“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Israeli Police in action kicking a young terrified Palestinian boy.

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.

Not many countries find ambassadors talking of their policies in terms of apartheid, but coming from a senior South African diplomat, the charge stings all the more. It is a reflection of how South African politicians and civil society have increasingly embraced solidarity with Palestinians and taken the lead with regards to Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS)-related initiatives.

Pretoria has required the labelling of settlement goods, despite significant pressure not to do so, while there have also been notable expressions of support for the Palestinian boycott call in universities and trade unions.

These developments come as Israeli policies towards the Palestinians are increasingly talked about in terms of apartheid by observers on the ground and internationally.

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).

Israel's warm ties with the apartheid regime began in earnest in the mid-1970s, with military technology and intelligence-sharing central to the alliance. For some officials on both sides, there was also an ideological component. The South African prime minister, Hendrik Verwoerd, for example, believed that "the Jews took Israel from the Arabs after the Arabs had lived there for 1,000 years. Israel, like South Africa, is an apartheid state.

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.

Yet what has really struck many in South Africa, and elsewhere, are the similarities between the historical apartheid system, and Israel's current policies towards the Palestinians.


  1. Replies
    1. I used to think Israeli soldiers were so badass they could do pushups with no hands. Not after this. Really? A kid?

    2. kid threw rocks, kid got caught, kid got a kick...

      sounds fair.

  2. I'm so glad our three billion dollars in annual military aid is going to such a good cause.

    1. let's review the egyptian rape squads.

      we give them more money than israel

    2. Only in Bizarro World is $1.6 billion greater than $3.1 billion.

    3. America has given forgiveness of 12 billion in loans to egypt, additional aid for morsi and additional planes and tanks

  3. boy throws rock?

    boy gets caught...

    boy gets kicked

    and this is news?

    1. maybe that kick in the ass will give the kid pause to not throw rocks?

    2. You're right, Porky. Jews used to throw rocks at our Savior and Christians have been kicking their ass ever since.

    3. Your savior? Our Cousin...

      And yes Christians have murdered many millions of Jews for thousands of years.

      But now?

      Moslems are kicking your ass...

  4. it's not that any cop in America has ever kicked, punched or even vaginally probed someone....

  5. The ex South African Ambassador to Israel thought the country had a familiar odor:

    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.


  6. "I will go to Israel when the state does not privilege one religion over another," she continued. “I will go to Israel when Apartheid is over.”

    Award-winning film director Mira Nair has decided to boycott September's Haifa International Film Festival in protest of Israel's "Apartheid" policies, she announced on her Twitter account Friday.

    Nair, originally from India, began as an actress before becoming a director of documentary films and feature films. Her first feature film Salaam Bombay! was nominated for an academy award for best foreign language film in 1988. She subsequently gained fame as the director of such films as Monsoon Wedding, Vanity Fair and Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love. Nair was educated at Delhi University and Harvard.

    Nair said Friday that she had been invited to Israel as a guest of honor at the Haifa International Film Festival with her new film The Reluctant Fundamentalist, an adaptation of the Mohsin Hamid novel of the same name which boasts Kate Hudson and Liev Schreiber among its stars.

    "I will not be going to Israel at this time. I will go to Israel when the walls come down. I will go to Israel when occupation is gone," Nair wrote.

    "I will go to Israel when the state does not privilege one religion over another," she continued. "I will go to Israel when Apartheid is over."

  7. Discriminatory bill to evict tens of thousands of Bedouin communities in Israel from their ancestral lands
    – time for EU action

    Brussels, 2 July 2013 -

    The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN) condemns the approval of the discriminatory Prawer-Begin Bill, which passed its first reading by a vote of 43 to 40 in the Israeli parliament (Knesset) on Monday 24 June 2013. This bill constitutes the implementing legislative arm of a government-approved plan, parts of which have already been put in practice, to displace tens of thousands of Bedouin citizens, who are part of the Palestinian Arab minority of Israel, from their homes and ancestral lands in the Naqab (Negev) desert in southern Israel. EMHRN urges the EU leaders to immediately, strongly and publicly take a tough stance against this plan.

    The Prawer-Begin Bill is widely opposed by the Bedouin community, the Palestinian Arab political leadership in Israel, local civil society engaged in this question, and the international community. According to a new poll conducted by Rabbis for Human Rights, a majority of Jewish Israelis, when properly informed about what the plan entails, also oppose it and believe that the Bedouin’s land claims are fair.

    In 2012, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, and the Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing have called to cancel this discriminatory displacement plan. The UN Human Rights Committee requested information from Israel of any steps taken to withdraw the plan. The European Union (EU) has expressed its concerns about it a number of times, including in the 2013 ENP progress report and in a
    resolution of the European Parliament (EP) of 5 July 2012.

    Considering the urgency of the case, on Thursday 20 June 2013, the European Parliament (EP) subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI) hosted a parliamentary hearing on the human rights situation of the Bedouin and other minorities in Israel, where this plan dominated the discussions.
    Despite intense local and international criticism, the Israeli coalition government has listed the passage of the bill will now be sent to the Committee for Interior Affairs and Environment to be prepared for the second and third readings. This bill may become law before the closing of the Knesset session at the end of July 2013.

    EMHRN asks High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton to issue a public statement condemning the Prawer-Begin bill as discriminatory and contrary to the human rights provision of the EU-Israel Association Agreement. The EU should thus publicly denounce and urge the Israeli government to protect the rights of all citizens to full equality, in particular to protect the rights of the Arab Bedouin as well as the Arab minority as a whole.

    EMHRN also requests that the European Parliament’s president, Martin Schulz, express his concern to the Chairman of the Israeli parliament and the Israeli Ambassador to the EU about the Prawer Plan and the denial of equal treatment that results from it. The European Parliament itself should address this issue.

    The ‘Alternative Plan’, an initiative of the Bedouin community created by professional planners that, on the basis of equality, proposes the recognition of the unrecognized villages, is a just framework for future development that must be considered.

  8. Replies
    1. Rodney King, had priors, was drunk and doing 95 mph on a freeway. You’re comparing that to a crying frightened boy lying in the street being kicked by a thug in an Israeli uniform as somthing comporable?

  9. That wasn't even a kick, it was a toe tap.

    Here is a beating --

    Rodney King beating video -

    Rodney King was also stun gunned.

    A thrown rock hitting you just right can kill you.

    Ask Goliath.

    I want to see some videos of the Palestinian pizza parlor bombings in Israel before they built the security fence to keep the savages out.

  10. Prominent African Americans affirm ‘Jim Crow’ analogy in Israel’s treatment of Palestinians

    Saturday July 06, 2013 08:46 by IMEMC Staff

    A group of leaders in the African-American community have published an open letter supporting a statement by author Alice Walker comparing Israel’s treatment of Palestinians to the treatment of African Americans during the ‘Jim Crow' era of segregation and legal discrimination.

    Alice Walker, author of the initial statement that sparked controversy in US (image by

    In their letter, the African-American leaders point to the Israeli military occupation, denial of the rights of Palestinian refugees, the over fifty discriminatory laws in Israel that severely restrict the rights of Palestinians living inside Israel, and reports by both the U-N Special Rapporteur and South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu that compare the treatment of Palestinians with the treatment of black South Africans living under the apartheid regime.

    The open letter is published in its entirety below:

    On May 29th, novelist Alice Walker issued an open letter calling upon Alicia Keys to cancel her scheduled concert in Israel. The letter has created an immense stir, as those who wish to ignore the situation facing the Palestinians hasten to draw a false wall between the experiences of African Americans under Jim Crow and Palestinians today, attacking Alice Walker's person in the process, in major media outlets including the Wall Street Journal, the Daily News and the New York Post. In signing this letter, we affirm the accuracy of parallels drawn between the experience of African Americans in the U.S. under Jim Crow and Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.

    The reality of the Palestinian situation is nothing short of horrendous. Israel has refused to comply with United Nations resolutions calling for a withdrawal to the Green Line of 1967; no recognition has been given by Israel of the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homeland, in clear violation of international law and precedent; Palestinian land has been consistently seized by the Israeli government since 1948, often under the false pretense of security reasons; Palestinian citizens of Israel face de facto and de jure discrimination, including several dozen laws discriminating against them, and inferior education resources; a so-called separation wall has--again in violation of international law--been established through and around Palestinian lands…

  11. Let Mia Nair go to Saudi Arabia. Or any other Arab country, or Persia, where one religion is not favored over another.

    "I will go to Israel when the state does not privilege one religion over another," she continued.

    What an idiot. Moslems can vote, hold office, pray, etc right there in Israel proper.

    But she can go try to find the Christians in Bethlehem, if she wishes. Almost none left there.

  12. I am tempted to repost the entirety of the long article by Martha Gellhorn concerning the Palestinians.

    Here'a the short of it --

    >>>>"What's the matter, Nissim?"

    "Nothing. What the children say."

    "You mean just now, shouting?"

    "Yes. They say: 'Where you going, bastard? I spit on you.'"

    What for, I thought, what for, and will it never stop?

    "Do you hate the Arabs, Nissim?"

    "No. Of course no."

    "Why not?"

    "What is the good of hate?"

    What indeed? Arabs gorge on hate, they roll in it, they breathe it. Jews top the hate list, but any foreigners are hateful enough. Arabs also hate each other, separately and, en masse. Their politicians change the direction of their hate as they would change their shirts. Their press is vulgarly base with hate-filled cartoons; their reporting describes whatever hate is now uppermost and convenient. Their radio is a long scream of hate, a call to hate. They teach their children hate in school. They must love the taste of hate; it is their daily bread. And what good has it done them?<<<<


    >>>>She opened her closed face to say, "Yes, I see. But it is our country."

    It was too hot, and too futile. Besides, I was tired of the convention which apparently requires non-Arabs to treat Arabs as if they were neurotic children, subject either to tantrums or to internal bleeding from spiritual wounds. This girl did not strike me as a pathetic weakling.

    "Only by right of conquest," I said. "In the seventh century. The Jews got here first, about two thousand years ahead of you. You haven't lived as masters in your own house for a long time. Aside from the Crusaders, the Ottoman Turks bossed you for a steady four hundred years, before the British took over. Now the Jews have won back their land by right of conquest. Turn and turn about," I said, feeling as beastly minded as an Arab myself. "Fair's fair."<<<<

    It is an excellent article and I urge everyone to read it.

    Nothing much changes among the Palestinians.

    None of the Arab countries want them. And it is easy to understand why.