F.W. De Klerk on Israel, Apartheid, and Boycotts

16 Kislev 5776

Saturday, November 28 2015


10:12 am: Palestinian stabbing attack thwarted. Terrorist armed with a knife captured at Bequa’ot Checkpoint. No Israelis wounded.


***Palestinian terror in the last 24 hours.

It has been fascinating to watch the Israeli police dissemble over the last few months. In an obvious and Obamaesque attempt to alter the public perception of the scale of the violence facing us, the police are loathe to use the words “terrorist” or “terror”.

Whenever any attack takes place directed against one person, the first sentence from the police is that “it may have been criminally motivated.” This sentence is in opposition to the police code phrase for a Palestinian terror attack which is “it was nationalistically motivated.”

Whenever any terror attack takes place in which an Israeli car or bus crashes off the road, the first sentences out of the police are “it was an accident” or “the Israeli lost control of his or her car.” Acknowledgement of what caused the loss of control (i.e. Palestinian terror) does not come until days–remember Alexander Levlovitch–, weeks, or even months–remember Asher Palmer–later.

Even a Palestinian “bulldozer” attack in which a terrorist rams his car into a group of Jews standing beside a road at a bus stop or hitchhiking location is often initially explained as “a traffic accident” caused by “a driver losing control of his car.”

Your humble servant mentions police terminology because it was at play yesterday. Late in the evening, a Border Guard walking down a street in Nahariya was stabbed repeatedly in the back by an Arab. The entire gruesome spectacle was caught by a security camera in the street–and played endlessly on Israeli television.

And yet, the police could not bring themselves to say that the attack was a terror attack; even this morning, they are insisting that it could have been “criminally motivated.”

As for the two bulldozer attacks yesterday which wounded a total 7 Israelis, the police were not able to get away with terminological hijinks. Both attacks were directed against soldiers who opened fire and killed the terrorists. It was impossible to claim that some “poor Palestinian” merely “lost control of his car.”

Aside from the stabbing and the two bulldozer attacks, Friday saw at least 35 “rock” and Molotov firebomb attacks on Israelis in Judea, Samaria, and eastern Jerusalem. 

***Still reeling over the IDF suggestions . . .

The Netanyahu government and your humble servant are still reeling over the bizarre suggestions (increasing weaponry for the PLO, releasing Palestinian murderers from prison, etc) made by the IDF two days ago.

When they were first published, they were published as coming from an “unnamed senior source in the IDF. That person is unnamed no longer, and is Major General Roni Numa.

Numa is the head of IDF Central Command–which holds jurisdiction over Judea and Samaria. Back in January, incoming IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot hand-picked Numa for the post–against the wishes of many in the defense establishment. Numa had had a stellar career in the IDF as a soldier and fighter.

Numa (left) and Eizenkot.

Numa (left) and Eizenkot.

However, it was a particularly specious appointment given the fact that just three months before (in August, 2014), it was Numa who had leaked information to the media about the arson at Duma–claiming that it was “right-wing Jewish terrorists” who carried out the crime.

Of course this accusation was made without the slightest bit of evidence, and to date, no evidence has been forthcoming–and no one has been charged with the crime.

And what has happened since Numa’s appointment?

First of all, Numa changed the rules of engagement making it much more difficult for soldiers to defend themselves and pursue terrorists. Two ramifications of these changes were that, almost immediately, IDF officers and soldiers became much more reticent to fire on terrorists and much more likely to be prosecuted for doing so.

Then, the main area under his command, Judea and Samaria, fell apart. 

While there are many factors involved in the degradation of the situation, two of the main ones have to be the rules that Numa put into place and the general passive strategy that he has employed in dealing with violence.  It is a strategy that has as its priority “Don’t do anything to make the lives of Palestinians inconvenient or uncomfortable.”

It has been a recipe for disaster.  

And now Numa wants to compound disastrous strategy with disastrous actions on the ground. 

Talk about the wrong man in the wrong place at the wrong time.


F. W. De Klerk has just visited Israel, and offered some interesting observations on the subject of apartheid and boycotts.

Of course, you will all remember Frederik Willem de Klerk (now 79) who served as South Africa’s last “white president” under its apartheid regime. Both he and Nelson Mandela received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 for their efforts in overthrowing that regime.

Mandela and De Klerk at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony.

Mandela and De Klerk at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony.

He was in Israel this week as a guest at the Berl Katznelson Anti-Racism Conference. While here, he was interviewed by one of Israel’s most stridently left-wing journalists, Nahum Barnea.

Here are a few snippets from the extremely brief interview (de Klerk rarely submits to interviews at all) by a man who understands apartheid and boycotts very well.


Barnea: Is Israel an apartheid state?

de Klerk: I don’t think so.


[de Klerk then discusses his belief that a ‘two state solution’ is the only way forward–and a series of conditions that could lead Israel down the same road as South Africa–and three stages that South Africa went through during his presidency. He was then questioned about the BDS boycott against Israel which he opposes.]


Barnea: Did the international boycott and the economic sanctions against South Africa play a part in reaching the agreement?

de Klerk: “The boycott [did not have any significant impact]. The sanctions cost us 1.5% of growth per year. We could have lasted like that for 10-15 years or more.”


Isn’t this an interesting perspective?

We never stop hearing the BDS movement making fraudulent comparisons between South Africa and Israel. And we never stop hearing the BDS movement crow about how it is like the boycott movement against South Africa that brought the government to its knees.

Yet, here we have the man who (along with Mandela) was at the center of maelstrom stating definitively that the boycott movement had little impact on the situation.

Some food for thought on this sunny Saturday morning here in Israel . . .


Posted in News | Tagged apartheid, BDS, boycott, bulldozer attack, central command, criminally motivated, de klerk, fell apart, Israel, Judea, maelstrom, mandela, nationalistically motivated, nobel, Palestinian, recipe for disaster, roni numa, rules of engagement, Samaria, south africa, stabbing, terminology, terror, terrorist | Comments Off on F.W. De Klerk on Israel, Apartheid, and Boycotts