Nations Divided: American Jews and the Struggle over by Marjorie N. Feld (auth.)

By Marjorie N. Feld (auth.)

A pioneering learn of yank Jewish involvement within the struggle opposed to racial injustice in South Africa.

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Nations Divided: American Jews and the Struggle over Apartheid

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Extra info for Nations Divided: American Jews and the Struggle over Apartheid

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61 In line with its outreach to Black African nations, Israel made visible, diplomatic efforts to show its strong disapproval of apartheid beginning in the early 1960s. It joined an antiapartheid censure initiative in the United Nations in 1961, repeated that vote in 1962, and in 1963 withdrew its diplomatic delegate from South Africa. ” from the left Zionist organization HaShomer Hatzair. ”62 In response to Israel’s antiapartheid position, South Africa’s white leaders subsequently froze the transfer of funds to Israel.

Perhaps more importantly, many JLC members, like others on the liberal/left in American Jewry, saw Israel itself as the product of the liberation ideology of Zionism, with Israel a positive, democratic, tolerant influence in the Middle East that emerged from the ashes of Jewish genocide. Later, they would frequently refer to Israel’s assistance to Black African nations as proof of its altruism, as evidence that equations of Israel’s actions with those of colonial nations were ill-fitting, even absurd.

Indeed, the Eisenhower administration, blind to human rights abuses in developing nations and dedicated to America’s anticommunist trade alliance with apartheid South Africa, worked to soften the UN resolution condemning South Africa after Sharpeville. Importantly, the African American press also highlighted the hypocrisy of a government that would add its name to a “mild resolution” condemning the oppression of Black Africans and yet ignore the racism and violence within its own borders. 45 Organized South African Jewry focused its attention internally, on their sense of their own precarious whiteness; externally, it extended 30 N at ions D i v i de d exclusively to Israel, as organized South African Jews were more devoted to Zionism—in terms of organization building, monetary donations, and ideology—than perhaps any other Jewish community in the world.

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