It is astonishing that the sensational news reports is based on a tweet attributed to an untraceable individual known as Montero.

His posting of anti-Jewish messages prompted the pro-Israeli lobby groups and the Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBOD) to create a hype eliciting extra police security  and concrete barricades at synagogues and Jewish institutions with the resultant media hype.

The virtual absence of anti-Semitic invective in SA , a fact conceded to by Jewish Lobby groups, surely does not warrant the hysterical overreaction we have witnessed. Yet again, diverting attention from Israeli atrocities, the spectre of anti-Semitism and so-called threats to the SA Jewish community, have been raised.

In 2011 an Israeli military spokesperson Avi Benayahu announced at a military Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya near Tel Aviv, that millions of dollars would be invested on a new media campaign to train more than a hundred Israeli “media warriors,” who would use social media tools to disseminate Israeli propaganda to audiences around the world.

As a result, in addition to the of high-tech weaponry and missiles used to pulverise Gaza, the Israeli military establishment is using computer screens, keyboards and rapid wireless connections to fight what Israeli military representatives are dubbing a “new media war.”

Recent visits to South Africa by high-profile critics of Israel has placed pro-Israeli lobby groups on the defensive.  Ilan Pappe, an Israeli academic and author, lambasted Israel for its actions in Gaza calling it “incremental genocide’.

Miko Peled,  a former soldier in Israel’s special forces and son of an Israeli military General and author of the book-“The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine”,

claimed the invasion is a “cynical campaign of territorial expansion”.

Mads Gilbert, a Norwegian surgeon who worked at al-Shifa hospital in Gaza during the recent invasion explained that: “In 1938, the Nazis called the Jews ‘Untermenschen’, subhuman. Today, Palestinians are treated as ‘Untermensch’, as subhumans who can be bombed, killed, slaughtered by their thousands..

This is not a battle between terrorism and democracy. Hamas is not the enemy Israel is fighting. Israel is waging a war against the Palestinian people’s will to resist.”

The SAJBOD, SA Zionist Federation and the Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein shocked South Africans in general demonstrating their support for Israel’s murder of civilians, by publishing advertorials and holding rallies in Johannesburg and Cape Town in support of the Zionist Apartheid state.

Few supporters of South African apartheid ever openly defended the system itself, a pernicious system described by the United Nations as a crime against humanity and a threat to world peace.

According to Norman Finkelstein, author of the Holocaust Industry,  “the main purpose behind these periodic, meticulously orchestrated media extravaganzas is, not to fight anti-Semitism, but rather to exploit the historical suffering of Jews, particularly the Holocaust, in order to immunise Israel against criticism, especially in the media.

“Whenever Israel comes under renewed international pressures on Israel to withdraw from occupied Arab territories, its apologists mount a new campaign alleging that the world was awash in anti-Semitism. This shameless exploitation of anti-Semitism delegitimises criticism of Israel, makes Jews, rather than Palestinians the victims, and puts the onus on the Arab world to rid itself of the occupied territories.”

Cries of anti-Semitism and the ratcheting of tension always emerge whenever Israel is under pressure  to sign a peace deal or to to give up illegally occupied territories (Sinai, Golan Heights in 1967); is exposed for their massacres and sheer brutality in Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps in 1982; or for the destructive rampage through the West Bank in 2002/3; and in Gaza in 2009, 2012 and 2014.

Maintaining a climate of Islamophobia and equating Islam with terrorism is essential for the Israeli state to justify its violations of the human rights and freedom of the Palestinians – most of whom are Muslim.

Unverified media reports from dubious sources purporting that SA is teeming with foreign terror groups, radicals and local Muslim militants to target Jewish institutions discredits the SA Muslim community, and fosters a climate of fear and panic that undermines the safety and security of the South African public as a whole.

This tense situation would benefit Israel in many ways.  Like Israel, South Africa, too, would be facing the enemy  of “radical” Islam. Israel, considered an expert on terrorism, would provide diplomatic and intelligence advice on how to handle this fictitious “threat”.

Anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism. Anti-Jewish racism is morally reprehensible, whilst the struggle against anti-Apartheid is morally imperative. If Israel is singled out for criticism, it is usually because people hate colonialism, occupation and Apartheid, not because they hate Jews.

Despite the clamour from the Israeli lobby groups and the media hype,  Israel’s murderous policies are so revolting that no amount of well-financed rallies and media fabrications will hide the horror of its war crimes.

Written By:

Dr Firoz  Osman

Executive Member: Media Review Network

Firoz Osman

Firoz Osman is a medical doctor by profession and a highly-respected South African commentator on the Zionist occupation of Palestine. A founding member and executive member of Media Review Network, he has a special interest in Palestinian political and resistance movements, Zionism, and Islamophobia