SA Advertising Authority allows an advert which calls Israel apartheid

The South African Jewish Board of Deputies made a complaint against the South African Advertising Standards Authority concerning a radio commercial which was made by “Artists Against Apartheid”, calling for a boycott of Israel because it was an apartheid state.

The commercial features the voice of Dave Randall, lead singer of the group Faithless. He says,

Hi, I’m Dave Randall from Faithless. Twenty years ago I would not have played in apartheid South Africa; today I refuse to play in Israel. Be on the right side of history. Don’t entertain apartheid. Join the international boycott of Israel. I support southafricanartistsagainstapartheid.com.

The Complaint said that

the commercial is untrue, and not supported by any evidence to verify the implied claim that Israel is an apartheid state. Given that there is no finding that Israel is an apartheid state by the International Court of Criminal Justice. The commercial contains a lie which amounts to false propaganda.

The finding said:

The expression of the view that Israel is an apartheid state in contravention of international law is based on a sound factual matrix and the connection between apartheid South Africa and Israel has been made numerous times in the South African media. The claim is therefore justified and arguably capable of substantiation through this range of documentary sources.

The whole ruling is here.

Here are links to the debate from last october relating to the decision of the University of Johannesburg to cut its scientific links with Ben Gurion University in Israel.  Included here are pieces from Desmond Tutu, Robert Fine, Ran Greenstein, David Newman, Neve Gordon, David Hirsh and Farrid Essack.

Here is David Hirsh’s short critique of the apartheid analogy.

What’s wrong with PACBI’s “call” for a boycott?  click here.

For the Engage archive on the Israel / Apartheid analogy click here.

 

 

2 Responses to “SA Advertising Authority allows an advert which calls Israel apartheid”

  1. Brian Goldfarb Says:

    Having read through the judgement, it would appear that it is legal in South Africa to run an ad that describes Israel as an apartheid state. It isn’t clear under what circumstances one couldn’t.

    So, facts have no bearing on the matter.

    This raises interesting issues as to what one could say on air, etc, about Dave Randall and/or the band Faithless.

    People never appear to realise that these matters are, or can be, a double-edged sword, and would be the first to complain (probably about The Lobby) should similar things be said about them.

  2. Bialik Says:

    What is a ‘sound factual matrix’? Is it the same as ‘facts’ and if so, why not say the claim is factually correct? Adding in support ‘the connection between apartheid South Africa and Israel which has been made numerous times in the South African media’ is also puzzling. Are they saying that if something is in the newspapers it is therefore true? And what is the subject of these connections? 1970s collaboration on nuclear weapons? A love of football? Finally, “the claim is therefore justified [on the basis that it is true or that such claims can be read in SA papers?] and arguably capable (sic) of substantiation through this range of documentary sources.” We do not say of something true that it is ‘arguably capable of substantiation’ because it weakens the claim. So it sounds like truth isn’t the justification for agreeing that Israel is an apartheid state. Adding that one particular range of documentary sources favours the claim being true suggests that another range of sources would not. This makes no sense at all!


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