Palestine Israel Conflict – A South African Perspective

We unpack the Middle East conflict from a South African perspective

As Journalists and news media organizations, we do not take sides when it comes to events happening in the world. It is our duty to report on issues from an unbiased perspective and to report the facts which would enable the reader to decide on a stance for themselves.

Since the start of the Palestine Israeli conflict some 10 days ago, in my formal capacity as a representative of the SA Diplomat Abroad Media Organization, I have had to think awfully hard on how to write this article which for obvious reasons had to be covered.

For the past 10 days, I have followed the conflict closely on all International Media streams and have seen some of the news desks cover the conflict from an Israeli perspective and others from a Palestinian perspective. So, I realised that I am a South African who partly lived through the Apartheid regime’s oppression on our people. My family and I used our voices to highlight the human rights abuses being perpetrated by the Sadistic Apartheid Government.

When looking at the atrocities of the Nationalist Apartheid Government in comparison to what is happening in the Holy Lands of Jerusalem and its surroundings, even I am shocked to see the amount of life lost in only the past 12 years. During this time 5590 Palestinian lives have been lost and 251 Israeli lives were lost due to ongoing violence in the region according to Forbes, the United Nations and Statista. The sad part is that a large percentage of the lives lost were women and young children.

The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics records more than 100 000 Palestinian deaths since their displacement during the Nakba in 1948. In 1948, 800 000 Palestinians were displaced, and 531 Arab villages destroyed. Although, Jerusalem houses the third holiest site in the Muslim world, the Al Aqsa Mosque Complex, access is very much controlled by the Israeli Defence Force (IDF).

Now 1948 is not only a year of catastrophe for Palestine, but for South Africa as well, as it marks the year when Apartheid was born. During the Apartheid regimes rule, 21 000 non-white South Africans lost their lives due to political violence and most of the Western World imposed sanction on the racist government. Most Governments condemned the Apartheid regime for human rights abuses and gave sanctuary to the then banned ANC, SACP, UDF and PAC members. These political movements were deemed illegal in South Africa, yet they were recognised by the world as official opposition to the oppressive regime by world leaders and governments.

Today, with more than 100 000 lives lost over the past 73 years in Palestine, the Palestinians are branded as terrorists and killers of the Jews, though only about 5000 Jewish lives were lost in violence since 1948. Palestine since 1948 has been a state without an Army, Navy or Airforce, they do not have an airport, it is a region that is most densely populated in the world, its electricity and water supply is controlled by Israel and, although Gaza has a sea border, the waters are patrolled by the Israeli Navy. This in my opinion is not a state, it has the architecture, and makeup of a mass prison.

Gaza is 365 square kilometres in size and is home to 2,048 million Palestinians. To put this in perspective, South Africa’s smallest Province is Gauteng, which is more than 18 000 square kilometres in size and has a population of 12,27 million inhabitants. If Gauteng had the population of Gaza per Kilometre, its population would be more than 100 million inhabitants. Imagine the current population situation in Gauteng, now imagine it with almost ten time the population. Well, this is what the people of Gaza must contend with daily.

In 1948, Ben Gurion set out to create the Zionist State Experiment, funded by the Lord Lionel Walter Rothchild of England and the Zionist Movement from all over the world. It manipulated the British Colonial Superpower at the time to bully the world into thinking that this was the rightful land of the Jewish people, though what they had in mind for the region was far from any religious backdrop as no religion teaches us that murder and theft is okay. Village after village, city after city was taken by the Zionists. Palestinians’ houses were looted, and they were chased into tented concentration camps like dogs. Photos in the British Archives show gangs of Zionists, beating men, women, and children, young and old.

For 70 years, Palestinians have lived in sub humane conditions, under an oppressive regime who controlled their movements and decided their fate. Though Gaza is part of the Palestinian territory that shares a border with Egypt and Israel, the borders are controlled by Israel who in most cases refuses exit to Palestinians from Gaza. This in all respects is not a territory, it is an open-air prison.

When I started this article, I said that as a journalist, it is my duty to be unbiased and to report factually on issues without emotion, today that is impossible due to the facts before us. I however cannot understand why the rest of the world has not seen it when the facts are right before us and there are thousands of witness accounts on record about Israel’s Human Rights atrocities.

The Palestinian crisis is not like the Apartheid in South Africa, no it is far worse. This is ethnic cleansing on an exceptionally large scale, and with the blessing of most of the superpowers of the world. We have seen a proud sovereign nation been taken over by an invader who stole their land and killed their people.

Malcolm X said: “If you are not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are oppressed and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.” Today these very words of the US Muslim Civil Rights Activist ring true as we have been blinded by mainstream media for more than 70 years.

Any Oppressor should remember the words of Nelson Mandela, “When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw.” Today, the oppressed have reached boiling point. For the past 10 days we have seen the worst retaliation from the Palestinian people, we have seen them attack like they have never done before.

So, we ask, what caused the escalation to this point? Well, although Israel would want the world to believe that Palestinian freedom fighters launched an attack on Israel first, the media has clearly recorded the course as being the storming of the Al Aqsa Mosque during the last and holiest days of Ramadan whilst Palestinians were praying inside. This caused Hamas, The Palestinian Militia to retaliate by launching missiles deep into Israeli territories and cities.

217 Palestinians have been killed and 12 Israelis over the past 10 days during the conflict. Mosques, News and Media offices including the Al Jazeera Studio in Gaza have been destroyed and more than 40 000 Palestinians have been displaced due to their homes being destroyed by Israeli Aerial Bombings. In addition to this, in Gaza the Qatari funded Hamad Medical Facility has been damaged, the Qatar Red Crescent Societies Relief Facility has been destroyed and the only Covid-19 Testing Facility has been partially destroyed. Many schools in the region have also been raised to the ground.

Through all of this, most of the modern world leaders have failed to condemn Israel for its heavy handedness during the conflict even though Israeli Prime Minister has mentioned that he will continue to bomb the Palestinians into submission. The South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa in a statement accused Israel of violating International Law and condemned the excessive bombing of Palestine. The United Nations Security Council have still not decided on what to do to deescalate the conflict.

As world leaders and the UN decide the fate of the Palestinian people, many have taken to social media to voice their opinions. We can only hope that peace prevails over the region as another life lost will be one too many. One thing is for sure, the Zionist State idea is an experiment gone wrong, and maybe now is a good time for the regime to be told by the world that enough is enough, well we can only hope, but let the leaders know, that today the world is watching.

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