Beryl Barmada (SA) responds to “Racism risk in calls for Israeli boycott” The Australian 22Sep09 September 21, 2009

The Weekend Australian: “Racism risk in calls for Israeli boycott” by Philip Mendes and Nick Dyrenfurth,. 19-20 September 2009

The two academics who wrote “Racism risk in calls for Israeli boycott”( The Weekend Australian Sept.19-20) are burying their heads in the sand if they cannot see that life in Israel and the Occupied Territories is exactly like, if not worse, than South Africa under apartheid law.  Even in Israel itself there are differences between the rights of Arab Israelis and Jewish Israelis. Racism stares us in the face every time we see, hear or read a news report from the area. Professor Saree Makdisi, currently delivering lectures on the subject in Australia, details in his book” Palestine Inside Out” what life is like for Palestinians under occupation.  He writes something that many of us have understood  for a while, that Israel is not interested in the population of Palestine, or of reaching a two state solution.  Their interest is in the land , how to acquire it and how to  rid the area  of the people living there by whatever means possible.  Make life as miserable as possible,  kill as many as possible, make it as easy possible for Palestinians to leave, and as difficult as possible for Palestinians to return.  I think we can say that the Israel -Palestinian conflict is race based just because, as Professor Makdisi states “the principle of Jewishness has priority over the principle of equality in Israel”

It is difficult to understand the punchline to the article. Are the writers asking for the ” Luney Left” to forgive Israeli academics for supporting Zionism?  Forgiveness came in South Africa after the apartheid laws had been dismantled, which was the result of the boycotting of South Africa by most of the rest of the world. The world should mete out the same treatment to Israel then perhaps we can think about forgiveness.

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