Israel and South Africa: A Comparison of Policies

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VOL. 14


No. 3
P. 101
Israel and South Africa: A Comparison of Policies

In the summer of 1982 an Israeli family was sailing in the Green islands during the height of their country's invasion of Lebanon. They were shocked to find that they were met with hostility by everyone they saw there, even normally friendly Western Europeans. The only exceptions were a South African couple, who welcomed them saying "you're just like us. We're outcasts too."

The story serves to illustrate an increasingly dangerous phenomenon. Israel's international status is approaching that of South Africa, which is regarded as an international pariah. This similarity has been developing since the election of Menahem Begin's Likud bloc in 1977, but it definitely gathered momentum over the summer of 1982 with the invasion of Lebanon and the massacre of Palestinians in the refugee camps outside Beirut. The similarities are much stronger than most people realize and deserve careful examination.