Nice people, shame about the beliefs
Chanting “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free”, more than 500 ambled through the leafy surrounds of Emmarentia Dam on 8 December, in a broad circle from Orange Road to the Greenside Mosque and back again.
To all intents and purposes, the “Great Return March” looked like an everyday peace protest. Everyone from mothers with strollers, kids, teenagers, parents, and grandparents was there, and the crowd was well behaved.
It was only when you took a closer look at their t-shirts and listened to what they were chanting that you got a sense of their intent. Many were wearing t-shirts with the Google logo and the entry “Israel”, with the question, “Do you mean Palestine?”. Others sported shirts saying, “Stop Israeli baby killers”, “Boycott apartheid Israel”, or “South Africa will never be free until Palestine is free”. Their smiling faces and friendliness only added to the overall sense of cognitive dissonance.
It was a genteel march through one of the city’s most beautiful suburbs by the most bourgeois people in Johannesburg calling for the obliteration of the only peaceful, democratic state in the Middle East. Go figure.