Palestinians throw stones toward Israeli troops during clashes in the village of Kafr Qaddum near the West Bank city of Nablus on December 21, 2012.
The Israeli government calls them Areas A, B, and C of “Judea and Samaria.” To the rest of the world, the areas are known as Palestine, a nation that has state observer status in the United Nations and is a full member of the UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Arab League.
No other country in the world recognizes the existence of “Judea and Samaria” but 142 nations recognize the independence and statehood of Palestine.
Area C of the West Bank of Palestine is under full Israeli political and military control and there are plans underway to annex Area C to Israel. The Israeli military has security control over Area B, largely Palestinian rural land and in danger of being gobbled up by Israeli annexation if the expansionist Israel Home Party, Yisrael Beiteinu, and the right-wing of Likud have their way. Area A is under the control of the Palestinian Authority and includes its administrative headquarters city of Ramallah and other Palestinian population centers.
When one looks at a map of the Israeli area boundaries in the West Bank one can only be reminded of the patchwork quilt of majority African “Bantustans” created by apartheid South Africa. In fact, what the Benjamin Netanyahu government has offered to Palestine in the way of independence is for an unarmed and defenseless entity to exist as an unequal part of a greater Israeli zone of influence with Area C being exchanged for Israel’s recognition of Palestine’s faux “independence.” Netanyahu has referred to the co-principality of Andorra as a template for Palestine. Andorra’s actual heads of state are a Spanish Catholic bishop and the French president. Andorra’s actual independence from Spain and France is highly debatable, even though the country is a member of the UN and Council of Europe.
Such contrivances as planned by Israel for Palestine have been seen before in Bantustans with the names of Transkei, Ciskei, Venda, and Bophuthatswana.
And in what should be taught to every African student, Israel was not only a major supporter of apartheid South Africa but it had close trade and security relations with the Bantustans because it saw them as a model for future “Arabstans” in the occupied Palestinian territories. These “Arabstans” now exist in the Gaza Strip and Areas A, B, and C of the West Bank.
Close Israeli-South African relations were capped off by a visit from South African Prime Minister B. J. Vorster to Israel in April 1976, the first by a South African head of government. Israel and South Africa jointly manufactured military hardware and weapons and electronic and signals intelligence systems as a way to bypass UN sanctions imposed on the apartheid state. And the two countries, with the assistance of Taiwan, jointly produced nuclear weapons and the fissionable U-235 uranium isotope, testing an atomic bomb in the South Atlantic near the Prince Edward Islands on September 22, 1979.
Although South Africa’s self-proclaimed Bantustans were only recognized by South Africa, Israel maintained de facto relations with the four entities. Transkei, Ciskei, and Bophuthatswana maintained trade missions in Tel Aviv staffed by Israelis. In fact, these Israelis were using passports from the “republics,” as well as other diplomatic contrivances, to support the illegal side of Mossad and international Jewish lobbying and Israeli influence-peddling operations worldwide.
With Transkei, Israel maintained close intelligence and counter-insurgency ties. Its Prime Minister George Matanzima, a nephew of then-imprisoned African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela, visited Israel in 1984, along with four Transkei Cabinet ministers.
But it was Ciskei, headed by President Lennox Sebe, which provided Israel with its closest Bantustan ally. Sebe traveled to Israel, supported illegal settlements in occupied Palestine, and received Israeli assistance, especially for his brutal police force. Relations were so close between the Bantustan and Israel, the Ciskei capital of Bisho had a sister city relationship with Ariel, an illegal Israeli settlement on the West Bank. A number of Israeli companies, many led by Likud officials, established themselves in Ciskei. Mossad and Israel Defense Force personnel helped Ciskei establish paramilitary units and an intelligence service. Ciskei’s flag shared its light blue and white colors with those of Israel’s flag.
Bophuthatswana resembled Palestine’s Area A and B territories. The Tswana “homeland” consisted of eight non-contiguous enclaves within South Africa. The Bantustan’s Sun City casino not only attracted top Western entertainers who did not want to run afoul of the sanctions on the apartheid regime, but also a fair number of Israeli-South African dual national organized crime figures who ran casino operations and opened up nearby strip clubs and bordellos catering to inter-racial sex.
Bophuthatswana maintained an unofficial embassy in Israel and the Bantustan’s President Lucas Mangope was received by a number of Israeli officials, including the famed General Moshe Dayan. Israel provided Bophuthatswana’s official armed forces with training and equipment and, in 1994, when Mangope was overthrown, he could only rely on the support of the white racist Afrikaner Weerstand Beweging (AWB), which was also believed to have received covert support from Israeli trainers and equippers. North West University in the former capital of Bophuthatswana, Mafikeng, honored the late Mangope in 2010. Unsurprisingly, the university also maintains close ties with Ben Gurion University in Israel.
Venda also received security assistance from Israel and its president, Patrick Mphephu, paid an official visit to Israel in 1980. In 1983, Israel hosted a large delegation from the Venda Chamber of Commerce.
Israel showed every intention of supporting other Bantustans after they became fully independent. In 1985, Israel received KwaZulu Bantustan’s Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi. There were low-level Israeli links, mostly by Israeli military intelligence operatives in the guises of tourists and backpackers, with the Bantustan governments of Lebowa and Qwa Qwa in South Africa and Kavangoland, Ovamboland, and East Caprivi.
The Bantustans disappeared after the end of apartheid and were incorporated back into South Africa. Today, South Africa has implemented plans to boycott any goods originating from Israeli businesses in the occupied territories. Israel, the second-most ardent supporter of the Bantustans, after apartheid South Africa, has cried foul and is accusing South Africa of anti-Semitism. However, Israel stands guilty of racism and pro-segregation in Africa. It is a shameful history that Israel should not be permitted to run away from.