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A disgraceful and dishonest comparison

Letter

It is both disgraceful and sad that The Gisborne Herald has published John Minto’s opinion piece titled “Another struggle against apartheid”.

Disgraceful because it makes a dishonest comparison between a situation 40 years ago in the country — South Africa — where apartheid was created and named, with another country today — Israel — where a completely different situation exists.

It is disgraceful that Mr Minto spreads a misrepresentation, a deliberate smear, when he labels Israel as apartheid.

As well as so-called “petty apartheid” like white-only toilets and park benches, South African Blacks were ruled by a White minority, had no vote, and were not allowed by law to have relationships with Whites. None of this exists in Israel. All citizens, Jews, Arabs and other ethnicities, are entitled to vote for the Knesset (Parliament), and your readers will be well aware that the present government includes an Arab Israeli party in its coalition.

It is disgraceful that Mr Minto uses selective quotations from falsely-praised individuals and organisations to support his claims. They are refuted by reputable commentators.

It is sad that Mr Minto says only that we — New Zealand — are a better country for the 1981 protests against the Springbok tour. That is true. I also took part in many of the protests and am saddened that the ending of apartheid in South Africa has created a country of poverty and violence.

It is sad that Mr Minto is so one-eyed about the situation in Israel and the Middle East that he does not see the return of the Jews to their historic homeland, where they are the indigenous people, as an act of justice after 2000 years of persecution in other peoples’ countries.

David Zwartz, Wellington