A new book by Brian J Brown
Ticking the Boxes of Occupation and Dispossession
Methodist minister Brian Brown was administrative director of the Christian Institute when it was shut-down by South Africa’s apartheid regime in 1977. He remained a ‘banned’ person for thirteen years, until Nelson Mandela’s release from jail in 1990. The Christian Institute was involved in active opposition to apartheid and civil religion; engaged supportively with the Black Consciousness Movement; and called for civil disobedience and Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions to assist the end of apartheid.
In exile Brian held appointments in the British Council of Churches and the Methodist Missionary Society where he continued to pursue the apartheid-related justice issues he describes in his autobiography, ‘Born to be Free: the Indivisibility of Freedom’. This interest led to study of the Israel-Palestine conflict at a time of growing emergence of Israel’s government as an undemocratic, settler-colonial, and apartheid regime.
In ‘Apartheid South Africa! Apartheid Israel?’ Brian analyses Israel as replicating what he calls Grand Apartheid; the violent dispossession of land, nationality and human rights by one ethnic group of another. Save that this time it is Palestistian rather then Black people who suffer apartheid’s illegal occupation, domination and disempowerment. The book’s comparative analysis of two apartheid states is backed by accounts of Israeli and International Human Rights organisations whose legal analysis presents Israel as practising a crime against humanity, the Crime of Apartheid.
Jewish and Palestinian narratives engage with each other, whilst the book’s Christian option for the oppressed and marginalised is presented unapologetically. Related themes of Zionism (Jewish and Christian), Interfaith dialogue, apartheid as heresy, anti-Palestianism and antisemitism are treated. Most importantly, the voices of those who live between the river (Jordan) and the sea (Mediterranean) are heard. For Jews and Palestinians alike, their freedoms remain indivisible.
By the end of 2018, at least 66.7% (8.71 million) of the entire, worldwide Palestinian population (13.05 million) were forcibly displaced persons. Among them were at least 7.94 million Palestinian refugees and 761,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs).
Source: Survey of Palestinian Refugees and IDPs 2016-2019, Badil Resource Centre, 2019
The Bantustans (‘Homelands’) in which South Africa’s 80 per cent Black Population were to have their Pseudo-States.
Source: Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc