February 13, 2006

Exposing apartheid in Israel

The Guardian's readers' editor has a round-up regarding Chris McGreal's articles likening Israel to a apartheid South Africa. I linked to the articles here and here. Chris McGreal speaks of how he came to see the analogy between Israel and apartheid South Africa.
I learned day by day, and it began to grow on me that there were parallels to be drawn or at least explored. And at the same time I became aware that there was definitely a taboo around the issue."

He did not, in his two articles, draw conclusions. Neither have the leader columns of the Guardian offered any comment. McGreal's intention, and this was clearly endorsed by the Guardian in publishing the articles, was to open the subject to debate.
Curious then that when the Guardian did editorialise on the Israel-apartheid analogy it editorialised against it on the grounds that Israelis don't like the analogy:
Supporters of boycotts often argue that Israel should be treated like apartheid South Africa. That is a controversial parallel which many Israelis see as delegitimating their state. Friends of the Palestinians should question whether this kind of boycott is not a blunt instrument that is unlikely to serve their cause well.
Not much in the way of explanation there.

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