Crying for the Beloved Country

Have you ever had that distinct feeling that you are living in some kind of Orwellian or parallel universe? Reading the comments and invective that has come out of South Africa since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge has been a frightening wake-up call, bringing out the latent anti-Semitism and ignorance that has been lurking under the surface. South Africa, once the bastion of victory against racism is fast losing its shiny lustre.

The ruling ANC has been a leading player in disseminating the hate infested drivel that is making headlines and trending on social media. From the ANC’s deputy secretary general, Jesse Duarte, comparing Israel to Nazis (her inability to count THREE murdered youth, not two, notwithstanding) to the ANC Western Cape social media manager tweeting that “Yes, man, you were right! I could have killed all the Jews, but I left some of them to tell you why I was killing them” underneath a picture of Hitler. I could fill in the space with some other nuggets of nasty but there simply is not enough column space.

But just when I think I have seen it all, along came the comment published yesterday by the ANC, co-signed by Secretary General, Gwede Mantashe stating that Israel is a country founded on Apartheid and a crime against humanity.

The ANC never fail to use every opportunity to belittle and denigrate the suffering of millions of South Africans by drawing comparisons between the Jewish State to one of the most vilified regimes in history. The danger in this is that those who are not acquainted with truth and facts, take this comparison at face value and nothing could be more further from the truth. We cannot and should not dismiss this accusation as it is the very charge that the BDS movement is built on. It is an accusation that must be fought at every opportunity.

Why is the ANC choosing to focus on Israel at the expense of other conflicts around the world? Are they courting the powerful Muslim vote or is there another motive? Sadly, the country that once set the benchmark for peaceful negotiation has now proven itself to be so blatantly biased that any attempts by the ANC to broker peace between Israel and her Palestinian neighbours will be laughed out the room.

The accusation that the founding of the Jewish State is a crime against humanity is as dumfounding as it is hurtful. Surely an organization like the ANC that boasts the Freedom Charter that espouses equality for all and a country that has one of the most progressive and modern Constitutions in the world would not begrudge a persecuted people a country of their own? Surely they would find succour in Ben Gurion’s Declaration of Independence when he welcomed minority communities to be a part of the newly formed State? The ANC need a history lesson post haste and maybe a smack upside the head with a copy of the South African Constitution.

The great irony is all of this is that boycotts will only harm those the ANC think that they are helping. The founding fathers Tambo, Mandela and Sisulu would be heartbroken. There is no country that is better poised to help South Africa than Israel but sadly there are elements so blinded by ignorance that they would rather sacrifice their citizens on the altar of stupidity and hate.

I cannot help but cry for the Beloved Country.

About the Author
Rolene Marks is a passionate advocate for Israel and has appeared on radio, television and has been published in numerous publications. Rolene is a member of the Media Team Israel, an advocacy body that fights media bias against Israel.