On Friday, February 18, during the opening ceremony of the African Union (AU) Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, an Israeli observer delegation was kicked out by security guards. Security escorted the diplomats, including Foreign Ministry Deputy Director-General for Africa Sharon Bar-Li, creating a rather bizarre and humiliating scene.
Israel Israel has its observer status and had every right to be there, of course. Those ousting the Jewish state had no right nor valid reason to do so. Israeli Ministry spokesperson Lior Hayat said about the ousting: “It is sad to see that the African Union has been taken hostage by a small number of extremist countries such as Algeria and South Africa, driven by hatred and controlled by Iran.” Once again, South Africa shows itself to the international community as a less-than-ideal partner.
To this racist, dangerous and segregating incident, the ANC responded with a statement which begins with the words “The African National Congress (ANC) is encouraged by the African Union’s (AU) ousting of Israeli representatives”.
This comes at a time when there is a renewed discussion regarding the call for downgrading the South African Embassy in Israel. Previous times when this discussion was brought forward, the downgrade of course did not happen, given the pushback by millions of South Africans including Christians who travel to Israel often, and given how clear it was that it would be detrimental to all, including Palestinians, in fact. But no matter the detriment, the waves of vitriol keep coming. And so, the conversation will begin again, with those who brought the wave of hatred having learned nothing from their defeat, but to use it as a sort of hibernation time, in order to regroup, gather momentum and begin the hate march yet again.
The theatre of the anti-Israel movement’s declarations creates, among other things, the danger for all involved. Ironically, it seeks to solidify the Palestinian people as a weapon. This co-ordinated tearing down of the Jewish State is nothing new, and those whose mission it is to destroy care nothing about using the Palestinian people to do so – even if it means supporting groups such as the Palestinian Authority, who in their corruption certainly do not use their billions of euros to create infrastructure and better the lives of their people, and Hamas, a terrorist organisation openly hell-bent on destruction only.
To “encourage” literally means to “hearten” (“cuore” means “heart”). It means to inspire with courage, spirit and hope. At best, one could hope that this is a misunderstanding of the word used by the ANC, as there is certainly no heart for any people here, certainly not the Palestinians who are used and abused by those for whom it is lucrative, or egomaniacally validating, to do so.
The Palestinian people have been fashioned, over some decades, into a weapon with which to butcher the Jewish people, which has in turn helped cause this to literally happen. Just under two weeks ago, two young children, brothers who were 6 and 8 years old, were among those murdered in a terrorist attack in Jerusalem. The eerie scenes of feverish celebration and excitement in Palestinian territories after such brutality occurs, scenes which celebrate and honour brutal murder, should have every peace loving person on Earth pause in shock and question what is going on. The ANC had nothing to say about this.
Those Palestinian people who just want to live their lives in peace and want to create prosperity for themselves and their families are trapped in this hijacked society, with the support of those who stand with the abusive leadership. How little the Israel-bashers think of the Palestinian people, as they ignore such abuses and societal ills, as they ignore the gargantuan corruption of the Palestinian leadership, and as they ignore all Israel does to try to improve the situation.
Israel-bashers quickly move the focus to Israelis building houses as “problematic” for peace, as in the ANC statement mentioned, as if building a house could be a cause for someone willing to murder a child. It is high time the ANC started some self-reflection and searched for the truth. Indeed in history, the ANC once stood, genuinely, for freedom. Would it not be wonderful if the ANC stood for, as it states, freedom for all, including the Palestinian people who want freedom from corruption and including the Israelis who want to live without fear of terrorism?
With all the ANC is failing to deliver, an area of truth-telling and reconciliation would go a long way.
* Sharon Salomon is political analyst and writer.
** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.
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