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US Senate voted overwhelmingly for sanctions to ‘wake up’ apartheid South Africa

Israel/Palestine
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Even Republican Senator Richard Lugar was for sanctions against South African apartheid on moral grounds

Even Republican Senator Richard Lugar was for sanctions against South African apartheid on moral grounds

Read this news story from 1986 and imagine if South Africa was a different country, with a different relationship to the U.S. From the New York Times. Pay attention to all the moral stances adopted by senators, and remember that apartheid did not fall for another four years.

The Senate voted today [78-21] to override President Reagan’s veto of legislation imposing stiff economic sanctions on South Africa. In doing so it rejected his pleas for support as he prepares to meet Mikhail S. Gorbachev, the Soviet leader, in Iceland..

Senator Richard G. Lugar, the Indiana Republican who heads the Foreign Relations Committee and was the chief sponsor of the measure, appealed in emotional terms to Pretoria to heed the action taken by Congress.

 

”As a friend of that Government we are saying wake up!” he said.

 

After the vote, Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts, said: ”The Senate’s action today expressed the best ideals of the American people. The message to countries all over the world is, the United States will lead, and we’re proud to lead.”

The sanctions, indeed, go further than those enacted Sept. 16 by the European Community. Those ban new investment and imports of gold coins, iron and steel from South Afric…

Senator Alan Cranston, a California Democrat, summed up this symbolism when he said, ”The Senate must decide whether we stand with the oppressed or with the oppressors.”

Oh and look at this. Shades of the war on terror, and radical Islam, the clash of civilizations:

Mr. Reagan’s supporters … predicted that by undermining the Pretoria Government, Congress would hasten the triumph of Communist-inspired forces in South Africa.

”The thrust of this legislation,” said Senator Jesse Helms, a North Carolina Republican, ”is to bring about violent, revolutionary change, and after that, tyranny.”

 

Thanks to Scott Roth, who has been on this story for several months now.

 

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6 Responses

  1. amigo
    amigo
    December 6, 2013, 8:10 am

    Senator Alan Cranston, a California Democrat, summed up this symbolism when he said, ”The Senate must decide whether we stand with the oppressed or with the oppressors.”

    This hypocrisy just rolls off their tongues unfettered by morals or common decency.

    • seafoid
      seafoid
      December 6, 2013, 8:24 am

      At the same time the US was running death squads against land redistribution in Central America. Empire doesn’t have time for decency.

  2. Justpassingby
    Justpassingby
    December 6, 2013, 8:27 am

    It was with the racist state of SA that Israel shot it first nuclear missile.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vela_Incident

  3. richb
    richb
    December 6, 2013, 10:05 am

    The fight over sanctions expose the fact that Christian Zionists are motivated by race and not religion. Note this 1985 Nightline debate between Jerry Falwell and Jesse Jackson, especially starting at 30 minutes in.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLBG8TVPhb8

    Israelis also had tight ties with the apartheid regime in South Africa.

    In 1976, Israel invited the then apartheid prime minister, John Vorster, a known Nazi sympathiser, on a state visit. During that tour, Israel’s then premier, Yitzhak Rabin, toasted Vorster at a banquet and praised “the ideals shared by Israel and South Africa: the hopes for justice and peaceful coexistence”.

    Vorster also happened to be justice minister during the infamous 1963-1964 Rivonia Trial that sentenced Mandela to life in prison.

    “I think that among Israelis, there’s a wilful ignorance about the depth of the ties between the apartheid regime and Israel,” said Noam Sheizaf, editor of Israel’s left-leaning +972 online magazine.

    “These issues are not discussed.”

    http://m.thenational.ae/world/middle-east/palestinians-remember-mandela-as-most-courageous-who-supported-us

    On the other hand the Palestinian people had a close relationship with Nelson Mandela.

    Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas paid tribute Friday to Nelson Mandela’s commitment to his people’s cause as he mourned the South African liberation icon.

    “This is a great loss for all the peoples of the world, and for Palestine,” Abbas said, hailing a “symbol of freedom from colonialism and occupation.”

    Mandela, 95, was a leader of the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa, and the country’s first black president. He died on Thursday after an extended illness.

    He first visited the Palestinian territories in 1999, and was an ardent supporter of the Palestinian cause and a champion for Middle East peace.

    “We know too well that our [South African] freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians,” Mandela famously said in 1997.

    “The Palestinian people will never forget his historic statement,” Abbas said.

    He described Mandela as the “most courageous and important of those who supported us.”

    http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/palestinians-pay-tribute-late-anti-apartheid-leader-nelson-mandela

  4. OlegR
    OlegR
    December 6, 2013, 2:40 pm

    Drawing incorrect historical parallels , again…

  5. David Doppler
    David Doppler
    December 6, 2013, 5:11 pm

    Among Mandela’s statements that resonate:

    Non-violence is a tactical, not an ethical issue. There is nothing moral about using an ineffective weapon.

    We must not only free the Blacks from their oppression, we must free the Whites from their fear.

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