SOUTH AFRICAN politics has long seen itself as the moral equivalent of the civil rights movement, the inheritors of a long history that includes the battle for women’s rights, the suffrage, the Freedom Charter, majority rule, and progress towards economic freedom and other liberties such as LGBT, animal rights, earth rights and the liberation of humanity from all forms of oppression.
It thus sickened me to witness a deafening silence when it came to the terror attacks on Israeli civilians, in particular the deaths of 260+ attendees at an outdoor peace festival, this while our rulers rose to express solidarity with Palestine.
Instead of unequivocally condemning these atrocities, which included deaths of Arabs and Jews within Israel, our President simply bemoaned the ‘loss of life on both sides’, whilst appearing to deliver an endorsement of ‘just war’ — thus ‘similar acts’ of barbarism had occurred during our own liberation struggle, and were ‘to be expected’.
For many commentators, Israelis deserved what had occurred on the Jewish Holiday of Simchat Torah, 50 years to the day after the 1973 Yom Kippur War — 75 years of alleged ‘occupation’ of disputed territory, in a region with competing historical claims, meant ‘they had it coming.’
For Naomi Klein, celebrating the killings merely fuels militant Zionism.
Farid Esack, a theologian, alongside whom I had once campaigned to end apartheid and especially ‘environmental racism’, reiterated, these central anti-Zionist talking points — all equivocations on the tragedy — chicanery which has routinely flowed from Luthuli House, even directly in the runup to the massacre.
During a special SABC Sunday debate on humanitarian aid, Esack stated somewhat disingenuously “Hamas won more than 50% of the Palestinian people’s vote” … “let us not reduce the history of our liberation struggle to two three years of CODESA, we had an armed struggle, international solidarity throughout the world, Mandela didn’t go to jail for organising Sunday School picnics. Mandela went to jail because he was a terrorist.”
The audience appears oblivious to actual historical facts: “It was ANC policy – ever since the formation of MK in 1961 – to avoid unnecessary loss of life. The ANC … never permitted random attacks on civilian targets.” Of course these rules of engagement, codes of conduct for armed struggle were often breached, but were never officially condoned.
Perpetrators of the St James Church massacre were not granted amnesty by South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Young Muslim members of the “Its Topical” audience expressed their open support for Jihad, with concepts such as ‘by any means necessary’ which in the context of Hamas, come across as supporting characters from a Hollywood horror movie — Freddie Krueger or Chuckie, are all misunderstood, politically-motivated child killers, deserving of our sympathy?
The Simchat Torah attack with it’s absolute depravity that included rape, mutilation and beheadings of Arabs and Jews, has more in common with Barend Strydom, ‘The Wit Wolf’, who rampaged through the streets of Pretoria in 1988, shooting anyone he hated.
Read the Savage Nihilism of Free Palestine.
A disgusting debate on baby beheadings ensued, one which has been labeled ‘atrocity denialism’. ‘ Does it make a difference if it was one beheading or forty? asked a Jewish participant.
This morning our President was walking back similar comments made on Saturday, after Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein called out government support of Hamas as ‘Pure Evil’.
In his Monday briefing Ramaphosa wrote: “We stand firm against violence directed at civilians; against the killing of children, the elderly, the infirm and non-combatants;”
The left have long campaigned against microagressions, and even pronouns, but this week, they hated Jews for being Jews.
UPDATE: The Gauteng ANC Women’s League spokesperson, Gabriella “Gabi” Farber – who is a Jewish South African – has resigned from the African National Congress in protest, terminating her membership and accusing the party of supporting Hamas.
Read Aayan Hirsi Ali: I was raised to curse Israel and pray for the destruction of Jews