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This week’s letter from Israel – January 12, 2024

January 12, 2024

My dearest friends,

To-night we celebrated Omer’s wedding to Adi. And what a joyous affair it was.

It was wonderful celebrating this special event together with all our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Unfortunately, my late parents and my brother of blessed memory, weren’t spared to celebrate this event with us. But they were with us in spirit.

Celebrating an event like this, at a time like this, isn’t easy. I found myself worrying about the safety and wellbeing of the hostages and the many brave soldiers risking their lives so we could celebrate this event in safety. In the coming days, my grandchildren will return to their units. They will continue to defend their country, so other families can celebrate their special events in safety and security.

I found the words of G.K. Chesterton relevant on one hand, and consoling on the other. A true soldier fights not because he hates what’s in front of him, but because he loves what’s behind him. That, my dear friends, is what the IDF stands for.

As a former South African, I ask myself the question why South Africa took it upon herself to file a complaint to the International Court of Justice against Israel for perpetrating alleged acts of genocide in Gaza. The United States called the move “meritless, counterproductive and completely without any basis in fact whatsoever”. A spokesman for the US State Department confirmed the US is “not seeing any acts of genocide”. South Africa’s move is contrary to her best interests.

Hamas has been outlawed as a terror organization by the United States, the European Union, Japan and Australia.

Take a look at the countries who recognize the Hamas terror regime. This list of dictatorships includes Turkey, Afghanistan, Algeria, Egypt, Iran, Kuwait, Malaysia, Qatar and Sudan. Not much to write home about if you’re flying the flag of human rights.

It’s difficult to fathom what the South African government hopes to gain from publicly supporting and justifying the savage attacks perpetrated by Hamas on October 7. Does the South African government identify with the decapitations and rapes that so vividly characterize one of the most gruesome events in the history of mankind? Whatever the answer is, I’m convinced they’re not speaking for the people of South Africa.

The decision to file the complaint begs the question as to whether senior South African government officials are abusing their positions of power to further the interests of non-democratic countries who wish to protect their own standings in the international community.

If a dictatorship like Qatar can get away with buying credibility in the academic world by pumping more than USD 13 billion into more than 100 American universities, buying favors from corrupt government officials in South Africa is small change.

South Africa’s motivation for filing this complaint is to demonize Israel and to justify the heinous crimes committed by Hamas on October 7. If the prevention of genocide and crimes against humanity was even a remote consideration, where was South Africa and the rest of the world during the civil war in Syria when 350,000 civilians were murdered and half of Syria’s population was displaced? Where was South Africa when Russia invaded Ukraine? Why did South Africa defy a call from the International Criminal Court to arrest former Sudan President, Omar al-Bashir, for alleged war crimes in Darfur, while attending a summit of the African Union held on its soil?

Within weeks of the October 7 massacre, South Africa hosted a memorial event to mark the 10th anniversary of Nelson Mandela death. South Africa saw fit to invite a 3-man Hamas delegation to attend the event. As an admirer of Nelson Mandela, I consider this a desecration of his memory.

Al Jazeera and the BBC may stammer when it comes to calling Hamas terrorists, but the facts are clear for all to see.

South Africa is on a path to self-destruction. Who will invest in a country riddled with corruption? Who will invest in a country that maintains an open relationship with the world’s most notorious terror organization? South Africa has been hi-jacked. Its national identity has been substituted by something that’s not even remotely South African.

South Africa has a relatively large and active Jewish community. More than 25,000 former South Africans live in Israel. Many of them hold dual citizenship. Almost every South African Jew has close family living in Israel. Jewish businessmen have made an enormous contribution to developing South Africa’s beleaguered economy. So why has the South African government chosen to alienate its Jewish community?

Hamas maintains its military wing in Gaza. Its political wing, clad in Armani suits, is stationed in Qatar. Its judicial wing carries South African identity cards and is firmly entrenched in Pretoria.

A useful idiot is defined as a naïve or credulous person who can be manipulated or exploited to advance a cause or political agenda. Unfortunately, that’s what’s become of South Africa. South Africa is clearly not acting in its best interests.

And for those of you wondering about the futures of the families of the Hamas militants killed in action. According to Palestinian Law, their families will receive generous stipends for life as a reward for so efficiently executing the massacre of October 7. What’s more, the United States and the European Union will foot the bill. Who says crime doesn’t pay? If it wasn’t criminal, it would be funny.

My condolences to those mourning their nearest and dearest. My wishes to the injured for a complete and speedy recovery. May God protect our brave soldiers.

Wishing you all Shabbat Shalom and better times ahead.

Am Yisrael Chai.

Harris Zvi Green.

About the Author
Harris Zvi Green was born in Cape Town, South Africa. Aged 77, he made Aliyah 53 years ago. An accountant by profession, he served as the Chief Financial Officer for a number of Israel based hi-tech companies. He is married to Phyllis. They have 3 married children, 13 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren. Harris Zvi Green is a founder member of Truth be Told, an organization engaged in public diplomacy on behalf of Israel.
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