HÖRE ISRAEL – let us read Nelson Mandela again after 13 years – and let us learn from him
us say: We are one world and one mosaic of many different colours and
shapes, but we are all human beings with our DIGNITY… and we are different, but equal.
dares to touch this dignity, we will stand up and protest, and dance,
and raise our voice, and convince you that PEACE is the right word to
say, and that HATE is the wrong word to use. And that if there is a WINNER in a war, it is the company who produced the weapons to kill people.
Mandela’s Memo to Thomas Friedman About Israel & Palestine
By Nelson Mandela, 28 March 2001
“If you want peace and
democracy, I will support you. If you want formal Apartheid, we will not
support you. If you want to support racial discrimination and ethnic
cleansing, we will oppose you.“
East, but before you continue to talk about necessary conditions from
an Israeli perspective, you need to know what’s on my mind. Where to
begin? How about 1964.Let me quote my own words during my trial. They
are true today as they were then: “I have fought against white
domination and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished
the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live
together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I
hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for
which I am prepared to die.”
Apartheid has no future. In South Africa it has been ended by our own
decisive mass action in order to build peace and security. That mass
campaign of defiance and other actions could only culminate in the
establishment of Democracy.
situation in Palestine or more specifically, the structure of political
and cultural relationships between Palestinians and Israelis, as an
Apartheid system. This is because you incorrectly think that the problem
of Palestine began in 1967. This was demonstrated in your recent column
“Bush’s First Memo” in the New York Times on March 27, 2001.
still problems of 1948 to be solved, the most important component of
which is the right to return of Palestinian refugees. The
Palestinian-Israeli conflict is not just an issue of military occupation
and Israel is not a country that was established “normally” and
happened to occupy another country in 1967. Palestinians are not
struggling for a “state” but for freedom, liberation and equality, just
like we were struggling for freedom in South Africa.
In the last few years, and especially during the reign of the Labour
Party, Israel showed that it was not even willing to return what it
occupied in 1967; that Settlements remain, Jerusalem would be under
exclusive Israeli sovereignty, and Palestinians would not have an
independent state, but would be under Israeli economic domination with
Israeli control of borders, land, air, water and sea.
“separation”. The value of separation is measured in terms of the
ability of Israel to keep the Jewish state Jewish, and not to have a
Palestinian minority that could have the opportunity to become a
majority at some time in the future. If this takes place, it would force
Israel to either become a secular democratic or bi-national state, or
to turn into a state of Apartheid not only de facto, but also de jure.
Thomas, if you follow the polls in Israel for the last 30 or 40 years,
you clearly find a vulgar racism that includes a third of the population
who openly declare themselves to be racist. This racism is of the
nature of “I hate Arabs” and “I wish Arabs would be dead”.
you will see there is discrimination against Palestinians, and if you
further consider the 1967 Occupied Territories you will find there are
already two judicial systems in operation that represent two different
approaches to human life: one for Palestinian life and the other for
Jewish life. Additionally there are two different approaches to property
and to land. Palestinian property is not recognized as private property
because it can be confiscated.
Gaza, there is an additional factor. The so-called “Palestinian
autonomous areas” are Bantustans. These are restricted entities within
the power structure of the Israeli Apartheid system.
the Jewish state, just in order to keep the Jewish purity of Israel.
Israel’s racial discrimination is daily life of most Palestinians. Since
Israel is a Jewish state, Israeli Jews are able to accrue special
rights which non-Jews cannot do. Palestinian Arabs have no place in a
deprived millions of Palestinians of their liberty and property. It has
perpetuated a system of gross racial discrimination and inequality. It
has systematically incarcerated and tortured thousands of Palestinians,
contrary to the rules of international law. It has, in particular, waged
a war against a civilian population, in particular children.
abuses emanating from the removal policies and Apartheid policies
respectively, shed light on what Israeli society must necessarily go
through before one can speak of a just and lasting peace in the Middle
East and an end to its Apartheid policies.
I’m not going to indulge you the way your supporters do. If you want
peace and democracy, I will support you. If you want formal Apartheid,
we will not support you. If you want to support racial discrimination
and ethnic cleansing, we will oppose you.