Minister Pandora: South Africa is sleepwalking into a catastrophe

NOT content with promoting human rights (an objective which seems to change from country to country), 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?

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

Rape is not resistance

“Today, I have a question. A pressing question. For some Western feminists. How can you remain silent, when women and girls are raped, tortured, their bodies carried around naked and spat on by bearded men shouting Allah Akbar?” Assito Kanko Belgian MP, European Union MPL

Has Pretoria positioned itself as a base for terror support?

THE ahistorical attempt to paint the anti-apartheid struggle as a ‘battle by theologians against secular identity’, ramped up this week.

Following a rowdy debate on the Israel-Gaza conflict inside parliament with far-left parties aligning themselves to the objectives of far-right Islamists, Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni warned that ‘any South African taking part in the Israeli military in the conflict in the Middle East will face the law.’

Ntshavheni said the Foreign Military Assistance Act prohibits any South African from participating in military operations in other parts of the world, and specifically mentioned those joining the IDF while ignoring the problem of jihadists seeking to assist Hamas, Hezbollah, ISIS and Al-Qaeda, all considered terrorist organisations by the West.

Foreign minister Naledi Pandor has called for the arrest of top Israeli officials by the ICC, demanding the body issue warrants for ‘violating international law’. This from the same government which refused to arrest Omar al-Bashir for the Darfur Genocide and which last year opposed the ICC when it came to Putin’s involvement in the Bucha massacre.

Read Palestinian John Aziz piece All My Life I’ve Watched Violence Fail the Palestinian Cause

Statements by the ANC Johannesburg over the past weeks have even gone so far as reinventing history by claiming ‘Nelson Mandela expressed his position regarding the PLO in his 21 June 1990 input at the Town Hall USA where he said “Yasser Arafat, Colonel Gadaffi & Fidel Castro support our struggle to the hilt”. ‘

Mandela had instead been critical stating: “I also explained to Mr Sigmund and company that in our organisation we have Jews. In fact Mr Gaddafi did not allow us to open our offices in Libya precisely because we had the courage to say to him, we work with Jews in our organisation. And he didn’t allow us to open an office until February (1990) this year when he had to accept us as we are. We are not prepared to be swayed by anybody, we have an independent policy which we set no matter with whom we discuss.”

At the same Townhall meeting the bipartisan, Secular Mandela had made his views on the conflict very clear and was very aware of the limitations and dangers of unbridled support for any one cause external to his own party’s national objectives.

“I explained to Mr Sigmund, that we identify with the PLO because just like ourselves, they are fighting for the right of self-determination. I went further however to say, that the support for Yasser Arafat and his struggle does not mean that the ANC has ever doubted the right of Israel to exist as a state, legally. We have stood quite openly and firmly for the right of that state to exist within secure borders, but of course, as I said to Mr Sigmund in Geneva in August, that we carefully define what we mean by secure borders, we do not mean that Israel has the right to retain the territories they conquered from the Arab world, like the Gaza Strip, the Golan Heights and the West Bank. We don’t agree with that, those territories should be returned to the Arab People.”

The same week an equally revisionist statement emanated from the Dept of Education. It seems Pretoria Mullahs have adopted a Fatwa. The statement said the historical term “Mandatory Palestine” was used in Question 5.2 of the Mathematical Literacy Paper 1, written on November 3″ and was found to be offensive by the Palestine Solidarity Alliance since it “infers that Israel is a legitimate democratic state and occupier.”

If this seems like a prelude to removing references to South Africa’s own colonial history, for example the period under the British occupation (1806-1961), yes that is the ‘woke’ trend.

Apparently the Dept. expects its students to openly lie about world history in order to accommodate sensitivities around Palestine, a state which never existed, for all intents and purposes, prior to the UN Mandate for Palestine & Transjordan under the British. Palestine has had only observer status at the UN, since 2012.

Texts which provide credence and support for the notion that Israel exists, whether as an historical or a UN recognized entity, have long been the target of Hamas morality police within Gaza. If this means your neighbors Bible may be next, yes that may well be the case, need one add that the Quran recognizes Israel as the land of the Jews?

Al Baqara 2.47 ; Al Maida 5.21; AlAaraf 7.137; Yunus 10.93; Al Israa 17.2-104;Ta Ha 20.80; Al Mumim 40.53; AlDukhan 44.32; Al Jathiya 45.16, all refer to Israel and lead credence to the idea that the Quran itself borrowed heavily from the Old Testament.

Min. Pandor, don’t call me an Infidel

Dear Minister Pandor,

Statement by DIRCO 30 October refers.

Judaism is a religion. It is also an ethnic and historical community. Our views as Jews are certainly not monolithic. There are many Jews who do not support war, or who find the politics of the Netanyahu administration reprehensible.

There are those who disagree with the status quo, and who nevertheless support the two state solution, those who support Israel and who also support Palestine, those who do not support either Israel or Palestine, and even those who may over-identify with the cause, and who are willing to support whatever occurs on account of their own claims against ‘Imperialism’ on behalf of the oppressed and so on. The saying goes, take two Jews and you will get three opinions.

It does not assist the situation to declare what South Africans must believe, whom we should support, and which organisation is representative of our views in this conflict.

And it certainly does not assist the cause of peace to platform the perspective of those who claim Jews are Infidels or Kufrs when they’re in the Middle East, and Haraam or forbidden when your department disagrees with their views?

Hard as this may seem, one cannot simply remove Zionists from the picture in the Middle East, and as a statement by your department released yesterday suggests.

Turning such persons as Zev Krengel of the Zionist Federation into Heretics, results in sanctions and censorship on the basis of ethno-religious identity, sanctions that are dangerously and scandalously progressing towards that of a modern religious inquisition — a persecution of belief, outlawed by our own secular constitution.

Let me be the first one to tell you that I find your department’s open threats of prosecution against those who support Israel’s ‘right to self-defense’ — a viewpoint held by the majority of leaders of the free world — in the absence of consensus on your own legal position — completely illogical given the circumstances of 7 October, and especially given the rights of free speech guaranteed by our constitution.

If persons such as Krengel have something to say, they should be allowed to say it in public. If their views are disagreeable, they should be debated and their views proven wrong, rather than closed down by government fiat or departmental proclamation.

Such an easy resort to a fatwa and threat of punishment are the hallmarks of totalitarian regimes, as they were the currency of the apartheid state and demonstrate quite amply why South Africans should be concerned about your recent trip to Iran and callous phone calls to various Iranian proxies in the Middle East.

Not only has your spokesperson made the astonishing claim of ‘repeated discredited information related to the beheading of children in Israel’ without bothering to attend the recent press briefing in which the first forensic reports were released to the public,(following Hamas live-streaming of its bloody mayhem), but you further confuse ’cause and effect’ by claiming: “This disinformation is part of the arsenal of dehumanisation tactics used to justify a ‘by any means necessary’ approach.”

Such a statement is immediately contradicted by the reality of Palestinian open support of ‘just war ‘ and ‘by any means necessary’ — policies long since advocated by Hamas, as a recent SABC programme aptly demonstrates.

The events disputed by your department are extremely troubling — the least of which is the lamentable loss of life experienced on both sides and especially the loss of life of innocent children, those who deserve our support.

Instead of compassion your spokesperson chose to weaponise the plight of Palestinian civilians — innocent persons who should not be political footballs nor sacrificial lambs. It is Hamas’ Ismail Haniyeh who has openly demanded the blood of these children for his revolutionary cause in pursuit of his “Final Battle”, while holding hostages, and continuing rocket attacks against civilians — action that risks drawing all nations into another World War.

We are a nation at peace, and no South African wishes war to become the order of the day. The cause of the Palestinian people and the rest of the world, is not served by your department authoring cant and issuing propaganda over what has occurred.

Sincerely yours

David Robert Lewis

Opposition to War does not necessarily entail supporting either side to the Gaza-Israel conflict

SOUTH AFRICA has a long history of resistance to war. From objectors to the Anglo-Boer war during the 1900s to resistance to the SADF border war, the history of local pacifism and opposition to war is a rich and illustrious one.

The first ‘Stop the War’ committee was an anti-war organization that opposed the Second Boer War. It was formed by William Thomas Stead in 1889. It’s President was John Clifford and prominent members included Lloyd George.

Against the backdrop of a campaign surrounding the so-called Khaki election of 1900, ‘Stop the War’ distributed millions of posters, cartoons, and leaflets in London.

Moral and religious objection to war within South Africa and support for pacifism and opposition to militarism carried immense risks. “In this emotionally charged environment, the minority who publicly opposed the war, were labeled pro-Boers”, says Nigel Robson, an historian.

“Dissenters risked vilification or even violence if their views were made public, and during the seige of Mafikeng … people gathered menacingly outside the premises of a tradesman suspected of harbouring ‘pro-Boer’ views.”

During apartheid, white conscripts who refused the callup risked jail sentences with many serving time in prison. Notable conscientious objectors included Ivan Toms, Harold Winkler and Richard Steele.

A statement signed by Israeli author Yuvel Harari and 90 other signatories claims: “there is no contradiction between staunchly opposing the Israeli subjugation and occupation of Palestinians and unequivocally condemning brutal acts of violence against innocent civilians. In fact, every consistent leftist must hold both positions simultaneously.”

Fake news, unreliable sources, the cost of IOL yellow War journalism

THE first casualty in war is the truth, and saying this doesn’t help the fact that not only has our daily press failed to distance itself from the conflict, many journos actively transgress the boundaries of objectivity and reason.

Immediately following the 7 October ‘Simchat Torah’ massacre, involving the greatest loss of Jewish life since WW2, IOL published an article warning the public of ‘fake news’ circulating about the Hamas-Israel war.

Not only was the article a rewrite of an earlier Associated Press article, but it engaged the public with a purported fiction concerning the beheading of 40 babies, when practically nobody was making such a claim.

As Piers Morgan would later point out 40 babies had been killed, ‘some were beheaded’.

Coming in the immediate aftermath of the event, whose details were still under forensic investigation, IOL appeared to be rather callous stenographers for Hamas, whose spokespersons denied any civilian casualties, despite their livestreaming of the event.

The atrocities and the resulting atrocity denial are both traumatic for victims as well as victims families — the hostage situation remains yet unresolved as Israel bombards Gaza in retaliation, and the world faces a major humanitarian crisis. Will we ever see a ceasefire?

IOL proceeds to quote as fact, an apparent communique by the Hamas terror organisation as if the facts are well established:

“Fact: Not only has Hamas issued a statement rejecting allegations that it committed crimes against women and children, but the White House has retracted President Joe Biden’s claim that he saw pictures of beheaded children following Hamas’s deadly attack on Israel. A White House spokesperson clarified that US officials and the president have not seen pictures or confirmed such reports independently. In terms of sexual assault of hostages, this claim could not be verified, and Hamas said the claim was “lies”.”

IOl have even run with the story, with Yasmin Jacobs trolling several Piers Morgan interviews with the same partisan tone, this as the outlet publishes verbatim claims made by Qatar-based news channel Al Jazeera — unproven assertions the channel has ‘exposed Israeli counter- claims regarding an alleged bombing of the al-Ahli Arab hospital in Gaza.’

Drone video shows the hospital still intact, it appears a misfired rocket hit a parking lot outside the hospital. The death toll is grossly overstated by DIRCO. Here is Associated Press confirmation and apology, retraction by New York Times, link to video

Social media was alive today with allegations of a similar incident involving a medieval Church. AP press were quick to respond: A medieval church in Gaza was not razed by Israeli bombing, contrary to online posts

How did my country turn into a support club for Jihadists, rapists, child killers & gay bashers?

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.


Palestinian ‘cheerleaders’ wrong to conflate SA liberation struggle and Hamas ideology — Dawn Barkhuizen


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
and

Gaza could of been Singapore, Hamas turned it ISIS.

Oscar van Heerden: Evil academics are indeed banal

IN MANY respects Oscar van Heerden represents all that is wrong inside South African academia. Its de-emphasis of evidence-based research in favour of pure scholasticism. The rote repetition of other’s opinions, in an uncritical process which edifies ‘woke logic’ and the writings of the country’s institutional founders, in essence a thought-process emphasizing tradition and dogma.

Reading his latest missive published on News24, a title whose publisher sought my gagging in 2007 and then proceeded to lodge ecclesiastical charges on the basis of my attendance at a ‘mixed race’ nightclub on the Jewish Sabbath (in what can only be termed a racist inquisition of secular religion), one is struck, by the manner in which van Heerden fails to frame his writing within the context of secular humanistic norms and values.

I write this over the same weekend in which Salman Rushdie has been stabbed multiple times by an assailant enthralled by a fatwa issued against the author (and since retracted) by the Iranian regime.

Witness the callous manner in which van Heerden’s article: “The Israel-Gaza conflict and the ‘banality of evil’ proceeds to launch a bare assertion fallacy (ipse dixit) – “a claim that is presented as true without support, as self-evidently true, or as dogmatically true.” And thus a fallacy which “relies on the implied expertise of the speaker or on an unstated truism”. Which would not be all that troubling if it were not for the fact that van Heerden holds an MPhil and PhD from the University of Cambridge, (both in International Relations), and Salman Rushdie does not.

Van Heerden should know better than to posit a bald reversal of the context of Hanna Arendt’s “A Report on the Banality of Evil. Written by a Jew who fled Germany during Adolf Hitler’s rise to power, (who subsequently reported on the trial of Adolf Eichmann, one of the major organizers of the Holocaust), the resulting restatement would require extraordinary evidence. Evidence which he fails to either supply nor even cite.

Not even the much-maligned Amnesty Report into Israel and the Crime of Apartheid goes so far as to claim that the country is involved in anything resembling a ‘genocide’. Instead van Heerden relies upon a single source, namely the controversial opinions of one Gideon Levy, an Israeli author and journalist, resulting in immediate objections of exaggeration and hyperbole from the South African Jewish Board of Deputies, exercising its purported ‘right of reply’, a right which I myself (as a person accused of being Jewish), do not possess.

Instead of reporting Levy’s views as his own opinions, van Heerden complicates matters by immediately assuming these views to be demonstrable facts. Thus the journalist’s open speculation as to why Israel does what it does, when the state, rightly or wrongly, practices a policy of asymmetric warfare, allegedly in defense of its own sovereignty, is presented as all true without the requirement of any further support.

The unhappy result is most certainly both a decontextualisation of history and current affairs which reaches out into the world of fantasy fiction. I am not going to continue with further analysis here suffice to add that I have already characterised the tragic situation in Israel/Palestine as one of ‘injustice versus injustice’, echoing writer Amoz Oz, who claims ‘a sad case of competing juridical systems’. In other words, a war over secular meaning.

One should add though, that Arendt appears to contradict her own thesis by arguing in The Origins of Totalitarianism, that “the evil of the Nazis was absolute and inhuman, not shallow and incomprehensible.”

And note, van Heerden also appears to ignore the fact that Israel barely occupies 35% of Mandate Palestine, with Arab states holding 65% of the territory. I therefore urge readers to read: “Everything you know about the Palestinian Struggle is Wrong

Behind the Hamas smokescreen

PIERRE Rehov take us behind the Hamas smokescreen to reveal a chilling reality missing from the mainstream media narrative on the border fence protests. Footage below shows activists cutting a fence to enter an exclusion zone defended by the IDF. The same narrative is contained in a piece by Ivo Vegter, a man whom Medialternatives has often criticised.

Vegter defends Gareth Cliff as quoted by the media.

UN human rights chief says Israel used “wholly disproportionate” force against Palestinian border protests which have left over 100 people dead. Israel’s Ambassador Aviva Raz Shechter rejected the blame, saying ‘Israel had done everything possible to avoid harming civilians.’

Another documentary worth watching to gain insight, also below, depicts the missing story of Jewish refugees from Arab countries and the reason why the borders of 1948 aren’t going to disappear any time soon. The all important context missing from the current factually unsupported media bias.

A piece on international Farhud Day commemorating the dispossession and displacement of 850 000 Arab Jews, held every 1 June, demonstrates this exact same point. A book is also available on the subject.

One can only recommend that viewers keep an open mind, and avoid taking a binary position on a conflict which has resulted in Injustice v Injustice.