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« Don't Trust the Jews! | Main | SAHRC Ruling Against Cosatu's Bongani Masuku »

December 04, 2009

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The Blacklisted Dictator

I have emailed the following to Cosatu...

Dear Patrick Craven,

When will Cosatu issue a statement with regard to The SAHRC's recent hate speech ruling against your International Relations Secretary, Bongani Masuku?

Please let us know asap whether Cosatu still supports the use of hate speech. If so, does The ANC concur and should we now conclude that hate speech has the SA government's stamp of approval?

yours sincerely
Anthony Posner

THREATS MADE AGAINST SOUTH AFRICAN JEWISH COMMUNITY BY BONGANI MASUKU, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS SECRETARY OF THE CONGRESS OF SOUTH AFRICA TRADE UNIONS (COSATU)

1) COSATU to harass, intimidate and disrupt lives of all Jewish supporters of Israel

“We want to convey a message to the Jews in South Africa that our 1.9-million workers who are affiliated to COSATU are fully behind the people of Palestine… Any business owned by Israel supporters will be a target of workers in South Africa” [Source: Address at COSATU-Palestinian Solidarity Committee rally in Raedene, 6 February 2009].

‘COSATU is with you, we will do everything to make sure that whether it’s at Wits University, whether its at Orange Grove, anyone who does not support equality and dignity, who does not support the rights of other people must face the consequences even if it means that we will do something that may necessarily cause what is regarded as harm …[Source: Address at public meeting on Wits University Campus, 5 March 2009]

Speaking on Wits campus on 5 March this year, Masuku used the expression “make their lives hell” on four occasions when referring to what COSATU intended to do regarding those who supported Israel. This included a specific reference to students on Wits campus (COSATU has got members here even on this campus; we can make sure that for that side it will be hell”) [Source: Address at public meeting on Wits University Campus, 5 March 2009]

Bongani says hi to you all as we struggle to liberate Palestine from the racists, fascists and zionists who belong to the era of their Friend Hitler! We must not apologise, every Zionist must be made to drink the bitter medicine they are feeding our broathers (sic) and sisters in Palestine. We must target them, expose them and doo allthat (sic) is needed to subject them to pereptual suffering until they withdraw from the land of others and stop their savage attacks on human dignity [Source: Comment left by Masuku on supernatural.blogs.com/, 6/2/2009]

2) Threats to Target Individual Jewish Families
On 5 March, Mosuku indicated that vigilante action would be taken against South African families whose children were serving in the Israeli Defense Force:

“The following things are going to apply: any South African family, I want to repeat so that it is clear for anyone, any South African family who sends its son or daughter to be part of the Israeli Defence Force must not blame us when something happens to them with immediate effect” [Source: Address at public meeting on Wits University Campus, 5 March 2009]

The biggest problem, said Cosatu International Secretary, Omgabongani Masuku, is with Jewish South Africans who hold duel citizenship with Israel. He condemned the government for allowing South Africans to be involved in what he called “missionaries of Apartheid”. “Israel is spreading and defending Apartheid and we say that South African families who contribute to this must be targeted.” [Source: Voice of the Cape website 20-26 February 2009]

3) Jewish supporters of Israel unwelcome in South Africa and should be encouraged/forced to leave

“…all who have not accepted or woken up to the reality that we now live in a democratic South Africa where racism or promotion of it is a crime, are free to leave the country. I repeat, whether Jew or whosoever does so, must not just be encouraged but forced to leave, for such a crime is so heinous it cant be tolerated”. [Source: e-mail from Masuku sent to Anthony Posner, 13 February 2009]

“…all who deny that occupation is wrong must be encouraged to leave South Africa before they infect our society with much more racism”. [Source: e-mail from Masuku sent to multiple recipients, 13 February 2009]

4) Dehumanisation and demonisation of Jews who support Israel

“All Jews who have risen above the fascist parochial paranoia of Israel have changed our views on Jews, as we thought all of them are inhumane…” [Source: e-mail from Masuku sent to multiple recipients, 25 February 2009]

“Whenever we speak about their evil acts, we must be called anti-semitic, but they have the god-ordained right to murder, rape and kill innocent children in Palestine. … [Source: e-mail from Masuku sent to Anthony Posner, 13 February 2009]

I am aware that so many Jews are on the side of justice and only those Jews are people I hold in high esteem, but not those who silently support the massacres, but expect us to regard them as human beings. [Source: e-mail from Masuku sent to multiple recipients, 25 February 2009]

STATEMENTS MADE AGAINST THE STATE OF ISRAEL BY BONGANI MASUKU, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS SECRETARY OF THE CONGRESS OF SOUTH AFRICA TRADE UNIONS (COSATU)

Israel supported apartheid South Africa and assisted in the murder of many of our comrades and still works with the most reactionary and murderous regimes the world over, including Colombia (also financed by the US)

The source of the war is the occupation of Israeli and not rockets of Hamas or Al-Aqsa matrys. Any people who are occupied have a duty to fight as we all did, we would never support people who only submit to invaders, but will actively support those who are fighting against colonialists and settlers, who have one intention, occupation to steal other people’s land. No jew, however much his hatred will ever deny that FACT that occupation is evil and an injustice

Israel is the client and puppet of US imperialism and responsible for protecting the oil interests of the west, which itself was stolen from the Arabs [Source: e-mail from Masuku sent to multiple recipients, 25 February 2009]

“The simple thing is that Israel is the source of the problem, without occupation, there should be no need for rockets, full stop!!!” [Source: e-mail from Masuku sent to Anthony Posner, 13 February 2009]

The issue is that Israeli must GET OUT OF OTHER PEOPLE’S LANDS. There would be no need for rockets if there was no occupation, full stop. I am not interested in the hell about rockets, as if there should be pity, you are the agressors, get out of other people’s lands, you greedy lots! We waged an armed struggle against the Afrikaner murderers here and they are in their rights to wage their own struggle until you vacate their land. [Source: e-mail from Masuku sent to Anthony Posner, 13 February 2009]

amie

We have the pleasure of Masuku's company in the UK tonight. Thanks to Supernatural on whose archive I drew extensively to compile this report:
http://www.hurryupharry.org/2009/12/03/bricup-and-bongani/
and at the same site, to cover the news of the SAHRC decision;
http://www.hurryupharry.org/2009/12/03/bricup-tours-hate-speaker-around-british-universities/
http://www.hurryupharry.org/2009/12/04/bricup-ucu-war-on-want-tour-hate-speaker-around-britain/

and now the latest shocking (to us) revelation that the Bricup gig is just a smokescreen for a secret conference being organised by the academic trade union in the UK, UCU:

http://www.hurryupharry.org/2009/12/04/bongani-masuku-an-invited-guest-of-ucu/

Religious Fundamentalist 1

Hate to rain on the parade but:

1) This may come back to bite the community,
and more importantly

2) I renew / restate my objection to the concept of criminal hate speech and refer the readers to Ezra Levant, Mark Steyn and of course the "Lynch"-ster.

The Blacklisted Dictator

Steve,
It is worth remembering that Craven condoned all of Masuku's comments. He was copied on all the correspondence. Moreover, Masuku alluded to the fact that he had the full support of Cosatu's leadership. There can be no doubt whatsoever that Masuku was speaking and writing on behalf of Cosatu.

The SAHRC's judgment concludes.. "The comments and statements made are of an extreme nature that advocate and imply that the Jewish and Israeli community are to be despised, scorned, ridiculed and thus subjecting them to ill-treatment on the basis of their religious affiliation."

One has to conclude that The SAHRC has therefore found Cosatu to be anti-semitic. Now if you factor in that Cosatu is integral to the ANC govt, then once again, the SA govt has been found to be anti-semitic. (Fatima Hajaig, as you know, also made anti-semitic comments whilst deputy minister of foreign affairs).

Of course, The SAJBD is reluctant to brand The ANC as "anti-semitic", but they are pulling the wool over the eyes if SA Jewry, if they do not state the reality.

Lawrence

I concur with RF, I really think this whole criminilisaton of hate speech is nonsense. For a number of reasons.

1 It can be misused against any critics of Islamic extremism, you criticise Islamic radicalism you are guilty of hate speech. This is exactly what happened in Canada with Steyn and Levant (what RF is refering to). In our Orwellian universe hate speech is easily and cynically misused in this very way by jihadist apologists, not only among the Muslim community but particularly on the Left.

2 this ruling against Masuku is frankly absurd, since it unfairly targets and singles out Masuku for hate speech. Yes he is guilty of it and so are plenty others who are left alone and not charged with hate speech. How come Kasrils, Zapiro and several newspaper editors, SABC executives and ANC members are not charged with hate speech, despite their public on the record Jew-hatred? Hate speech - against Jews at least - is hunky dory so long as you use the cover terms of Israel and Zionist. That's just fine, even though the Judenhass of Kasrils and the sinister der Sturner-like cartoons of Zapiro cannot be surpassed for sheer hatred even by a Masuku, they aren't charged with hate speech. What about Mondli Makhanya? What about basically every newspaper in SA? If you are going to apply criminilisation of hate speech selectively, then don't apply it at all.

3 What about hate speech against other ethnicities in South Africa, anti-black racism is as bad as ever, but because it's all largely not made in an official on the record capacity by company directors and journalists and other notables, you know I guess that makes it ok, and beyond the Human Rights Commission's domain?

This whole ruling is simply ridiculous, par for the course though. A big mistake, for all the reasons I state above. The SAJBD are not only stupid, they are cowards going after an easy obvious target.

Watch, you are going to see vocal anti-Semitic SA Leftists and their anti-Semitic allies among the SA Muslim community launch a hate speech charge against any vocal defender of Israel in SA, any vocal critic of the Jihad. COSATU is smarting for revenge (and not just COSATU), and they are going to be putting the microscope on anything any notable Jewish or non-Jewish defender of Israel's right to exist has to say against Jihadist "freedom fighters". If some moron from the SAJBD objects that criticising hateful jihadists is not hate speech and cannot be construed as such, then such a moron is not living in the real world of PC moral relativist madness where all true ethical values have been entirely inverted. Are the SAJBD so obtuse and ignorant that they don't know what has been going on with the abuse of 'hate speech' rulings by the Canadian Human Rights Commission, or do they not think the same insanity applies in South Africa? Either way the SAJBD continues to do a disservice to SA Jewry, while pretending the opposite.

To call the SAJBD a bunch of fools is way too kind on them.

Steve

Did Steyn threaten to harm Muslim students at a university?

Whilst there is obvious chance that this may come back to bite us, I fully support the SAJBD. If a Jew or Zionist in SA makes threats to Muslims on a comparable level to Masuku's, then I won't object to a hate speech ruling against that individual.

The SAJBD did not go after Masuku because of his criticism of Israel. They went after him because of the threats he made against students at Wits.

Zapiro, Mondli etc have never made threats to physically harm Jews in South Africa.

It's become obvious to me that regardless of the decisions taken by the Board and SA Jewry, we will all be condemned by ex-South Africans like Lawrence and John Rustee, living on their high horses on Israel.

The Palestinian lobby is at us all the time. They don't need to learn how to fight this game by watching us. It's nice to have them deservedly on the defensive.

Blacklisted Dictator

http://www.hurryupharry.org/2009/12/04/bongani-masuku-an-invited-guest-of-ucu/#comment-421847


Anthony Posner writes 6 December 2009, 7:35 am
Amie,
It is worth remembering that hate speech came to the fore when Malema and Vavi (Cosatu) started to publicly announce that they would “kill” for Zuma. At the same time, Zuma would sing and dance outside the courts… “Mshini Wami” (”Bring me my machine gun!”).
So Zuma’s campaign to lead The ANC was predicated on hate speech. It is at the heart of The ANC govt.

Steve

RF1, the ire of my previous comment was not meant to be directed at you.

Put yourself in the Board's shoes. A leader within the tripartite alliance speaks at a university and threatens to rally the masses to 'harm' Jews.

How can they possibly sit back and take no action as if nothing extraordinary had happened?

So, the question is, how should they have reacted and what explanation should they have given to the students who felt victimised?

Religious Fundamentalist 1

Steve,

Hate speech and incitement to violence are two different things and must be treated and regarded as such. Similarly for issues of libel and so forth.

I'm not suggesting nothing be done, and I can criticize without making a suggestion - provided as RF2 so often points out- the alternatives haven't been exhausted.

Some quiet diplomacy, suing for incitement to violence, massive media campaign rephrasing Masuku's words swapping Jews/Zionists for whites/blacks/Zimbabweans or any number of other options.

For the students who felt victimised I say - grow a pair. Learn what your parents have bequeathed you- realise your place in the world - and thank G-d that you live in a time where your biggest fear is "feeling victimised" ... then do something about it.

Back to hate speech:
I've been following the goings on in Canada and it is downright scary. Interestingly, if you follow the involvement of the Official Jews there- you'll see just what a hash they're making of things.

To reiterate: my MAIN point, and biggest gripe is that "hate speech" is the start of a very slippery slope.

Steve

RF1,
The difference between your understanding and that of the Board is that to the Board (as per our constitution) the diatribe only becomes hate speech when there includes incitement to violence. If there are no threats to cause harm, then it's not hate speech. I haven't followed the Steyn affair, but perhaps this is the crucial difference here?

What is the difference between the Board's approach and your suggestion of suing for incitement to violence given the understanding that hate speech as per the SA constitution is in fact incitement to violence?

I agree you can criticise without suggesting alternatives - no need to defend yourself here.

The Blacklisted Dictator

Steve,
The SAJBD was 100% correct to proceed with their "hate speech" SAHRC action. Of course, it does not mean that it will be plain sailing and I can see storms on the horizon. But the latter would appear anyway and the more so if the SAJBD had sat back and done nothing.

I hope that this does not sound arrogant, but the case for not proceeding is so nonsensical that it is not even worth considering. Normally, I am prepared to argue a case until the cows come home but if readers of this blog are unable to see the wisdom in pursuing Masuku, then so be it.

My only suggestion to Lawrence and the various RFs is that they enroll asap as students at Wits. Surely there is some post grad degree that interests them?

Religious Fundamentalist 1

Steve,
If "hate speech" is incitement to violence, then there's no argument. If "hate speech" is offending sensibilities - then I say it should lose to freedom of speech.
In the Levant/Steyn case they were sued not for incitement to violence, but for offending peoples feelings. That's the difference. Legal semantics of what it's called is irrelevant.

BD,
See comment above, and catchup on how Freedom of speech is being eroded in Canada and the US on the excuse of "hate"

What post-grad exactly would you like me to do? And how do you think it will make me wiser being drowned in the WITS groupthink milieu?

Lawrence

I have fond memories of Wits you know, though I didn't appreciate my student days and my youth. ah but I digress, this is no place for nostalgia about student life...

Steve your response to me is just a straw-man argument. You never even acknowledge what I ACTUALLY wrote, hence your right hooks to that scarecrow of straw you made. When I write that this ruling from the SA Human Rights Commission can be misused and abused against critics of radical Islam and defenders of Israel, that is exactly what I mean - I don't mean being used against any Jew or non-Jew who gives voice to hatred of Muslims and/or incites violence against them ie is guilty of genuine bigotry and incitement to violence - your straw-man.

Also I made it clear that rulings against hate speech by the HRC and the SAJBD's case here are being applied very selectively. What about the other vocal anti-Semites like Kasrils, Zapiro, Bishop Tutu, Makanyha, the Mail and Guardian, the SABC etc that the SAJBD never bothers to consider guilty of hate speech worthy of making a charge before the SAHRC, unlike Masuku? What about the double standards here? You never acknowledged this uncomfortable fact naturally. Is the pathological anti-Semitism of those the SAJBD doesn't bring before the SAHRC OK and hunky dory because they use anti-Israel cover terms? The actual message the SAJBD is sending in its self-righteous pursuit of Masuku is that hate speech against Jews is ok so long as you are smart enough to use the cover anti-Israel terminology.

What about the non-existent rulings against hate speech re anti-black bigotry and xenophobia for that matter, is it all ok because it is largely behind closed doors or bantered about among the like-minded when no black faces are around or in the latter case no Zimbabweans or Congolese? The point I made that you ignored naturally enough Steve, is that if we are going to prosecute people for hate speech, then it must be applied universally (to ALL anti-Semites and bigots who are guilty of hate speech, at least in positions of influence, as a whole), otherwise it is hypocritical and unjust. Now of course that would be entirely impractical and God knows how many people would have to be dragged before the HRC on this front. This is why this is an exercise in irrelevance and hypocrisy and ignores the bigger picture, the bigger picture that actually always determines the course of events re violence against any hated group.

Going back to my first point, which is the crux of the matter really, on how this whole ruling can be misused by radical Muslims and their allies on the Left - it is naive to believe that the SAHRC cannot easily be misled and use its muscle on behalf of those who seek to stifle critics of radical Islam as well as defenders of Israel with charges of "hate speech". If it happened in Canada with their own HRC, and Canada is far less stifled by PC moral relativist group-think than South Africa, and yet it still happened there, then it is naive in the extreme to think it won't happen here with the SAHRC serving as the useful idiots of jihadists and radical Leftists with their own sinister agendas.

Steve, you really don't appear to appreciate that anti-Semitic Muslim radical supporters and their apologists on the Left can use the HRC to shut down any vocal person or group that actually dares to defend Israel from lies and slander and criticises radical Islam. That could even include you and Mike, IAS in other words. You would object perhaps that that does not qualify as hate speech and you and Mike are not guilty of it, of course it doesn't and of course you aren't. What would actual facts have to do with it?

The whole point to what happened in Canada with Steyn and Levant and others who were far less high-profile and didn't have Steyn's and Levant's considerable hefty legal backing and its considerable price-tag, is that genuine hate speech has nothing to do with HRC proceedings in Canada. They were closer to Stalinist show-trails. In the real Orwellian world we are living in, hate speech has come to mean telling the ugly truth about radical Islam and its extent, its genuine history, its religious dogma etc and associated subject matter including those relating to the Middle-East conflict. In other words, exposing the hatred from right-wing religious jihadist extremists and its dynamics is itself hate speech. No it isn't really, but it is perceived as such by many holding considerable political and legal power, in goverment and their allies in the media, NGOs etc caught up in moral relativism and PC groupthink (and other odious delusions of our age, but this is beyond the scope of my post). It is perceived as such by Muslim radicals themselves and that includes radicals pretending they are moderate, and they have considerable weight in the western world and South Africa especially. There is something called stealth jihad.

If Steve thinks the SA HRC is not susceptible to the same kind of PC insanity and moral inversion and serving as a vehicle for a sinster agenda of radical Leftists and Jihadists in clamping down on critics of the Jihad and even critics of anti-Semitism, as was the case with the Canadian HRC, then Steve remains entrenched in a dangerous naivite on this topic. Of course I already know the SAJBD emulate their cousins in Canada and the US for bumbling and all-round obtuseness, as well as wilful ignorance and a failure to see past their own noses. The SAJBD may congratulate itself on its supposed courage on this front and its success in the Masuku ruling, however all the SAJBD has demonstrated is its absurd selectivity in who they go after, and thus hypocrisy and yes cowardice, as well as their failure to recognise where this can lead. The SAJBD has an implicit naive faith in the HRC as an impartial body that is above politics and only concerned with facts, and a know-nothingness about how the very real enemies of the Jews actually operate in the real world and the tactics they employ.

It is not only Canada where free speech (and more to the point the freedom to speak on and write on unpopular Truths with a capital T) has been eroded in this way of course, the Canadian HRC just a particular notable case very relevant to our own HRC (since they are both HRCs), but the US and Europe, the UK especially and Australia.

Steve

Lawrence,
I'm too tired to read your long comment but I am sure I disagree with every sentence.

Bigben

Hi Lawrence

I think you raise some important arguments. A massive issue around Durban 2 was the use of international law to stop "defamation of religion" i.e anyone who criticizes Islam. This is real issue which we will have to keep dealing with. I further agree that the HRC is vulnerable to manipulation for this kind of thinking. We have seen it taking place subtly and slowly but in a different area. This being the presence of "deployees" that various institutions for the ANC's benefit.

If we take your argument that the HRC is in fact a political institution then I would say selectivity is paramount in taking things to the commission. While you may be right that Zapiro, MG,Kasrils etc are spreading hate speech and I dont think the law as it is constructed at the moment would support that idea. In fact you can be aggressively anti-Jewish in South Africa and it still not contravene the constitution. Take this thought leader for example http://www.thoughtleader.co.za/burningpaper/2008/04/15/lets-talk-about-the-jews/ it lacks the violent aspect to its nature.

I have been to many Kasrils-ish talks, seen lots of Zapiro cartoons, that are clearly anti-Zionist, anti-Semitic what have you, but also lack this factor.

The Masuku talk had everything, violence, intimidation, anti-Semitic, anti-Zionism. It therefore is a good target for persecution as it is a winnable case. The response from COSATU clearly shows the worry that they have this ruling will stop them threatening Jews when it is politically useful.

Further I disagree that this will open the way for attacks on the community, or rather that the threat has always been there. The MJC has shown itself more than happy to suppress things they disagree with, without the slightest smell of the Jewish community. Just have a look at the Danish cartoon issue, or they way they reacted to Fitna.

Jewish communities dont often get the opportunity to win political victories, I for one think it was a good move.

the Hebrew prophet

Why are folks suddenly worried about Wits and it,s reputation as it,s long since sunk into a quagmire of far leftwing anti-Semitic sentiments.Time has moved on and Wits has lost it,s once great liberal but fair tradition ,move on folks and send the kids to other less anti- Semitic left wing bastions of higher learning ?

the Hebrew prophet

By the way what exactly is hate or truthful speech as spoken by so called intellectuals ,as one man,s poison is another,s honey ?

the Hebrew prophet

Why can,t one criticise Islam and it,s evil hypocri
sy ,because if one doesn,t then he is a hypocrite so go for it as i do ,it,s only right ?

the Hebrew prophet

When will Mr.Masuku criticise the butcher of Sudan and the Muslim Jajaweed militia of Darfur after all black non-Muslims of Africa were slaughtered in their millions by Muslims ,when Bongani Masuku or are you a Communist who couldn,t care less ?

Erin

Why can,t one criticise Islam and it,s evil hypocri
sy ,because if one doesn,t then he is a hypocrite so go for it as i do ,it,s only right ?


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