From a Sudanese African in Israel – An Israeli Apartheid?

March 26, 2008

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This is a repost from This is Israel. Posted by A Soldier’s Mother, this is a letter from a Sudanese refuge who is now living in Israel. For those of you who don’t know, Israel opened its borders to thousands of Sudanese refugees who are mostly living in the south of the country. For those of you who are convinced Israel is an apartheid, I urge you to read this letter and pass on the link to everyone you know.

A reality check for Bishop Tutu from a Sudanese African in Israel
Disappearance of Bishop Tutu

By Simon Deng

Late last month, I went to hear Bishop Desmond Tutu speak at Boston’s Old South Church at a conference on “Israel Apartheid.” Tutu is a well respected man of God. He brought reconciliation between blacks and whites in South Africa. That he would lead a conference that damns the Jewish state is very disturbing to me.

The State of Israel is not an apartheid state. I know because I write this from Jerusalem where I have seen Arab mothers peacefully strolling with their families even though I also drove on Israeli roads protected by walls and fences from Arab bullets and stones. I know Arabs go to Israeli schools and get the best medical care in the world.

I know they vote and have elected representatives to the Israeli Parliament. I see street signs in Arabic, an official language here. None of this was true for blacks under Apartheid in Tutu’s South Africa.

I also know countries that do deserve the apartheid label: My country, Sudan, is on the top of the list, but so are Iran, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. What has happened to my people in Sudan is a thousand times worse than apartheid in South Africa. And no matter how the Palestinians suffer, they suffer nothing compared to my people. Nothing. And most of the suffering is the fault of their leaders.

Bishop Tutu, I see black Jews walking down the street here in Jerusalem. Black like us, free and proud. Tutu said Israeli checkpoints are a nightmare. But checkpoints are there because Palestinians are sent into Israel to blow up and kill innocent women and children. Tutu wants checkpoints removed. Do you not have doors in your home, Bishop? Does that make your house an apartheid house? If someone, Heaven forbid, tried to enter with a bomb, we would want you to have security people “humiliating” your guests with searches, and we would not call you racist for doing so. We all go through checkpoints at every airport. Are the airlines being racist? No.

Yes, the Palestinians are inconvenienced at checkpoints. But why, Bishop Tutu, do you care more about that incovenience than about Jewish lives?

Bishop, when you used to dance for Mandela’s freedom, we Africans all over Africa joined in. Our support was key in your freedom. But when children in Burundi and Kinshasa, all the way to Liberia and Sierra Leone, and in particular in Sudan, cried and called for rescue, you heard but chose to be silent.

Today, black children are enslaved in Sudan, the last place in the continent of Africa where humans are owned by other humans. I was part of the movement to stop slavery in Mauritania, which just now abolished the practice. But you were not with us, Bishop Tutu.

So where is Desmond Tutu when my people call out for freedom?Slaughter and genocide and slavery are lashing Africans right now.Where are you for Sudan, Bishop Tutu? You are busy attacking the Jewish state. Why?

Simon Deng, a native of the Shiluk Kingdom in southern Sudan, is an escaped jihad slave and a leading human rights activist.


  1. To say “Bullcrap” would be an understatement.

    Haaretz itself reported on the fact that Israel had become a Racist State.

    If there was an ounce of truth here, then why is there a “Jewish State” when 60% of Israel do not attend Temples. There’s a claim that this 60% is Atheist. A goal of the Government of Israel is to make and maintain a 70% Jewish ratio to 30% Palestinian. If this is not Apartheid, I don’t what is.

    And the checkpoints, this moron wrote about are not an inconvenience. What a nice way of covering the facts: this is Apartheid itself.. discrimination, humiliation and people dying at checkpoints while the Israeli thugs are watching. Oh, don’t take my word for it, read the Israeli news.. hear Ilan Pappe and ohters describe such atrocities…

    The truth is Israel is an Apartheid State.. this is a fact people throughout the world know and only Jews and Israelis are in denial.


  2. More people should read this article. Many people have misconceptions of Israel.

  3. I have never totally been to sure about Bishop Tutu. I realize it may not be fair to judge everyone involved with the anti-apartid movement the same. Knowing what Winny Mandella was willing to do and when I saw a communist flag at one of the protests it told me more than enough to know not to swallow that the anti-apartide movement should be honored.

    Why the Bishop would think that Israel is the aggressor I couldn’t even begin to guess, but I hate to admit I’m not totally surprised.

  4. As for the “60% don’t attend temple thing.” When we were murdered by the millions in Europe 60 years ago, Hitler did not make the distinction between those who went to temple and those who didn’t. This is, by the way, if I accept the numbers you gave, which I don’t, but this isn’t the point here.

    Keep in mind there are 2 Arab populations, for lack of a better way of describing, in Israel/Palestine/Whatever you want to call it. There are the ISRAELI Arabs who have Israeli citizenship and are part of the Israeli government and society (and whatever you say, even though it’s not a complete lack of segregation, they DO live in our cities and work with us in companies and are represented in our government much more than Hispanics, Blacks, and Asians are represented in the US government). The other group are the Palestinians who have no reason to have rights in Israel becuase they are NOT citizens. These are two separate groups with separate rights. DO you know how many Jews were kicked out and murdered in Arab countries? We aren’t systematically killing our Arab citizens (or not systematically) and have not kicked anyone out. When Israel was declared a state, the government explicitly said that they can become full citizens if Israel with all the rights that come along with them. We do not have ANY laws against any religion – just the opposite. We have our own “no discrimination for race or color or religion” and always have – not like the US where there was slavery and enormous civil rights movements just to pretend that everyone is equal (with all due respect to the US. I AM American too). Israel is the ONE place where Jews will not be discriminated against and persecuted, and yes, maybe we DO want to keep a large majority on our end, but we don’t do it by killing off the others but by getting more Jews to move here.

    As for the checkpoints, yes, it is more than inconvenience, but get YOUR (Palestinians – I don’t know you specifically) people to stop blowing up MY people at checkpoints, coffee shops, and high schools, and MAYBE we’ll make it easier for you to get into our country (and, in the process, take some of our jobs away for your people).

    Not a week goes by where the checkpoints don’t stop people from blowing up inside Israel – or where someone doesn’t blow himself up at the checkpoint harming or killing our own.

    I’m not sure where you live, but if you had people constantly coming in to your country and blowing themselves up and killing dozens of your kids, you’d probably want to stop them too.

    And by the way, there is NO less discrimination going on in the US at the airports. Hello? Taking your SHOES off? THAT’S humiliating. Being taken aside cause you were “randomly” selected to go through a more extensive search and being put into that damn booth where everyone can see air being blown up your shirt to see you don’t have explosives on? THAT’S humiliating. The fact that white and black people are randomly thrown into the mix to pretend like there isn’t any racial profiling going on at US airports is ridiculous. How many Arabs or people with Arab names or people who look Arabic have gone through security without having the extra check? The “others” are thrown in just to make it look like it’s not racial profiling, but it’s so obvious that it’s pathetic. Not to mention pointless. If someone got through to those security checkpoints where hundreds of people were in line waiting to be checked and was caught, in an instant that person could blow himself and a few other hundreds up.

    Oh, and all this happened after ONE day of attacks, not 60 years or murders and terrorist attacks.

    The truth is Israel is NOT an apartheid state. Israeli Arabs have all the same rights that the Jews do and there are NO laws discriminating against them in any ways, even if there is some racism going on (not that I’m proud of it, but there is racism everywhere, especially in the US). There is also no law of ANY kind denying Palestinians of any basic human rights or anything – but since they aren’t part of their country, they don’t need to receive our benefits either. Furthermore, Israel, unlike it’s neighboring countries, has (albeit limitedly) opened its borders to refugees from Darfour, Muslims who came to Israel after being killed in Egypt, figuring it couldn’t be worse here. While the path in Israel hasn’t always been smooth, their children are integrated into regular Israeli schools with Israeli-born children, and they live in places like Tel Aviv where they hold regular jobs with regular people like normal members of society.

  5. “attendingtheworld” above is the reason I think the time has come for Jewish voters to “triangulate” as Lieberman has done – and vote Republican.

    Do not close your eyes to the fact that the left wing of the Democrats have become viciously anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic, while the Republicans usually show much stronger and more sincere respect for Jews and Israel.

  6. I’m sorry to say but this letter, while emotional, is quite weak with its logic and loose with its facts.

    The fact that the author is writing from Jerusalem and has seen Arabs walk peacefully says nothing. Surely, Whites saw black people walk “peacefully” in Alabama at the hight of segregation in the US, no? Does that prove anything politically?

    It is curious that the author notes that there are these roads that are protected with walls without ever asking why these roads are where they are. Where these roads exist are in the West Bank and they lead to settlements built on colonized Palestinian land (much of it private). Surely, if a Palestinian demolished the home of an Israeli in Tel Aviv and built a house and paved roads to get to it, I doubt the IDF would be handing out flowers.

    Indeed Israel has Arabs in the Knesset and there are Arabic signs on street-corners, but this is hardly a case for anything. Iran currently has Jewish representatives in government. And in Iran, Jews are allowed to worship in Synagogues and there is Hebrew spoken and written there as well. Does that mean everything is honky dory? This point is just superfluous.

    To be sure, Iran, Sudan, and Saudi Arabia (I’m not exactly sure what the author means in Egypt, there is oppression but that is mostly focused on the Muslim Brotherhood, which is political not racial) are oppressive societies that may very well merit the label apartheid. But how does this carry any weight to a discussion of Israel? The point the author makes is analogous to Cuba saying they aren’t an oppressive society because Putin’s Russia is worse; or that me beating my wife isn’t bad because others kill their wives–it is downright ludicrous logic.

    Is “most” of the Palestinian’s suffering due to their leaders fault? That is like blaming Iraqi suffering under Saddam more on Shia resistance for their incompetence than on Hussein himself. It just doesn’t make any sense. Last time I checked, Palestinians weren’t demolishing their own homes, they weren’t dropping one ton bombs in densely populated neighborhoods, they weren’t denying their own people medical treatment, and so on. There is certainly a lot of blame to be put on the Palestinian leadership but to place the majority of the burden on Palestinians is akin to blaming the holocaust on Jews for not preventing it.

    As for checkpoints and suicide bombers, again, the author fails to ask why people have become so desperate to blow themselves up. To be sure, nothing justifies terrorism but terrorists don’t sprout out of the blue. Suicide bombings did not appear in Israel until 1994, exactly the year when settlement expansion and checkpoints began to escalate at an unprecedented rate. Indeed, Robert Pape’s study of suicide terrorism notes that the root motivation of this sort of terrorism is to end foreign occupation. Indeed, the Irgun and the Stern Gang deliberately bombed civilian targets and British offices when they wanted the British to leave Palestine, so this is nothing new. It is downright ugly but not unique, and one knows the root causes of it.

    There would be no terrorism (and no checkpoints) if Palestinians human rights were protected. But that is not the case. In the West Bank, there are two legal systems, one for Jews and one for Palestinians, the latter having no rights while the former having more rights than any normal person in the world (most people don’t have the legally sanction right to steal someone else’s land and live on it; this might have been true in the past for many countries, but Israel is one of the few to still do it today). In Israel itself, the state has official segregation policies in most cities and many Bedouin communities aren’t recognized at all, having their communities demolished and being forced to flee their homes. To be sure Palestinian citizens of Israel have more rights than their people in the West Bank and Gaza but even within Israel proper, Jews are granted more rights while Palestinians have theirs suppressed. Why is it that Jews from anywhere in the world who have otherwise no connection to the Middle East can move to Israel and claim citizenship on the basis of their religion while Palestinians living in refugee camps in Lebanon who still have the key to their homes and the legal title to their land are not able to return? Because they are Arabs. That is why Israel is an Apartheid state.

  7. Sorry it took so long to reply – I needed to get my act together so I could reply (as you see, I haven’t actually made any posts in the past week either).

    The height of segregation in the US cannot be compared to anything in Israel. There are NO laws against any type of race or religion in Israel. There are no separate but equal laws here. PERIOD. There are no signs on water coolers For Whites Only and no one is forced to sit in the back of a bus. Yes, maybe if an Arab boards a bus people look at him/her with suspicion, but with all the bus bombings that occurred here, I think they’ve earned the right to be a bit scared.

    The definition of apartheid is a social policy or racial segregation involving political and economic and legal discrimination. I’m not saying things in Israel are perfect – with all due respect, they aren’t in the US either – not even close. But there is a difference between LEGAL discrimination – which is what an apartheid is – racism IN THE LAW – to discrimination. Israeli laws SPECIFICALLY state that there will NOT be discrimination based on race, color, sexual orientation, gender, etc. Apartheid governments specifically DO have discrimination set in law.

    Iran, therefore, does not fall under apartheid in this definition, and neither does Israel. Iran isn’t any type of an example either. Throughout the 19th century, Iranian Jews were discriminated against and whole communities were forced to convert. When the country was secularized, this was great for the Jews because they became a part of the economy and culture. But with the Islamic revolution in 1979, tens of thousands of the 80,000 Jews who were living in Iran at the time fled (much like many of the Palestinians when Israel was declared in 1948).

    Yes, there are Jews in the Iranian government, but the representative is OBLIGATED BY LAW to support Iranian foreign policy and its anti-Zionist position. So what have we gained here? Technically having a Jew in government, but obligating them to vote against their own interests. That’s hardly any type of equality. While the Jews do have some type of religious equality, they are always suspected of cooperating with “imperialistic America” and the Zionist state – where both activities are punishable by death. At least 13 Jews have been killed for these reasons. You can hardly make that distinction about Israel. Israel doesn’t even kill those Palestinians with blood on their hands – those who are known to have killed or assisted in killing Israelis. Iran also has SANCTIONED discrimination against the Jews, particularly in areas of employment, education, and public accommodations.

    I’m not saying the suffering of the Palestinians is due only to their leaders – it isn’t only their government that has dozens of terrorist organizations carrying out attacks against us. Just the opposite – their own government can’t control their own people. Look at yesterday’s murders as an example – 4 Palestinians carried an attack against Israelis who were HELPING TRANSFER HUMANITARIAN AID to the Palestinians. Israel eases restrictions to allow for more humanitarian aid (gasoline, food, medicine) to enter their areas, and their terrorist organizations take advantage of it in order to kill Israelis. How can you POSSIBLY say that’s justified?

    The fact that suicide bombings did not appear in the present form until 1994 does not mean that they didn’t occur before. Massacres and killings were happening ALL the time. The whole this is a ying yang – the more people blew us up, the harder the roadblocks became. It’s a chicken and egg situation. Indeed, there were Jewish resistance organizations that blew up British targets and officers, and I am by NO means saying that’s OK, but a couple of points in relation to that: Most Jews were against it – the Haganah, which later became the IDF (basically) did not have a violent wing that was performing these attacks. Not only that, but the SECOND Israel had a government, it made it illegal to carry out ANY type of violent attacks against anyone. The Altalena http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altalena incident shows that Ben Gurion was ready to have some of the Jews die rather than let them hurt others. The Palestinian government, on the other hand, not only has no control over most of the terrorist organizations (or resistance movements – whatever you want to call them) but has their OWN part of the organization whose purpose is to kill Israelis.

    There is also an enormous difference between the Jewish attacks back in the 40s and the Palestinian attacks these days: The attacks (again – I am not saying they were OK) were ONLY at officials who the Jews felt were oppressing them. They were NOT EVER pointed towards innocent women and children. And another thing: Jews and Israelis never EVER had suicide brigades – the Palestinians have organizations whose sole purpose is to KILL INNOCENT PEOPLE. Israel NEVER has and NEVER will.

    Judaism considers suicide as one of the most serious sins. The only “excuses” for committing suicide are if it prevents you from killing someone else or being forced to betray your religion (and never EVER taking someone with you). The funny thing is that suicide is forbidden by Islam as well: A verse in the fourth chapter of the Quran, An-Nisaa instructs; “And do not kill yourselves, surely Allah is most Merciful to you.” (4:29). The prohibition of suicide has also been recorded in authentic statements of hadith. For example; “He who commits suicide by throttling shall keep on throttling himself in the Hell-fire, and he who commits suicide by stabbing himself, he shall keep stabbing himself in the Hell-fire.” (http://www.inter-islam.org/Prohibitions/suicide.html)

    Personally, I don’t agree with the settlement expansion. I’m not sure why it’s happening. I agree that, in most cases, this is misplaced and unnecessary. However, since the West Bank is Palestinian land, and not Israeli land (I’m talking about where the Palestinians actually live, not the disputed territories where the Jews live), there is no reason why the Palestinians who want to be living in their own country should get rights in Israel. I doubt that when Texas joined the US, they were also demanding rights from Mexico.

    Israel does NOT have official segregation policies at all – I don’t know where you get that information from. Bedouins, by nature, were always nomads. They only started settling down all over the Middle East in recent decades. While initially there was some discrimination against the Bedouins (closer to the establishment of Israel) and there was a preference for Jewish laborers over others, Israel also implemented mandatory schooling for Bedouin children at this time. Israel also introduced modern techniques of health care of them. Both benefited them – literacy went way up. The Bedouins live in their own towns, but it’s also by choice – if they were to want to move to Israeli towns, I honestly don’t think any law would keep them from doing so. Many of the Bedouin towns were built to help them have permanent residence. Again, I’m not saying there are no issues here.

    As for the Law of Return. First of all, there are more ways to gain Israeli citizenship than to be Jewish. The law is there because anyone who would be discriminated against under the Nuremberg Laws should have a place where they can live without discrimination (think of how many Jews could have been saved had Israel existed before the Holocaust). Also, that there is a preference to one people does not mean there is a discrimination against another. I don’t know all the reasons against a Palestinian Law of Return, though I don’t know where they are supposed to all live. As it is, “Palestinians” did not exist until the middle of the last century, the name being derived from the name the area got from foreign occupations. Under Jordan rule they weren’t declared a country, nor under Turkish rule. But that is the subject of a different discussion.

    The US has extremely strict laws for entering the living in the country. You can’t even VISIT the country if you can’t prove that you have something tying you to your native country. I know so many Israelis who weren’t granted Visas because they didn’t have a permanent job or a family in Israel that would make them come back to Israel.

  8. […] Debunked. Part 1 – Definitions and History April 27, 2008 There were quite a few comments on my recent post (most of which I could not allow to be posted, not because I disagree, but because of the […]

  9. I am an american jew who chose to come to israel about 4 years ago. I wanted a more meaningful, fulfilling, better life, with safty for our people. last week i had my delusions beat out of me. my girlfriend was being groped by some african fellow in a bar. when i tried to stop it, i was surrounded by about 15 africans. one of them slashed my face open with a broken bottle and i almost lost my eye.they’re not our problem, they’re africas problem. we have our own to worry about. GET THEM OUTTA HERE!

  10. Shmuel, not only you are stupid but you are also racist and don’t deserve to be given an answer other than look for penies bastard.

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