LETTER TO THE EDITOR | More hatred for the local Jewish community

Eliyahu David Kay who was shot dead in front of the Western Wall by a gunman with suspected Hamas links.

Klaas Mokgomole wrote a response to Iqbal Jassat of Media Review Network, saying that in her right of reply to Mary Kluk, Jassat abused and abused the real legacy of apartheid.

In his response to Mary Kluk of the South African Jewish Council of Deputies, Iqbal Jassat of the Media Review Network (MRN) persisted in justifying the murder of a young South African Jew in a Hamas-inspired terror attack. It does so by listing the usual litany of inflammatory accusations regularly leveled against Israel.

It further abuses and abuses the true legacy of apartheid, not only to delegitimize the Israeli state, but to incite hatred against the local Jewish community for refusing to accede to these slanderous attacks obediently. This is the kind of “dehumanization” that I understand Kluk was referring to, the kind that somehow makes it acceptable for people on the “wrong” side of the ideological divide to be slaughtered. in cold blood.

The MRN makes no secret of its support for Hamas, a radical Islamist movement that rejects peaceful coexistence with Israel and, on the contrary, persists in waging a ruinous campaign of terrorist violence against it.

For the purposes of this answer, however, I will address some specific Jassat claims. These comments will, of necessity, be brief, but hopefully they will suffice to show how little the caricature of Israeli evil he concocts resembles reality.

According to Jassat, there are three “Palestinian rights” which must be restored, namely “the lifting of the military occupation, the right of return of Palestinian refugees and the abandonment of apartheid”.

  • Lifting of military occupation

Israel has always expressed its willingness to end its military presence in the West Bank (notably during negotiations in 2000, 2001 and 2008), but conditions this on the unequivocal acceptance by the Palestinians of Israel’s legitimacy and commitment to live in peace by his side. In 2005, Israel unilaterally withdrew its troops from Gaza, only for Hamas to take control of the territory and then use it as a base from which to carry out continuous bombardments against Israeli cities.

  • Right of return of Palestinian refugees

it is claimed that this applies not only to Palestinians displaced in 1948 (when surrounding Arab countries waged an unsuccessful war to eliminate the new Israeli state) but also to their descendants. It is a fantasy that has no basis in international law. At most, the right could apply to people who lived in Israel in 1948-49, few of whom are alive today.

  • The abandonment of apartheid

Discriminatory and race-based laws of the type that operated under apartheid in South Africa, obviously, do not exist in Israel. Indeed, discrimination based on race is illegal. Regarding the forced separation that exists in the West Bank, this is not due to “racism” but to the realities of the bitter and still unresolved conflict between the two peoples. Similar situations exist elsewhere in the world where there are deep-rooted religious or ethnic conflicts, such as in Kashmir and Cyprus.

I also wish to comment briefly on Jassat’s characterization of Israel as an “aggressive colonial colonization regime” that engages in “state terrorism”. The term “aggressive” certainly applies more specifically to the Palestinian leadership, as evidenced by their rejection of the peace process and the adoption of terrorist violence at the turn of this century, Hamas’ continued commitment to the destruction of Israel. ‘Israel even after the withdrawal from Gaza and the constant refusal even by the supposedly “moderate” faction of Fatah to accept Israel’s legitimacy and make peace with it. The terms “colonialist” are meant to deny the millennial Jewish roots in the Holy Land and, as such, amount to a crass and insulting attempt to air the Jewish people out of history. As for “state terrorism,” Hamas’ harshly repressive treatment of its own people in Gaza, combined with its infamous history of using densely populated civilian areas as bases for bomb attacks on Israeli forces. Israeli civilians, makes him the obvious candidate to be guilty of such a charge.

– Klaas Mokgomole is the chief coordinator of Africans for Peace.

Africans for Peace is a collective of students, scholars and independent activists who bring an African perspective to the global debate on peace and stability on our continent and around the world.

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