Israel is not in Gaza!
PETA KROST MAUNDER
One of the rockets hit a nursery school in Sderot and potentially could have killed many children. Fortunately, the children hadn’t yet arrived at school and the rocket hit a tree instead of a classroom or the playground. These children are innocent civilians.
Around the world there are many – and especially the South African government – who make out that all those living in Gaza are innocent victims being oppressed and downtrodden by this monstrous Israel. So much so, that when missiles en masse are fired from Gaza into Israel, there is much silence. There is certainly not a peep from our own government, who is still condemning Israel and demanding that Israel pulls out of Gaza.
Our government’s knowledge of what is happening in the Middle East – and especially around Gaza and Israel – is so skewed, it beggars belief.
As anyone who’s a little familiar with the politics of the area knows, Israel pulled out of Gaza in August 2005. Just in case someone reading this is close enough to the government to let its officials know, Israel pulled its troops out and dismantled all the Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip at the time. Hamas runs Gaza and the Israeli troops do not enter.
Now, I know people make a big joke of the fact that our government is unaware of this and has, on a number of occasions, recently demanded that Israeli troops pull out of Gaza. But it isn’t funny at all. Our government is making its decisions about recalling our ambassador from Israel and potentially cutting ties with Israel, based on incorrect information.
I have no idea why someone hasn’t given them this vital information. Surely, the ambassador is aware of this well-known piece of information – he was living in Israel!
It is not acceptable that our government is making decisions on incorrect information. I have a sense that they have an image of Israeli troops on Ratels and Buffels going into Gaza – much like our troepies went into townships during apartheid – and brutalising innocent people. But that is definitely not the case.
And while I am not saying the Israel government and military are angelic and are never at fault, I am saying that our government needs to be aware of the facts on the ground before making decisions.
What would our government have said if children had died in that nursery school? Would they have condemned Hamas and Islamic Jihad or any leaders of Gaza? I doubt it. Instead, I bet Israel will be condemned for retaliating. These are such double standards.
I question who is advising government about the Israeli-Palestinian crisis and why the leadership of our country is simply accepting what these mis-advisers are telling them.
Could these same advisers be the ones who this week tweeted a fake quote from Hendrik Verwoerd, former apartheid prime minister between 1958 and 1966, saying: “The Jews took Israel from the Arabs after the Arabs had lived there for a thousand years. Israel, like South Africa, is an apartheid state.”
This was, in fact, from BDS South Africa. Do they honestly believe the nonsense they spew? Why do people indulge them?
I love this country and I am a proud South African. I strongly believe in the leadership of President Cyril Ramaphosa, but I expect so much more from my government than making decisions on fake information. Take a trip to the Middle East, meet with ALL the role players – on both sides – and then make an informed decision.
Music be the food of life
On another, more musical note, when our roving reporter Jordan Moshe came back from a talk this week by Dr Stephen Muir – who is collecting lost Jewish music – he told me about one particular Jewish child prodigy during the Holocaust. She was seven years old when she started composing and by 12, she was playing with top Jewish musicians in Warsaw.
She was a bright light in music, but her name means nothing to any of us now because she died during the Holocaust. She was never able to give her talent the wings it needed for her to fly and to give the world the pleasure of what she had in her.
Just how many talented musicians, writers, scientists, doctors, inventors, painters and people with other talents were deleted from our world, never to be given the chance to contribute?
It is difficult for any of us to conceive of how many six million people are, but the loss is more understandable when you think of it in these terms.
The global Jewish population is still not quite as large as it was before the Holocaust. There were 16.5 million Jews before World War II and there are now 14.2 million (as of 2015, according to the Jerusalem-based Jewish People Policy Institute).
So, when the South African government and South African media start comparing Israel with Hitler and the Holocaust, they really need to consider this. There is no comparison. Israel is a country defending its people. The Holocaust was the annihilation of a people.