It is fitting to start with a communique from Israel by Raphael Melmed. Our prayers are with our Israeli family in their essential task of rooting out Hamas and pacifying Gaza to the relief of decent people everywhere. Their courage and compassion will always be remembered with awe and gratitude.
But it is also vital to be aware of the climate of threat and hate being whipped up in South Africa. So please continue reading after you have read Dr Melmed’s communique. Ignorance is not bliss forever, and we Jews in the Diaspora will require the same courage and steadfastness as our Israeli brothers and sisters. We reject outright and unconditionally the manufactured rage and false accusations by both the YCLSA (Young Communist League of South Africa) and COSATU (Congress of South African Trade Unions) and call on all informed and fair South Africans, irrespective of colour or religion, to stand by Israel at this time and to pray for their success. I hope and trust that Cape Town will hold its own rally in support of Israel in defiance of the belligerent intimidation employed by both the YCLSA and COSATU. We will not be silenced.
Just a note about the atmosphere in Israel, 15 days into the current war.
All commentators on Israel TV as well as the top political and military people are calling this a war, which it clearly is.
I think that the attempt by Hamas to produce some kind of successful attack and slaughter of Israelis through a tunnel about 5 days ago, produced a moment of insight in Israel that we had to invade Gaza because the job of finding and destroying tunnels could only be done by getting in there to look for them. With hindsight, it was a major tactical error from their (Hamas’) point of view because what we have found seems to have flabbergasted the military and the politicians. The focus is still looking for tunnels and destroying them, but some are so extensive, like underground cities, that it will clearly take a couple of weeks rather than the 2 to 3 days Yahalom said it would be just a few days ago. The reports are that the Hamas operatives are fighting with all their resources to try and prevent this from happening, but it is reported that we are advancing progressively and will keep at it to destroy them all.
A number of commentators are already asking how we missed the extent of the problem – why we so misjudged it, but all acknowledge that this will be exhaustively evaluated when the job is over. A couple of tunnels actually reach right into the living area of a number of the kibbutzim around Gaza. If they had decided to activate them the slaughter and outcome would have been too awful to contemplate.
The parents of a “lone soldier”, Shaun Carmeli from California, who was killed in the first days of our ground assault, arrived in Israel for his funeral. They heard he was a great fan of the soccer club Maccabi Haifa, and fearing that they would be alone at the funeral asked some of the young friends to encourage who ever they could to come to the funeral. His friends got busy on the social media and he was buried yesterday in the company of 30,000 people who came to pay their respects to him and his family. The roads to Haifa were congested and blocked for kilometers for the massive influx of people.
The atmosphere transmitted by many of the families of those soldiers who have died in battle is that this is a war we have to press on and finish – and I do not know of a person who disagrees with that.
The atmosphere is resolute and there is a serious determination on the part of the greatest number of people to finish the job that has to be done.
Raphael N Melmed M.D., FRCP
YCLSA horrified at SA Zionist Nazi style rally in support of murder of Palestinians.
The Young Communist League (uFasimba) is horrified at the South African Zionist rally planned for next week Sunday 27July 2014 in solidarity with the murderous Israeli Defence Force (IDF).
The planned rally evokes images of Nazi Germany and its many supporters who gathered to cheer Hitler and the army on as they wrought death and destruction throughout Europe. South African Zionists have objected to Israel being compared to the Nazi regime which killed millions of Jews. We advise Zionists to stop the mass murder of Palestinians if they want to avoid the comparisons to Nazis.
More than 558 Palestinians have been killed since Israel targeted Gaza earlier this month, an estimated 80% of the deaths have been civilians, including 48 children. We can only imagine what the death toll will be when Israeli supporters hold their rally next week Sunday.
The rally being held by apartheid Israel supporters demands people bring their ID books and “right of admission is reserved”. This must be the first rally in South Africa’s history that people have to bring their ID books along. Will Muslims and Africans be barred entry to the rally as we’ve seen the South African Jewish Board of Deputies do previously?
We also object to black people, we hear who are being rented by Zionists for purposes of their rally. South African Zionists and Israel itself supported the apartheid regime in South Africana and used their economic and military might to prolong it. Zionists will bus black people to their rally defending the murder of hundreds of innocent people, in the hope black faces will be the fig leaf for their racism and elitism.
The rally ominously plans to “stop the ANC hostility against Israel”. We warn the South African Jewish Board of Deputies working together with the South African Zionist Federation, to stop the attacks on our ANC for taking a principled position on Israeli war crimes. The SAJBD and SAZF opposed the fight for liberation of South Africa by the ANC. Today the same racist organisations are attacking the ANC for struggling in solidarity for the liberation of Palestine.
We congratulate the 52 leading South African Jews who signed a letter on the Cape Times front page on Friday 18 July, calling on our government to expel the Israeli ambassador and decrying the aggression directed at Palestinians citizens of Gaza. Brave whites stood up and defied the apartheid regime in South Africa, brave Jews, today are standing against Zionism and its evil atrocities.
Statement issued by Khaya Xaba, YCLSA National Spokesperson, July 22 2014
COSATU: League says protest in solidarity with Israel evokes images of Nazi Germany and its many supporters who gathered to cheer Hitler…