Tuesday, February 01, 2022

From the beginning, the "apartheid" slur was meant as a rhetorical weapon, not as truth. And so it remains today.

I found an interesting if quite biased academic paper called "Palestinian Non-Violent Resistance and the
Apartheid Analogy" which traces the beginnings of the accusations that Israel is guilty of apartheid - an accusation that pre-dates "occupation."

While the author, Nina Fischer of Goethe University Frankfurt, tries to position the apartheid slur as just another means of "resistance"for Palestinians, she doesn't quite realize she is saying that lying about and slandering Israel is a conscious decision on the part of Palestinian leaders as a means to destroy it - just as violent resistance is. 

She traces the accusation to Fayez Sayegh,  one of those "Palestinians" who was born in Syria and whose family moved to Palestine in the 1920s to take advantage of the economic opportunities created by Jews. Sayegh became a major Palestinian theorist. He wrote a book about "Zionist colonialism" before 1967 and then became the UN's special rapporteur to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination,  which enabled him to become one of the architects of the 1975 UNGA "Zionism is Racism" resolution. 

He would often equate Zionism with “genocide”, “crimes against humanity”, and “racist discrimination” alongside apartheid. It is clear to all that this was his weapon, in concert with Palestinian bombs.

Sayegh may have helped draft an UN resolution against apartheid, 3151 of 1974, by adding Zionism in its text. The resolution decried  the “unholy alliance” between “Portuguese colonialism, South African racism, zionism [sic] and Israeli imperialism.”

Fischer admits that  Sayegh used the apartheid slur mainly as "a metaphorical trope with much emotive power, shaping the international discourse and aiming to cause condemnations and the political isolation of Israel." 

Fischer reiterates this:
[T]he term apartheid is harnessed for its emotive power. ...The Palestinian story needs telling in a way that resonates with an audience and guides listeners’ interpretations. This means that the apartheid analogy in the Palestinian context functions ...politically, as it allows being heard, aims to influence and shape opinions, and can create a reaction.....Internally, in Arabic, a different  story might be happening concerning terms employed, but Palestinian discourses in English that use apartheid as a prism were always intended for international consumption.
In other words, the apartheid analogy was always all about propaganda and never about facts. Its effectiveness is not a reflection of reality but of the eagerness for many people to label Jews as evil. 

The sequence of events since then is that the accusations that Zionism is racist and apartheid keep resurfacing, and every new generation tweaks the slur with more "facts" fed to them by fraudulent academics to make the accusations sound more legitimate. Even the reports of B'Tselem, HRW and now Amnesty show an evolution: each successive one tries to refine the argument because the previous ones were demolished. 

The point is that when you look at the history of the slur, the accusation pre-dates the justifications. Jew-haters came up with the slander and when they are revealed to be antisemites, the next iteration tries to make the argument a little better and less obviously a manifestation of Jew hatred. The reports pretend to be an objective look at the definition of apartheid and how Israel is guilty, but they assume Israel was guilty ahead of time, and they twist the facts to fit the verdict. 

When Amnesty, HRW et. al. say that Israel is guilty of apartheid, they know as well as Sayegh that they are engaging in propaganda. not truth telling.  They throw in plenty of footnotes and circular definitions, knowing full well that they only need to give those who hate Israel and Jews an  excuse for their hatred. Lots of footnotes are enough, along with ignoring the huge amounts of counter-evidence that proves them wrong. 

The intention was always the same as it has been since the PLO was created: destroying Israel by any means necessary. Amnesty and HRW are the propaganda arms of Fatah and Hamas. And their interest in the truth is just about the same.