Salim Vally

1948 remains the most important year for South Africans and Palestinians. For both peoples, British colonialism created the conditions for the racist entitlement by others of the land of indigenous people. The year 1948 saw the birth of Apartheid South Africa and the creation of Apartheid Israel.  In both situations, the National Party (consisting of largely Afrikaners, white descendents of the Dutch who defeated the party of Jan Smuts supported by the British) and the Zionist movement saw themselves as the ‘Herrenvolk’- literally, ‘God’s people’ or the ‘chosen race’. These groups employed and abused biblical notions that the land was their right and both believed that these lands were ‘a land without a people for a people without land’.