Yesterday I picketed the Russel Tribunal on Palestine.
Before you hit the refresh button in your rush to disassociate yourself from dissent, (in an editorial, the liberal Cape Times opined: “turning the tribunal into an object of scorn and hatred, as has been done by some of its more vociferous critics, is to exhibit an intolerance and a lack of respect for intellectual inquiry that is out of step with the great traditions of Jewish scholarship,” sheer hypocrisy from a newspaper which conveniently looks the other way when such scholarship is thrown out of a local court.)
I wish to remind readers that my views on the Israel-Palestine issue are well known. As an anarchist, I have been highly critical of the Zionist State and have attended many Pro-Palestinian events, including Stop the War, Ashley Kriel Memorial Lecture, the Sministim Tour and a host of local debates on the subject.
Earlier this year I gave a seminar at the IDASA Democracy Centre on the environmental dimension of the Middle East problem. I am also on record in my opposition to the separation barrier and, just happen to be one of those activists present at the formation of the Open Shuhada Street campaign. (Although Nathan Geffen will probably balk at any suggestion the campaign was a continuation of the Anti War Coalition, programme).
Having said this, I am extremely concerned about the way support for freedom is taken as carte blanche support for ‘by any means necessary’ — and what is now turning into predictable violence emanating from the Palestinian quarter (as well as the religious right).
Then there is the issue of the abuse of the historical record in South Africa, in particular the denigration and obliteration of the memory of the victims and survivors of the apartheid system.