Zionism and Apartheid: a comparative study of the ideologies of Israel and South Africa, 1990

Atlanta University and Clark Atlanta University Theses and Dissertations
Zionism and Apartheid: a comparative study of the ideologies of Israel and South Africa, 1990
Thiab, Ahmad Farag
Contributor to Resource:
Noble, Larry
Date of Original:
Degrees, Academic
Dissertations, Academic
United States, Georgia, Fulton County, Atlanta, 33.749, -84.38798
Degree Type: dissertation
Degree Name: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Date of Degree: 1990
Granting Institution: Clark Atlanta University
Department/ School: School of Arts and Sciences, Political Science
This study is about the ideologies of Zionism and Apartheid, whose regimes (Israel and South Africa) represent the last bastions of the colonial settler enterprise. This study is multidimensional, coming under the fields of both political sociology and comparative politics. It is a cross-national analysis of ideology and race relations, and is concerned with exposing the role of ideology in perpetuating and legitimizing political domination. The November 10, 1975 U.N. resolution that equated Zionism with racism and racial discrimination has generated a great deal of controversy and debate. Supporters of Israel denied the charge, arguing that Zionism is a progressive national liberation movement which led the fight against imperialism. The Afrikaners, too, rejected their colonialist origins and claimed that they led the decolonization movement in Southern Africa. This inquiry tests the fairness and the validity of the anti-Zionist thesis (not popular in the West) which sees Israel as a colonial settler state, like that of South Africa, and which maintains that Zionism is a no less racist ideology than South African apartheid. In other words, the purpose of this inquiry is to find out whether the ideology of Zionism and the laws of Israel sanction discrimination against non-Jews in Israel. If so, how are these conditions similar to that of apartheid in South Africa? The evidences reviewed in this study suggest that the course of the Zionist enterprise was similar in essence to that of European colonialism in Africa and Asia, and emphasize the settler-colonial character of the Zionist movement and the state of Israel. The findings do not support the Zionist thesis of liberation, and see Zionism as a racist ideology whose ethnic policies lead in the same direction of South African apartheid: expropriation of the lands of other people, denying the natives' fundamental human and political rights, and practicing extreme discrimination based on race superiority and purity using the myth of fulfilling a divine mission. One can argue about the relative differences between the two situations, but the essence is the same. In both cases, the colonial settler either denied the existence of the local native or wished his disappearance. Both regimes are committed to a practical policy of apartheid, though Israel does not formally employ the term. Both regimes follow domestic policies based on race discrimination, which is a logical consequence of settler colonialism.
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Clark Atlanta University
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