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On Palestine: Will ANC Turn Solidarity Into Intifada?

“There’s something voyeuristic & disturbing about Americans & westerners all watching us under microscope, counting our protests, looking for signs of Palestinian intifada. If only they could focus inward & turn their “resistance” into actual intifada against system that got us here”, is a poignant observation made by Lebanon’s well known academic Amal Saad.

Perceptive and profound indeed. And coming from a person whose study of Hizbullah as a resistance movement, certainly enhances her call for deep introspection by the West of the mess America has created in the heartland of Islam.

Perhaps the urgently convened session of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is an indication of the newly found “resolve” by western powers to do so? Having adopted a scathing stance highly critical of the Trump decision, leading western powers who are allies of the US, made their voices heard.

But as Amal Saad points out, unless the desired “resistance” by Americans and westerners transform into a meaningful and substantial intifada against their own systems, it will be remain empty rhetoric.

It may be true that Donald Trump has outdone all his predecessors by boldly proclaiming Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, but clearly the groundwork was prepared long before his candidacy.

What is meant by the “groundwork”? It is the cajoling, blackmailing, bribing and manipulating to obtain particular political outcomes which feeds and ultimately resides in the system. For instance, Trump’s leaning on a decades old Congress mandate to justify his decision to hand over Jerusalem from its rightful owners to a colonial regime, underlines how entrenched the groundwork is in the system. Signing the waiver on a biannual basis as Obama, Bush, Clinton and other US presidents had done, only deferred the decision.

Deferring is neither the equivalent, nor the substitute of overthrowing the mandate, yet successive administrations kept faithfully to it as a soft option rather than defeating it.

While Trump has shown his idiocy by plunging America in a cesspool of blatant human rights violations, his predecessors are equally guilty for keeping alive a system predicated on arming, funding and protecting Israel’s illegal wars, walls, occupation and manipulation of US policies.

The system also incorporates religious extremism by evangelical movements who share a common vision with Israel’s racist Zionist ideology which desires the ultimate annihilation of Islam’s sacred al-Aqsa mosque for the building of a temple.

This is how Haaretz describes the current euphoria among evangelists: “The U.S. evangelical community is in raptures over Trump’s decision to declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel, believing it moves the world closer to Armageddon”.

The system is not confined to America. Though its monopoly of control of an illusory “peace process” allows it to dictate outcomes predetermined by Israel, the exercise of power over client-states, extends the system across many regions.

South Africa is thus not an exception. During the apartheid-era, it was one of Israel’s closest allies, engaged in clandestine military and nuclear weapons deals, in addition to sanctions busting, intelligence and a host of immoral trade offs.

Despite much of the goings on concealed from public scrutiny, information unearthed by various investigative journalists reveal shocking details about how intense and entrenched the relationship between the two apartheid pariah regimes had been.

But have any changes occurred since the dawn of democracy? The expectation that an ANC-led government would sever ties with a regime which not only embodies an apartheid ideology but was also directly complicit in aiding and abetting human rights violations by the racist white minority, came to nought.

Economic, military and diplomatic relations remain strong. The fluttering of Israeli flags at its embassy symbolize the fact that as in the case of America, Zionist groundwork over decades – especially during the era of brutal oppression – build a system which seem to restrain the ANC government.

Despite countless pro-Palestinian resolutions and fiery speeches against Israel’s military occupation by ANC leaders, zero changes have occurred. Notwithstanding the history of resistance South Africa’s liberation movements shared with Palestine’s freedom struggle – whether in training camps in Libya or in the trenches in Algeria – the ANC has yet to deliver.

And as Amal Saad prescribes for America and westerners, the same antidote is required for the ANC: focus inward and turn the resistance into an intifada against the system!

Iqbal Jassat
Exec Member: Media Review Network

Iqbal Jassat