Hendrik Verwoerd

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Hendrik Frensch Verwoerd (September 8, 1901September 6, 1966) was a South African politician. He is widely considered the architect of South African apartheid for his work in the National Party government in the 1950s and was Prime Minister of South Africa from 1958 until he was assassinated in 1966.


The situation in Israel is sometimes compared to South African apartheid. This is completely accurate. In fact, Hendrik Verwoerd, the architect of apartheid, said that, "Israel, like South Africa, is an apartheid state," (Rand Daily Mail, 23 Nov 1961).

His quote is backed up by several Israeli government and military officials, like former Israeli Attorney General Michael Ben-Yair, who wrote, "In effect, we established an apartheid regime in the occupied territories immediately following their capture. That regime exists to this day."

Shulamit Aloni, former minister of education in Israel, wrote, "Through its army, the government of Israel practices a brutal form of apartheid in the territory it occupies."

This view is echoed even by those familiar with both apartheid and Israel. Ronnie Kasrils, a Jewish South African who headed military intelligence for the armed wing of the African National Congress and who is now his country's intelligence minister, concluded from a 2004 West Bank visit that the Israeli system is more brutal than the South African one. "This is much worse than apartheid," he said. "We never had jets attacking our townships ... We had armored vehicles and police using small arms to shoot people, but not on this scale."

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