JERUSALEM (AP) — The former South African president who helped end apartheid says sanctions against Israel would be "counterproductive."
F.W. de Klerk told Israel Radio Sunday that comparisons between apartheid South Africa and Israel's treatment of the Palestinians are "odious," and that he prefers "dialogue and negotiation as a way to get governments to change their attitudes."
Those who support boycotting Israeli goods or goods made in West Bank settlements often point to a similar campaign credited with having undermined white rule in South Africa. Israel rejects the comparison, and says the boycotts are aimed at delegitimizing its very existence.
De Klerk was the last president under apartheid and, along with Nelson Mandela, ended its systematic racial discrimination.
He says the sanctions against South Africa "hurt the people they were intended to help."