“Banality and barefaced lies” indeed

“Banality and barefaced lies” indeed December 28, 2006

The more you dig, the more bogus this whole controversy–rightly dubbed "banaltiy and barefaced lies" by veteran Middle East journalist Robert Fisk–around Carter’s supposedly outrageous rhetoric becomes.

First, there’s Fisk’s timely reminder of how Israel was a lifeline to South Africa during its dark past as an international pariah state for its apartheid system.  [HT: AbuSinan.]

"But in this context, why, I wonder, didn’t The New York Times and the other gutless mainstream newspapers in the United States mention Israel’s cosy relationship with that very racist apartheid regime in South Africa which Carter is not supposed to mention in his book? Didn’t Israel have a wealthy diamond trade with sanctioned, racist South Africa? Didn’t Israel have a fruitful and deep military relationship with that racist regime? Am I dreaming, looking-glass-like, when I recall that in April of 1976, Prime Minister John Vorster of South Africa – one of the architects of this vile Nazi-like system of apartheid – paid a state visit to Israel and was honoured with an official reception from Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin, war hero Moshe Dayan and future Nobel prize-winner Yitzhak Rabin? This of course, certainly did not become part of the great American debate on Carter’s book."

The history of collusion between Israel and South Africa is well known and documented, at least in the real world (i.e., outside the MSM), but how many people are aware of the fact that this comparison has even been made by the Jewish heroes of the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa?

Take a look at this eye-opening report  by Ian Urbina in the Middle East Report on comparable attitudes even among South African Jews:

It was not a novel comparison, but it caused quite a stir. In June 2001, Ronnie Kasrils and Max Ozinsky, two Jewish heroes of South Africa’s struggle for liberation from state-driven racism, published a letter in the Pretoria newspaper comparing Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands to South African apartheid. The letter, signed by several hundred other prominent Jewish leaders and titled "Not                in My Name," called for an immediate end to the occupation and sparked a frenzy in the South African press in the months that followed. 

Are Kasrils and Ozinsky, Jews and unimpeachable icons of the struggle against apartheid in South Africa not credible observers on this matter? They think the hat fits.  How is it offensive again for Carter to use the A-word?

Is Carter being harsh?  Sure, but it’s a very harsh reality–and one that goes largely unreported in the MSM–that he’s commenting on.  Is he being offensive, much less anti-Semitic?  Only if you consider reporting reality to be offensive.  Many in positions of power and influence in the United States do, alas. 

Meanwhile, bookstores and op-ed columns are bursting at the seams with harsh invective against Muslims, Arabs and Islam.  Scurrilous halfbaked books slandering the Holy Prophet and demonizing Muslims are selling like hot cakes.  The airwaves are full of increasingly unapologetic bigotry and hatred against Muslims.   Critics of Muslims are free to tar whomever they disagree with as "Islamofascists" and "Jihadis". But using the word "apartheid" to describe Israel’s strikingly apartheid-like system of separation and discrimination is beyond the bounds of decency!

When you really get down to it this brouhaha is the latest outbreak among media elites of that great un-American pastime of ruthlessly censorsing debate on Israel, at the expense of American democracy.   

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