När jag var i Jerusalem i fredags och åt middag med några vänner så talade vi bland annat om Dr Neve Gordons artikel i LA Times, där han förespråkar en global bojkott mot Israel. Några av de närvarande höll med honom, och sade att det inte finns någon annan väg och att det fungerade i Sydafrika. Jag sade att jag å ena sidan förstår Dr Gordons pessimism, men å andra sidan är jag inte alls säker på att en sådan bojkott leder till det resultat han vill uppnå (slut på ockupationen, bl a). Jag tror snarare att en generell bojkott mot Israel skulle leda till ökad extremism.
”True, the Israeli occupation and the South African apartheid system have certain similar characteristics. In the West Bank, there are roads ”for Israelis only.” But the Israeli policy is not based on race theories, but on a national conflict. A small but significant example: in South Africa, a white man and a black woman (or the other way round) could not marry, and sexual relations between them were a crime. In Israel there is no such prohibition. On the other hand, an Arab Israeli citizen who marries an Arab woman from the occupied territories (or the other way round) cannot bring his or her spouse to Israel. The reason: safeguarding the Jewish majority in Israel. Both cases are reprehensible, but basically different.
In South Africa there was total agreement between the two sides about the unity of the country. The struggle was about the regime. Both whites and blacks considered themselves South Africans and were determined to keep the country intact. The whites did not want partition, and indeed could not want it, because their economy was based on the labor of the blacks.
In this country, Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs have nothing in common – not a common national feeling, not a common religion, not a common culture and not a common language. The vast majority of the Israelis want a Jewish (or Hebrew) state. The vast majority of the Palestinians want a Palestinian (or Islamic) state. Israel is not dependent on Palestinian workers – on the contrary, it drives the Palestinians out of the working place. Because of this, there is now a worldwide consensus that the solution lies in the creation of the Palestinian state next to Israel.
In short: the two conflicts are fundamentally different. Therefore, the methods of struggle, too, must necessarily be different.”