A defensive war is not genocide

Ilan Preskovsky

Ilan Preskovsky

Published Mar 24, 2024


The headline on Pamela Ngubane’s letter, “Israel must be treated like a lunatic state”, is more than a little rich considering the nature of the letter itself.

I’ve been defending Jewish people and the Jewish State in the media since the unspeakably savage massacre in Israel on October 7 last year, which launched a wave of antiSemitism that recalls Europe in the 1930s and one of the grizzliest but most necessary wars Israel has been forced to fight.

Ngubane insists “it is apparent that Americans have slept through the takeover of their government by Zionist Jews,” but despite her assurance that this is neither an “exaggeration” nor a “conspiracy theory”, it’s clearly both. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee is a powerful lobbying group, but it is only one of many such groups in the US that represent all sorts of domestic and foreign interests.

Like all lobbying groups, there are legitimate criticisms of its role in American politics, but the idea that it controls the US government when there are so many, especially in the House of Representatives, that have been vocally and legislatively anti-Israel during this war, is patently ridiculous.

This anti-Semitic archetype that evil Jews control the world’s governments is as old and as demonstrably untrue as the other tropes she invokes: that Zionists/ Jews are not loyal to their home countries, that we believe we’re superior to non-Jews, and, of course, that old anti-Semitic classic, the blood libel.

You just have to look at how much Jews (let’s drop the “Zionist” euphemism as the anti-Zionist’s ire is reserved purely for Jewish Zionists) tend to contribute to their host countries’ cultures, including here in South Africa, to see how fatuous her first argument is. And, Jewish supremacy may indeed exist in a tiny group of Jewish extremists, but the other 99% of Jews hold no truck whatsoever with such views.

There’s a reason, after all, why so many Jews – and usually Zionist Jews – were so over-represented in the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa and the civil rights movement in the US. But it’s her repeated use of the blood libel that is especially dangerous and especially vile.

Has there ever, after all, in the recorded history of the world, been a country that has been charged with genocide for defending itself against an enemy that has never hidden its intentions to obliterate a country and murder her people? Have there been other examples where the barbaric massacre (including rape, torture, and mutilation) of hundreds of innocent men, women, children and babies, and the forced abduction of 240 more, was immediately followed by celebrations and calls for more of the same?

But where in Ngubane’s seething condemnations of Israel is there any recognition of the barbaric massacre of Israelis on October 7, let alone any sympathy towards the victims or the 130 hostages that are still being held in Gaza five months later?

The reason why President Biden stands with Israel isn’t because he’s been “bought by the Jews”, but because unlike a self-hating liar like Norman Finkelstein, he has the moral clarity to understand that a defensive war is not genocide..

* Ilan Preskovsky Freelance journalist/ writer.

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.

Cape Argus

Do you have something on your mind; or want to comment on the big stories of the day? We would love to hear from you. Please send your letters to [email protected].

All letters to be considered for publication, must contain full names, addresses and contact details (not for publication)