Mogoeng’s context of Israel, Palestine equation inappropriate
CHIEF Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng says his statements were quoted out of context and that is why he has been vilified. In his attempt to provide the missing context he descends into silliness. He says he loves everyone – Jews, Christians and Palestinians. Wonderful.
Nowhere in his defence does he state clearly that the Palestinians are the oppressed and the Israelis the oppressors. It’s akin to an observer of apartheid South Africa saying I love the Afrikaners and the black people. So what?
He ventures into the aspect of forgiveness. As in the case of South Africa, only when the apartheid government decided to end its policy of discrimination did the question of forgiveness arise and so we had the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
So the CJ again presents a context that is plainly inappropriate.
Perhaps his most ridiculous contention is that South Africa can play a useful role as a mediator between the Israelis and the Palestinians if, first, we do not criticise either side and will therefore be regarded as an honest, unbiased broker, and second, given our success in reaching a negotiated settlement that ended apartheid, we thus have some special skills to end this longstanding problem.
The CJ is either blissfully ignorant or wilfully blind to the developments over the past 27 years when the
Israelis and Palestinians signed the Oslo Accords, the so-called Peace Process, which gave a vague undertaking that the Palestinians will have an independent state on the land occupied by Israel during the Six Days War of 1967, if they abandoned their armed struggle.
Not only does Israel ignore international law (UN resolutions, the Geneva Conventions, etc) with impunity but also vehemently condemns any criticism of its continuous brutal action against the Palestinians and from the moment that the agreement was signed, aggressively pursued its colonisation of the land ostensibly earmarked for a Palestinian state.
When the 1993 so-called peace deal was signed there were around 150 000 Jews in the land captured in 1967 (the West Bank and East Jerusalem).
Today there are 700 000 living there in vast housing estates. The two-state solution was in reality a two-state delusion.
Today any suggestion that Israel should withdraw to the 1967 border is dismissed with contempt. Even the suggestion of a viable, independent state of Palestine (which was the idea implied in the so-called peace deal) is rejected outright. Israel has declared that it will annex all of the settlements whose municipal boundaries gobble up 40% of the West Bank.
Hence the idea of the Palestinians having a state is dead in the water.
One question for the CJ: which Israel do you recognise? Israel as it declared itself in 1948 on 72% of historic Palestine. Or Israel post-1967 Six Day War when it annexed East Jerusalem and Syria’s Golan Heights and the 40% of the West Bank which it wants to annex? Or the Israel that God is said to have declared “from the River to the Sea” as the holy land of the Jews (the River Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea)? Which Israel are you referring to?
Finally, the CJ says that if we condemn Israel then God will bring damnation on to our nation. So this man of justice says that we should not criticise the injustice that the Palestinians suffer at the hands of Israel because God will be angry.
The God of peace and mercy will certainly not be happy with such a distorted caricature of His teachings.
CHIEF Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng