The “Apartheid” canard, and others – from 1961
From The Daily Beast:
If there’s no two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict soon, Israel risks becoming “an apartheid state,” Secretary of State John Kerry told a room of influential world leaders in a closed-door meeting Friday.
Senior American officials have rarely, if ever, used the term “apartheid” in reference to Israel, and President Obama has previously rejected the idea that the word should apply to the Jewish state. Kerry’s use of the loaded term is already rankling Jewish leaders in America—and it could attract unwanted attention in Israel, as well.
By claiming that Israel could become an “apartheid state,” even in a closed-door session, Kerry has just handed a huge victory to the Israel haters. It proves that a lie, told often enough, convinces people who want to be convinced.
The earliest accusation of “apartheid” against Israel dates not from the Six Day War but from as early as 1961. Here is the description of part of several UN debates in September-October 1961 between the Saudi representative Ahmed Shukairy, later to become the first head of the PLO, and Golda Meir. The “apartheid” charge is towards the end but it is worth reading all of it to see how all the arguments we hear today against Israel pre-date “occupation.”
The representative of Saudi Arabia, Ahmad Shukairy, [in a strongly anti-Western speech], chided the Western powers because to them “divided Berlin is everything, and Jerusalem, the holy, is nothing,” although “the Berlin hardships can be found multiplied a thousand times in Palestine.” He deplored the plight of “the hundreds of Arabs who are machine-gunned yearly by Israel forces” only because “they attempt to cross to their homes or their fields on the other side of the barbed wire.” Addressing himself to the newly-independent nations of Asia and Africa, Shukairy declared that Israel’s emergence to independence was not the legitimate establishment of a legitimate state, since Israel was “the embodiment of imperialism, the symbol of colonialism, the fruition of capitalism, and the author . . . of anti-Semitism.” He concluded by denouncing what he termed the United States’ “support for this flagrant injustice calledIsrael” and its treatment of Israel as if it were “the fiftieth state of the United States.”
The representative of Israel, Foreign Minister Golda Meir,said with reference to the situation in the ME that the majority of the area’s inhabitants were non-Arab, and that Israel enjoyed relations of friendship with all ME countries except those belonging to the Arab League. She further pointed out that the Arab-Israel conflict was only one source of tension in the area, hostility to Israel being “largely a means used by Arab leaders to divert the attention of their peoples from their own unsolved problems and hardships.” Referring to Shul:airy’s speech Mrs Meir observed that she “could not help wondering
why he did not worry less about other countries and worry more about the state of affairs in his own.”
As regards the Arab population of Israel, Mrs Meir stated that she challenged any Ar-ab country to match the social and economic progress achieved by the Israel Arabs. Border incidents, she said, were only the result of Arab belligerence against Israel. Concluding her state-ent, Mrs Meir declared that “no Israel-Arab issue can be solved without negotiation; every one of the issues can be solved by negotiation.” Pending Arab willingness to conclude a final peace settlement, she proposed that these should be an Arab-Israel non-aggression pact and that a fresh effort be made to bring about regional cooperation in development programmes.
Taking the floor again on Oct 17 under the right of reply, Shultairy said that “the lady from Israel” had challenged the Arabs to find fault with the situation of the Israel Arabs. He quoted from a number of newspapers and books to prove his thesis that “the apartheid of South Africa is being practised by Israel” against the Arab minority. He denied Israel’sright to try Eichmann since Israel was “another Eichmann in a State.” In conclusion Shultairy made three“concrete proposals”: the establishment of a UN commission to implement the UN resolutions on Palestine; the appointment of a UN “committee of inquiry” to ascertain the conditions of the Israel Arabs; and an investigation by the International Atomic Energy Agency of “the true nature of the atomic reactors recently built in Israel.”
Notice also Shukairy’s comparing Israel to the Nazis, his claim that antisemitism is Israel’s fault and the statement that Israel has no claim on any part of Jerusalem.
Nothing has changed, but now the US State Department is starting to repeat Shukairy’s talking points of 1961. And to the Arabs, who think strategically in terms of decades and centuries, Shukairy’s 1961 lies have just borne fruit.