Media Review Network is deeply saddened by the passing of veteran journalist and analyst Allister Sparks. Throughout his career, Allister has consistently spoken truth to power, fighting Apartheid practiced by the South African regime, and later on by the Israeli government.
Sparks was one of the few journalists to have met and personally interviewed Palestinian resistance leaders, travelling to Lebanon in 2002-2003 to interview Hamas. Israeli legislation – like Apartheid South Africa – made it a crime to quote any statement by leaders of any liberation movement. Sparks was then denied entry and banned from Israel, when he tried to interview Israeli government officials. Sparks has consistently written about the need for Israelis to engage Palestinian resistance movements in the same way that the Nationalist Party met with ANC officials in the late 1980s.
While many South Africans are mourning his passing, the Zionist lobby in this country will be celebrating. In his regular column with The Star newspaper, Sparks pointed out the hypocrisy of the South African Zionist lobby’s depiction of the ANC as paragons in post-1994 South Africa, when they had previously agreed with the Apartheid government that the ANC was a terrorist group.
In August 2006, Sparks addressed an international investment conference hosted by local financial services provider, STANLIB. His topic was ‘Is it a threat? Global Politics – Best and Worst Case Scenarios for South Africa’ – a justifiable topic for an international investment conference as events in the Middle East have strong ramifications for investors in South Africa. His presentation was described as racist and one-sided. Zionist blogger Michael Kransdorff claimed that Sparks presented ‘questionable maps’, sourced from the Palestinian Mapping Centre. The maps were in fact obtained from the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) and were accurate representations.
Following pressure from the pro-Israel lobby in South Africa, STANLIB circulated a letter distancing themselves from interpretations of their having any ‘ideological prejudice with regard to the conflict in the Middle East in general or the Jewish community’.
While many South Africans are mourning his passing, the Zionist lobby in this country, and other agents of Apartheid Israel, will be celebrating this loss. We will honour Allister Sparks’ legacy by continuing the fight against Israeli Apartheid.
Rest in power, Allister Sparks.
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