Just when you thought that parts of the Left couldn’t sink any lower in their response to Hamas’s brutal assault in Israel, along comes Yanis Varoufakis defending it as resistance against an ‘apartheid state’ – a comparison as false as it is grotesque, writes Normal Lewis in Spiked. Here’s an excerpt.
The black masses’ often brutalising struggle against Apartheid, which cost the lives of thousands, was never about violence as an end in itself. It was about the pursuit of the political ideals of democracy and freedom.
The contrast between the struggle against Apartheid and Hamas’s war with Israel could hardly be starker. This weekend, Hamas carried out a pogrom against Jewish civilians. As Daniel Ben-Ami highlights, Hamas is not a national-liberation movement engaged in trying to free Palestine. It’s an antisemitic death cult, hell-bent on eliminating all Jews in the quest for an international Islamic order. There is not one iota of democratic idealism in Hamas’s make-up.
In equating Hamas with Umkhonto, Yanis Varoufakis and his fellow cheerleaders not only arrogantly malign the sacrifices of South Africa’s black masses. They also perpetuate a damaging falsehood about Israel, which helps to isolate the Jewish state globally – namely, that Israel is an apartheid state. That it is just like South Africa used to be.
This is simply untrue. Arabs in Israel can vote in elections and Arab parties sit in parliament. There are Arab justices on the Supreme Court and Arab doctors in the health service. Similar equality for black people in Apartheid South Africa would have been unthinkable.
Yes, Arabs do suffer discrimination over jobs, education and housing. And the Israeli state’s abuse of human rights should be condemned. There are grounds for a serious debate about Israel’s problematic policies towards Palestinians. But the comparison with Apartheid South Africa is grotesque.
Worth reading in full.