No apartheid in Israel

I AM an American with South African roots. I have been visiting family in Plettenberg Bay.

I bought a copy of your paper and saw that it was apartheid in Israel week (“Kasrils holds vigil in Bay for Israeli Apartheid Week”, March 17). I was sickened by this and especially by the fact that Archbishop Desmond Tutu is supporting a book that promotes this idea.

I was born in Cape Town to a South African father and American mother.

They left South Africa when I was one years old because they did not want to live under apartheid.

However in 1977-78 I lived with my father’s brother in Cape Town. I learnt living in Cape Town for six months all about apartheid and experienced it in many ways.

How can any reasonable person say there is apartheid in Israel? There are no pass books and Arabs in Israel vote. They have members in parliament.

They have full citizenship. None is tortured or put in prison for their views.

If there is any anti-Arab feeling in Israel it is understandable. If you are going to work on a bus in Israel you may be blown up by a homicide bomber.

People have been blown up enjoying a pizza, celebrating passover, dancing in a club. Babies have been shot in the head by Palestinians.

Even some Israeli Arabs have committed terrorist acts and Palestinians applaud this horror.

Israel drained the swamps, irrigated deserts. No Arabs were living there.

They withdrew from Gaza, leaving greenhouses so that Gazans could earn money. What did they do – they promptly destroyed them.

Every day Gazans lob missiles into southern Israel. Israel retaliates and then sometimes kills innocents.

If the Palestinians and Israelis were to sign a peace agreement, the Palestinians would be economically uplifted.

I don’t agree with Benjamin Netanyahu’s settlements in the West Bank but there is no apartheid in Israel. Shame on Archbishop Tutu.

Ilana Kantey, Fort Lee, New Jersey, USA

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