Haaretz, Mar. 30, 2017


During the long hours on the bus, we chatted about this and that. For example, about the exaggerated religious myths that Afrikaners invented to justify their racial superiority over the native-born black people.

[...] “Tell me,” I asked. “What was it that really broke you? What made you give up, do away with apartheid, support the parties of Frederik De Klerk and Nelson Mandela, and accomplish this unbelievable shift from a white tyranny to a full democracy?”

[...] “The cultural boycott,” he told me. “Sports, tourism, artistic, academic. The countries that suddenly demanded visas. The universities that suddenly closed their gates. The artists that didn’t come to perform. The sports competitions that were closed to our athletes. The Olympics from which we were thrown out. That’s what made us bend – or opened our eyes, depending on whom you’re talking to. Basically, we got tired of being lepers. We got tired of being an international curse word. And people were sick of being the world’s evil villain. We wanted to be normal. De Klerk and Mandela offered us a path, and we agreed to take it.”