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« Mbeki: Well Intentioned but Ill Informed | Main | ANC Oil for Kickbacks Scandal »

May 07, 2006



Now that Peres has said that Iran can also be wiped off the map, let us see how quickly SA condemmns Israel for responding.
I always thought Sa's deafening silence was so hypocritical because if Israel had said that baout Iran SA would very quickly be shouting and screaming.

Brett Chatz


Once again Hamas, the militant Islamic movement turned legal political entity has come to forefront of news headlines. This time however, it is South Africa’s initiatives which have sent jitters down the spines of those opposing negotiations with the organization. Quoting the Deputy Foreign Minister, Aziz Pahad about the imminent meeting with the Hamas delegation “… it’s about sharing our experiences on the transition from apartheid to democracy with both Palestinians and Israelis” If the pre-stated intent of the South African government is to be believed - that they wish to broker a peace-accord between Israelis and Palestinians, then that is both a noble and admirable gesture on their part and one which should be applauded by the international community. However a word of caution is in order: For Hamas to be considered a partner in peace it must first renounce violence in all forms. Hamas must surrender elements of its charter calling for the destruction of the State of Israel and finally it must recognize the right of the State of Israel to exist alongside a newly created Palestinian State. If Hamas continues its defiance of these critical prerequisites for peaceful coexistence with Israel, then it can not realistically be considered a partner in peace at all. This is an undeniable and crucial component which needs to be understood by the South African government. World Jewry by and large is in favour of a two-state solution and the reality of that desire is dawning on the Middle-East. The two-state solution by its very name implies that there are two states coexisting alongside one another and recognizing the legality of each other’s right to exist. This implies that Israelis and Palestinians will respect their new borders and hopefully live in harmony. That cannot be done if Hamas as the legal Palestinian leadership refuses to recognize the right of Israel to exist. Peace will not prevail if Hamas and the Palestinians will stop at nothing until all of Israel is united under Islamic rule with Jerusalem as its capital. These are fundamental issues which need to be addressed in order for any brokering efforts by South Africa to succeed. Thus if Hamas is not looking to alter its policies then by deduction the South African position seems to support their view that all of Israel should be ruled by Hamas under Islam. This is a dangerous position to take by Mbeki’s foreign affairs office. South Africa continually parallels the transition from Apartheid to Democracy with the Israeli/Palestinian issues but they are in no way related. Apartheid was the racist and exploitive rule by the white minority, comprised of settlers of predominantly Dutch descent in South Africa, over the non-white indigenous majority. It was inhumane and barbaric and denounced by the international community. Israel is a Jewish homeland and is internationally recognized as such. There are millions of Jews of varying racial denominations included within Israel, Blacks, Whites and Asians. There are millions of Arab Israelis also qualified as Israeli citizens with equal rights living within Israel. The Palestinians have been stateless for decades and have lived in squalor. They have also endured a miserable existence through Israeli occupation. That is why there is a need for a two-state solution so that the Palestinian inalienable right to self-determination can be realized alongside that of the Israelis. The occupation was wrong and it is time to make amends but it is not analogous to Apartheid at all. Both nations must find a way to live peacefully in the region without fear or intimidation being meted out. South Africa can play an active role towards achieving this end by making clear its position on the inflammatory doctrine purported by Hamas. It can also take a hard line against Iran’s President’s statements regarding the annihilation of Israel and its concomitant nuclear program. South Africa’s silence on this particular matter is worrisome for it conjures up that dastardly idiom – silence is consent...

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