From 1948-1994, South Africa endured a rigid political system of racial segregation and discrimination against its black citizens. This system was called apartheid.
Today, anti-Israel activists are misusing the word apartheid to spread a lie that delegitimises the state of Israel.
This prompted Israel Collective, a branch of CUFI aimed at millennials, to ask South Africans who lived through Apartheid and have experienced Israel to share their views on “Israeli Apartheid”.
Olga Meshoe (COO of DEISI International): “When I hear that Israel is an Apartheid state, when people make that accusation, depending on the mood that I’m in on the day, I either pack out laughing or I get really, really angry; because it’s an absolute lie.”
Tikva Magadzi (CEO of TikvaHope Foundation): “I’ve been to Israel four times and I can say from my experience that what the media depicts about Israel is not true. It’s not real.”
Nongcebo Andile Cele (researcher at Greater Good): “Right now if you say Israel is an Apartheid state, I won’t believe you, because I’ve been to Israel and it was awesome. We’re South African, so we know what apartheid is.”
Rev. Kenneth Meshoe (President of The African Christian Democratic Party): “You know, I was born under apartheid. I grew up and lived under apartheid. So, when people talk about apartheid they can’t tell me things I do not know.”
“I’ve been to Israel fourteen times. I’ve checked Israel from all corners. I’ve looked at what’s happening in the legislature, in the Knesset, I’ve looked at what’s happening in the streets and I’ve concluded that what happened in the South Africa that was under the apartheid government does not exist in Israel.”
Joseph Nyalungu: “When people say Israel is an Apartheid state. I don’t understand what they are talking about. Because I have lived in Apartheid. I understand those laws that were reinforced, I saw it in practice.”
Rev. Meshoe: “I’ve been a member of the South African parliament for the last 21-years. During apartheid in South Africa you could never have black people in parliament. Black people were not even allowed to vote.”
“You go to Israel. You find members of the Knesset who are Arabs and Muslims. Members of the Knesset who speak against their own government. In South Africa, during apartheid, when black people spoke against their government, they were charged for treason.”
Olga: “(In South Africa) we couldn’t go to the same schools. We couldn’t use the same hospitals. In Israel you have Arabs lying in hospital next to a Jew. In Israel you have people mingling on the streets, sitting on the same benches. In South Africa you had signs, “White’s only sit here”, “White’s only drink from this fountain”.
Nongcebo: “Israel doesn’t say because you’re not Jewish you can’t go to the beach. Israel doesn’t say because you’re not Jewish you can’t go and watch a movie. When we had an Apartheid state, that’s what they said.”
“As a black person, to actually find out the truth, is to be like, you’re taking something so painful for black South Africans and miss-presenting it for either publicity, for directed hate and then repackaging it and saying its apartheid? Not cool.”
Olga: “If the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement) and everybody else that’s on their side was trying to actually accomplish something that was going to give hope, that was going to give life, that was going to encourage peace; then maybe let’s have a conversation on that.”
“But how dare you take that and use it to incite violence and use it to incite and encourage the destruction of a people, just because you don’t like them? That’s disgusting. And the world needs to recognise that you are not only doing an injustice to the people that are in the Middle East. You’re making what our parents went through, you’re making their struggle a mockery.”
Nongcebo: “Don’t take what you’re being fed. Don’t take what you read in newspapers. Go there (to Israel) and educate yourself… I got an opportunity to actually go to Israel and seek truth myself and it was mind boggling to see the misconceptions.”
Olga: “This war is real. It’s a war for our (Black South Africans) history, it’s a war for another nation’s survival. There was once a time when people didn’t want us to exist, when they didn’t believe that we had a right to anything. And if we really want to do justice to our legacy, to do justice to the challenges that we were able to overcome, then we’ll not only want to stand in solidarity with Israel and with the truth, but frankly with any nation that is under threat across the world.”
To watch the video visit Israel Collective: www.israelcollective.org