Finding the positive in an apparently horrible situation

  • Howard Feldman 2018
Hear me out. Part of me feels that the anti-Israel vitriol this week might turn out to be positive. This is not because I am trying to find some liquid in a parched and empty glass, but because if hating Israel is a popular cause for every political party in South Africa, then it will probably not be used as a mechanism to lure voters to the polls next year.
by HOWARD FELDMAN | Jun 14, 2018

What began as a very successful gathering of the SA Friends of Israel on Sunday at the Johannesburg City Hall has descended into a vile, mud-slinging, hyperbole-filled hate festival for the major South African political parties.

The EFF, no friend to Israel, or Jews or Whites (who they have kindly agreed not to murder this week) launched into what can be described as Nazi-inspired propaganda. The party’s statement proposed that Israel contributes “nothing to humanity”, which essentially means that it has no reason to exist. What the EFF has contributed to humanity might be a question in of itself, but hardly the point of this thought process.

The ANC, not wanting to be outdone, outdid itself with its usual rhetoric. This is known to be the modus operandi of a corrupt and useless political party that has failed hopelessly to meet the needs of the people it was elected to serve. It diverts attention as far from its backyard as possible, hoping that no one will notice a tragedy of its own making. Its legacy is a broken health system, poor education, a struggling economy, high unemployment, and almost no service delivery. What began as a magnificent, inspiring struggle movement has become a movement that is struggling. With little hope of recovery.

The DA, while affirming its belief in a two-state solution, reacted by punishing the MCC because she, apparently, had no right to speak for the City of Johannesburg. This is of course absolutely correct, but in all likelihood dishonest. There is no doubt that had she stated that Johannesburg was a friend of Angola, Zimbabwe, Syria or Iran, no one would have cared. Certainly, she would not have been suspended.

Here’s the thing. It is well known that the EFF has not had an authentic day in its life. It is all about creating as much noise as possible, and sowing the seeds of fear and hatred amongst South Africans. Its goal is power, not social justice, which means that it seeks popular causes to milk and nurture until it no longer gives them the mileage.

The ANC, although captured by the BDS, is much the same, and with elections approaching, will need to answer the issues and concerns of its people. No amount of concern for Palestine will put food on the table of starving South Africans. It knows that.

And now, the DA has joined in. Whereas I still believe in the ultimate good of this party, there is little doubting its leadership crises. Suspending the MCC was the path of least resistance, which makes sense. It could not afford to open up another front. It would sink it.

The bottom line is that if all the major parties have more or less the same stance on Israel, the focus will need to shift elsewhere. The Israel issue will no longer differentiate them, and they will need to find another thrilling way to gain as much attention as possible.

That can’t be a bad thing.


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