An Amazing Resemblance to South Africa(A letter to the editor of Ha'aretz by Uzi Ornan, published Feb. 10, 1991)
Regarding Eliyahu Salpeter's "Journal, it is amazing how closely the discriminatory laws of South Africa-which began to be legislated in 1913 and which are now about to be abolished-resemble the discriminatory laws which began to be legislated in the state of Israel in 1948-and who knows when they will be abolished.
The ownership of the land in Israel is legally the preserve of the Israel Lands Authority-and in accordance with an agreement worked out with the Keren Kayemet - it imposes all the restrictions of the Keren Kayemet on the land under its control, i.e., land which is not sold but leased out. This method allows the officials of the authority to decide (in accordance with the "regulations") to whom to lease land, or homes, or a flat in a block of flats. The authority does this (in Salpeter's terms) by applying a clear "fundamental criterion" overseen by the ministry of the interior. In the registration entries for "religion" and "nationality" in the national census, those registered as "Jews" have full rights in regard to most of the land, cities and settlements. Those who are not registered as "Jews" are barred from owning real estate in most sectors of the country. So it is that the law and various regulations enforce what Mr. Salpeter refers to as "physical separation both in regard to local individual habitations and in regard to the establishment of separate 'bantustans."'
What the Jews (who are supposedly smart) don't understand is that a state in which all the residents do not have full equality cannot survive in the long run. The South Africans apparently realized this. The Maonites in Lebanon did not, and we are at present witnessing the consequences.
Amazingly enough, the majority of Israeli left-wing groups have failed to understand this. Rather than fight for full equality for all Israelis, they have focused their energies on the "Palestinian question," i.e., how to remain separate at any price from those who aren't Jewish. Similar to their friends on the right, they support what is referred to in Afrikaans as "apartheid," i.e., separateness.