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Earlham College

Publication Date

Spring 2011

Program Name

South Africa: Multiculturalism and Human Rights


This research paper is centered on the question “how does the history of the Apartheid effect South African Jews relationship to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?” Four South African Jews from different parts of the Jewish community were interviewed. Blogs and newspaper articles were also analyzed. The participants were asked about their personal stories. They were asked about their relationship to Israel and Palestine, their visits there, whether or not they see a comparison between the Apartheid regime and the Israeli government. Participants were also asked to comment on the current climate of the South African Jewish community and the issues that the community faces. In all cases, even in the cases of the declared Zionist Jews, the participants felt silenced. There was a clear sense of fear to speak against Israel in the South African community, as it is an extremely Zionist one. Two of the participants see a strong comparison between the racism and human rights violations caused by the Apartheid towards blacks as being caused by the Israeli government towards Palestinians. While some of the participants were made uncomfortable by this comparison to Israel as a state, the West Bank and Gaza were compared to having a system of a “creeping apartheid.”


African Studies | Comparative Politics | Inequality and Stratification | Jewish Studies | Peace and Conflict Studies | Religion



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