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Wed Sep 19, 2012, 12:52 PM

Netanyahu’s Wink at History

By Ted Snider

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has long called for harsher sanctions on Iran. Recently, in a talk condemning the decision of the one hundred and twenty nations of the Non-Aligned Movement to attend the summit in Tehran, Netanyahu recited some of his charges against Iran. Amongst them, to the charge that Iran is developing nuclear weapons, Netanyahu added the accusations that Iran “brutalizes its own people” and “colludes in the murder of thousands of innocent Syrians”.

Netanyahu’s calls for sanctions go back a long way. Five and a half years ago at the Interdisciplinary Security Conference now tellingly entitled “Still Time to Stop Iran,” which was held in the Israeli city of Herzliya in January of 2007, Netanyahu defended his demand by drawing on the historical precedent of the sanctions imposed on South Africa. “ . . .[W]e are taking action to advance voluntary sanctions on Iran,” Netanyahu told the delegates. “There is no need to wait for the United Nations to impose significant sanctions in the Security Council. A historic example of this is the action take [sic] against the Apartheid regime in South Africa”.

Fortunately, Netanyahu had his fingers crossed when he said this. Or he should have. Because Israel officially and systematically violated those very sanctions that Netanyahu says the world should emulate.

On April 1, 1987, the U.S. congress stated that “Israel appears to have sold military systems . . . and provided technical assistance on a regular basis” despite a mandatory United Nations arms embargo imposed on South African ten years earlier in November 1977. And two years later, on July 5, 1989, the White House confirmed that the CIA had discovered that Israel was still supplying missile components to South Africa after promising to honour the sanctions and cease all military ties with South Africa two years earlier.


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