Is­rael should learn from apartheid past

Daily News - - VIEWS & ANALYSIS -

THE can­cel­la­tion of the Is­rael-Ar­gentina friendly in Jerusalem at the Teddy Sta­dium in Jerusalem, which was once home to a Pales­tinian vil­lage, comes not only as the World Cup is about to be­gin, but also as Is­raeli-Pales­tinian ten­sions have risen to a boil­ing point.

The World Cup is the most watched sport­ing event around the globe.

In re­cent weeks, Is­raeli soldiers have killed more than 100 Pales­tinian demon­stra­tors protest­ing near the Gaza Strip border. This is a game-changer on so many lev­els.

We re­mem­ber that the sports boy­cott of South Africa played a crit­i­cal role in de-nor­mal­is­ing apartheid by im­pact­ing the coun­try where it would be felt most – teams and ath­letes re­fused to com­pete with the apartheid state in cricket, rugby, soc­cer, many other sports, and at the Olympics.

We are re­minded of the cul­tural fig­ures who, one af­ter the other, an­nounced proudly and pub­licly that they would not per­form in South Africa, like­wise gar­ner­ing mas­sive sup­port for the anti-apartheid move­ment and speed­ing the fall of that regime.

The sports boy­cott forced many peo­ple who might not other­wise have done so to reckon with the is­sue of apartheid.

In the 1980s, the world was fed up with the apartheid regime and de­cided to ini­ti­ate sanc­tions against South Africa, which helped to top­ple apartheid. It is time for the world to rally be­hind sanc­tions on Is­rael in a sim­i­lar fash­ion, un­til it com­plies with in­ter­na­tional law.

The Is­raelis claim anti-Semitism is be­hind the boy­cott, but they don’t see the real rea­son: the oc­cu­pa­tion of Pales­tinian lands and the sub­ju­ga­tion of the Pales­tini­ans over the years. Is­rael needs to learn to fol­low in­ter­na­tional law.

The boy­cott is a teach­ing tool, noth­ing more. ZAAKIR SAID

Dur­ban

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