Story-ideas-1011172

Did BDS & MRN try to outfox DA?

  • Jassat Iqbal
Article by MRN's Jassat Monday would appear to be part of a much larger strategy aimed at pushing the ANC government to follow the ANC party line on the Middle East. While the headquarters of the party at Luthuli House would like to be calling the shots, the more pragmatic Cabinet recognises the importance to the SA economy of having closer ties with Israel. They may have caught the DA asleep, but Jassat has awoken a sleeping giant in JZ. "The findings will propel the Zuma administration to review its foreign policy," wrote Jassat pre-emtively.
by ANT KATZ | Oct 29, 2014

Iqbal Jassat, a senior executive at the anti-Israeli Media Review Network [MRN], wrote on Politicsweb on Monday that he hoped a fact-finding delegation to the Middle East which was to meet with Hamas, and which included “Barney Pityana, Vusi Pikoli, Mbali Ntuli and others, will not spare the Zionist regime”.

This statement (and the rest of the article) threw the Democratic Alliance (DA) and SA Jewry into disarray.

The reason? Mbali Ntuli is the former head of the DA’s youth wing and currently a DA member of the KZN provincial legislature. And the trip had been organised and funded by the Heinrich Boll Foundation [HBF] which is in turn affiliated with Germany's Green Party, which has a history of former Nazis playing key roles in the party’s founding and development.”

The co-organisers are the anti-Israeli group Open Shuhada Street [OSS].

Bergman, Darren longThe DA constantly walks a fine line on mid-East politics, counting on many Muslim voters and much Jewish votes and funding. They had famously dropped the ball at the Cape Town Conference in December which left them with egg on their faces ahead of the elections early this year.

Landed in Bergman's lap

Seasoned Jewish DA politician Darren Bergman (pictured at right), now a DA MP and deputy shadow minister of Sport and Recreation, has found this issue landing on his lap.

And management was called for. Jassat has really thrown a spanner in the works by making statements like: “SA's increasing interest in Palestine and its woes is beginning to manifest in ways that's likely to attract more antagonism from Israel and her lobbyists”.

“We at MNR … hope that the quality of their findings will unleash greater momentum within SA to fulfil aspirations and desires of Palestinians to gain freedom, dignity and justice” wrote Jasset. “The mission will in all likelihood draw the ire and fire of a deeply wounded pro-Israel lobby in SA.”

He also wrote that the delegation “must brace themselves for a barrage of attacks from the Israeli lobby corner… Its ugly and undignified, yet synonymous with the type of 'hasbarah' Israel expects its army of defenders to undertake”.

Ntuli Mbali.jp

LEFT: Caught in the middle, DA KZN MPL Mbali Ntuli may well have been a pawn in BDS' game




"MNR aims to “propel the Zuma administration to review its foreign policy on Israel. For instance the skewed approach of so-called ‘even handedness’.”

 

DA’s quick action

 “Our party has a travel policy,” Darren Bergman of the DA  told Jewish Report, “and questions will be asked about whether our travel policy was followed and should the trip have been undertaken.”

While it would appear that the anti-Israel lobby may have outfoxed their more naïve KZN MPL and her provincial chairman, who appears to have signed off on the trip, there are several issues that the DA will need to investigate.

Mbali returns today (Wednesday) and will be meeting the leadership tomorrow - and Bergman has given an undertaking to get back to Jewish Report Online later this week.

The DA is holding several concurrent discussions, says Bergman, but nothing can be finalised until they are able to speak to Mbali. He is adamant that, at this stage there are no judges or juries, just questions which are being asked.

The questions that need asking

One such question must be, now that the DA knows more about the trip, would the party have sanctioned Mbali’s joining the delegation?

Among what the DA needs to be asking itself is:

  • Was the DA Travel Policy followed - and, if so, does their policy need to be interrogated?;
  • If the policy was flouted or ignored, at what point was this error made?;
  • Does the DA Travel Policy include sufficient voracity and do the structures follow it accordingly?; and
  • Even if the trip was correctly sanctioned, it could still result in another investigation into why the party accepted funding from groups it would normally steer clear of.

 

More about politicking than fact-finding?

 

Based on the reading of Jasset’s statement, Bergman says he suspects that the trip may have been more about politicking than a fact-finding mission. “The timing of these types of press releases whenever the government is under pressure over the Israel question.”

He may be correct as Jasset’s article (SEE FULL TEXT BELOW) seems to pre-empt the outcome of the report, inter alia when he writes of his “hope that Pityana and his colleagues will not spare the Zionist regime”.

Ironically, Israel has come up twice in Parliament this week and it seems increasingly likely that the pro-Palestinian lobby may have outmanoeuvred the DA to use Mbali and the party’s names to add credibility to the final report.

SEE: 25 content items relating to Darren Bergman

 


Online Editor’s comment

The article below by Iqbal Jassat appeared on POLITICSWEB on Monday, as well as on his own MRN website - and would appear from the most cursory glance to be part of a much larger strategy aimed at pushing the ANC Government to follow the ANC party line on the Middle East. While the headquarters of the party at Luthuli House would like to be calling the shots, the more pragmatic Cabinet recognises the importance to the SA economy of having closer ties with Israel.

Jassat and his MRN pull many of the anti-Israel strings in SA. But he usually likes to be a behind-the-scenes man - and by seemingly jumping the gun and gloating a little too early on Monday, may yet fail in his coup attempt - if that is what he had in mind.

The anti-Israel side managed to outmanoeuvre and use the naiveté of the KZN DA towards their BDS-aligned goals - we will know more about that later in the week - stay tuned.

Jasset’s article, below, may yet prove to be the downfall of what could have proved to be a powerful weapon. Sending a “multiparty” “fact-finding” mission to Israel, Palestine, Gaza to meet with Hamas et al – all paid for by purported neo-Nazis.

But, by pre-empting “the findings” which he says he hopes will “propel the Zuma administration to review its foreign policy on Israel,” he has seemingly overplayed his hand and awoken what appears to be a very angry DA. And by further pre-empting the outcome as one which he writes will be “likely to attract the ire of the Israel lobby”, he has shot himself in the foot.

This story has legs – watch out for the updates! 

 


SA fact-finding mission in Israel raises Palestinian hopes

Jassat IqbalBy Iqbal Jassat - Executive: Media Review Network, Johannesburg

27 October 2014

Iqbal Jassat Executive: Media Review Network, Johannesburg says he hopes Barney Pityana, Vusi Pikoli, Mbali Ntuli and others will not spare the Zionist regime

South Africa's increasing interest in Palestine and its woes is beginning to manifest in ways that's likely to attract more antagonism from Israel and her lobbyists.

Currently a number of South Africans are in Israel to gain first-hand insight of conditions faced by Palestinians under Occupation as well as experience the political and humanitarian situation there. 

Delegates include Prof Barney Pityana, Adv Vusi Pikoli, MPL Mbala Ntuli, Adv Adila Hassim, Prof Firoz Cachalia, Dr Christi van der Westhuizen and Brad Brockman.

In a statement issued by the joint organisers of the trip, the Heinrich Boll Foundation Southern Africa [HBF] and Open Shuhada Street [OSS], they undertake that the delegates will meet and interact with both Israeli and Palestinian civil society "working to end the conflict and advance human rights and social justice, as well as political representatives..." Among other activities, the group will visit and observe military court proceedings in the West Bank, visit the Jordan valley to understand the politics of water and its impact on Palestinian farmers. 

As they wrap up their fact-finding mission, we at Media Review Network, are keenly anticipating a thorough and detailed report-back. We hope that the quality of their findings will unleash greater momentum within South Africa to fulfil aspirations and desires of Palestinians to gain freedom, dignity and justice.

We are well aware that the mission will in all likelihood draw the ire and fire of a deeply wounded pro-Israel lobby in South Africa. Their hostile reaction to any critique of Israel's apartheid policies is by now predictable. It's a phenomenon closely associated with blind support, which lately has overspilled in hate campaigns as is evident in the insulting treatment meted to Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Cachalia, Pityana and colleagues must brace themselves for a barrage of attacks from the Israeli lobby corner, some of whom have already resorted to demonising via Twitter and Facebook. Its ugly and undignified, yet synonymous with the type of "hasbarah" (propaganda) Israel expects its army of defenders to undertake.

The visit nevertheless raises expectations within South African civil society as to whether the findings will propel the Zuma administration to review its foreign policy on Israel. For instance the skewed approach of so-called  "even-handedness" is an unfair disadvantage to Palestinians as an occupied people as against the unlimited advantage enjoyed by Israel in every sphere of economic, social, cultural, military and political link resulting from full diplomatic relations.

That racist profiling informed by Islamophobia gave the group a taste of Israel's apartheid as soon as they arrived there, with the detention of Section27's Advocate Adila Hassim - albeit for three hours of interrogation, raises the hope that Pityana and his colleagues will not spare the Zionist regime.


4 Comments

  1. 4 Jon Swerd 31 Oct
    The Left Wing Cabal are at it again.
    It's the age old problem of dealing with anti semitism that will never disappear no matter what we do,how obsequious we become or how intelligently we respond.
    We will always be subjected to " the longest hatred " and  just be tolerated by the other religions,the supposedly cultured,the atheists,the agnostics,the left,the right,the centre,the watchmakers,the butchers,the bakers and everyone else.
    The response should be to continually try to educate these bigots and dogmatists and if all else fails go on Aliyah circumstances permitting.
  2. 3 Choni 31 Oct
    Jon Swerd. At last I have an ally.
  3. 2 Adam Levy 05 Nov
    Choni

    choni - we eagerly awaiting your making good on your threat to emigrate. please do everyone a favour and GO. NOW.
  4. 1 nat cheiman 06 Nov
    Jassat and his cronies are more predictable than Goebels and his pals during the nazi era. The muslim cabal prey on ignorance and guilt from the apartheid era. A debate would knock them out of the ring and prove that muslims "work" the propaganda machine.
    Islam is not a peaceful religion and anyone that keeps pace with world events, knows that muslims in general do not contribute to world peace. How can they when EVERY MUSLIM country on earth is at war with Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus and atheists.
    When they themselves are bombed and killed they call it "disproportionate". Australia is the only country in the world who have told Muslims "if you don't like it here, you can leave". And taken away their passports when a risk of terrorism is suspected. OZ has virtually no risk anymore because the Aussies call it as they see it. NO DIPLOMACY AT ALL. This is what the world needs. Send the trouble makers back to their sewrage holes like Syria, Iraq and Yemen. Jassat says that the Pro Israeli lobby is wounded. He is deluded indeed
    It is BDS and Muslims that are wounded. Israel has so many new companies and enterprises that it is challenging Asia an China. The Islamic countries have nothing. Not even their own sewage works.
    Obviously, Jassat sees what he wants to see through his rose tinted glasses (which he probably got from a jewish optician. Seriously, I am so tired of "unclever" people who steal oxygen on this planet.   

Comment

  1. RadEditor - HTML WYSIWYG Editor. MS Word-like content editing experience thanks to a rich set of formatting tools, dropdowns, dialogs, system modules and built-in spell-check.
    RadEditor's components - toolbar, content area, modes and modules
       
    Toolbar's wrapper 
     
    Content area wrapper
    RadEditor's bottom area: Design, Html and Preview modes, Statistics module and resize handle.
    It contains RadEditor's Modes/views (HTML, Design and Preview), Statistics and Resizer
    Editor Mode buttonsStatistics moduleEditor resizer
      
    RadEditor's Modules - special tools used to provide extra information such as Tag Inspector, Real Time HTML Viewer, Tag Properties and other.
       
 

Follow us on

Newsletter