News making headlines is that the South African government has recalled its ambassador from Israel and in addition, according to ENCA news, South Africa has called on the Israeli government to withdraw its soldiers from the Gaza border.
Can it be that any honest broker who viewed the scenes coming out of Gaza would call for such measures? Can it be that scenes of some 35 – 40,000 people storming a border fence, are seen as a peaceful protest? Can it be that burning tires and burning kites thrown over the fence are termed innocuous? Can it be that remarks from the leader of Hamas in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, just last week, that the protests “will be like a tiger running in all directions” are conveniently ignored? Can it be that a protest, termed the ‘Great March of Return’ aimed at breaking down the border fence of a neighbouring country with the intent of swarming into that country and murdering its citizens is neither exposed nor discredited? Can it honestly be that the South African government has totally disregarded those who have led and exhorted these protests and their motives?
The answer to all the above is in the affirmative. And as such the South African government has displayed a one-sided bias that is both wicked and very, very frightening. Hamas states clearly and unequivocally in its charter that the destruction of Israel and the murder of all Jews is paramount. These protests, culminating in Monday and Tuesday’s “Nakba” protest had nothing to do with freeing Gaza or establishing a state for the Palestinian people living in Gaza. Israel did just that in 2005 when it made the whole of the Gaza strip Judenfrei for the Gazans living there. Instead of building on the infrastructure, worth billions and left them by the Jews who were summarily relocated out of Gaza by the government of Ariel Sharon, the Gazans voted in Hamas as their government. In its attempt to destroy Israel, Hamas has fired thousands of rockets into the country, built underground tunnels from Gaza into Israel, sent suicide bombers into Israel and committed endless acts of terror against Israelis, all with the aim of murdering as many Jews as possible, and the ultimate aim of destroying Israel. In this ‘Great March of Return’ Hamas vowed to break down the border fence between Gaza and Israel. Its intention was not to have tea with Israelis but rather to kidnap and murder them, or as its Facebook page put it: “tear out their hearts”. It is inconceivable that the South African government and our local media have chosen not to see this.
Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has said that she would like to consult with the leadership of the Jewish community and has at the same time called upon South African Jews to condemn the deaths on the Gazan border. While I am desperately saddened by the deaths, and while I pray that another alternate means to combatting violence will be found, I for one, cannot and will not condemn them. You see Minister, a year ago I visited the Gaza border. I walked through a tunnel built by Hamas with the express purpose of kidnapping and murdering Israelis. It was but metres away from a kibbutz. Had Hamas terrorists succeeded in coming through this tunnel the men, women and children of this kibbutz would have been slaughtered in their sleep. Fortunately, just as Israel developed drones to intercept the thousands of rockets sent by Hamas to murder Israelis, so too has the country developed a means of detecting and destroying tunnels built by Hamas to aid it in its genocidal quest. Enter the “Great March of Return”. Its explicit purpose, to break down the border fence of a sovereign country and invade it. Maps of neighbouring Israeli villages and towns appear en masse on the Hamas Facebook page explaining to Gazans where to go once across the border. And in terms of the final march on Nakba day the message on Facebook reads: “ the demonstrators are requested to please act in accordance with the demand to bring a knife or a gun, to hide them under their clothes and not use them except where there is need to capture soldiers or residents of Israel.” So you see Minister, I believe, and I would imagine that any right-minded person would concur, that had any of these protestors broken through the fence there would have been utter carnage on the Israeli side. But then perhaps you and the media would have been happy. Dead Jews are kind of comforting – they make the whole exercise proportionate.
The “Great March of Return” has been a huge success for Hamas. Perhaps it would have preferred to break down the fence and invade Israel but even it knew it had very little chance of that. But it certainly won second prize. Once again the world is crying ‘disproportionate’, ‘shocking’ ‘abominable.’ And our South African government, blind to reality, coupled with its now very recognizable partisanship, has taken the opportunity to withdraw its ambassador. This while the South African ambassador to Syria still sits comfortably. Not a suggestion of a withdrawal, even after Bashar Assad used chemical weapons on his own people, a very real atrocity. In December 2016, 40 people were murdered by security forces at a protest in the DRC, including 5 women and children, and very real human rights abuses have been ongoing in the DRC for years yet there is never a suggestion of removing an ambassador. My question to the South African government is, why? Why single out Israel? Israel that was defending her citizens and her borders. Israel, that has, since its inception, been surrounded by deadly enemies all determined to drive it into the sea.
As I write news has flashed across my screen. Salah Albardawill, a Hamas spokesman has confirmed in an interview to ‘Bladna al Alamiya’ that 50 of the 62 killed in the riots on Monday were Hamas operatives. (Times of Israel). Perhaps, just perhaps the South African government will now begin to understand just how lethal are the dangers faced by Israel.