A few weeks ago, the outgoing South African ambassador to Israel used the opportunity of his departure to make striking criticism of Israeli policies, calling them a "replication of apartheid". Ismail Coovadia also rejected a gift of 18 trees planted in his name by the Jewish National Fund, a body that has played an important role in the displacement of Palestinians.
In South Africa, there is the memory of Israel's historic relationship with the apartheid regime (a superb reference point for which is Sasha Polakow-Suransky's The Unspoken Alliance: Israel's Secret Relationship with Apartheid South Africa).
Over a period of about 15 years, examples of the close relationship included a 1975 pact signed by Shimon Peres and then-South African defence minister PW Botha, while in the mid-1980s, the Israeli defence industry was helping the isolated apartheid regime circumvent international sanctions. Israel's "collaboration with the racist regime of South Africa" was condemned in the UN's General Assembly.
Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/thenationalconversation/comment/israels-similarity-to-south-africas-apartheid-is-more-than-skin-deep#ixzz2Zjzwhoxv