Thursday, April 2, 2009

Israel: Nazi state? Apartheid state? Does it matter?

Two recent postings on the KBRM website protest at comparison of Israel to the two former pariah states, Nazi Germany and South Africa under apartheid.

It is just as easy to find points of dissimilarity with these abhorrent regimes as it is to find points of similarity.

And this, surely, should be cause of great concern for Israel; today's world will not permit anything approaching a state of apartheid indefinitely.

To paraphrase Obama, Israel is on "the wrong side of history" in this matter.

Wikipedia carries an absorbing discussion on the Israel-apartheid analogy.

As for the Nazi comparison, this comprehensive article provides an in-depth analysis far superior to KBRM's simplistic efffort.

A personal observation regards two books in my reading list.

In one, Rise and Fall of the Nazis, the writer mentions the distribution by the Nazis of a poster depicting the perfect white, blond haired, blue eyed, muscular and "superior" Aryan soldiers and citizens.

A little later, in the highly recommended The Lemon Tree, I read of the female lead, Dalia, the young Jewish Bulgarian immigrant resident in a confiscated Palestinian home, gazing admiringly at poster idealising Jewish soldiers in exactly the same way.

An isolated incident, yes, but you should take the time to read the two articles and draw your own conclusions.

Are these comparisons useful? I struggle to see why, except as an academic exercise. Any state with Israel's policy settings and practices would have similarities with other oppressive, murderous regimes.

Israel is a demonic state. But Israelis, in general, are not. They love their families, they yearn to be fully accepted in the international community, but they have lost their way.

The Jews have returned to the desert.

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