Judith Brown
Judith Brown
Young enough not to quit and old enough to know better.

Miss Universe & an excuse for anti-Israel bias

Miss Universe pageant 2021will be held on December 12, in Eilat, Israel. An evening of pasted smiles, bare shoulders, and beauty will end in the crowning of the new Miss Universe 2021. But of course, once announced that Israel was hosting it, anti-Israel tropes and rock bottom bias surfaced and made international news. Again. South Africa proudly announced that it pulled its funding to send their representative, citing Israeli “apartheid” against Palestinians. How surprising! Borrowing a famous line from Ronald Reagan: “here you go again”.

The South African announcement was made by the ruling party of the African National Congress (ANC) and supported by none other than Archbishop Desmond Tutu who accused Israel of “apartheid treatment of Palestinians”. Miss South Africa, Lalela Mswane came back with the appropriate retort that the pageant should not be “politically inspired”. But that’s as futile as chewing on water. The insidious anti-Israel self-righteousness of the ANC and “religious” leadership of Desmond Tutu becomes more maleficent as one considers the origin of the ANC and the corruption in South Africa today.

The ANC is not a new animal. It originated in the 1920’s courtesy of the Soviet Union which wanted a communist foothold in Africa for the obvious reason of extracting valuable land resources. Throughout the cold war, the Soviet Union provided training, troops, and treasure in an attempt to help the ANC fight the war in Angola against the Afrikaners. But the Soviet Union’s intent was far from transparent. Brezhnev was after strategic minerals like titanium for building jets and zirconium oxide crucial to nuclear reactor fuel. Both important to the military upper hand during the Cold War. The ANC became the first communist party outside the USSR.

The war in Angola was brutal and the ANC spared no one. In South Africa, both Nelson and his wife Winnie Mandela were allegedly avid supporters and often sideline protagonists of ANC sponsored “activities”. “Necklacing” was a common practice of torture and death. Placing rubber tires around victims’ necks, dousing them with petrol and setting them on fire. Nelson Mandela allegedly gave thumbs up to the notorious “Church Street Massacre”. On May 20th, 1983, a car bomb was set outside the Nedbank Square building in Pretoria and set to go off  in late afternoon rush hour. The bomb detonated 10 minutes early and killed two of the ANC perpetrators, 19 civilians, while injuring 217 people on their way home from work. The bomb was allegedly intended for South Africa’s Air Force personnel, but its location was purposely chosen to cause the most damage.

The war against Afrikaners spared no one. Years later, between 1997-1998, The Truth and Reconciliation Commission discovered that in the 1980’s, ANC gulags in North Angola held prisoners who were tortured, mutilated, and eventually killed. The same atrocities were documented in Uganda and Tanzania. In the meantime, the West was salivating with praise at the ANC and Nelson Mandela, in their fight against apartheid in South Africa while dismissing ANC atrocities committed elsewhere.

Listening to the ANC denouncing Israel is as painful as nails on chalk board. It is also incredibly and unfortunately not surprising. The United Nations (UN) and its minions single out Israel and its shortcomings on daily basis while intentionally dismissing historical context and basic truth. Using South Africa’s apartheid as an analogy to Israel is beyond ignorant, but it sells, because the global community obsessed by their definition of “human rights” seem to conveniently interpret these rights according to who they think deserves them. They ignore the regular unprovoked attacks on Israel by Hamas, or the thousands of missiles amassed in Iran for the sole purpose of destroying Israel. The fact, that Israel turned over Gaza in 2005 and the region has been under Palestinian rule also escapes the self-induced amnesia of the anti-Israel ideology.

Self-righteous rhetoric by the likes of Bishop Tutu and the ANC government becomes more insidious when one realizes the state that South Africa is currently in. In July 2021, CBS reported violence and upheaval not seen since before the end of apartheid. For the past nine years, South Africa had to grapple with political corruption and armed militias. The imprisonment of former president Zuma instigated street violence that destroyed businesses and killed 72 civilians. The once prosperous country has deteriorated into a caricature of its former self. Poverty and corrupt politicians destroyed a once viable and healthy economy and chased prosperity out. Large productive farms have been abandoned as white farmers left the country for fear of their lives. This is the South Africa that has accused Israel of “apartheid” against Palestinians. Painfully absurd but hardly laughable. The systematic global disfranchising of a nation whose only crime is its existence. Archbishop Tutu’s rhetoric is also offensive to thousands who suffered and died under the South African apartheid government. The deliberate segregation and downgrading of the South African black population during apartheid should never be intentionally minimized or forgotten for political gain or in this case, anti-Israel bias.

Like with any other event that is held in Israel, the anti-Zionists come out of the woodwork in droves with the familiar and irritatingly mundane discourse against Israel. In no uncertain terms is Israel perfect. But criticism is a far cry from disingenuous rhetoric based on twisted facts to fit a narrative. The Israel-Palestinian situation is not an easy fix. Most of us who blog on regular basis have given our two cents of opinion with few solutions. When one side is determined to reject every olive branch, it is difficult to shake hands. While the rest of the world condemns Israel, those living in Israel are aware of the danger they live in. Not many friendlies on their border. Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran are not open to congeniality. What remains stupefying is the reaction to Israel defending itself. During the May 2021 14-day barrage of missile attacks on Israel, the progressive left bone heads remained adamant that it was Israel’s fault Palestinians died across the border. They obviously would have liked all 3,000 missiles to land in Israel and kill its citizens instead and without retaliation. Might seem inane to the sane, but that was the reaction from pro-Palestinian groups rallying in the streets and on campuses around the world. Unfortunately, such disconnect with reality is prevalent and not stoppable any time soon.

Anti-Semitism rises to the surface on every occasion and more brazenly in polarized countries. Century old tropes about Jews have resurfaced with a vengeance in Europe and the US. The problem is imbedded in the culture and mindset of generations raised in unsubstantiated beliefs that Jews are the cause of all evil. Last week thousands marched in the central Polish city of Kalisz shouting “death to the Jews” while burning a copy of a medieval document giving rights and protection to Jews in Poland. According to the Associate Press (November 16, 2021) three people were arrested, and the Polish President “strongly condemned” the incident. A left-handed remark without much clout because its his far-right government that gives far right thugs carte blanche to do exactly what they did. Adding a serious caveat to the rise of anti-Semitism in Poland, is the rise of the fundamental Polish Catholic Church reverting to pre-Vatican II nuances that include anti-Judeo verbiage that had been expunged from Catholic teachings and narrative some 30 years ago. Goes beyond disconcerting.

Boycotting the Miss Universe pageant comes as no surprise. Being anti-Israel is vogue. Intellectual and moral high ground by the likes of Archbishop Desmond Tutu remains nebulous in intent as he condemns Israel but not his own country. Folk like him conveniently dismiss the other side and remove it completely from their narrative of indignation and “rights”. He allegedly based his views after visiting “Palestine”, where “…humiliation is familiar to all black South Africans who were corralled and harassed and insulted and assaulted by the security forces of the apartheid government.’ (yenisafak.com) Archbishop Tutu does not extrapolate on other facts such as Palestinian children taught to hate Jews, or Hamas hiding weapon caches in tunnels under public buildings. He also omits Israeli assistance which often than not is under-reported or refused by Palestinian authorities. A moral high ground on one side of the fence while disregarding the other side. But hatred and victimhood sell, especially in today’s ‘woke” society.

Israel, despite its political challenges, remains a beacon of light where peace is relative to sirens heralding missile attacks and survival. Yet its resilience remains the single most honorable attribute in a world bent on obliterating it. BDS, Desmond Tutu, ANC, and others remain an aggravation that Israel unfortunately has to contend with. My father, may his memory be blessed, always said that one may be born stupid, but one is intentionally ignorant. Those words are never truer than today. Whether Miss Mswane attends the pageant or not is irrelevant. What is relevant is the silence of acquiescence from the rest of the civilized world as Israel is one more time subject to boycotts and disfranchising. So, to the government of South Africa and Desmond Tutu, your anti-Israel narrative is disingenuous and ignorant. To Miss Mswane: you shall be missed.

South Africa pulls support for its Miss Universe candidate over her stance on Israel (yenisafak.com)

72 killed as South Africa grapples with its worst political violence since apartheid – CBS News

South Africa pulls support for its Miss Universe candidate over her stance on Israel (yenisafak.com)

Associated Press, November 16, 2021. Poland arrests 3 in connection to antisemitic demonstration. Stars and Stripes.

About the Author
Judith was born in Malta but is also a naturalized American. Former military wife (23 years), married, and currently retired from the financial world as Bank Manager. Spent the last 48 years associated or working for the US forces overseas. Judith has a blog on www.judith60dotcom Judith speaks several languages and is currently learning Hebrew.
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