by Ali Abunimah 12:51am Fri Nov 17 '00

                              In late 1984 protests by South African
                              blacks against high rents turned into a
                              national uprising against Apartheid. The white
                              South African government responded with
                              brutal force, eventually declaring a state of
                              emergency. This did not quell the protests,
                              which continued for months and years.
                              Thousands of blacks were killed, injured and

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                    by Ali Abunimah
                    October 25, 2000

                    In late 1984 protests by South African blacks against high rents turned
                    into a national uprising against Apartheid. The white South African
                    government responded with brutal force, eventually declaring a state of
                    emergency. This did not quell the protests, which continued for months
                    and years. Thousands of blacks were killed, injured and imprisoned. All
                    along, the South African government claimed it was engaged in a
                    "reform" process which would have given blacks some autonomy under
                    total white control. The program involved forcibly moving millions of
                    blacks off their land and into "homelands." Sound familiar? It did to me,
                    and so do the quotes from South African officials back in 1984-85,
                    when they are placed next to what we are hearing from Israel's
                    government today. I have organized them roughly by category.


                    From South Africa...

                    Los Angeles Times, June 3, 1985: "Senior [South African] police
                    officers have complained recently that their efforts to deal with unrest
                    are hampered by the rioters' tactics, including the use of women and
                    children as 1human shields,' the absence of suspected leaders from the
                    front lines of most protests and the increased attacks on police,
                    particularly the township homes of black policemen."

                    From Israel...

                    Capt. Natan Golan, IDF Spokesman --St. Petersburg Times, October
                    18, 2000 : "It's tragic to have a child fall in this violence, but there's no
                    reason for the IDF to fire one shot
                    if there's no violence...All we're trying to say is stop this incessant
                    incitement to violence.
                    We are dealing with a situation in which kids are cynically being used by
                    being put on the front lines where they may be killed, maimed or
                    injured...If a young boy falls, it gives the Palestinians a lot of
                    propaganda points."

                    From South Africa...

                    The Washington Post, July 21, 1985: "Botha said he was ordering the
                    move to combat "acts of violence and thuggery" that he said were
                    "mainly directed at the property and
                    person of law-abiding black people and take the form of incitement,
                    intimidation, arson, inhuman forms of assault and even murder.""
                    --President P.W. Botha explaining why he
                    was imposing a state of emergency.

                    BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY

                    *From South Africa...

                    Financial Times, September 11, 1985: Louis La Grange, Minister of
                    Law and Order, commenting on the violence which had at the time
                    claimed 660 black lives and 2,400 injured against 11 dead and 357
                    injured from the South African police and army: "Law and order has to
                    be restored with strong and singleminded action. The full power of the
                    state has to be employed to this end."

                    *From Israel...

                    Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak --Scotland on Sunday, October 8,
                    2000: "If we do not see a change in the patterns of violence in the next
                    two days, we will regard this as a
                    cessation by Arafat of the peace process...and we will order the army
                    and security forces to use all means at their disposal to halt the
                    violence."- -

                    *From South Africa...

                    The New York Times, August 9, 1985: --President P.W. Botha,
                    speaking the day after sixteen black protestors had been killed by South
                    African forces. "If necessary, we can even take stronger steps than we
                    have taken so far."

                    The New York Times, August 24, 1985: Brig. Jan Coetzee, the Chief
                    of Police in Soweto Township explaining why the township was under
                    curfew. "We are not trying to oppress
                    people, but are doing this for their own benefit."


                    From South Africa...

                    The New York Times, November 23, 1985--South African response
                    to criticism about disproportionate force used by police, after thirteen
                    protestors had been killed in one
                    day in Mamelodi Township. "A police spokesman said riot-squad
                    patrols had been "confronted by particularly violent mobs" and were
                    "bombarded with petrol bombs, half
                    bricks and other objects."

                    From Israel...

                    Los Angeles Times, October 5, 2000--Israeli Internal Security Minister
                    Shlomo Ben-Ami defending Israel's use of lethal force against civilian
                    protestors. "What happened in recent days was not just a protest
                    demonstration, but rather a phenomenon of unprecedented degree...The
                    problem is the
                    character of the confrontation, the degree of confrontation between
                    protesters and the police, who are entitled, if there is real danger to life,
                    to shoot."

                    AGAINST EXTREMISTS

                    *From South Africa...

                    President P.W. Botha, touting his "reform" program which included the
                    creation of separate parliaments and bantustans for blacks, the day after
                    six black protestors were shot dead by South African forces. "We shall
                    not be stampeded into a situation of panic by irresponsible elements for
                    opportunistic reasons...We shall continue with the process
                    of peaceful deliberation and consultations to find solutions for our
                    unsolved problems."

                    The New York Times, August 24, 1985. President P.W. Botha talking
                    about "radical Communist forces" (i.e. the ANC) which he accused of
                    inciting violence. "We will fight and defeat them with all the lawful means
                    at our disposal."

                    From Israel...

                    Ehud Barak, CNN, October 12, 2000: "Israel is determined to defend
                    itself. We have no hostile intention against anyone around us. We were
                    ready to go further than any previous government in Israel, be it
                    Netanyahu or Shamir or even Rabin and Peres, in contemplating ideas
                    that will put an end to it. But if we won't find a partner with the same
                    determination and clarity of objective, we will fight to defend ourself and
                    our right to live in freedom in this part of the world."

                    From South Africa...

                    The San Diego Union-Tribune, August 16, 1985--President P.W.
                    Botha: "I am not prepared to lead white South Africans and other
                    minority groups on a road to abdication and suicide."

                    From Israel...

                    CNN, October 12, 2000--Ehud Barak: "You cannot let your neck be
                    kind of cut as a good gesture for your neighbor, even if its a good


                    From South Africa...

                    Los Angeles Times, September 10, 1985--President P.W. Botha:
                    "South Africa's decisions will be made by South Africa's leaders, and
                    the leaders of South Africa will themselves decide what is in our
                    interests," Botha said in Pretoria, the capital. "Reform can only be
                    retarded by outside attempts to interfere."

                    From Israel...

                    CNN, October 12, 2000--Ehud Barak: "Of course we say no [to a
                    UN investigation]. We say that it should be an American source of
                    authority, maybe with Israelis and Palestinians, of course, but not
                    international body. And we believe that this is an understandable
                    position bearing in mind our experience in this world in the last 52

                    ON THE FUTURE

                    "Apartheid"--President P.W. Botha

                    "Us over here, Them over there"--Prime Minister Ehud Barak.

                    ..And freedom too will come to Palestine.


                    Quotations: On Israel and South Africa. from a book by Mona Younis
                    (2000), Liberation and Democratization: the South African and
                    Palestinian National Movements.

                    "I don't understand this comparison between us and South Africa. What
                    is similar here and there is that both they and we must prevent others
                    from taking us over. Anyone who says that the blacks are oppressed in
                    South Africa is a liar. The blacks there want to gain control of the white
                    minority just
                    like the Arabs here want to gain control over us. And we, too, like the
                    White minority in South Africa, must act to prevent them from taking us
                    over. I was in a gold mine there and I saw what excellent conditions the
                    black workers have. So there is separate elevators for Whites and
                    Blacks, so what? That's the way they like it."

                    --Raphael Eitan Chief of Staff of the Israeli army during the 1982
                    invasion of Lebanon, speaking in a guest lecture at the School of Law,
                    Tel Aviv University, 1987, quoted in Yediot Ahronot, december, 1987.


                    add your comments

                    Isreal South Africa: Comparison
                    by Ahmed Ajabiry 1:58am Fri Nov 17 '00
                    address: Newyork

                    It is misleading to compare Isreal to South Africa. Isreal's apartied is
                    rooted(with my respect )to religion.The arabs of the so called Isreal will
                    never enjoy the liberty and dignity of man. Black South Africans' hope
                    for a free demacratic society was and still a practical and achievable