Allan Wolman asks ANC’s Lindiwe Sisulu “how many of her ANC colleagues have ever visited Israel to judge for themselves” if Israel is an Apartheid state”, suggesting “engagement between the two countries (Israel and Palestine) as the only way to achieve peace”(Letters, 9 April).
May I remind him of the South African Minister of Higher Education, Blade Nzimande, who was denied entry permission by Israel in 2015. Former ministers Ronnie Kasrils and Aziz Pahad visited Occupied Palestine and attested to the fact that the plight of the Palestinians under Apartheid Israel was worse than what we suffered under Apartheid South Africa.
An ANC anti-apartheid stalwart, Ismail Coovadia, served as South Africa’s ambassador to Israel. He said: “I have supported the struggle against Apartheid South Africa and now I cannot be a proponent of what I have witnessed in Israel, and that is, a replication of Apartheid!”
Of course Israel facilitated junkets to its SA political praise-singers, such as the DA’s Musi Maimani, Cope’s Mosiuoa Lekota and ACDP’s Reverend Kenneth Meshoe. However, there are many apolitical and human rights advocates, luminaries who were victims of Apartheid, that attest of Israel’s racism.
The respected Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu said when he visited the Holy Land in 2002: ”I‘ve been very deeply distressed in my visit to the Holy land; it reminded me so much of what happened to us blacks in SA. I have seen the humiliation of the Palestinians at checkpoints and roadblocks suffer like us when young white police officers prevented us from moving about. They seemed to derive so much joy from our humiliation”.
Surely Wolman cannot defend the racist treatment meted out to the 40,000 African refugees held under inhumane conditions because they are non-Jews. And worse, the entire world is witness to the current massacre in Gaza, where scores of peaceful and unarmed protesters have been brutally butchered.
This is redolent of Sharpville and Soweto.
The Palestinians have engaged in fruitless talks for decades, whist the Israeli Apartheid regime relentlessly usurps Palestinian land and destroys their lives. The only peaceful option is the total boycott and isolation of Israel.
Dr Firoz Osman
Executive member of Media Review Network
An advocacy group based in Gauteng
He is the co-author of Why Israel? Anatomy of Zionist Apartheid A SA perspective.
Cell : 082 337 6979