An Open letter to Ahmed Kathrada
Ariel Ziv writes from Israel
I have rarely come across a humanitarian activist who has trashed every single niche of humanitarianism and the concept of human rights in so few sentences. I am referring to your interview on BBC.
Your personal integrity and reputation are the last of my concerns but a far more damning picture emerges from your interview. Your “wholehearted” support for whatever means the opponents of Israel choose to employ is not only the antithesis of regard for human rights; it drags your own comrade’s legacy through the bloody carnage of innocent Israeli victims of terror. The absence of an apology for terror, from the dead Mandela, is no justification for the support of it, not for you, and not to posthumously prophesize the dead man’s visions. The times, the circumstances, the histories, the locations, psyches, efforts and peoples are all very different, yet you remain bogged in the dogma of hate. It is this hate which enables you to condone the indiscriminate premeditated murder of Jews in Israel and to pass over the massacre of innocents, all for the struggle.
Many years of unjust incarceration enlightened you to support and work for justice, equality and freedom, except when it comes to the Jews, except when it comes to Israel. This is prejudice Mr. Kathrada – we know where it lies and where it leads. Yes, the struggle is not over as Mandela said, it is not over in your own backyard, first. Crime, unemployment, shacks, AIDS, murders, rapes and sewage problems in your own garden are negligible and disposable when it comes to prioritising Israel. This is prejudice too, unless you dump humanitarianism, equality and justice in preference to vilifying Israel. Mandela’s mission was a free, equal and just South Africa, yours in not.
In pre-election South Africa, the EFF (Economic Freedom FIGHTERS) perceive a ‘struggle’ too, against injustice, for equality and what not. Your message of ‘terror justifying a struggle’ will backfire and unearth those who devoted their lives for a new South Africa. Myopic tunnel vision prevents you from even considering this, let alone facing it, because it is not an Israel or Jewish question. The work of the old Mandela is far from completed, yet you have chosen to invent a new Mandela.
The semantics of “anti-Jewish” and/or “Anti-Israel” are games far removed from reality and reserved for the academia, of which you are not. Professing to be only “Anti-Israel” is a transparent wrapping which alludes to nothing. What is the collective you use -“Israel”, if not the virtual entity comprising of a large majority of Jews in their homeland? The “Israel” you refer to also comprises of Muslims, Christians, Druze, Cherkessians, Bahais and others. In referring to “Israel”, you band all these groups together, only because it would be too embarrassing to single out the Jews. These groups may be (and have been) victims of the terror you condone. Either way, by distinguishing between the Jews and others, or not, you face the dead end of ingrained hate.
Some are two-faced in rhetoric and sentiment and some are two-faced in action. You are both.