KASRILS, Ronnie. Jewish South African anti-Apartheid hero slams Israel as "worse than Apartheid"

Ronald (Ronnie) Kasrils was a South African Jewish hero in the fight against Apartheid. He was a member of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the African National Congress  (ANC) (1987- 2007),  member of the Central Committee of the South African Communist Party (SACP) (1986-2007) and Minister for Intelligence (2004-2008) (for more details see Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ronnie_Kasrils ) .

Ronnie Kasrils on Apartheid Israel, 2007: “Travelling into Palestine's West Bank and Gaza Strip, which I visited recently, is like a surreal trip back into an apartheid state of emergency. It is chilling to pass through the myriad checkpoints -- more than 500 in the West Bank. They are controlled by heavily armed soldiers, youthful but grim, tensely watching every movement, fingers on the trigger… The West Bank, once 22% of historic Palestine, has shrunk to perhaps 10% to 12% of living space for its inhabitants, and is split into several fragments, including the fertile Jordan Valley, which is a security preserve for Jewish settlers and the Israeli Defence Force. Like the Gaza Strip, the West Bank is effectively a hermetically sealed prison. It is shocking to discover that certain roads are barred to Palestinians and reserved for Jewish settlers. I try in vain to recall anything quite as obscene in apartheid South Africa.” [1].

Ronnie Kasrils on Apartheid Israel and Apartheid South Africa, 2009: “At the onset of international “Israel Apartheid Week” in solidarity with the embattled Palestinian people, I want to start by quoting a South African who emphatically stated as far back as 1963 that “Israel is an apartheid state.” Those were not the words of Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Tutu or Joe Slovo, but were uttered by none other than the architect of apartheid itself, racist Prime Minister, Dr. Hendrik Verwoerd. He was irked by the criticism of apartheid policy and Harold Macmillan’s “Winds of Change” speech , in contrast to the West’s unconditional support for Zionist Israel…To conclude: we must spare no effort in building a world-wide solidarity movement to emulate the success of the Anti-Apartheid Movement which played such a crucial role in toppling the apartheid regime in South Africa. Nelson Mandela stated after South Africa attained democratic rule that “ we South Africans cannot feel free until the Palestinians are free.” A slogan of South Africa’s liberation struggle and our trade union movement is “An injury to one is an injury to all!“ That goes for the whole of humanity. Every act of solidarity demonstrates to the Palestinians and those courageous Jews who stand by them in Israel - that they are not alone.” [2].

Ronnie Kasrils re pro-Zionist Canadian university and government blocking of anti-Apartheid Israel activism, 2009: “I’ve been quite taken a back by what is happening here. These university presidents, and your government, are locked in a time warp. They don’t get it. Being anti-Israel, or anti-Zionism does not in any way equal anti-Semitism. But this fact is lost with the presidents of various universities. It’s lost on the Jason Kenney’s. They still hold on to that notion if you “cry wolf,” and say this is anti-Israel and therefore anti-Semitic, that this will still carry any weight. And what I say in dialogue with Zionists, is that around the world this claim is really something that is now over. It is finished. Finito.” [3].

Ronnie Kasrils to Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), a New Hampshire student group promoting divestment in Israel: “As a South African freedom fighter and recently retired minister in our democratic government I salute your stand against apartheid Israel!” [4].

Ronnie Kasrils on Apartheid Israel and Apartheid South Africa: “ The occupation reminds me of the darkest days of apartheid, but we never saw tanks and planes firing at a civilian population. It's a monstrousness I'd never seen before. The wall you built, the checkpoints and the roads for Jews only - it turns the stomach, even for someone who grew up under apartheid. It's a hundred times worse.” [5].

Former South African Intelligence Minister Ronnie Kasrils from a speech at Israel Apartheid Week (2009)."Israel came to resemble more and more apartheid South Africa at its zenith -- even surpassing its brutality, house demolitions, removal of communities, targeted assassinations, massacres, imprisonment and torture of its opponents, collective punishment and the aggression against neighbouring states." [6]. 

 

[1]. Ronnie Kasrils, “Israel 2007: worse than Apartheid”, Mail & Guardian On-line, 21 May 2007: http://www.mg.co.za/article/2007-05-21-israel-2007-worse-than-apartheid .

[2]. Ronnie Kasrils, “Who said nearly 50 years ago that Israel was an Apartheid State?”, Speech at Israel Apartheid Week, 2009, Global BDS Movement. Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions for Palestine, 20 March 2009: http://www.bdsmovement.net/?q=node/347 .

[3] Ronnie Kasrils, quoted by Johan Boyden,”Israel Apartheid week in Canada welcomes Ronnie Kasrils and fights censorship and interference”, The Comment Factory, 9 March 2009: http://www.thecommentfactory.com/israel-apartheid-week-in-canada-welcomes-ronnie-kasrils-and-fights-censorship-and-interference-2046 .

[4]. Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), a New Hampshire student group promoting divestment in Israel, “Endorsements“, 2009: http://www.hsjp.org/endorsements/ .

[5]. Gideon Levy, “Twilight zone/Cry the Beloved Country”, Haaretz, 26 January 2009: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/862911.html .

[6]. Edward. C. Corrigan, “Israel and apartheid: a fair comparison?”, rabble.ca, 2 March 2010: http://www.rabble.ca/news/2010/03/israel-and-apartheid-fair-comparison .


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