Here's a thoughtful, well-balanced piece by the Guardian's Middle East correspondent Chris McGreal on whether the Israel of 2006 can be compared to South Africa under apartheid. He quotes the Jewish Israeli lawyer Daniel Seidemann, who says 'I hate the term ethnic cleansing because of the connotations of rape and pillage, which this is not. But there was and is an active government effort to rid targeted areas of its Palestinian residents and to turn it into a predominantly Jewish area. And I say, with regret, that the efforts have been moderately successful.' Even more disturbing is the testimony of Arthur Goldreich, a veteran of the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa. There was a time when Goldreich believed the young Jewish state would provide the example of a better way for the country of his birth. As it is Goldreich now sees Israel as closer to the racist white regime he fought against- and of the modern South Africa of Mandela and Mbeki as providing the model.