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Telling truth from fiction in a topsy turvy world

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One of my favourite children’s books is The Topsy Turvies. It’s the absurd story of Mr and Mrs Topsy-Turvy and their children, Fern and Vern, who babysit little Lucy. In no time at all, they have their charge drawing on the floor and watching TV while standing on her head.

Because for the Topsy Turvies, day is night, dinner is breakfast, and evening is the time to go to the park.

Since 7 October, we too have lived in a sinister version of the world of Mr and Mrs Topsy-Turvy. It’s an upside-down world where the victims are seen as perpetrators, and where those with genocidal intent claim persecution. Where hospitals are army bases, where schools are for soldiers, where tunnels aren’t for shelter, where international peace keeping organisations are part of the military, and where hostages are forgotten.

Since 7 October, we’ve lived in an inverted reality.

There’s no greater example of this than South Africa taking Israel to the International Court of Justice, a case scheduled to be heard this Thursday and Friday. On day one, South Africa will present its case to the court for about two hours, followed by Israel doing the same on Friday. Whereas Israel and the United States have expressed outraged at the folly of it all, support for South Africa has come from predictable critics of Israel.

The absurdity of the case lies in two main areas: the case itself against Israel, and the gall/chutzpah of South Africa being in any position to accuse anyone of anything.

In terms of the situation in Gaza, it’s important to note the following:

  • A ceasefire existed between Israel and Hamas, which was broken by Hamas on 7 October;
  • Hamas in its charter, its actions, and its words vows to kill every Jew in the region (literally the definition of genocide);
  • Hamas has affirmed its actions of 7 October, and has publicly stated that it will do it “again and again and again”;
  • Hamas is still holding hostages, one of them baby Kfir who if alive will have celebrated his first birthday last week;
  • Hamas mass raped, tortured, and kidnapped women, and killed children as they lay in their beds;
  • Hamas could end all civilian deaths by returning the hostages and surrendering;
  • It has used billions of dollars intended for aid to build a tunnel system purely for terror; amassed and manufactured weapons still being used against Israelis towns; and “educated” the children of Gaza to hate Jews;
  • It used hospitals and schools as military bases;
  • It prevented civilians from moving to safety; and
  • It launched rockets towards Israel, 20% of which fall back into Gaza itself, killing civilians.

In addition, Israel has gone over and above in trying to minimise civilian deaths by informing Gazans of its intent to bomb and by attempting to evacuate areas with civilian inhabitants, evacuations that in many cases were stopped by Hamas to cause additional loss of life.

In terms of South Africa itself, it’s worth considering the following:

  • The African National Congress (ANC) has shown little if any regard for almost every other global conflict. It has ignored the plight of the Zimbabweans, Sudanese, Chinese, Yemenites, Cubans, and Ukrainians, to list a few;
  • It ignored all prior instructions of the international court by failing to arrest Omar al-Bashir, and threatened to remove itself from the Rome Statute;
  • Back home, the party is known for having a non-existent moral standard. The ANC is known to be the party of corruption and theft, of bloated, inefficient autocrats who care little for the people of the country but care greatly for their money;
  • It’s unable to supply adequate healthcare, electricity, transport, education, and the country boasts the highest youth unemployment in the world;
  • It has allowed crime to reach levels so high that about 70 people are murdered each day; and
  • Although the ANC claims to seek justice, it hasn’t held itself nor its members to account.

Whereas the Topsy Turvy world is a delight for children, it’s the very opposite for adults. It’s unnerving, infuriating, frustrating, and scary. It makes us feel as if we’re living in a world without a centre, and where anything can happen.

The good news is that the book ends. After reaching the last page, we get to close it. To place it back on the shelf, and to return to a world that’s the right way around. We might be drawn into the upside fantasy, but we never forget that it’s just that. A fantasy. A construct.

And just because many around us might work very hard at convincing us of an alternative reality, it doesn’t mean we need to believe what is fiction.

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  1. Kavi Govender

    Jan 19, 2024 at 7:36 am

    Thank echoing my exact sentiments and frustration at these hypocrites.
    It’s akin to everyone worldwide endorsing and rallying support for Ted Bundy…. Idiots!!!!

  2. June Mackie

    Jan 19, 2024 at 10:35 pm

    No more of my money going to sa cricket ☹️

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