LET­TERS

Is­rael’s crit­ics hob-nob with despots

The Star Early Edition - - LETTERS - Al­lan Wol­man

MMUSI Maimane’s trip to Is­rael has up­set the rul­ing party, ac­cord­ing to a re­port in this news­pa­per (Jan­uary 13).

A DA spokesman said there was never an in­struc­tion by Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma that Maimane should not visit Is­rael.

If the democ­racy we live is to make sense, how can our gov­ern­ment in­struct any­one not to visit an­other coun­try? Don’t we en­joy free­dom of move­ment as en­shrined in our con­sti­tu­tion?

But while our pres­i­dent has said on count­less oc­ca­sions that he, to­gether with his gov­ern­ment, sup­ports an end to the con­flict be­tween Is­rael and the Pales­tini­ans, how can this come about with­out con­struc­tive en­gage­ment and seek­ing of facts on the ground, some­thing that Maimane seems to be do­ing?

Are our rulers and their sup­port­ers afraid to dis­cover the myth that they have been fed by the likes of those “pro­gres­sive” bod­ies whose only agenda is Is­rael’s de­struc­tion? Op­pos­ing of­fi­cial vis­its to Is­rael must fly in the face of our pres­i­dent and other gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials’ nu­mer­ous vis­its to Rus­sia. Rus­sia is oc­cu­py­ing parts of Ukraine, and has been and still is con­duct­ing its mur­der­ous cam­paign of vi­cious bomb­ing of schools and hos­pi­tals in Aleppo, killing thou­sands of peo­ple in­clud­ing chil­dren. The coun­try con­tin­ues to bomb other parts of Syria where the death toll – ably as­sisted by Rus­sians jets – has reached al­most half a mil­lion peo­ple.

Op­pos­ing of­fi­cial vis­its to Is­rael must again fly in the face of the of­fi­cial vis­its to China, which has oc­cu­pied Ti­bet for more than 50 years.

But th­ese crit­ics of Is­rael don’t seem to have any prob­lem hob­nob­bing with the likes of Omar al-Bashir of Su­dan, a wanted war crim­i­nal re­spon­si­ble for the death of al­most a mil­lion of his coun­try­men.

Some of the world’s worst hu­man rights vi­o­la­tors are reg­u­lar hosts to our rul­ing party of­fi­cials in the likes of Cuba, Iran, China, Zim­babwe, Saudi Ara­bia and Pak­istan.

But such vis­its don’t seem to bother those hyp­o­crit­i­cal crit­ics of Is­rael.

Don’t we en­joy free­dom of move­ment?

NON­SEN­SI­CAL: The ANC has de­nied that Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma in­structed DA leader Mmusi Maimane not to visit Is­rael. The writer said op­pos­ing of­fi­cial vis­its to Is­rael flies in the face of Zuma and of­fi­cials vis­it­ing coun­tries that vi­o­late hu­man rights.

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