Last Tuesday night, the Ugandan scholar Mahmood Mamdani gave a speech at Columbia University, where he is a professor, saying that Palestine has not yet reached its “South African moment.” [ . . . ]
“The end of apartheid was a negotiated settlement,” Mamdani said. The South African anti-apartheid struggle did not succeed by military resistance so much as by education, bringing whites to understand that they would only be safe if they ceased to be settlers. They [eventually] came to agree. In Israel and Palestine, the work is also educational. Israeli Jews and their western supporters have been indoctrinated in the wake of the Holocaust to believe that Jews will only be safe with a Jewish state. [ . . . ]
The opposite is the case. Jews can have a homeland in the Middle East, but their safety can only be achieved by dismantling the Jewish state, Mamdani said. His speech was a political challenge to Jewish anti-Zionists, now just a splinter, to launch a political struggle inside the Jewish community to liberate it from Zionism.