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Is it delusional? Is it hypocritical? No, it’s both – it is BDS South Africa

Sometimes it is pointless to try to caricature something which is already the Everest of self-caricature. So I present to you BDS South Africa in its very own words. (PS. Keep a bucket handy for your own safety and comfort.)

This year, to mark the 8th International Holocaust Remembrance Day, BDS South Africa and Open Shuhada Street (OSS) will hold a Holocaust Remembrance Day event on Sunday the 27th of January at 17h00 in Johannesburg (see the attached invite). Other human rights organizations to have endorsed this BDS South Africa and OSS event include the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, the Coalition for a Free Palestine, the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI – South Africa), Kairos Southern Africa, Ndifuna Ukwazi, People Against Suffering Oppression and Poverty (PASSOP), Saint George’s Cathedral (Cape Town) and the South African Council of Churches (SACC).
– Commemoration and Candlelight vigil
DATE: Sunday, 27 January 2013
TIME: 17h00-19h00
VENUE: Women’s Goal, Lekgotla Space, Constitutional Hill, Johannesburg
ADDRESS: Corner Kotze and Joubert Street, Braamfontein
PARKING: Underground Parking available off Joubert Street
HOSTS: BDS South Africa and Open Shuhada Street
CONTACT: 084 211 9988 /
Janet Love
Mbuyiseni Ndlozi (BDS South Africa)
Yasmin Sooka (Foundation for Human Rights)
Professor Steven Friedman (Rhodes University)

Professor Farid Esack (University of Johannesburg)
Kayum Ahmed (CEO, South African Human Rights Commission)

* Institutional names are for identification purposes only, participants speak in personal capacity.

We, BDS South Africa and Open Shuhada Street (two primarily Palestine solidarity-focused human rights organizations) are embarking on this – hopefully regular event – firstly, in the recognition that the Nazi Holocaust was a human tragedy of unspeakable proportions. Secondly, Holocaust denial and even anti-Semitism, occasionally emerges within Palestine solidarity circles. This needs to be dealt with and confronted head-on. This is a step in that direction. Finally, we are tired of the Nazi Holocaust being monopolized to serve narrow, racist and ethnic interests; we want to provide a space for mourning and commemoration to those who truly believe that an injury to one is an injury to all – that when we say, ‘Never Again!’ we mean ‘Never Again!’ to any and all groups of people.
Brought to you by Mike Berger

3 responses to “Is it delusional? Is it hypocritical? No, it’s both – it is BDS South Africa

  1. Mike Berger January 23, 2013 at 8:33 am

    An Explanation

    As there may be those who are puzzled by my dismissive response to the BDS Commemoration of International Holocaust Day, by calling it both delusional and hypocritical (amongst the politer adjectives which came to mind). It’s perhaps worth spending a few (brief) moments explaining.

    • It is initiated by two organisations which have spent years in the systematic public demonisation (not criticism) of Israel using every trick in the substantial propaganda handbook to do so. It was precisely such a program of systematic misrepresentation, distortion, decontextualisation – that is, demonisation – which laid the ground for the original Holocaust.
    • Of course, the principals and allies of the BDS Movement in the Middle East and elsewhere do not use the polite circumlocutions of OSS and the local hypocrites. They openly, virulently and repeatedly make their hatred of Jews and their desire for their genocide plain. But it will not be such people who will be the recipients of the sting in the tail of this pious declaration. Rest assured, it will be Israel and the “Zionists”, and the original Holocaust directed at the Jews primarily is now hijacked as propaganda fodder for the hopeful new genocide against Israel.
    • The organisers of this repulsive event piously claim that “Holocaust denial and even anti-Semitism, occasionally emerges within Palestine solidarity circles”, when in reality these are not occasional excesses but the very essence of the movement,
    • The site chosen with its Apartheid associations is not accidental but will be used to drive home one of the core accusations of the demonisation programme: Zionism as Apartheid and the new Naziism.

    Given their history, modus operandi and agenda, it is extremely difficult for me to imagine a more morally repulsive exercise than the one advertised by the organisers of this event. This alone, without any consideration of the merit or otherwise of their claims, is enough to repel anyone with a modicum of integrity and honour. In the end their repellent nature will ensure their failure – as it did for Nazi Germany.

    But in the meantime, we must repudiate them without ambiguity.

    Mike Berger


    • Stephen January 23, 2013 at 3:42 pm

      Not only gobsmackingly morally repugnant but total cynical hypocrisy. BDS is highjacking the Holocaust while it accuses “Zionists” (aka those who “serve narrow, racist and ethnic interests” of the very same thing


  2. Alison Weston January 23, 2013 at 6:51 am

    Unbelievable, I’m speechless.


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