During the colonial rule, South Africa went through a very tough moment of racial discrimination and ethnicity. There was much discrimination amongst the citizens in terms of their race and ethnic origin. Racial discrimination was practiced in schools, churches, social gatherings and also in areas of resident. This problem continued for a long time until different initiatives were put in place by both internal and external forces which were geared towards bring the vice to an end. Individuals and countries came up with different ways trying to reconcile different ethnic groups and end apartheid in South Africa.
The South African apartheid rule has some commonness with the ongoing Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Some of the ways which were applied in ending apartheid in South Africa can be applied to end the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.
United States involvement in the changes in South Africa that led to reconciliation between ethnic groups and ended Apartheid
U.S and South Africa began working together several decades of back when a diplomatic relation was established between the two nations in 1929 which was catalyzed by the United Kingdom’s recognition of South Africa’s domestic and external autonomy within the British Empire (Bureau of African Affairs, 2012, July 24). However, this relation encountered a number of challenges due to South Africa’s political instability which mostly were as a result of apartheid rule.
United state played a big role in establishing political stability and bringing peace in South Africa. There are a number of ways in which United State brought about some changes in South Africa that were geared towards ending apartheid rule and reconciling different ethnic groups.
United State was part of the decision that saw South Africa be put on sanction in 1980s. “During president Ronald Reagan’s first term in office, United States policy of “constructive engagement” towards South Africa was a matter of acute concern” (Treverton & Varle, 1992, p. 1). U.S put South Africa on sanction in different area areas in their effort to help it stop the apartheid rule. For example, “in 1978, the U.S. government burred U.S. Exports to South African military, police or apartheid-enforcing agencies of the government” (Treverton & Varle, 1992, p. 3).
These sanctions were imposed in an effort to force the government stop apartheid. In 1980s during the reign of President Reagan, a lot of efforts were made by U.S. in trying to end apartheid in South Africa. Due to their long relations, U.S. and South Africa had many businesses in partnership. South Africa was getting most of its imports from U.S. The U.S. supplied 15 percent of South Africa’s imports (Treverton & Varle, 1992, p.4).
Due to its key role in South Africa’s economy, U.S. thought that imposing sanction to South Africa would make them do what U.S. wanted; stop apartheid rule.
U.S. also tried to stop apartheid in South Africa by engaging dialogue with the South Africa’s neighboring countries such as Angola, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Mozambique. The U.S. government advised some of those nations not allow South African’s in exile rebel against their government from those countries’ territory (Treverton & Varle, 1992, p.3).
U.S. played a big role in ending apartheid in South Africa through its U.S. anti-apartheid movement which formed the American Committee on Africa (ACOA). In university and Colleges, the ACOA carried out a divestment campaign which was catalyzed by the Soweto uprising in 1976 (Richard, 2004, p. 2). The campaign was sensitizing students about the dangers of apartheid and urging them to stop exercising it. The movement helped in forming many anti-apartheid committees/organizations in colleges and universities by 1988 (Knight, 2004, p. 3).
The movement carried out divestment campaigns and sanctions in other institutions such as banks and also government institutions such as the municipal governments (Knight, 2004, p. 3).
The U.S. also helped end ethnicity and apartheid rule in South Africa by supporting leaders who were against the practices and helping in the formation Truth Reconciliation commissions which helped in bringing different groups together.
What the United States should do in their efforts to forge a peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians.
Just as it was in better position to end ethnicity and apartheid in South Africa, United States can also play a big role in bringing the conflict between Israel and Palestine to an end. This conflict has persistent for quite some time and has attracted international concern just as the apartheid rule in South Africa did.
In the efforts to bring peace at the region, U.S. should establish a task force to work out strategies of uniting the two countries. This task force should include some dignified individuals both groups. It should workout towards establishing the root cause of the problem and coming up ways on how the two groups can live in peace.
Due to its position in the international community and its economic status, U.S. can establish peace between Israel and Palestine by forming organizations to talk to individuals and different groups of people from the region on the need for peace and how they can achieve it. It can finance different peace committees in the region and try to reconcile the groups through dialogue.
In conclusion, U.S. can help solve the Israeli/Palestinian conflict by advocating for dialogue amongst the groups and forming peace committees/organizations just as it did in the case of South Africa’s apartheid issue.
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