Some spew anti-Semitic hate, but nothing done - The Messenger

11 July 2018 - Comments as hate- and violence-filled as these are not made carelessly, unintentionally or humorously. They are deliberate.

Sara Gon  

Penny Sparrow conceivably never thought that a comment on her Facebook page would explode across South Africa’s media in seconds, that she’d be accused of racism, and, as a consequence, that her life would be ruined.
Within nine months of Sparrow’s making a patronising and racist remark equating blacks with ‘monkeys’, she had been hauled before every relevant legal forum, fined and given a suspended jail sentence, and lost her job, her income and her home.
While Sparrow’s comment would not pass the Constitution’s test for hate speech, three recent instances of gross hate speech definitely would. But these comments are unlikely to be treated speedily, as they target only about 0,1% of the population.
The comments were:
- “@sajbd [South African Jewish Board of Deputies] The #Holocaust Will be like A Picnic When we are done with all you Zionist Bastards. F*ck All Of You” (Matome Letsoalo). In another tweet he allegedly described Jews as vermin who Hitler should have exterminated completely.
- “F*ck you jew pricks. Fat nosed f*cks …. I hope you and your family die. Hitler f*cked up he should’ve killed you all.” (Muhammad Hattia)
- “You f*cken Jew / Zionist will see your time coming. Make our fellow brothers and sisters suffer, but what you don’t understand is that worse will be coming your way.” (Tameez Seedat)

At the end of June, the South African Jewish Board of Deputies laid criminal charges against these three for this orgy of hate on Twitter and Whatsapp. The utterances of Sparrow don’t come close to the vileness of these comments.
Comments as hate- and violence-filled as these are not made carelessly, unintentionally or humorously. They are deliberate.
All three revel in promoting the further genocide of Jews. The Holocaust was the mass murder, on an industrial scale, of 8 000 000 of Europe’s 11 000 000 Jews during the Second World War. Most Jews were murdered in gas chambers purpose-built between 1942 and 1945. Those not gassed were shot, beaten to death or hanged.
These three say they’d like to see the extermination of Jews carried to its complete conclusion. It’s unlikely that they would ever express hate like this about anyone else. Antisemitism, however, is the oldest hatred and is almost de rigeur among the Left. Ironically, they are in the same company as the fascist neo-Nazi right.
The likely origin of this hatred is the Palestinian cause. The pro-Palestinian lobby has successfully promoted Israel as uniquely terrible among all nations.  
A narrative has gained traction that paints the Palestinians as victims only and the Israelis only as oppressors. Its most successful iteration has been at the United Nations (UN).
The Islamic bloc in the UN has grown in the past thirty years. They have wooed other developing countries which were once colonised and became the incongruously named Non-Aligned Movement. 

Consequently, any vote taken in the UN General Assembly and the UN Human Rights Council will always go against Israel and its allies. There are 193 members of the UN, and about 120 fall into this bloc.
Its success locally has seen the African National Congress (ANC) resolve to downgrade its Embassy in Israel. Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Lindiwe Sisulu has recalled our Ambassador to Israel, as the ANC resolved to do at its December 2017 conference.
Sisulu has described the situation in Gaza as terrible, but the ANC is so bound by the rigid ideology of supporting the Palestinians, that it has embarrassed South Africa by showing complete ignorance of much of this conflict.
Some Umkhonto fighters trained in Libya with members of the Palestine Liberation Organisation in the early seventies.  
Sisulu is being economical with the truth when she says that South Africa has done everything to help the parties reach an accommodation. There is nothing to indicate that this is true. The ANC government has been nothing but hostile towards Israel over the past decade. Now it will have no role to play.
The recent "Great March of Return” demanded that Palestinians be allowed to return to land in Israel that the world does not dispute is Israel’s. The Palestinians fled or were expelled 70 years ago as a result of the Arab-Israeli war.
When Israel accepted partition and declared independence in 1948, the armies of Jordan, Egypt, Syria and Iraq invaded Israel. The war ended in something of a stalemate, but Israel survived. Eventually, armistice agreements were signed in 1949.
Israel occupied about a third more land, but Jordan occupied and later annexed the West Bank, and Egypt occupied Gaza. Only the 6 Day War of 1967 saw Israel seize the West Bank and Gaza. In 2005, Israel withdrew from Gaza.
In 1949, the UN Works and Refugee Agency (UNWRA) was created to resolve the refugee crisis affecting both Palestinians and Jews. Israel absorbed all the Jewish refugees. The Arab world refused any possibility of settlement with the Jewish state. This is where things stand today.
Hamas, which governs Gaza, has admitted that it endorsed and supported the ‘Great Marches’, and particularly the last one. Israeli officials had claimed that the protests were being used by Hamas as cover for launching attacks against Israel.
On 14 May, when about 35 000 Palestinians protested, between 59 and 66 Palestinians were shot dead at twelve clash points along the border fence by the Israeli military.
Hamas eventually admitted that over 50 of those killed were armed Hamas operatives. Israeli soldiers were under orders to identify shooters only, and, having done so, to obtain permission from their commanding officer to shoot.
In the case of the baby allegedly killed by tear gas, it transpired that Hamas had paid the parents to claim that the Israelis had killed the child.
The final borders of the West Bank have yet to be determined. This has to done through negotiation with the Israelis. The Gazan borders are as they were before Israeli occupation. Although Hamas and its supporters believe that the whole of Israel should be in Muslim hands, Hamas and the Gazans have no right to occupy Israeli land. If they do they, will be met with force.
Israelis won’t take a risk against an enemy that regards Israel as is described in Hamas’s Document (constitution) thus, that:
- “Palestine is a land that was seized by a racist, anti-human and colonial Zionist project that was founded on a false promise (the Balfour Declaration), on recognition of a usurping entity and on imposing a fait accompli by force;”
- “Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine. Its religious, historic and civilizational status is fundamental to the Arabs, Muslims and the world at large. Its Islamic and Christian holy places belong exclusively to the Palestinian people and to the Arab and Islamic Ummah. Not one stone of Jerusalem can be surrendered or relinquished. The measures undertaken by the occupiers in Jerusalem, such as Judaization, settlement building, and establishing facts on the ground are fundamentally null and void;”
- “Hamas is of the view that the Jewish problem, anti-Semitism and the persecution of the Jews are phenomena fundamentally linked to European history and not to the history of the Arabs and the Muslims or to their heritage. The Zionist movement, which was able with the help of Western powers to occupy Palestine, is the most dangerous form of settlement occupation which has already disappeared from much of the world and must disappear from Palestine.”
Every South African should be appalled by Hamas’s Document. Except, presumably, the three antisemites and their fellow-travellers.
Sara Gon is a Policy Fellow at the Institute of Race Relations (IRR)