Zionism and Apartheid: Strange Bedfellows or Natural Allies?
Ali A. Mazrui, Research Professor†
† University of Jos (Nigeria) and Professor, University of Michigan (USA)
Mazrui claims that the international isolation which Israel now shares with South Africa is a consequence of parallel efforts to implement culturally separatist ideologies within each state. As evidence for his provocative thesis, he discusses the situational similarities between Israel and South Africa, the normative congruence between Israel and South Africa, and the trend toward greater economic and military cooperation between the two.
An example of the similarities in approach lies in the strategies of ethnic preponderance pursued by both states. The dream of apartheid is to eventually create a “white” heartland by pursuing a “homelands” policy that would strip South African citizenship from those belonging to a Bantustan. Similarly, the logic of creating a Jewish state in Palestine has required that the great majority of citizens be Jewish. This has been achieved both through discriminatory immigration practices (Israel's Law of Return) and by brutal intimidation of the Arab Palestinian population.
The author concludes his extensive discussion by noting that the exclusivist strategies historically and currently employed by the two states have led them into a natural alliance as outlaws in the international arena.
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