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Synopsis

This book is a comparison of two ethnic-national "apartheid" states – South Africa and Israel – which have been in conflict, and how internal dissent has developed. In particular it examines the evolution of effective white protest in South Africa and explores the reasons why comparably powerful movements have not emerged in Israel.

The book reveals patterns of behaviour shared by groups in both cases. It argues that although the role played by protest groups in peace-building may be limited, a tipping point, or ‘magic point’, can become as significant as other major factors. It highlights the role played by intermediate variables that affect the pathways of protest groups: such as changes in the international system; the visions and strategies of resistance movements and their degree of success; the economic relationship between the dominant and dominated side; and the legitimacy of the ideology in power (apartheid or Zionism).

Although the politics and roles of protest groups in both cases share some similarities, differences remain. Whilst white protest groups moved towards an inclusive peace agenda that adopts the ANC vision of a united non-racial democratic South Africa, the Jewish Israeli protest groups are still, by majority, entrenched in their support for an exclusive Jewish state. And as such, they support separation between the two peoples and a limited division of mandatory Palestine / ‘Eretz Israel’. This timely book sheds light on a controversial and explosive political issue: Israel being compared to apartheid South Africa.

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