“Our MP (Bill Eloff DA) went rogue” – Bergman
In the book “Tomorrow is Another Country”, Chief negotiator for the ANC Cyril Ramaphosa insinuates that when negotiating with the NP around their demands the ANC hid their non-negotiables in the middle of their key points and allowed the first and last points to be the assumed priorities when in fact they were the trade-offs. I first heard about the Cape-Town declaration when an international political party sent me the 14 resolutions as agreed in this meeting. Instinctively I smelt the rat when one of the resolutions stated that all political parties need to state their position on the Middle East before elections.
Knowing the task that (Marius) Fransman has in trying to win the Western Cape for the ANC, the Western Cape, the DA and religious groups have been made pawns in a battle that should rather focus on what the party has delivered to the constituents rather than trying to sow division and confusion to steal back what was fairly lost.
Understandably the Jewish and Zionist communities have felt betrayed by the South-African politicking in this regard and owe a debt of gratitude to the ACDP who were not herded into making the united pledge. This happened weeks after a daily newspaper had the headlines – Jews Told to leave SA. The ultimate debate has always raged on whether you can be anti-Zionist and not Anti-Semitic and vice versa. There is no mistake that statistically the Jewish community in South-Africa is a complete minority that punches way above its weight in terms of taxes, employment and productive opportunities in this Country.
More to this than meets the eye
Israel in the new democracy has also given major strategic and operational support in all industries but more pertinently in healthcare, infrastructure and natural resources. If I was the Government I would probably be trying to entertain a balanced approach in trying to get both sides of the story through fair consultation. It strikes me as convenient to the purpose of the meeting that the other side was not present and more likely not invited. This immediately should have set off alarm bells that there is way more to this conference than meets the eye.
The conference has made more of a headline more because the Democratic Alliance representative supported all the resolutions rather than the actual resolutions themselves.
Fransman et al
This is exactly the kind of reaction that no doubt Fransman et al had anticipated.
Our esteemed MP Bill Eloff not only stayed away from well documented policy but seemed to participate in the festivities of the day unreservedly.
I can safely say that Bill Eloff will no longer be returning as a DA MP to Parliament. Read into this what you will.
The Democratic Alliance has always believed in a two state solution with Jerusalem as the Capital.
We believe that both sides of the story need to be portrayed and that both parties need to come to the negotiations with a sincere will and want to create everlasting peace in the Middle East.
Our lack of immediate response was due to an investigation into both the resolutions, the conference and the behaviour of Bill Eloff MP. I can definitely announce that we will fight the fairness of the resolutions and disagree with many of the resolutions that finger point to one side whilst not taking into account the other side of the story.
Our faith is in our representative Justice De Goede MP who has experience both as an ambassador and well versed in the Middle East politics. I guarantee the spectators a different input from our team not because of what has transpired but because this is what we have always believed in. I reiterate that whilst the DA is not a Jewish or Muslim party it houses both parties comfortably. Whilst it is not Zionist driven in approach it has a genuine desire for sustainable peace in the Middle East with recognition of Israel as a Country up to the 1967 borders.
I urge ANC to focus on internal service delivery
However we are also mindful of the fact that our business is about fixing South-Africa first and focussing on growing and developing it into the country Madiba envisaged, before being able to preach to others how to keep their house in order.
The South-African government preaching to other Countries on how to create peace, job creation or service delivery when we lose more people to crime per annum than the Middle East conflict, when our unemployment gap is rising and when the data shows a widening gap between rich and poor indicates that we should probably be asking foreign Countries for help rather than muscling our way into their domestic affairs.
I urge the ANC to focus more on internal service delivery and ensuring that we achieve true reconciliation without the constant threat of the race card. Our Country should be at a stage where there is better parity and material redress than what we are currently experiencing and most importantly in a unique environment as ours, cultural diversity, should be our success rather than threatening to be a huge failure.
In that same vein I would like to urge the community to please lobby the stakeholders in this debate be it political parties, Zionist federations and others to ensure that come the discussion in Parliament on Wednesday, all sides of the story are fairly presented and that no discriminatory resolutions are carried forward. I know that this is the stance the DA will be taking. Please do not allow yourselves to become pawns in an attempted hostile take-over of the Western Cape but rather the voice and reasons for putting SA back in favour with all parties in the process.
- Darren Bergman is a long-serving Jewish Democratic Party Joburg City Councillor and is most likely headed for a Parliamentary seat in May terms of his high ranking on the Gauteng election list.