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Death of SA Citizen Deployed in Israel’s Army Opens Pandora Box On Mercenaries

I am not surprised that Mary Kluk of the SA Jewish Board of Deputies engages in foolish rhetoric in an attempt to evade serious introspection for the death of a South African national deployed in Israel’s army.

In stringing her piece in an unacceptable messy process of angry invectives against Media Review Network, Africa for Palestine and the Muslim Lawyers Association, she not only comes across as utterly confused, but seeking to conceal or divert attention from Israel’s reprehensible disregard for Palestinian human rights.

The core of the issue is solidarity activist organizations seeking restoration of all Palestinian rights, from the lifting of the military occupation, the right of return of Palestinian refugees and the abandonment of Apartheid. In short, solidarity with victims of state terrorism.

On the other side is Kluk’s Jewish Board acting as Israel’s lobby group. It constantly behaves as the lead defender of Israel, and in doing so conveys the distinct impression that it suffers from amnesia with regards the evils of apartheid unleashed on the black majority.

Given our history of repression during the height of National Party’s “kragdadigheid” which faced international sanctions led by the Anti-Apartheid Movement, we are acutely aware of desperate attempts by the Nats to stave off Boycotts and Divestment.

Precisely due to the International Convention against Apartheid which declared it a crime against humanity, global outrage and solidarity campaigns in support of South Africa’s liberation movements were viewed as an existential threat by the Nats and had to be countered.

Israel today faces the same predicament faced by the white minority regime. In fact by injecting discriminatory laws which favour the ruling Jewish class while suppressing Palestinians – Muslims and Christians – its Zionist ideology has outdone SA racism.

Yet notwithstanding documented reports by the UNHRC, Human Rights Watch and Israel’s own Btselem NGO, which categorically position Israel as an Apartheid state, the SA Jewish Board opts to discredit the messenger, as Kluk does.

For instance her usage of terms to describe us as “fanatical” etc., gives a clue about the vacuous arguments she relies on to undermine the need to probe and prosecute individuals and organizations in South Africa who recruit and facilitate the deployment of locals to serve in Israel’s army – in direct violation of the Foreign Military Assistance Act (FMAA).

To depict David Kay as a “civilian” and merely a “tour guide” is misleading and far removed from the fact that he was indeed a deployee in Israel’s Defense Force. This is confirmed by reports in Israeli media as well as statements attributed to various sources.

Like him many more South Africans have opted either voluntarily or via recruiting agencies to engage in military action against the Palestinians in the Occupied West Bank and Gaza.

That they do so renders them to be criminally charged, both by South African Police and the International Criminal Court. The reasons are obvious. In the former case for illegal mercenary activities. In the latter for war crimes.

These are some of the pressing issues which Kluk fails to address. Instead her incoherent ranting jumps on the untested allegations against the “Thulsie Twins”, who are languishing in jail for over 5 years without trial.

The challenge confronting Kluk is to distinguish between the aggressor and the victims. Just as South Africa between 1948 and 1994 was correctly assessed to be an oppressive racist regime, deserving of contempt, so too does Israel qualify as an aggressive colonial settler regime.

Until she and her Jewish Board finds the courage to be on the right side of history by deploring state-sponsored terrorism, Kluk’s vilification of Solidarity Movements and advocacy groups in support of universal human rights, will be in service of Israel.

Iqbal Jassat

Executive Member

Media Review Network



Iqbal Jassat