Why the “Two State Solution” is Apartheid 320

I expect you are all familiar with the maps showing the radical shrinking of Palestinian land over 70 years due to the expansion of colonial Israeli settlement. Startling and appalling, yes, but to me they bring back strong memories of other maps, in a precisely analogous situation, which goes to the heart of why Israel is an apartheid state.

The original apartheid state of South Africa created “homelands”, known colloquially as “bantustans”, and proposed that, as the apotheosis of apartheid, these “homelands” would become independent states and house the majority black population of the country in fenced-off areas which had been too arid, rocky or commercial mineral free to attract significant white settlement over three centuries of theft. South Africa actually did recognise some of these as Independent states, while the rest were supposed to be on a course to recognition.

The maps really do bring out the startling similarity between these two attempts to formalise the dispossession of the original people. Thankfully, even though the “Homelands solution” had its supporters including Thatcher, it never achieved support beyond what was then an extreme right wing view, and none of the “independent states” ever achieved international recognition.

I worked in the FCO as the South Africa (Political) desk officer from 1984-6, and seeing off right wing Tory lobbying to adopt the Homelands policy was a major problem. It is simply symptomatic of the extraordinary right wing shift in western politics over the intervening three decades, that a “Bantustan” solution for Palestine, laughably called a “two state solution”, is now the accepted wisdom of the political and media class.

The proposal is precisely analogous to South Africa not only because of the displacement of the original population into separated enclosures, but because it leaves the bulk of the land in the hands of a colonial population, whose identity and exclusivity is specifically enshrined in law by ethnicity. Israel’s adoption this year of a new nation state law putting the state on an officially racist basis only confirmed the reality encapsulated in a raft of hundreds of other laws and regulations. The harsh discriminatory regime faced by non-Jews in Israel has been exhaustively documented, and it is not my purpose to repeat it here. I recommend this lecture by Ben White:

Many of the practices Ben describes have strong echoes of the apartheid regime, as do the disregard for Black/Palestinian life, the regular use of disproportionate lethal force against protestors, the mass arrests and detentions, the impunity for both law enforcers and “master race” civilians who attack blacks/Palestinians. These features are highly analogous.

But what I want to address here is the striking similarity between the arguments used by supporters of apartheid, with which I dealt every day at the FCO, and the arguments used today by supporters of Israel. They came by post thirty years ago not internet, and we did not use the word meme, but the key arguments are exactly the same.

We are outnumbered, we will be murdered in our beds.

Supporters of apartheid argued constantly that, as there were more black than white people in South Africa, they would be powerless in a single, democratic South Africa and would be dispossessed and murdered. Bloodcurdling quotes from black nationalists, some real, some invented, would be recycled continually as evidence that a peaceful united South Africa was not possible. A unitary democratic state, it was frequently asserted, would inevitably be followed by a massacre of the white population.

I think it is extremely important to state that the white South Africans arguing this, and their overseas supporters, genuinely believed it at the time. In 1984-6, they really did think majority rule would mean massacre.

I hear precisely the same argument from Israelis and their supporters today. A single state encompassing Israel and Palestine is not possible because they would be outnumbered. Exactly as in South Africa then, these assertions are often accompanied by an obsession with racial demographics and birth rates. And exactly as in South Africa then, the Israelis today really have been taught actually to believe this – that they will all be massacred unless the original population is corralled and viciously controlled.

In fact, of course, no such thing occurred in South Africa. The capacity of a subject people for forgiveness once released is generally surprising. It turns out that it is vicious racial overlordship, as opposed to subjection, which sooner develops psychopathy in a nation. Indeed, remarkably the South African government is only now taking the first tentative steps towards long overdue land reform.

The Land Was Empty Before We Colonised It

White supremacists had put an enormous amount of effort into arguing that the part of Africa most free of disease and amenable to human population, was remarkably free of humans before the arrival of the colonists. The amount of historical distortion involved in this was mind-boggling, and it has been comprehensively debunked since.

It is however remarkable how exactly the same arguments are repeated by Israelis and their supporters who make a variety of ahistoric claims: that the Naqba never happened, that the Palestinians always lived herded together in the Gaza strip, that there is no such thing as a Palestinian identity, and that illegal West Bank settlements are built upon previously unoccupied land.

The Only Democracy in the Region

This claim was made repeatedly by both South Africans and Israelis. It depended on the notion that black South Africans were not South African citizens, but could exercise their democratic rights within the “Homelands”, precisely as Israel argues that the millions of displaced Palestinians are not Israeli citizens but can exercise their democratic rights within the Palestinian occupied territories they were herded to. And again, this argument was rejected with derision by the Western media and political class in the South African case, but to query it in the Israeli case is well outside the Overton window.

The Original Population Are Better Off

A rehash of the Imperial argument that governance by the master race brings economic benefits to the colonised, it was continually asserted that Black South Africans enjoyed better working conditions than any other Africans. Similarly Israel claims that by permitting its caged Palestinian labour force to commute into Israeli factories from their camps, it is helping the Palestinian people.

If you scroll down the replies to this tweet, made at the time of the Gaza demonstration massacre, you will find numerous examples of all of the above arguments being put forward by supporters of Israel. I really had not expected to find myself still fighting apartheid in 2018, let alone in a situation where it is viewed by the Establishment as the acceptable solution.

I do not accept the arguments of any proponent of a “two state solution”, any more than I accepted the arguments of the supporters of apartheid South Africa. It is an essential work to convince people that, despite the massive backing of the media and politicians for it, the “two state” solution represents nothing but the ultimate sanctification of apartheid Israel.

The disgraceful shift of Saudi Arabia to close alliance with Israel and the USA to pursue an obsessive fight against the interests of Shia Muslims everywhere, has hopefully lost some traction after it has become impossible to deny that Mohammed Bin Salman is the psychopath his actions, especially in Yemen but also against peaceful democratic dissidents, had long revealed him to be. The Salman/Kushner plan for an ultra-fragmented Palestinian “state” with its capital in an obscure outer suburb of Jerusalem may have been dealt a mortal blow in the diplomatic world.

The only potential resolution of the situation in Palestine must involve justice and dignity for all. That solution requires the abolition of apartheid Israel and its replacement by a unitary, democratic state blind to race and religion. That is no more impossible in Palestine than it was in South Africa. The fears of those who believe it is not possible, are just as implausible as the fears of apartheid supporters 30 years ago,

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320 thoughts on “Why the “Two State Solution” is Apartheid

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  • Jack

    The israeli propaganda is everywhere, it doesnt matter what Israel do onto palestinians or its neighbors, west will support it no matter what. South African apartheid finally reached the western elite, but I dont see the same elite today will stop its support for the israeli regime.
    One small step forward meanwhile, is to educate your family, friends, relatives on whats going on, like giving them this book (Christmas coming up).

    Ten Myths About Israel
    “The “ten myths” that Pappe explores—repeated endlessly in the media, enforced by the military, accepted without question by the world’s governments—reinforce the regional status quo. He explores the claim that Palestine was an empty land at the time of the Balfour Declaration, as well as the formation of Zionism and its role in the early decades of nation building. He asks whether the Palestinians voluntarily left their homeland in 1948, and whether June 1967 was a war of “no choice.” Turning to the myths surrounding the failures of the Camp David Accords and the official reasons for the attacks on Gaza, Pappe explains why the two-state solution is no longer viable.”

    • Bill Rollinson

      “The west will support it no matter what”

      Has in never occurred to you, the ‘west’ are controlled by the same Zionists that control Israel?
      Why do US. UK, EU never criticise Israel?

      We’re all puppets to Zionist ideology and we ned to wake up.
      Ignore screams of Anti-semitism, they’ve used this for decades to frighten people!
      Speak your mind, tell the truth!!

    • Tom Welsh

      “… the claim that Palestine was an empty land at the time of the Balfour Declaration…”

      Well, empty of real intelligent, moral, civilized human beings chosen of God anyway. (Where “civilized” means “practicing our religion and skilled in the use of all the most powerful and modern weapons). Just like the New World, Australia, New Zealand, and – from the point of view of the Third Reich and the Washington-based Fourth Reich – Russia.

      • Emmanuel

        In the case of Palestine, the new colonizers were never better in every respect than the indigenous population!

      • Paul Greenwood

        If the Russian Revolutionaries had not released Sazonov’s files on 24 November, 1917, who would have known what deals Sykes had concocted with Giscard d’Estaing whose grand uncle Francois Georges Picot was the counterpart to appropriate Mesopotamia……and who knows today what secret agreements are shunted around files in government ?

    • Paul Greenwood

      Palestine was no more a “land” than Pakistan was – it was a unbounded territory within an Empire

      • Jack

        Paul Greenwood is a great example of which kind of people should read the book. He’s not alone though, these lies, myths have been fed for decades, making the populace of the western world indoctrinated and apparently accepting of heinous war crimes and other inhuman activities by israeli regime.

  • Nima

    Hi, Craig. Thanks for this. I just want to also emphasise that a political solution should not be divorced of the economic system that’s intertwined with it. Formal political power may be devolved but practically remain concentrated in the hands of the existing ruling class: extending racist frameworks to complement class oppression. This is the sad story of South Africa today, a warning that formal political institutions can be undermined by the trojan horse of economic balance of forces.

  • Dungroanin

    Many happy returns sir.

    I await your views on the dismembered ‘journalist’ Kashoggi and the media condemnation – compared to the unfortunate journalist blown to bits in Malta and pack of equal concern by the same governments.

    I do expect the BDS movement to step up a gear, the Israeli state and citizens are surely as manipulated by their militarists, politicians, religious leaders and media as any historical nation state ever was. There must surely be some emigrations going on by the undeluded Israelis?

  • Raskolnikov

    The arguments you are advancing are fallacious. Yet, something is missing from your plead: the situation today in South Africa. I wouldn’t call it particularly brilliant. Isn’t there a case to be made by Israeli that putting an end to apartheid would lead Israel into the same situation South Africa is now in.

    • MrD

      “I wouldn’t call it particularly brilliant”

      Really? Are you seriously comparing South Africa with Palestine, and concluding that South Africa is worse? Where, for example, is the South African Gaza, surrounded by trigger-happy sharpshooters? Wow.

      • Raskolnikov

        I worded my comment somewhat clumsily. When I said “the arguments you are advancing are fallacious”, I meant not Craig’s arguments, but the ones that where made in South Africa during apartheid by the whites and which Craig rather convincingly rebutted.

        And I agree that there is no “Gaza” in South Africa, right now. But the government is going to expropriate white farmers without compensation. White farmers are brutally murdered, not in the numbers which would make it qualify to be a genocide as some claim, but still. South Africa is a very violent society. The black population is by and large very poor. The end of apartheid didn’t magically solve their problem. They have corrupt rulers now.

        What makes you think that if apartheid ended in Israel, things would go on a different path? I think it’s a legitimate question.
        I’m not saying it justifies Israel’s exactions against Palestinians. But I think they also have good reasons to fear the end of apartheid.

        • wonky

          I agree with your thoughts on this. Racism is racism, regardless of the racist’s skin colour. And yes, after all the Palestinian eyes they’ve taken, they do have good reasons to fear for their own. Bitter irony, that. Violence creates violence creates violence. This is Jesus’ true wisdom.

  • MJ

    “the key arguments are exactly the same”

    Zionists also use another argument that the Africaaners could not: the land is historically ours. It’s in the bible. We are God’s chosen race!

    • eddie-g

      Actually there were large sects of Afrikanerdom, supported by the Dutch Reformed Church ( basically extreme Calvinism), who believed they were a chosen people. Their right to be in South Africa was ordained by God.

      Really no different.

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    Since the turn of the century there has been an increase in the population of settlers in the West Bank (excluding East Jerusalem) of 115% (as of 2017). In the same period the population of Israel has increased by 36%. Barely a week goes by this year without an announcement of another settlement building program expressed in four figures (housing units). Where do all the settlers come from? Are the housings units fully utilised or are a substantial proportion holiday homes for dual nationality citizens? Do absentee tenants have voting rights (in absentia)?

  • Hmmm

    Simplistically equating support for a 2-state solution with pro-Israeli apartheid apologetics is not historically or politically accurate. There has long been — and continues to be, despite all the disappointments — quite rational and morally justified support for this approach among progressive supporters of Palestinian rights. Of course, not all 2-state solutions are equal. But to tar all advocates with the same brush is just wrong, and would seem to be reflective of a blinkered view of these matters that is unhelpful to intelligent debate. Disappointing.

  • Antiwar7

    I mostly agree with this article, but didn’t violent crime rise significantly in South Africa after the ANC won? I know a couple of white South Africans who had close family members murdered, and I don’t know many South Africans.

    • Shatnersrug

      Sanctions broke many of the institutions in SA, and the police were always corrupt, but it’s no good suggesting that violence increased. Violence merely increased towards white people, until the beginning of formal sanctions minority whites had been kept in a protected bubble, with house servants and the like, some were kind nashers but many beat and mistreated their staff not to mention the hidden children from masters taking advantage of their young house maids.

      • Kempe

        Violence did increase; although things have improved you’ve still a greater chance of getting raped in South Africa than anywhere else and minority whites still live in a protected bubble; gated communities surrounded by high walls, razor wire and guard dogs.

        • giyane

          Rape is a crime related to power, not sex. Its prevalence in South Africa, and indeed in English cities in the Asian communities is solely because of the historical abuse of power against these countries. Crawl back into your husk , Kempe

          • Kempe

            Oh I see, because your great grandfather oppressed my great grandfather I’m going to abuse your underage daughter. It wouldn’t have anything to do with perversion or lust?

            Doesn’t change the statistics on SA though.

          • Paul Greenwood

            “solely because of the historical abuse of power against these countries”

            So that is your excuse is it ? Well good to know. Then there is no way to expect any improvement in the behaviour of these people and they will need to be subjected to merciless retribution since it is integral to their mode of living to rape and abuse. You have provided the clarification many people have been seeking.

    • Alyson

      South Africa is a new country in some ways. Europeans were used to fighting for national boundaries. Education and political structures have been honed over centuries. Tribal disputes were different, and on a smaller scale. Property is defined in different ways. Polygamy or monogamy are contracted differently. Hiring servants or being responsible for feeding and clothing slaves, raises and delivers different expectations. China is setting up businesses in South Africa, but has to upskill the workers from scratch. This is due to education limitations. They also find that corruption makes it difficult to make definite contracts that will be honoured. China is efficient. In many parts of Africa their way of delivering infrastructure to go with employment is raising standards of living for everyone. Cultural normative compatibility is challenging. Israel likewise. Europeans are used to defining and defending their property borders. Bedouin move over a large terrain through the seasons. Palestine was occupied by the Ottomans. They were much happier under British rule. The British civil service brought economic order, education, property title deeds, healthcare for all. They thought that the European Jewish refugees would be like the British. This was a misconception. The Diaspora had not had a defined country, with borders, and responsibilities. They did not know how to queue, was one observation. They stood in a line, and then fought each other to get on the bus first. Israeli Arab landowners have observed that there is plenty of land for new settlements, if the settlers would only act like human beings. Palestinian refugees have no passports, no right to travel. They hold land title deeds issued by the British government but no right of return. Their property has been stolen. They are being killed. It is not a war. They are like fish in a barrel. Peace will need to be based on property rights, compensation, and equal human rights. It is hard to imagine hardline apartheid militarist Israel looking for a peaceful resolution, at this time. But Russia is doing a remarkable job maintaining national boundaries, negotiating with Syria, Israel and Iran, to require all of them not to attack each other’s sovereign territory. If any of them breaches the agreement, then Russia will consider the ‘treaty’ void. The focus has been on pushing foreign fighters out of Syria, and there are villagers in the south waiting hopefully to return to their villages in the Golan Heights. I think this is overly optimistic however, as Israel has been selling mining and mineral rights in that area.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    What about US one-state solution to its apartheid?
    We are still stuck with rampant racism, and will always be,

  • Kempe

    ” a unitary, democratic state blind to race and religion. ”

    Does such a utopia exist anywhere in the world?

  • giyane

    If you listen to the BBC, ultra right wing solutions are now the norm in the chattering classes. I am totally delighted that the Brexit fiasco which has spot-lighted Thereas May in a dazzling pirouette in which her face always faces the audience and turns it back on reality, has made the bonkers Tories think , klike Mrs Thatcher that they can now annoy the British public single day with ever far, farther and farage -fetched ideas.

    This signals their imminent demise. the worm-like coupling of Zionism, conservatism, Islamism and neo-colonialism has put them well out of the orbit of normal British people’s normal beliefs. If you don’t want to represent us, you can fluke off. You only got in through the treachery of the illiberal, undemocratic Nick Clegg, who has now been drawn like a moth to the delights of universal hacking into everybody’s privacy @ facebook.

    I only hope the bastard Tories don’t give you a leg up out of the stinking bog in retrun for your giving them the kiss of life.
    BTW Craig I agree with all you say on Palestine, Israel and apartheid with the exception of one thing. Muhammad bin Salman is a young man who knows nothing. His Saudi contemporaries specialise in
    deepest arrogance. They despise foreigners like Zionists despise foreigners. But Kashoggi and the Muslim Brotherhood have waged war against the Muslims of Syria and Libya for so long that we have forgotten who controlled them, Britain, Germany and France. Brexit was a vote by the British people against neo-con policy executed by these three and their proxies and it has given Russia supremacy in the battle for the Middle East.

  • Dom

    I fear that achieving justice in Palestine will be very much more difficult than it was in South Africa. In this country, major information providers will not represent Israel as a racist apartheid state or even as an occupier. Anybody who does try and point out the reality is stigmatized as a racist or terrorist sympathizer, a tactic employed even by ‘mainstream’ Labour MPs who seem to regard Israel as some kind of beacon. In America, Netanyahu receives 17 standing ovations when he addresses the Senate, even in the immediate wake of bombing women and children. I am not old enough to remember how apartheid South Africa was treated, but I doubt very much that it was protected from criticism – let alone ostracism – to this degree.

  • John2o2o

    “I do not accept the arguments of any proponent of a “two state solution” … The only potential resolution of the situation in Palestine … requires the abolition of apartheid Israel and its replacement by a unitary, democratic state blind to race and religion.”

    – You mean like the United Kingdom, Craig?

    • Antonym

      “a unitary, democratic state blind to race and religion.” As there is only one Jcwish state on this planet let one of the dozens of Muslim majority states give this good example first.

      • laguerre

        Israel pretends to be Western and morally superior. Muslim countries don’t pretend to be western.

  • Sharp Ears

    That’s not funny and is very sick.

    Watch Jeremy Hunt in the HoC giving his statement on the subject.

    He will follow Dominic Raab and Theresa May who have spent the last few hours answering questions on the EU deal.

    • Shatnersrug

      Just a little gallows humour, Spent all morning with a friend at the DWP. The nurse who dealt with her was extremely kind, but the question were extremely personal to ask a woman in her mid 50s who is chronically ill. The idea that it will be read by some descision maker worrying over a piffly £70 a week whilst our government supplies millions in aid for arms to Israel to murder Palestinian children – now that is sick.

  • Ian Calderbank

    Interesting stuff but I think some of your comments go to far and show an ideological position rather than one based on facts. This particularly concerns South Africa. I am of course strictly opposed to apartheid and glad it ended but some misunderstandings in your article:
    Not all of the ‘white’ land in South Africa was acquired illegitimately (unless you believe being white disqualifies somebody). Some of the land was settled and some acquired by acquisition.
    In addition to the point above you should also note that not all of the black tribal groups are native to South Africa. Some arriving after the first whites, so did they steal the land too.
    Whilst the country got of to a good start after apartheid there is now considerable racially motivated violence against white people including a particularly abhorrent wave of farm killings.

    • Keith McClary

      “not all of the black tribal groups are native to South Africa. Some arriving after the first whites, so did they steal the land too.”
      The Zionists have their own version of this.

  • eddie-g

    Wonderful post, Craig. I grew up in apartheid SA, and your capture of the mood of the 80’s is spot on.

    One quibble, however, when you say “the South African government is only now taking the first tentative steps towards long overdue land reform” – they’ve actually been at it for a while. Within the overall context of reconciliation, Mandela was very sensitive about how land reform should be implemented, and they settled on a process that has significant constitutional protections and is extremely slow.

    The legal issue in the spotlight right now is around appropriation of land without confiscation (and under what circumstances it may be permissible) – the debate is whether it is permitted under the Constitution (no two lawyers agree on this), or whether the Constitution needs an amendment. The ANC has decided to take a run at the first argument, and accelerate redistribution that way, but the Lands Claim Court, which adjudicates on these things, has been around since I think 1996 or ’97.

  • Sharp Ears

    Regev must have passed the word up that Corbyn is ready and waiting in the wings for the call as Theresa flounders.

    Hence this vitriol about him poured out by the Jerusalem Post. It is libellous.


    ‘Is there anything Israel’s allies can do to make it more difficult for a Corbyn-controlled Labour to rise to power?

    British Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn is Israel’s most dangerous enemy in the Western European mainstream. He has a long record of anti-Israel incitement. Corbyn may well become British prime minister in the next parliamentary election. It is likely that he will surround himself with other extremist Israel-haters.’

    • Shatnersrug

      Forgive me for my tasteless pun earlier – spent a day with a fiend at the dwp [[[shudder]]] you start looking for humour in the unlikeliest it places.

      Yep there are plenty of Extremist-Israel haters, most sane people dislike countries that shoot children with snipers, and tell their army that raping palestian women is doing god’s work.

      I think the truth is out now, Israel will become a pariah state. Can only be a matter of time before UN sanctions are placed on them. I think the interfering in the running of other country’s politics and attempting to redefine antisenitism as a hatred of the modern racist state of Israel have had a most unintended and almost Streisandonian effect on their shenanigans, interestingly I believe South Africa indulged in much of the same through the 70s and 80s.

      watch the political will change as the next geration take over, Aipac have overplayed their hand in the states and Regev here. As for France – they saw straight through Macron’s pro israel bullshit immediately.

      We keep up the pressure on them and on the saudi’s

    • nevermind

      If he is really that dangerous hed better get the spes and split loyalists removed from the party.

      Disbandon the Labour friends of Israel spyring.

      Thanks for anothet excellent article Craig.

  • Bert.

    It s, of course, anti-semitic to point out how similar the jews are to the NAZIs. Naqba denial is fine but don’t anyone suggest holocaust denial; it is even illegal in some European countries to deny the holocaust. Recently a jew announced the innate superiority of the jews: SSSHHH nobody mention Aryan superiority.

    When Germany reunited Her Royal Highness Queen maggie announced that we should prepare for war as – obviously – the Germans are innately prone to such. I take it that someone took her aside and pointed out that the Anglo-Saxons come from the same part of the world and therefore… This was without pointing out that the German Kaiser and Chancellor were the very last to give up on the torch of peace in August of 1914.

    The real problem is, of course, extremely easy to discern: WE ARE ALL HUMAN. And with that we are all prone to the same stupidities. Germans have no particular predisposition to war; or to all the bullshit of NAZIISM. NAZIISM is just one name for the same basic process that happened over and over and over again throughout history. Now it is happening in the Eastern Mediterranean; just as the Germans were not particularly prone to going along with NAZIISM as the experiment of Stanley Milgram (a jew) demonstrated. When Migram showed that Amerkans were equally prone to Obedience to Authority, amerkans were horrified… mistakenly they somehow think they are superior and that they would never do that.

    But PEOPLE do it everywhere. NOTE: Craig’s piece a few weeks ago under the headline “The Ubiquity of Evil” (https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2018/07/the-ubiquity-of-evil/) As I read this I had Milgram in mind throughout.

    The jews are not special people nor are they special victims: they are people. They are made out of the sick shit as the rest of us. It is just that – when you are born human- it is very, very hard work trying not to be a complete ass’ole.


  • BrianFujisan

    Thank you Craig.. Great post

    From Professor Finkelstein –

    ​”​ It’s hard to admit that the Zionist ideology and its creation – Israel – have created a thieving, racist, arrogant monster that robs water and land and history, which has blood on its hands using the excuse of security​”​

  • Jannie

    Sorry, Craig – South Africa is a shitshow. They got rid of Apartheid only to bring in something far worse – rule by incompetent, corrupt, racist, would-be dictators. Any whites who can leave have left. Farm murders are government-backed and the murderers often have military-grade equipment. Meanwhile, the ANC has been sitting on 4,000 empty farms for a good decade (many blacks who claim compensation want cash, not land – and those who do take land rapidly render it useless with slash and burn agricultural methods) without redistributing them – and now wants to steal land from the remaining white farmers. Israelis would do well to gaze southward and harden their attitudes towards EVER giving up an inch of their hard-won Jewish state.

    • Zoltan Jorovic

      Far worse for whom? What Craig omitted to mention, because he probably assumed it was obvious to all, is that running an Apartheid state, which divides the population ethnically and ensures one racially defined group has the wealth and power, is immoral. It is unacceptable. It is wrong. I would go further – it is evil. Of course, all countries have groups that attempt to control the state and ensure they get the major share of the riches. But to have that defined in law according to race or religion, and to assign a large proportion of the population to serfdom purely on that basis, can never be allowed by the rest of the world. That way lies slavery, genocide and destruction.

      Interestingly, Craig forgot to mention one common argument heard in the heyday of Apartheid SA – the one about how the blacks were ignorant and incapable and needed the whites to run things for them. You just used a typical example: “those (blacks) who take land rapidly render it useless with slash and burn agricultural methods”. This was always the song of the colonist – “we are doing these poor savages a favour, they would be lost without our wise guidance and skills to keep things running”. In fact the same argument was used by slave owners. Tell me honestly – would you rather be a comfortable, well fed slave, or a poor, hungry, free man? History tells us that the call of freedom always overcomes that of comfort.

  • Tom Welsh

    A parallel that Craig does not draw – surprisingly, I thought – is the obvious one between the South African and Israeli policies and the “Indian reservations” into which Native Americans were herded by the US government. The herding can only be done after many have been, shall we say, “liquidated” – or else they wouldn’t fit; the reservations are, as Craig mentions, devoid of any natural resources (oil, minerals, fresh water, trees, a blade of grass); and there is a distinct impression that, if the herdees all happen to die, the herders won’t be all that sad about it.

    But perhaps it’s not politically correct to remember the enormous and horrible misdeeds of good ol’ Uncle Same – who always means well, God bless his cotton-pickin’ socks.

    • Jannie

      Not unlike the “reservations” in Scotland and Wales that the Saxon conquerors herded the Celts into…

      • Alyson

        A step too far Jannie. Castles all around Wales (often ruined) attest to the fact that the Welsh were never subjugated in Wales, not by the Normans whose 60 knights still form England’s aristocracy, and despite the Act of Union under Henry VIII. The bible was translated from Latin into Welsh before English. The Saxons defeated them at Chester, it is true, 10,000 killed in battle, in the 7th century. The Vikings pushed out the Brythonic people and their language in the borders too. Glasgow, or glas cae (blue field in Welsh) was where all the cultures met and clashed. The Vikings came south. The Saxons came west. The Romans were not just Italians though. Scythian mounted archers were deployed along Hadrian’s wall. According to Taliesin, Arthur was a Roman Scythian battle leader, or Roman Dux Bellorum who led the Welsh in defence of their land (and the gold and silver mines being mined there by the Romans). Like our geology, we are many parts pushed together into a whole

        • Alyson


          A story

          ‘Whether William the Conquerer had any rightful claim to the throne of England has been vigorously debated since 1066, but such concerns troubled the new Norman aristocracy not at all as they charged through the southern Welsh principalities that had never been part of England.

          Gwenllian, sworn to protect her people, could not do nothing and retain her authority.

          It was 1136. Gwenllian’s eldest sons were grown, but her youngest were six and four. She made them safe, and with her eldest, summoned the menfolk to her; two hundred labourers, armed with billhooks, axes, home-made shields; perhaps, even a few rusty swords.

          Maurice sallied forth, surprising her at Maes Gwenllian — “Gwenllian’s Field.” The fight was bitter and short. Gwenllian’s horse surrounded, she saw her son, Morgan, hacked to death trying to protect his mother. Trampling his corpse into the mud, the Normans dragged her to the ground and hauled her before Maurice.

          It would have been normal for Maurice to spare her life for “ransom.” Perhaps Gwenllian could not raise a king’s ransom. Or maybe, she was special to Maurice. Women, descendants of Eve who introduced all sin and suffering into the world, were — as every Medieval man knew — the cause of all earth’s sorrow. He cut her head off. Where her blood spilled into the ground, it’s said, burst forth a spring of pure water.

          If Maurice de Londres hoped that would end of the struggle, that the beaten Welsh would slink away and resign themselves to subjection, he was disappointed. Outrage at Gwenllian’s unchivalrous execution seeped through the Welsh countryside like blood through plaster. When Gwenllian’s husband and father, united in grief, hurled their forces against Ceredigion and Cardigan, Iowerth ap Owain in Gwent rose up against the de Clares. For decades, the battles raged as Gwenllian’s little boy, Rhys, grew up to become one of the greatest names in Welsh history: The Lord Rhys.’

          Each time a leader was killed, another stepped into his place. Different.

      • Wolsto

        On a blog which attracts its fair share of, err, unusual comments, this still stands out as being a wonderfully absurd contribution. Have a cursory read of some basic history and archaeology.

      • Zoltan Jorovic

        Saxons in Scotland – shome mishtake surely? Also, the myth that Saxons drove Celts out of England has been demolished by DNA evidence. Most English people have less than 15% Saxon blood. They came, they saw, they brought some of their culture and customs and were absorbed by the indigenous population – as someone might have said.

    • BrianFujisan

      I have Native American Friends.. their treatment at Standing rock..

      to this day the THIRD largest cause of of death of First Nation women is Murder.. A genocide ongoing

  • Alf Baird

    I fear we also see aspects of apartheid in Scotland, though this is not always quite so evident. We don’t often think of the Scots as an oppressed people, but we should; we are likewise treated as a colony after all, now for over three centuries. That comes with substantial downsides as we know (e.g. stolen territory, deindustrialisation, an Anglo-elite, enforced Brexit etc). For instance, it should normally be difficult, especially for a small country, to remove some 3-4 million of its own people but our overlords managed to do that.

    • Alyson

      Still think of Scots as being the brains of the outfit, though. Bridges, trains, electricity. Some of British people’s greatest achievements have been made by Scots. Wales has poets, singers, actors, religious leaders, and lots of politicians. Wordy bunch. Scotland builds stuff

      • Alf Baird

        Its a wee bit of a myth Alyson played out on us naïve Scots. Downing Streets V&A propaganda museum in Dundee gave us a cruise ship design exhibition sort of suggesting we Brits are ‘great’ at that, yet the last cruise ship built in Scotland was QE2 50 years ago and that was a technical and financial disaster; there is a boom in cruise ship building but Scotland is nowhere to be seen. Even the wind turbines and much of the related equipment is mostly built outside Scotland, same with trains, planes, autos etc. Our ex public utilities are mostly offshore owned now, energy, ports, airports etc though with evidence of crumbling infrastructure as state sales were not conditional on new investment, as is common in many other countries. Scotland is just a nice wee deregulated Tory asset-play and half the population still seem content to vote for that exploitation, though perhaps as many as half the No voters (1m people) are not Scottish in terms of culture/heritage and that group appear to have little interest in voting to acquire Scottish citizenship or Scottish nationality, instead taking it upon themselves to actively block that opportunity for indigenous folks, thus thwarting self-determination. The rather unique franchise based only on residence seems self-defeating.

  • TheBAG

    I have not read the comments, so I apologize if I am duplicating thoughts.

    Another great example of these apartheid ideas in action is the European takeover of North America. This invasion was quite successful at destroying the indigenous civilization and replacing it with a European one.

  • Michael Bond

    The truth of the matter is that there is no Palestinian state to recognize within the 1967, or any other, borders. The (often well-meaning) liberals and progressives, inside Israel and outside, who advocate a ”Two-State” solution fail to recognize the alternative, based on the idea of equality for all, on the separation of state from religion, and on an end to discrimination and racial apartheid ; a One-State solution : i.e. Liberated Palestine

    The illusion of A ‘Two-State Solution’ has guaranteed Israel’s survival as a Jewish racist state for decades.


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