A JOURNALIST of Kevin Ritchie’s experience should exercise more care when choosing examples to illustrate his thinking.
In his latest column, he focused on the demise of Helen Zille and offered three examples to illustrate how those who held the moral high ground can find themselves negatively exposed with the passage of time.
Other than Zille putting her foot in her mouth, he mentioned the one-time popularity of Paul Kruger in Europe, and the initial sympathy offered to the Boers who were seen to be fighting a just cause. In the case of both, their final legacies left much to be desired.
His third example, that despite six million Jews dying in the Holocaust, Israel today stands accused of practising apartheid.
It is astounding that someone with so much information at his disposal can arrive at so pejorative a conclusion. Despite the indisputable fact that Israel is the only total democracy in the Middle East (see Freedom House) with the benefits applicable to every sector of population, Ritchie managed to equate Israel with the decidedly undemocratic system of apartheid.
This is lazy journalism of which too much exists, particularly vis-à-vis Israel.
Perhaps Ritchie was influenced by this past week’s report published by the 18-member UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, all of which are Arab/Muslim states which predictably condemned Israel for practising apartheid.
However, he should also know that the report was drawn up by Richard Falk, an avowed Israel-hater and conspiracy theorist, who was sacked from the UN after receiving three warnings by Ban Ki-Moon for his blatant anti-Semitism; who accused America of being behind 9/11 and who claimed Israel was responsible for the Boston bombing.
Is Ritchie aware that Secretary-General Antonio Guterres insisted on the withdrawal of this report, as did Nikki Haley, US Ambassador to the UN, who called it “false and defamatory”? Condemnation came from the UK, Canada and several European countries.
One can only hope that journalists like Ritchie will exercise more care in future when commenting on these matters.