Sunday, March 25, 2007

Israeli racism, part 7: The South African connection

A very strange comment appended to my previous story leads me to believe that the "megaphone" students are still looking over this material. Excellent. The kids writing this stuff probably aren't a bad lot; they're just naive, as are most young people. Seems to me that this series is a great way of getting some young Israelis to look at a few aspects of history they probably never learned in school.

Our subject today is apartheid.

In a debate over Carter's book on Democracy Now, Zionist Professor Gil Troy stated a theme often sounded by Carter's critics:
He calls his title “provocative.” I call it offensive. It’s offensive to South Africans, because to use the word “apartheid,” which is about white supremacy and a systematic approach of discrimination and racism, demeans the very difficult struggle and the odious examples of South African oppression.
Later, he adds:
And the community of nations -- it took them decades, but the community of nations justifiably said this is so odious that we want to kind of vomit out -- and I use the term advisedly -- vomit out South Africa from the community of nations, because they're so despicable.
Disgustingly, Troy neglects to tell his audience that South Africa's biggest supporter in the days of apartheid was Israel.

A number of books published during the 1980s made that very the point, as did innumerable magazine articles and opinion pieces published at that time. One such volume was Israeli Foreign Policy, by the highly respected author Jane Hunter, published in 1987 and excerpted here:
Israel's ties with South Africa seem to be especially disturbing to many who follow Israel's international activities. Perhaps it is natural that Israel has been castigated more harshly for its arms sales to South Africa than for its sales to other countries: first, because there has been for a decade an arms embargo against South Africa; and second, because of the unsurpassed criminality of the white regime and the uses to which it puts the Israeli-supplied weapons.
"The most powerful reason for Israeli willingness to bear the undesirable consequences of expanded and more open trade with South Africa may be her desire to acquire material necessary to manufacture nuclear weapons," wrote a military analyst in 1980.'
Yep, Israel helped to give apartheid South Africa the bomb. The following (from 1997) comes from Los Alamos National Laboratories:
Foreign Minister Aziz Pahad confirmed for the first time that a flare over the Indian Ocean detected by an American satellite in September 1979 was from a nuclear test. This statement was confirmed by the American Embassy in Pretoria, South Africa, as an accurate account of what Pahad officially acknowledged. The article said that Israel helped South Africa develop its bomb designs in return for 550 tons of raw uranium and other assistance.
I recall the controversy over the mystery blast. Although, at the time, everyone more or less knew (or suspected) that a nuke had been tested, the Carter administration insisted on labelling the flash a freak of nature. Of course, only a cynic or a bigot would suggest that political pressures forced the White House to ignore the scientists.

Back to Jane Hunter::
In 1984, the Financial Times (London) wrote of "joint Israeli-South African support for Unita forces." Other sources also report the transfer of Israeli arms and financial support to Unita.

In 1983, Angola's President Jose Eduardo dos Santos told Berkeley, California Mayor Eugene (Gus) Newport that an Israeli pilot had been shot down during a South African attack. The Angolan President showed Newport pictures of captured Israeli weapons. The following year, Luanda reported the capture of three mercenaries who said they had been trained by Israeli instructors in Zaire.
I'll trust a source like Hunter over a guy like Troy any day of the week.

And that's the truth, kids. Wake up and smell the apartheid.
More history

The 1999 BMA study was provoked in part by a 1998 story in the London Sunday Times alleging that Israel already had developed a genetically specific weapon. "Unnamed South African sources," according to a report cited by the Times, "[say] Israeli scientists have used some of the South African research in trying to develop an 'ethnic bullet' against Arabs." Reported links between Israel's ethnic weapons and South Africa's Project Coast are tentative; some would say tenuous. But the possibility of such links is terrifying, and justifies as much scrutiny as was focused on Iraq's imaginary arsenal.
Part of this whole story would have to be Jack Abramoff and his extensive 80's connections with South Africa. See, for example:

Abramoff also helped direct the work of The International Freedom Foundation (IFF). The IFF presented itself as a conservative think tank whose stated goal was to "demonstrate the benefits of a parliamentary democracy and expose the failures of a people's democracy." But in explosive testimony before the South Africa Truth Commission, former South African intelligence officers revealed that the IFF was actually part of the apartheid regime's propaganda operations.

According to those who testified, the IFF served as an intelligence gathering and "political warfare" instrument of the government. They testified that the South African government funded the organization to the tune of $1.5 million through 1992 under the code name "Operation Babushka."

According to Newsday, which investigated the IFF and reported extensively on it in the wake of the Truth Commission hearings, "The project's broad objectives were to try to reverse the apartheid regime's pariah status in Western political circles. More specifically the IFF sought to portray the ANC as a tool of Soviet communism, thus undercutting the movement's growing international acceptance as the government-in-waiting of a future multi-racial South Africa."

It was reported that Abramoff attracted many other Washington conservatives to the IFF's cause, including Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN), Senator Jesse Helms, (R-GA), Rep. Phillip Crane (R-IL) and Rep. Robert Dornan (R-CA)

South African intelligence even voiced satisfaction with the work the IFF did. "They (IFF) were all very good, those guys," testified former South African police official Vic McPheerson, who ran security branch operations for the apartheid regime. "They were not just good in intelligence, but in political warfare."

According to McPheerson, the IFF earned up to half its funding doing "jobs" for South African intelligence. He said the intelligence agency sent their fee payments directly to IFF's Washington office. And while Abramoff's IFF focused on tarnishing the image of Nelson Mandella and the ANC, it also supported the Nicaraguan Contras, defended Ronald Reagan aide Oliver North, and sought a British government investigation of the charity Oxfam for the political support it gave the ANC.

In checking out my Abramoff notes, I also find this:

Buried in the furor over former President Clinton's pardon of Marc Rich is the role the fugitive commodities trader played in supplying oil to South Africa's apartheid government, in violation of international sanctions against the racist regime. . . . the billionaire Rich, who fled to Switzerland in 1983 to escape tax evasion and other U.S. criminal charges, was South Africa's biggest supplier of oil (and traded other commodities with the pariah country), contravening U.S., European Community and OPEC embargoes and amassing millions of dollars in profit in the process.

This 80's stuff involving Abramoff is, of course, part of an even larger pattern that includes Jesse Helms' close connections with the World Anti-Communist League and its network of Latin American fascists -- as well as the Israelis' willingness to deal with those same fascist regimes, even ones that were simultaneously harboring old Nazis. (I think this was mainly true of Bolivia, where the Reverend Moon was also deeply involved, but I'd have to dig deeper into my notes to be positive.)

There are a lot of particularly bizarre skeletons hidden back in that old Iran-Contra closet, and Israel is a primary reason why they've stayed buried so long.
I see I left out an unstated assumption in what I posted this morning -- which is that for Abramoff to have been as deeply and enthusiastically involved with South Africa as he was, there almost had to have been an Israeli aspect. Though in double-checking on Abramoff's connections with the Lapin brothers, I'd now guess that Abramoff's South African connections began with simple Reaganoid conservatism and wound up leading him towards Orthodox Judaism and support for the Israeli settler movement. (See, for example, Wikipedia on Daniel Lapin.)

Either way, there's a larger nexus there that's damned important -- and which might be called "How Israel sold its soul to curry favor with the Reagan administration and its fascist and racist lackeys." Until the 80's, Israel's attitudes towards the Arabs had involved a certain colonialist contempt for the natives, but they weren't precisely racist in a white supremacist sense. But then -- as the result of keeping bad company on the world scene, of the influx of Russian immigrants, and of the dominance of Likud -- things changed in some particularly wormy ways.
You won't find me defending this program.

There was also some story about a former South African special forces operative, or something like that, who died in California and who had buried in his backyard a huge mass of biological agents.

Ever since I read that I've been wondering about ex-South African spooks on the loose in the US who might be trying to keep themselves in practice, meddling just because they can do it, like disappearing Kathleen Willey's dog, or mailing anthrax to people.
I used to have a book, now rather rare, called "The Nazi Legacy." One of the listed authors was a Magnus Linklater; I can't recall the others, off hand. The subject is the impact of European fascists on South and Central American counter-revolutionary movements. A few pages detail Israel's support for fascist groups in South America. I'd quote the book at some length, except I lost it more than a year ago -- right now, I'm going on memory.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is 

powered by Blogger. 

Isn't yours?