By Owei Lakemfa
ISRAELI President, Shimon Peres is expectedly denying romance with Apartheid South Africa under which his country agreed to sell the latter nuclear weapons. Like a thief caught in the act, Peresâ€™ denials are weak.
His spokeswoman, Ayelet Frisch declared: â€œWe regret that the paper used in the storyÂ (are)documents by the South African government officials rather than documentsÂ that presentÂ the factsâ€. But that precisely is what Peres should have done; present the authenticÂ documents if he claims that those used are not. He also claimed that none of the documents used â€œare original signed documentsâ€. With such claims, the onus is onÂ him to provide the originally-signed ones.
In any case, if as Peres claims, the documents are not authentic, why did theÂ Israeli government go to lengths to try stopping the democratic government in South Africa from releasing these Apartheid era documents?
Indeed, it is an embarrassment for a supposedly democratic-minded Israel with claims to human ideals to be caught not just having an affair with the criminal Apartheid regime, but also offering it nuclear weapons to destroy the front line states who stood for the independence and liberation ofÂ the Southern African region from vicious racists.
But the marriage which Peres in his old age tries to deny was logical. After the 1973 Yom Kippur War, many countries, including almost the whole of Africa cut diplomatic ties with Zionist Israel.Â So Israel and Apartheid South Africa were pariah states.
Secondly, Apartheid South Africa was willing to give Israel the yellowcake needed to buildÂ a nuclear weapons. Both nations, with Europeans as their ruling elites, also felt they were under siege by non- White neighbours.
The twosome wanted nuclear weapons as deterrent and for necessary strikes against their unrelenting neighbours. The romance was an open secret, but it is in the nature of Israel to deny the truth as it still does today; not just denying its nuclear offer to the Afrikaans, but in fact denying that it has nuclear weapons.
The story which Peres is straining to deny is the publication in a new book by American academic, Sasha Polakow-Suransky titled: The Unspoken Alliance: Israelâ€™s Secret Alliance With Apartheid South Africa based on Aparteid era documents.
It revealed thatÂ on March 31, 1975, Israeli officials at a meeting offered to sell the Apartheid regime some of its Jericho missiles with nuclear capability. The latterâ€™s military chief of staff, LtÂ GeneralÂ R F Armsrong,Â however, demanded that the weapons be fitted with nuclear weapons.
The documents showed that at a follow-up meeting on June 4, 1975 in Zurich, Switzerland, then Israeli Defence Minister, Shimon Peres officially offered his Apartheid counterpart,Â P W Botha missiles, code-namedÂ Chalet, fitted with conventional, chemical and nuclear war weapons. Although the deal was not consummated for various reasons, including costs, Pretoria, eventually, with the likely support of Israel, built its own nuclear bombs.
Apart from being isolated nations, the twosome had similar ideology of racism. Political Zionism was founded by the Austrian journalist Theodor Herzel with the mission: â€œToÂ establish a nationalÂ home for the Jewish people in Palestineâ€.
The problem, however, was that Palestine was not a virgin land; it was the indigenous homeland of Palestinians, Arabs and Jews with the latter being the minority. Even at that, the indigenous Jews had little contact with the Zionists who wereÂ actually Europeans with Jewish ancestry or affinity.
Since the Palestine had indigenous peoples,Â for every land the migrant Jews settled, the present occupiers had to be disposed. Naturally, the Palestinian and Arab indigenes did not want to lose their homelands, so conflict was inevitable.
To justify their seizure or colonialism of the Palestine, the Zionists had to develop an ideology that rationalizes their enterprise;Â they came up with one: That the Jews are Godâ€™s chosen race which made them superior to all other races, especially the Palestinian and Arab peoples.
They claimed that GodÂ having called Abraham out of his fatherâ€™s home (in present day southern Iraq) had given him and his inheritors, the Palestine. So Zionism like ApartheidÂ and Nazism, is based on an ideology of racial superiority.
All three, sharing the same umbilical cord, believe that they were a superior breed of the human race chosen by God to lead their fellow humans and neighbours and to dominate them.
Under such ideology, war was inevitable, but while humanity has defeated Nazism and the Apartheid system, Zionism still thrives. It refusesÂ to limit itself to internationally accepted borders; insists on occupying East Jerusalem which it captured during the 1967 war, occupying the Gaza and stealing more Palestinian lands in the West Bank in the name of building new settlements.
It has refused to allow millions of Palestinian exiles return homeÂ and is today blockingÂ a flotilla of humanitarian aid ships sent from Ireland, Greece and Turkey to help the people in Gaza who face an Israeli-imposed humanitarian catastrophe.
Like other racist ideologies such as Nazism and Apartheid, Zionism, like an outlaw, obeys no rules, recognises no international laws or conventionsÂ that do not fit into its self-interest. Given their common isolation and ancestry, it was not surprising that Israel and Apartheid shared a common bed.
British Guardian correspondent, Chris McGreal reported that when five years ago, he asked Peres about the romance with Apartheid, the Israeli president replied: â€œEvery decision is not between two perfect situations. Every choice is between two imperfectÂ alternatives. At that time the movement of BlackÂ South Africa was with (PLO leader Yasser) Arafat against us. Actually, we didnâ€™t have much of a choice. But we never stopped denouncing Apartheid. We never agreed with itâ€.
The Israeli attempt to sell the Apartheid regimeÂ Â nuclear weaponsÂ throws up the whole question whether it is responsible enough to be a nuclear power, and if its allies in Washington and the Western capitals have any moral authority to sanction Iran and North Korea over their nuclear weapons development while not doing same to Israel.