How Anti-Zionism Became South Africa’s Official Ideology

Aug. 15 2022

“In no other democratic country in the world,” writes Ben Cohen, “has anti-Zionism enjoyed the kind of mainstream success that it has in South Africa.” During the recent few days of fighting between Israel and Islamic Jihad, for instance, there was relatively little of the usual global uproar that surrounds such episodes—with South Africa being the exception, as the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party made a point of condemning the Jewish state and accusing it of apartheid. Cohen writes:

The word “apartheid” is key to understanding why South Africa—more than the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, most of Europe, and even parts of the Islamic world—has proved so receptive to the core anti-Zionist contention that Israel has no right to a sovereign, independent existence. Apartheid—the system of racial segregation and unequal development that prevailed in South Africa for most of the 20th century—ensured that a white minority of 10 percent ruled with an iron fist over a black majority of 90 percent.

The fact that no similar laws exist in Israel hasn’t stopped the ANC, which like many anti-colonial movements in the developing world embraced the Palestinian cause during the cold war, from applying word “apartheid” to the Palestinians. The ANC believes—and has persuaded many ordinary South Africans to believe—that Israel is a carbon copy of the old, unlamented apartheid regime, and that its Jewish citizens, who descend from all corners of the world, are the equivalent of the boorish Boer settlers from Holland who colonized their country during the 19th century.

As always the case with anti-Zionism, the hostility isn’t restricted to Israel as a state but spills over into open anti-Semitism targeting Jews more generally. Last week, one of South Africa’s most popular news outlets published an uncomplicatedly anti-Semitic op-ed that neatly demonstrated how easy it is to graft traditional anti-Semitism onto ostensibly progressive concerns about racial injustice. . . .

Our admiration for the struggle against apartheid, coupled with our knowledge of the suffering endured by black South Africans under that system, has perhaps made us reticent about criticizing the current generation of leaders. No more.

Read more at JNS

More about: Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism, South Africa

American Aid to Lebanon Is a Gift to Iran

For many years, Lebanon has been a de-facto satellite of Tehran, which exerts control via its local proxy militia, Hizballah. The problem with the U.S. policy toward the country, according to Tony Badran, is that it pretends this is not the case, and continues to support the government in Beirut as if it were a bulwark against, rather than a pawn of, the Islamic Republic:

So obsessed is the Biden administration with the dubious art of using taxpayer dollars to underwrite the Lebanese pseudo-state run by the terrorist group Hizballah that it has spent its two years in office coming up with legally questionable schemes to pay the salaries of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), setting new precedents in the abuse of U.S. foreign security-assistance programs. In January, the administration rolled out its program to provide direct salary payments, in cash, to both the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and the Internal Security Forces (ISF).

The scale of U.S. financing of Lebanon’s Hizballah-dominated military apparatus cannot be understated: around 100,000 Lebanese are now getting cash stipends courtesy of the American taxpayer to spend in Hizballah-land. . . . This is hardly an accident. For U.S. policymakers, synergy between the LAF/ISF and Hizballah is baked into their policy, which is predicated on fostering and building up a common anti-Israel posture that joins Lebanon’s so-called “state institutions” with the country’s dominant terror group.

The implicit meaning of the U.S. bureaucratic mantra that U.S. assistance aims to “undermine Hizballah’s narrative that its weapons are necessary to defend Lebanon” is precisely that the LAF/ISF and the Lebanese terror group are jointly competing to achieve the same goals—namely, defending Lebanon from Israel.

Read more at Tablet

More about: Hizballah, Iran, Israeli Security, Lebanon, U.S. Foreign policy