To be anti-israel is not anti-Jewish says the Ahmed Kathrada foundation

In an attempt to placate Jews, Neeshan Balton, on behalf of the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, has recently come out with the statement that “being opposed to Israeli occupation is not anti-Jewish.”

How do you respond to something seemingly so credible, so benevolent and so sincere?

Well, you respond with facts, indisputable, incontrovertible facts.   And fact number one is that the Jewish people are as bound to Israel as a baby is to its mother.  Prick Israel and we, the Jewish people, bleed.  For millennia the Jewish people have yearned and prayed for a return to Zion and three times daily Jews turn towards Jerusalem in prayer.  Now this is certainly not to say that you cannot criticize Israel, the people and her government.  Jews grow up on a diet of debate, argument and discussion.  But that criticism must be fair and balanced.  It must also be impartial and unbiased.

Ahmed Kathrada and the members of his foundation petition for the rights of Palestinians while totally ignoring the rights of Israelis.   Never once do we hear a call for the cessation of terrorism; a plea to stop the murder of innocent Israeli men, women and children.  Never once do we hear a call for Palestinians to cease in their indoctrination of their children in the hatred of Jews and Israelis, and for them to work rather towards reconciliation and peace.  And so the criticism of Israel becomes tainted with bias.

The Middle East is a region fraught with problems, with violence and hatred.  In excess of 100,000 Syrians have been killed, many as a result of the use of horrific chemical weapons.  Moslems are killing Moslems.  Egypt has seen tens of thousands of its own people killed.  More than 100,00 Iraqis have been murdered as a result of violence, not in combat.  And Ahmed Kathrada and his foundation are silent.  They do not decry the dastard human rights situations in these countries nor do they plead for the innocents being murdered on a daily basis.  Yet they criticise Israel, and in addition call for the boycott of Israel:  Israel which runs a field hospital on her border with Syria to assist Syrians wounded in the conflict with fellow-Syrians, Israel which treated 219,464 Palestinians in Israeli hospitals in 2012, including the brother of Hamas Prime-minister Ismail Haniyeh.  And thus the criticism of Israel becomes so replete with bias that the motives must be questioned.

Ahmed Kathrada and his foundation term the murderers of Israeli civilians ‘political prisoners.’  Marwan Barghouti was found guilty of murder in a transparent trial in an Israeli court in June 2004 and sentenced to 5 life sentences.  He was found guilty of the murder of a Greek monk in Maale Adumim in June 2002, a terrorist attack on a gas station in Givat Zeev in January 2002, the murder of three civilians in a Tel-Aviv restaurant in 2002 and a car bombing in Jerusalem. The Times of Israel recently carried an article on the 26 prisoners released from Israeli jails as a goodwill gesture towards the peace process.  All 26 of these prisoners had blood on their hands, the blood of innocent Israeli men, women and children.  All 26 planned and executed with precision the most brutal and barbaric murder of innocent civilians.  Men women and children savagely mowed down while simply going about their daily activities.

So fact number two must be that if you criticise Israel and only Israel, and if you term the murderers of Jews ‘political prisoners’ and call for their release then your actions, and your calls are as anti-Jewish as they are anti-Israel.  And undoubtedly, fact number three is that you reveal by both your calls and your silence that the suffering and blood of Jews falls low on your agenda.

About the Author
Monessa Shapiro is a member of Media Team Israel, a South African based Israel advocacy group.