Historic impeachment of two judges

TWO judges were impeached in the House of Assembly today. The impeachment of Judge Nkola Motata for drunk driving came a few hours after Judge John Hlophe was impeached by the House. This is the first time in 30 years of democracy that any judges have faced impeachment proceedings, and brings to an end proceedings, after Motata was found guilty of drunk driving in 2009 when he crashed his luxury vehicle on a boundary wall of a house in Johannesburg in 2007.

The Hlophe impeachment was far more serious charges related to gross misconduct, the attempted influence over other judges.

Hlophe’s case started in 2008 when nine justices of the Constitutional Court (CC) laid a complaint against him, accusing him of attempting to influence Justices Chris Jafta and Bess Nkabinde in a case concerning former President Jacob Zuma. In the 15 years since, there has been numerous litigations on the part of both JP Hlophe as well as the JSC. In April 2021, a tribunal inquiry found Hlophe guilty of gross misconduct, a decision upheld by the JSC in August 2021.

The impeachment motion before Parliament may be considered a mere formality, but offered the respective judges an opportunity to enter politics, to canvass public opinion on their status.

Hlophe thus gave a number of fiery public speeches aimed at bolstering his position in the runup but in the end it was to no avail as both he and Motata went down in flames.

The motion against Hlophe succeeded with 305 votes.

Anti-Semitism & its political adherents in Parliament

​THERE is officially ‘no antisemitism’ in South Africa. No sooner had Justice Minister Ronald Lamola kicked up a storm after making bizarre statements on a BBC hardtalk interview, the country was being entertained by two incidents from inside the country’s various legislatures.

A tie-episode involving the wearing of a ‘Star of David’ by a member of the Johannesburg City Council was soon followed by threats inside the National House of Assembly: “We won’t allow you make this a Jewish state. The City of Cape Town would be a bloodbath,” ranted Member of Parliament Munzoor Shaik Emam, who proceeded to threaten Jews living in South Africa.

It was Sartre who once remarked: “If the Jew did not exist, the Anti-Semite would invent him”. ” In his seminal Anti-Semite & Jew, written after the author had noticed the absence of the Jews living in Paris before the war, deported to the Nazi death camps, he wrote: “The anti-Semite convinces himself of beliefs that he knows to be spurious at best.”

The latest debacle is redolent of ANC MP Marius Fransman’s invention of ‘Jewish property tycoons in Woodstock”, and other statements for which he was ordered to apologise. A suburb that had once seen an influx of Jews from the Shtetls of Czarist Russia, but which like District Six has lost its Jewish population, a factor of immigration and structural discrimination.

Lamola’s claim: “There is no antisemitism in South Africa against the Jewish People“ is not only a blatant lie, similarly debunked, with a demonstrable increase of 631% over the past three months, but it reminds one of equally perverse statements made by the likes of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who once proclaimed: “In Iran, we do not have homosexuals. Or apartheid’s own PW Botha who explained to the world’s press:”Most Blacks are happy” and “we treat our Blacks well.”

Sartre explained the tendency towards the objectification of Jews, who before the creation of the state of Israel, had become the ‘objects of history’ instead of the ‘subjects of humans rights’.

“A Jew is a person that others look at and say, “look, he/she is a Jew”. Just as a chair is a chair by virtue of our considering it a chair, so is a Jew a person whom others consider to be a Jew. Therefore, a Jew’s Jewishness exists only to the extent they are considered Jewish by those around them.

A 2010 corrupt hearing presided over by ANC apparatchik Halton Cheadle found inter alia, I was not Jewish enough to possess rights commonly afforded other Jews, and therefore could not claim anti-Semitism on the basis of an outrageous inquiry into my identity by an apartheid media firm, an entity that pathetically denied their role in the regime, who proceeded to pillory the findings of the TRC during the kangaroo ‘trial’.

So yes Minister Lamola, there is ‘Anti-Semitism’ or Jew-hatred in my country — a disgraceful, ugly history harking all the way back to the dark days of the National Party, whose swastikas adorned membership cards, whose laws actively discriminated on the basis of religion and cultural identity.

Minister Pandora: South Africa is sleepwalking into a catastrophe

NOT content with promoting human rights for all, South Africa has taken it upon itself to interdict a single party to a conflict whose seeming binary nature is the source of major global tensions. On the one side, a group of Jihadists whose charter outlines a ‘battle against the Jews’ over the final status of Jerusalem. On the other side, an embattled ‘democratic state’ whose claims of Jewishness and democracy is subject to dispute even amongst Jews.

It should not matter on which side one is here if the end goal is secularism, universal suffrage and human rights for all, but in this conflict nothing is as it appears. Take Gaza’s Anti-Secular allies — Iran is an Islamic Republic which prohibits trade unions (not to mention women’s rights and the death penalty for LGBT):

“Trade unions are not recognized in Iran.” says Kemal Özkan of IndustriALL Global Union

“The Iranian labour law currently forbids and prevents the formation of trade unions. In Iran only Islamic labour councils are accepted but they are not trade unions – they are tripartite organizations bringing together the Ministry of Labour, the employers and some selected workers based on their loyalties and religious affiliations to the government. As a result they are inappropriate and ill-equipped to deal with the demands and needs of Iranian workers.”

Or how about the real elephant in the room? Houthi Yemen, armed to the teeth, already participating in a regional conflict via its ongoing attacks against shipping in the Red Sea, ostensibly to effect a blockade of Israel. If the ongoing firing of rockets by either Houthis or the Gazans themselves isn’t something that gets newspaper headlines these days, then you will probably wonder why you missed this news item, the 2019 re-establishment of Slavery by the Houthis?

“Since their coup, the Houthis have sought to turn back the hands of time and take back Yemen to the era of the oppressive Imamate and all forms of slavery.

A civilian, who works for a pro-Houthi tribal leader in Saada, told Turkey’s Asharq Al-Awsat news outlet: “I have been working for years at the sheikh’s house without pay. I cannot go back to my family or do anything out of my own free will.”

“I do not know the meaning of freedom,” he said.

The United States literally fought a civil war over the issue of slavery without much objection to the loss of life on the Confederate side. This week the country tabled a bill to review its relationship with Pretoria.

Article 13 of South Africa’s Bill of Rights expressly forbids slavery, servitude and forced labour, Ours is one of the few constitutions in the world to declaim on this important issue, (not that we ever enforce such prohibitions, nor care about labour rights in the face of a seven day work week?)

Yet such are the blinkers provided by the likes of Minister Naledi Pandor, whose speech to a rousing audience of Pro-Palestine congregants at the Masjid al-Quds this week, painted a rather different picture. Wearing a hijab she claimed to not know who ISIS is despite the fact the SANDF are currently engaged in a SADC operation against ISIS in Mocambique? Later at SONA she claimed anyone opposing her views is an “Israeli agent”. She may as well be living on Pluto, since becoming a roving plutocrat?

I’ve written extensively about her many dropped narratives, half-truths, redacted quotations, outright lies and failure to defend the non-aligned movement of which Mandela, a bipartisan on the conflict, and founder of our country was very much a part. If you are not yet familiar, take a tour of this page: Everything You Know about Palestine is Wrong. Or read my unanswered letters here, and here.

The idea that South African solidarity transforms the intractable religious conflict into the 21 century equivalent of the anti-apartheid movement is magical-thinking at best.

Take any metric associated with human rights under Gaza’s Hamas regime: whether the rights of women, LGBT or the disabled, and one can only come to the conclusion — if the Jihadists were to win the war, the entire region would be universally, an area governed by autocrats, dictators, religious police and clerical militia. In short MENA would be bereft of Jews (as it already is) but without any of the necessary conditions for a sustainable, or moral existence as many at St Georges Cathedral would like to call it.

And let’s not neglect to consider what a future Pandora-sponsored, ICJ legal determination may bring, especially one that delivers us all the paradox of a “Protected Jihad” for a “Protected People” ?

In this situation under the general abrogation of religious freedom (freedom from the religion of others) effected via martyrdom and self-sacrifice, alongside the removal of core rights and fundamental freedoms we take for granted, (Yes those Zionists deserve their liberty as much as Palestinians) nobody will be allowed to oppose Houthi slavery, nor the Hamasist fantasy, that Palestinians (former citizens of British Palestine) are the ‘Chosen People’, in a weird inversion of the ancient texts associated with the Judeo-Christian canon?

That many contemporaries are rewriting the Holy Book, as if the Canaanites (who occupied all of what is now modern Syria) or the Philistines (who once occupied Gaza), having long since exited history, are the victors is abundantly clear. We would be better off if all religious texts were simple abolished and ‘G-d did not exist’ or ‘G-d is dead’, for all intents and purposes.

In such a battle of competing monotheisms, competing definitions of who is entitled to be a Jew or a Christian or a Muslim, and who is not under Pandora’s Grand Inquisition, there is only one winner, and that will be the group which succeeds in winning the battle over narrative.

Take note: I have merely the fate of my own humble byline to consider, rendered as it has been, by a Marxist Pretoria in ways that make the apartheid regime seem like quaint liberals compared to the machinations of the current bureaucrats in office. Freedom of the press in my country has long been ripped asunder by the Independent Group and its opposition to the outcome of WW2.

READ: Quo Vadis, whither South Africa’s Religious Freedom?

Quo Vadis: Whither South Africa’s religious freedom?

SOUTH AFRICA has a troubled history of religious freedom going back to the Protestant Reformation and the plight of Huguenot refugees fleeing religious persecution under Catholic France. ‘God Is Not a Christian’ claimed the late Desmond Tutu, who also said: “When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said ‘Let us pray. ‘ We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land.”

It was thus colonialism which brought religion to the continent, and for the better part of the 20th Century, the struggle was between theocrats in Pretoria — those who believed the Afrikaners were Africa’s equivalent of “God’s Chosen People”, armed with a Covenant literally signed in blood (at Blood river) — and those who believed in a more inclusive, secular national identity, one based upon the universal declaration of Human Rights, as illustrated by our Freedom Charter.

My own family history which spans the Huguenots, the Scottish Celts, and Jewish refugees from Czarist Russia (and even Basotho who fled Zulu militarism), struggled with these conflicts, based as they are on competing theologies, traditions, beliefs and practices. For the most part, the Latviks and Litvaks of Eastern Europe were socialists who practiced their religion in the face of the Enlightenment and Haskalah.

Persons such as Eli Weinberg, Esther & Hymie Barsel, Yetta Barenblatt and Baruch Hirson, were acknowledged for their contribution to the anti-apartheid movement on 1st March 2011, with a series of stamps released by members the African Union — the postal services of Liberia, Gambia and Sierra Leone

Zionism for these individuals had appeared wholly unnecessary until the events of the Holocaust and Farhud, the forced dispossession of Jews from MENA which preceded it. The trend of Medieval persecution and Czarist & Ottoman-Arab pogroms, resulting in wholesale slaughter, only got worse, effectively negating the emancipation of the Jews of Europe which had occurred under Napoleon.

In 1917 a mass expulsion of the Jews of Jerusalem was ordered by Djemal Pasha, though the outcome was narrowly averted due to the influence of the Prussian government, the eight thousand Jews of Jaffa nevertheless suffered deportation, and their property was seized as the region’s Jewish population was affected by the events of WW1, which included the Armenian Genocide. A report by a United States consul describing the Jaffa deportation was published in the June 3, 1917 edition of The New York Times.

A series of laws introduced by then Minister of the Interior D F Malan under the Smuts government during the 1930s was aimed at preventing Jewish immigration to our country, and introduction of the Nuremberg Laws created pseudo-scientific, racial and legal distinctions between Jews and Germans of ‘pure blood’ in Nazi Germany.

South Africa under the Nationalist government whose membership cards carried the Swastika, was soon to follow with its own system of race classification. (You can read my earlier writing on the subject here and here). Having gained the franchise, denied them under the Boer Republics, South African Jews were in danger of having their citizenship revoked by the Nationalists, as Malan’s brown shirts met boatloads of refugees fleeing Nazi Germany in Table Bay Harbour with force.

Celebrated Weekly Mail editor Irwin Manoim in his book ‘Mavericks Inside the Tent, a history of the Progressive Jewish movement in South Africa and its impact on the wider community’ outlines many of the predicaments faced by South Africa’s Jewish community during the tragic period of apartheid: “Jews were disproportionately strongly represented among anti-apartheid activists, a point frequently made by hostile authorities,” he writes. “But the most outspoken, committed and courageous of the Jewish anti-apartheid activists were largely secular, operating outside the organised Jewish community.”

Manoim narrates the role played by Jewish clerics such as Rabbi Andre Ungar (deported by Min TE Donges) and Chief Rabbi Cyril Harris in opposing the regime. Donge’s order read: “I have to inform you that … you are hereby ordered to leave the Union of South Africa not later than the 15th of January 1957 … If you fail to comply with this notice, you will be guilty of an offense and liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding £100, or in default of payment of the fine, to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months.”

Both individuals are air-brushed out of history by the likes of Naledi Pandor, whose followers on social media enjoy raising the issue of Percy Yutar the chief prosecutor at the Rivonia Trial. It is important to note that Mandela, a bipartisan on the Israel/Palestine issue, was arraigned alongside fellow Zionist Arthur Goldreich, and that Denis Goldberg, Lionel Bernstein, Robert Hepple, Harold Wolpe and James Kantor were all Jews.

It was thus that the issue of the Star of David became a point of order in the Johannesburg City Council this week. EFF councilors objected to city councilor Daniel Schay wearing a ‘Star of David’ on his tie.

“If they have issues with Jewish religious symbols they must come out and say it,” responded Schay.

“Freedom of religion is protected by the constitution. It is the first time in this Council’s chambers that somebody’s religion and expression of their religion is being questioned…This is unacceptable,” charged another councilor.

Paradox of the Gatekeepers of War

THE WORLD is embroiled in a conflict over the meaning of war, the right of self-defense, non-aggression and armed struggle, the very institutions of peace, justice and global harmony. Having taken Israel to the ICJ and gained interim measures, none of which involve a direct ceasefire order (the only tangible step, an order for the release of hostages — for Israel to report and abide by the convention), we are all stuck kicking a can of worms down the road.

Our country has failed to extract any compliance with the ICJ order from Hamas. Though Naledi Pandor has been robust in her criticism of Israel, urging the Security Council to enforce the convention, and South Africa may have some influence with the Palestinians, it has delivered nothing solid from any of the organizations whose beleaguered citizens it champions.

As Hamas leaders fly to Cairo to discuss a possible truce, and UN aid agency UNWRA is embroiled in a controversy surrounding the documented participation of its members in the tragic events of 7/10, we all become entangled in a power-play with Israel over the terms of the ‘Genocide Convention’ with world media attention turning to the plight of Jews within South Africa. Since the preliminary hearing, there have been several controversies involving a cricket captain, utterances by the Chief Rabbi, and even a debacle involving the wearing of a Star of David by a City of Johannesburg councilor.

If Pandor’s interpretation of the ICJ interim order means the Palestinian people are now a ‘protected group’, does it follow that their ongoing Jihad against Israel is similarly protected? Is the global Inquisition of Jewish Identity under the rubric of ‘Zionism vs Anti-Zionism’ even lawful, and is South Africa protecting its own citizens from religious-motivated attack?

The woke left have certainly not risen up to defend secular rights and freedoms for all, those who claim like the Proctors of Salem, to be able to tell a ‘Zionist from a Non-Zionist’, or a Witch from a Non-Witch, have not been forthcoming when it comes to protecting the universal rights of those under their immediate purview. To paraphrase, Sartre (after Voltaire), if the Zionist did not exist, the Anti-Zionist would have created him.

Any one of these subjects would ordinarily elicit a response, deserving of an essay or two. I hope they do. But for now, let me address this nugget:

An Almighty Rabble: Rabbi and Counter-Rabbi?

An organisation calling itself ‘South African Jews for a Free Palestine‘ released a statement this morning on Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein’s utterances throwing shade on the ANC, alleging ‘Iran is funding South Africa’s case and SA banks may be acting as conduits for terrorism’.

Jo Bluen posted “Rabbi Goldstein has acted as a gatekeeper of Judaism in South Africa. He has rejected the Jewish identity of people who belong to non-Orthodox Jewish communities and has been known to “encourage the institutionalisation of certain Ultra Orthodox customs within the community”.

The statement goes on to list a number of issues to do with language, colonialism and allegations of ‘lack of pluralism’. Is the Chief Rabbi whistling while Gaza is burning?

Unfortunately it is not simply the Chief Rabbi, but South Africa’s legal system which has issued similar determinations that otherise and exclude Jews outside the fold.

I for my part have been anathematized by a racist 2010 finding that since I am a “Jew in breach of my religion” I cannot claim anti-Semitism on the basis of an outrageous inquisition of identity by a party whose disciples see fit to define ‘who is and who is not a Jew’, who is authentically Jewish and who is not. Both Spinoza and Trotsky received similar treatment.

JFP claim: “Not only has Rabbi Goldstein himself refused to attend events that have platformed non-Orthodox rabbis and leaders but he has also implored other Orthodox Jewish leaders to do the same in the spirit of rejecting pluralistic attitudes. These include events with talks and panels on topics including Progressive Judaism, LGBTQ+ belonging in the context of Torah, and gender egalitarianism – which might be considered among the “liberal values” he claims that Apartheid Israel defends. Rabbi Goldstein’s reluctance to engage with these issues within the context of Orthodox Judaism, and his support for the active suppression of this engagement, only serves to uphold the legacy in many Orthodox Jewish communities of exclusion, queerphobia and misogyny. This environment has led to many queer Orthodox Jews having to leave their families to find belonging, and at least one recent case of death by suicide.

The criticism is certainly justified, but I suggest it would be better directed at our Judge President, the same justice system which upheld a 2009 order banning the Dalai Lama.

‘Moenie vir jouself dink nie, dink soos ons’

IN THE WAKE of South Africa’s decontextualisation of the events of 7 October 2023, a case which depends upon a tragic chain of dropped narratives and outright denial of reality (No 1941 Farhud, No Holocaust, No UN181, everything ‘All Palestine’), there has been a plethora of news pieces purporting to expose ‘Israeli propaganda’ and even an SABC segment in which guests trot out Jihad-denial.

One piece by Nathan Geffen published by the Vrye Weekblad, is directed at ” Jewish people brought up to believe Israeli propaganda but who are having doubts about what they have been taught.”

While I encourage anyone with any sense of self-worth to engage with the necessary intellectual scrutiny of inherited beliefs and imposed opinions, it is worth noting here that our secular country could have interdicted both parties to the conflict, instead it chose to take up the cudgels of one of the belligerents, whose charter is a genocidal tract promoting ethnic cleansing in the Middle East.

I therefore encourage readers to examine my own secular journey, one which began with similar doubts as Geffen — moved towards an unquestioning adoption of the ‘Anti-Zionist ideologies of organisations such as Fatah’ — before the wheels came off the bus following a racist religious inquisition of my identity in 2010, all documented here. You can find a list of debunked claims here. Please note, secularism is not the absence of religion, but rather ‘the absence of religious rule’.

Geffen asserts: “I too went through a period of doubt before realising I had been taught myths unsupported by evidence, and to apply different standards to Palestinians and Israeli Jews in order to ignore uncomfortable facts. I hope this will help others come to the same realisation.”

The problem with these all-to-familiar counter-factual fables (repudiated cant which once flowed easily from my own lips) is that they too involve a set of adopted ideas and unproven imperatives. For instance:”Supersessionism, also called replacement theology or fulfillment theology, is a theological doctrine which describes the theological conviction that the Christian Church has superseded the nation of Israel assuming their role as God’s covenanted people.”

In its modern form, replacement theology seeks to both supplant and overrun any opposition, in its quest to supersede the narrative of the Hebrews. Thus successive Crusades and Jihads are both normalised and forgiven, whilst any attempt to defend against the tragic result, which has seen a litany of massacres both in Europe and MENA all the way back to the 1033 Fez Massacre, are immediately discounted.

At the risk of sounding callous to the ‘woke’ mob prancing around in Keffiyahs and Birkenstocks, Israel and the Secular West could slay a million journalists alongside their families, aunts and cousins in Gaza (as they already have in Syria) and it should not challenge one’s commitment to secularism an iota, nor alter our long-standing opposition to theocracy and religious dictatorship.

Yet this is exactly what Hamas hope to achieve via martyrdom and sacrifice of all and sundry. That our country is debasing its own history of secular struggle against apartheid theocrats in Pretoria, by disabusing its citizens of their natural rights which stem from the lay Freedom Charter and its secular expression under a “We, the People” constitution is appalling. I refer readers to the latest debacle involving a cricket captain.

Need I mention that Nelson Mandela was a Zionist and bipartisan on the matter, arraigned for treason alongside fellow Zionists such as Arthur Goldreich at Rivonia?

Instead of defending pacifism and democracy, with a considered commitment to religious coexistence, we have instead chosen the path of Jihad-denial & Replacement theology, taking sides on behalf of a Hamas Genocidal Charter that translates into “I, Mohammad, decree, all the land from the River to the Sea is exclusively the domain of the Arabs” and ‘Kill all the Jews’.

Decades of gaslighting, decontextualisation and dropped narrative (especially denial of UN181 from which UK abstained) has led us into a religious conflict with blinkers on. The sooner we extricate ourselves from the quagmire the better.

SABC Not Topical

Making comparisons with the Warsaw Ghetto upraising in the light of Gaza is admittedly awkward, but instead of coming right out with a comparison, an attorney on ‘Its Topical,’ has the audacity to trot out an argument once deployed by Adolf Hitler himself who claimed of the Jews in Warsaw: ‘They have no right to self-defense.’

Another obviously Muslim guest, attempted to silence and cancel Zionist Federation’s Zev Krengel who barely got a few words in on Jeremy Corbyn, by essentially claiming ‘Zionism is Haraam’. Need one point out these religious Fatwas have no basis in law, and Corbyn was actually found guilty of Anti-Semitism by the UK Equality & Human Rights Commission?

READ: These accusations of ‘genocide’ bring shame on humanity

READ: SA Lawfare at the Hague

READ: Israel vigorously challenged ‘profoundly distorted factual and legal picture’

READ: Evidence points to systematic use of rape and sexual violence by Hamas in 7 October attacks

South Africa’s Cherry-picking Genocide case before the International Courts

IN 2016 South African Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development Michael Masutha confirmed during a media briefing that South Africa had submitted to the United Nations (UN) its ‘notice of intention to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC)’

Readers should note here, the ICC decides cases involving individuals while the International Court of Justice (ICJ) hears cases between states.

The timing of the South African Government’s withdrawal decision may have been prompted by wanting to be the first country to withdraw from the International Court structure. “At the time, several states were considering doing so,” writes law scholar Jeremy Sarkin.

“Withdrawing could therefore have been done then as a means to show some leadership to other African countries (Burundi, Gambia) that were also considering this option.”

The ICC announcement followed an embarrassing episode in which the African Union found itself divided over the refusal or failure of “Uganda, Chad, Kenya, Djibouti, Malawi, Congo, South Africa, and Egypt to be involved in detaining and surrendering President Al Bashir to the ICC”. The court itself was accused of “hunting” African leaders “to the exclusion of any other head of state or government official elsewhere in the Global North.” The ICC categorically denied any accusations of “partiality”, arguing that the sum of African cases referred to the Court has “more to do with the Court’s jurisdiction being limited to states parties to the Rome Statute, and for crimes committed after 2002.”

In the end it took a High Court judgement to scupper such plans — delivered on 22 February 2017, the decision of the North Gauteng High Court criticised the Government’s conduct, declaring ‘unconstitutional and invalid’ the executive’s decision to deliver to the UN South Africa’s notice of withdrawal from the ICC, and ordered the Government to ‘rescind with immediate effect’ the said notice. “On 13 March 2017, the Justice Minister, in compliance with the court order, gave notice to Parliament that he was revoking the bill that, if signed into law, would have officially decreed the divorce, and severed the almost 20-year-old tie between South Africa and the ICC.”

Enter the SA-Israel-Gaza case

This week a team of South African jurists lead by Professor John Dugard, filed a case before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Hague alleging that Israeli action inside Gaza ‘amounted to the crime of genocide’. The application “concerns acts threatened, adopted, condoned, taken and being taken by the Government and military of the State of Israel against the Palestinian people, a distinct national, racial (sic) and ethnical (sic) group, in the wake of the attacks in Israel on 7 October 2023″

South Africa claims that it ‘unequivocally condemns all violations of international law by all parties, including the direct targeting of Israeli civilians and other nationals and hostage-taking by Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups.” And “no armed attack on a State’s territory no matter how serious — even an attack involving atrocity crimes — can, however, provide any possible justification for, or defence to, breaches of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.”

It is an astonishing allegation considering the ongoing rocket attacks on Israeli civilian centres by Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and the timing of the massacre, which occurred on the 50th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War, on the religious holiday of Simchat Torah.

South Africa further claims a ‘moral duty’ to bring the application before the court (a duty entirely absent where the ANC is concerned when it came to actioning on an ICC warrant for the arrest of Omar al-Bashir, convicted for the 2009 Darfur Genocide), and proceeds to outline a tragedy involving the ensuing war and events of the past months. The litany of horror is indeed sobering and cause for alarm.

The application is historically significant since it effectively brings one of the oldest ongoing conflicts, under the auspices of international structures, institutions created in the aftermath of the Nuremberg Trials which followed World War Two and the creation of the United Nations. In this respect, any attempt, no matter how misguided, to resolve and mediate matters, providing a path to peace without resorting to outright war and murder of civilians, is worthy of support — unfortunately as already alluded to, the case is flawed for a number of reasons which will be outlined in brief below:

1. Nations are not races — neither the Israelis nor the Palestinians comprise a distinct racial group, as such — to put this another way, wearing a Keffiyeh or Yarmulke is no indication of one’s alleged ‘race’ — there are black and white Arabs on both sides to the conflict, and the issues at hand, especially with regard to the status of Jerusalem appear to be religious in nature. (please read my piece debunking racialisation of the conflict here)

2. While the case begins by condemning the actions of both parties, it then proceeds to outline what is in effect a casus belli in favour of the Palestinians and their own motivations for armed struggle. Thus the October Simchat Torah attacks are provided with a sheen of legitimacy via an historical association with South Africa’s armed struggle, albeit an expression of solidarity, if not outright support of Jihad. (One should note that Mandela was a bipartisan on the issue supporting the rights of both parties). The religious war is cast by Dugard et al as nothing more than self-defense, in the face of a secular Nakba (a nationalistic catastrophe not entirely of the Palestinian’s own making). In this view Israel’s reaction in whatever form, whether via a blockade of the Jihadists or bombing of Gaza and its tunnel networks, is condemned as entirely disproportionate — motivated by malice instead of rockets and pure survival.

3. Although the application is at pains to reiterate UN condemnation of the annexation of East Jerusalem and settlements following the 1967 war, it fails to acknowledge UN Resolution 181 which partitioned the former British territory and created Israel in the first instance, and thus both the UN and Mandela’s support of the status quo of Israel’s existence, which Hamas and the ‘Palestinians’ for the most part, oppose. This cherry-picking of issues and one-sided irredentist narrative, cast within legal terms, is pretty much par for the course amongst those who support the de facto return of the Palestine colony “from the River to the Sea” and who deny the events which lead up to the creation of the Israeli state.

4. More significantly, the application painfully ignores the role played by the ‘President of the All-Palestine Government in Gaza’ (1948-1956) Amin al-Husseini in promoting and furthering a policy known as the ‘Final Solution’, following his participation in the 1941 Farhud in MENA, which resulted in an actual genocide. One has merely to pose the question of what problem was the ‘Final Solution’ seeking to solve in order to discover the primary subject of the 1938 Evian Conference, a tragic moment in which world powers, and later South Africa under Jan Smuts, deliberated on the very issue of the flood of Jewish refugees flowing into British Palestine and elsewhere. As German philosopher Immanuel Kant had once put it, ‘there are Palestinians amongst us’, he was however referring to the ‘Jews of Europe’.

Set aside the tragic drama of the October ‘Simchat Torah attack’, the Israeli declaration of war, the professed motivations for self-defense by either party, the resulting military intervention, alongside the catastrophic, forced movement of the Gazan population, (which have included the bombing of civilian centres, and casualties which include journalists, medical staff, and children, all very real humanitarian issues) and one cannot help but come to the conclusion that the entire world, would have been in a better position if it had acted to prevent this disaster at the outset — if more care was taken to debating both sides instead of negating either party — and if South Africa had acted sooner by supporting the ICC in stopping prior acts of genocide in Darfur and elsewhere in Yemen and Syria.

In this respect our country deserves to be taken to task for an historical failure, the lack of will to support multilateral institutions, in particular the recent undermining of the UN with regard to the General Assembly censure of the Russia-Ukraine war. The South African case would be a lot firmer if our country were able to claim a moral high ground, on the basis of legal principle and foreign policy evenly applied. If we were able to lodge our opposition to war in all its forms and by implication a defense of our pacifist constitution, instead of cherry picking issues and taking sides, shifting with the tide of public opinion.

READ: ICJ Gaza genocide case: South Africa set to discover law of unintended consequences

READ: Why are we going to the International Court of Justice?

READ: Irwin Cotler: South Africa is inverting reality by accusing Israel of genocide

Kasrils, sadist or small-town schlimazel?

RONNIE KASRILS, the man who lead 28 people to their deaths, in what is known as the Bisho Massacre appears to be an impassioned if misguided supporter of Islamist terror group Hamas. Not known as a great military tactician, he was later responsible for the botched SANDF invasion of Lesotho, in which several soldiers died unnecessarily, propping up the Basotholand National Party.

In a video clip circulating on X Kasrils can be seen enthusing about October 7, calling the massacre of 1200 including over 260 civilians at an outdoor music festival, “brilliant, spectacular…”

The former South African minister of intelligence says the event “will go down in the annals of guerrilla warfare and resistance”, which is sad considering the resulting retaliation.

Supporting the mutilations, rapes and beheadings documented during the Livestreamed event, Kasrils appears to be offering his services and has gone so far as writing a propaganda piece, published by Amandla comparing the event to the Warsaw uprising.

An early version of the piece carried accusations that Israel was lying about the extent of the atrocities, claiming ‘nobody was beheaded’, but these paragraphs appear to have been subsequently removed.

“Targeting of civilians can never be condoned or regarded in history as heroic…” responded Maggs Naidu, who like Kasrils is a critic of Israel.

“Kasrils is wrong if that is what he said…” tweeted Naidu.

READ: Op-Ed: No, Israel isn’t a country of privileged and powerful white Europeans

South Africa’s ‘Mosques of Terror’

“Are they recruiting for Hamas in South Africa or planning the same attacks in London?” asked Ahmjad Taha on twitter.com

“These radical scholars of death in South Africa celebrated #Hamas terrorists’ attacks on #Israel. They expressed joy at seeing what Hamas did on the 7th of October – raping women, killing children, and kidnapping elders,” he wrote.

Taha is a Bahrain-based regional director of the British Middle East Center for Studies and Research. He is extremely concerned about the impact of such support on various communities.

“Some of these scholars are giving lectures in mosques in London, Washington, and Paris. Hearing this, I believe that Jewish people in South Africa are in danger.”

The video by Middle East monitor site MEMRI carries several addresses by local Imams and Islamist scholars.

Moulana Abdul Khaliq ( MJC), Shaykh Ebrahim Gabriels (Director al Quds Foundation), Arshad Samodien ( Youth for Al- Aksa), and Shaykh Rieyaad Walls, can be seen delivering addresses at Masjidul Quds in Gatesville, Cape Town, shortly after 7/10, in which Hamas is praised and the actions which resulted in the current war, lauded.

In particular the ‘mujahideen’ of the organization listed as a terror group in Europe are referred to by these men as ‘brave soldiers’ for having committed the atrocities which included rape, mutilation, abduction and beheadings.

Walls who is Imam of the Aljamiah Mosque, Claremont is ‘a third generation South African. His great grandfather came to South Africa during the Boer War as an officer in the British army.’ He goes so far as claiming the group have been ‘planning for this moment for years.’