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September 18, 1987 - Image 20

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-09-18

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FRIDAY, SEPT. 18, 1987


Chief Of Zulu Nation
Strongly Backs Israel


Special to The Jewish News

South Africa (JTA)
— The man who
could well emerge as South
Africa's first black president
is an outspoken supporter of
"Israel is indeed a land of
miracles," enthusiastically
declared Chief Mongosuthu
Gatsha Buthelezi, who claims
the support of South Africa's
largest ethnic group, the six
million Zulus, whose ances-
tors fought the British irr the
19th Century. "It is miracul-
ous to see what Israel has
achieved in 38 years in the
face of great adversities and
Regarded by more radical
blacks as an apologist for
apartheid, by liberal whites
as an authentic voice for
compromise, and by the
South African government it-
self as a responsible, but an-
noyingly independent cham-
pion of black power and
pride, Buthelezi has led the
proud Zulus for 30 years. He
is chief minister of his tribe's
important Buthelezi clan, and
head of Inkatha, a militant
cultural-political organization
that boasts a paid-up mem-
bership of a million. -
Inkatha activists wear
military-style uniforms,
attend demonstrations armed
with spears, clubs and
shields, and have engaged in
several, well publicized
bloody clashes with followers
of the outlawed African Na-
tional Congress (ANC), an
organization committed to
the violent overthrow of
white rule in South Africa.
In sharp contrast to
Buthelezi's Inkatha move-
ment, the ANC, which admits
to Soviet backing, has
adopted a generally anti-
Western and specifically
anti-Israel line. South Afri-
can officials attribute the
ANC's position on Israel to
support that the underground
group has reportedly received
from the Palestine Liberation
Organization and Libya.
According to both South
African and Israeli experts on
international terrorism, the
PLO and the Libyans have
provided the ANC and the
smaller, perhaps even more
radical, Pan-African Congress
with arms, money and mili-
tary training and logistical
support for over five years.
"I would say that Libya's
Col. Qaddafi is today part of
the ANC," Buthelezi said
during the course of a
lengthy interview conducted
at his ministerial headquar-

ters in Ulundi, capital of
Kwazulu. "The ANC de-
scribes itself as anti-Zionist,
not anti-Semitic, like many
African groups. But anti-
Zionism and anti-Semitism
are one and the same thing, I
have always found.
"Anti-Zionism, equating
Zionism with racism — all
this is really a cover for
anti-Semitism. It's an abhor-
rent, abominable thing."
An articulate, urbane
leader, who advocates power
sharing for South African
blacks, instead of revolution,
and remains committed to
non-violent change — for
practical as well as moral
reasons — Buthelezi makes
no secret of his admiration
for Israel and his view of the
country as a model for other
developing nations.
"I am deeply inspired- by
what I saw in Israel," he
said, referring to his visit
there last year. "I returned
home with increased hope
and a realization that people
facing adversity can become
ingenious beyond all predic
tion. In addition, visiting Is-
rael for me, my wife and
those who accompanied us
was a very spiritual experi-
ence for us as Christians."
He said that he was moved
in particular by his visit to
Yad Vashem, the Holocaust
memorial in Jerusalem, add-
ing that as a result of the
visit and his reading of the
history of the Holocaust he is
especially sensitive to the
newly-risen strength of the
neo-Nazi AWB, an Afrikaner
extremist group that sports
brown-shirted uniforms and
Waves swastika-like banners.
"They really cause my flesh
to crawl because I say, 'God
help us if we're going to have
a repeat performance of that
kind of racism which cost the
world so many lives,' "
Buthelezi said.
Buthelezi is quick to take
issue with Anglican Bishop
Desmond Tutu, who recently
likened apartheid to the
Nazis' genocidal program.
"One can hardly say apar-
theid is the same as Nazism,"
the Zulu chief said. "I mean,
apartheid is based on a racist
premise and bad enough, but
it's hardly murderous."
He pointed out that while
the Nazis sought to extermi-
nate the Jews, South African
policy seems bent on preserv-
ing its black majority, but as
second class, or subservient,
"I believe as you do in the
God of Abraham," Buthelezi
declared, "and I believe that
we are all creatures of His
creation. The Jewish people
may not be in a position to

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