and therefore it must be fought with the same determination and severity. The government must initiate a radical paradigm shift to resist this smear campaign. If the Israeli government fails to nip this in the bud, the accusation will stick, despite its extreme distortion of reality. As the infamous Nazi propaganda minister Josef Goebbels put it: “If you repeat a lie enough times it becomes true.” And this lie is repeated by the enemies of Israel every day across the entire world. The State of Israel cannot allow this defamation to take place. It is a sign of disgrace. If the apartheid plot is not defeated, it will cast a shadow over Jewish history. The State of Israel will never be able to be truly safe. A coherent, robust and well-resourced national strategy for dealing with this threat must be implemented quickly. Think tanks and research institutes should be set up to prepare a response to every aspect, small and large, of this apartheid conspiracy. Every detail in the report must be addressed – for the historical documentation of the people of Israel and for the continued existence of the State of Israel. The indictment must be filed in legal forums around the world. Every available communication platform must be filled with comprehensive, professionally presented content that refutes these lies. There is an urgent need to change the paradigm of thinking in the Israeli government. The future of the Jewish state and the integrity of Jewish history are at stake.  – Warren Goldstein, chief rabbi of South Africa (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)

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