Ben Levitas
Ben Levitas

Israeli pianist’s performance disrupted by Wits students

On the evening of March 12 2013 an Israeli-born pianist’s performance to a full auditorium at Wits was disrupted and abruptly ended when anti-Israel protestors, which included members of the Palestine Solidarity Committee, the Wits Student Representative Council (SRC) and the Muslim Students Association repeatedly broke into the auditorium.

Yossi Reshef is a world-renowned pianist, now residing in Berlin, Germany. He has performed in Britain, Denmark, Israel, Italy, Germany, Poland, Croatia, Spain, Russia and the US. Reshef and his entourage had to endure a hostile ”silent protest” on their way into the auditorium through a restive and hostile crowd. And a lecturer from the Wits music department was pushed and kicked as he attempted to enter the concert hall. Apparently while the security was focussed on preventing the group of about 50 protesters from obtaining entry into the hall, they succeeded in gaining entry through a fire exit door, entering with vuvuzelas and started to attack the Steinway piano. In the ensuing chaos, Reshef and several ambassadors in the audience were immediately evacuated by their security personnel. Apparently five members of the Wits SRC that were present in the audience failed to take any measures to stop the chaos.

This event should be viewed in the broader context that has engendered a culture of excluding all Israelis or even Israeli-born visitors from being welcome on South African campuses. By participating in practices reminiscent of the ”Judenrein” policies of Nazi Germany, our universities have lost their moral high ground. They can no longer claim to be bastions of free speech. On Sunday a group of Palestinian supporters tried to prevent Reshef from performing at the University of Stellenbosch. Having been forewarned, the university thankfully took preventative security measures, which allowed the concert to take place.

Last year Professor Jeffrey Kantor, an Israeli professor of sociology, was invited to a sociology conference at UCT. As he was about to start his address on a panel, a professor from the University of Johannesburg, interjected and demanded that if Kantor wished to proceed he should first apologise for the atrocities and human-rights abuses perpetrated by Israel. When the Kantor refused the professor, supported by many of his peers, called on the audience to boycott the lecture and everyone in the audience vacated the lecture hall, leaving only the Israeli professor and the sound technician.

What these two victims of boycott share is their association with Israel. The boycotters have dehumanised and debased them on that criterion only. Their values, political ideologies and beliefs are irrelevant. They are condemned because of being Israeli. They have convinced themselves that the nation of Israel, like apartheid, is a crime against humanity and must be exorcised from the planet. That is the danger of this apartheid analogy. Good people, the best among us, are condemned because of their place of birth. For Jews, the wounds of our history, of being hounded because of being born Jewish, are still too fresh. These Israelis, not coincidentally are Jewish.

What we share in common with other societies that target minorities is a widespread approval and sanction for these thoughts in South Africa, to attack anything Israeli: products, people, organisations and symbols. This open-season licence to target Israel flows from decisions to bestow legitimacy to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign by the ANC at its policy conference at Gallagher Estate in 2012 and subsequently in Mangaung in December 2012.

Leading up to these policy decisions the rhetoric emanating from the tripartite alliance partners, particularly from Zwelenzima Vavi, leader of Cosatu, has become increasingly accusatory. Ever since Vavi’s call In January 2009 on “all trade unions, social movements, NGOs, religious organisations and academics to support and actively participate in the boycott, disinvestment and sanctions campaign against Israel” he has at almost every public appearance lambasted and condemned Israel. He has demanded that Israel be excommunicated from the family of nations — his calls are a metaphor for Israel’s demise and destruction. So in November during the lead up to Mangaung he called for “the intensification of the global boycott, divestment and sanctions movement by refusing all and any association with the state of Israel and its agents of whatever form” as well as for “intensified global marches”, “sit-ins in all Israeli embassies and night vigils” and more.

His partisan stance has opened the floodgates for hate speech to flow from all organisations and NGOs affiliated with the tripartite alliance, including the ANC Youth League. The Gauteng South African Students Congress recently hailed ”the heroic students of Wits for blocking the performance of the pianist Yossi Reshef who was sent by the Israeli embassy to disturb our 2013 Israeli Apartheid Week through performances geared to cover the murderous Israeli state”.

They moreover claimed that “this is a cheap and malicious trick by the Israeli lobby to undermine the solidarity work which South African students have been embarking on”. This is nothing short of conspiracy theorising and completely mendacious. Their members are not the “heroic students” they claim to be but rather a lynch mob baying for Israeli blood. They represent totalitarian forces, blind to reason with no sense and understanding of the liberties that they participate in on campuses, but deny to others.

They have been emboldened by the likes of Vavi of the correctness of their cause, which gives them the confidence to threaten the university authorities, should any retributive steps be taken: “We are aware of plans by the Wits management to intimidate students who participated in the protest through unwarranted inquiries and threats of suspensions and would like to warn them that the blood of many Palestinian children, mothers and fathers will be on their hands should any of the students be suspended.”

I implore university authorities to disallow any discrimination and sanctions against any person or country on all campuses and that they reaffirm their commitment to the rights of all to pursue knowledge and culture in a safe and conducive environment.

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  • 41 Responses to “Israeli pianist’s performance disrupted by Wits students”

    1. Tofolux #

      Good, we should have more protest action.

      March 19, 2013 at 12:53 pm
    2. Ngelengele #

      It seems what happened is your problem alone (i.e. Israel problem). People must speak out on atrocities perpetuated by Israel in any given plartform, varsities among them.

      March 19, 2013 at 1:13 pm
    3. Enough Said #

      @Ben Levitas

      “I implore university authorities to disallow any discrimination and sanctions against any person or country on all campuses and that they reaffirm their commitment to the rights of all to pursue knowledge and culture in a safe and conducive environment.”

      Why do you not implore the Israeli government to give the Palestinians in Israel/Palestine the same rights you have just asked the university authorities to grant on campuses?

      March 19, 2013 at 2:13 pm
    4. Enough Said #

      @Ben Levitas…again..

      I actually think you are out of touch with reality.

      You want human rights and freedom of speech on university campuses when there is anti-Israeli protest, while Israel happily kills activists bringing humanitarian aid to Gaza?

      “The Gaza flotilla raid was a military operation by Israel against six ships of the “Gaza Freedom Flotilla” on 31 May 2010 in international waters of the Mediterranean Sea……………

      On 31 May 2010, Israeli Shayetet 13 naval commandos boarded the ships from speedboats[1] and helicopters in order to force the ships to the Israeli port of Ashdod for inspection.

      On the Turkish ship MV Mavi Marmara, boarding faced resistance from about 40 IHH activists – described in an Israeli report as a separate “hardcore group”[2] – who were armed with iron bars and knives.[3]

      During the struggle, nine activists were killed including eight Turkish nationals and one American national, and many were wounded.

      All activist casualties were caused by gunshots, some of them at point blank range or from behind. Ten of the commandos were also wounded, one of them[who?] seriously.[3][4]

      The five other ships in the flotilla employed passive resistance, which was suppressed without major incident. The ships were towed to Israel, where all passengers were detained and deported…”
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaza_flotilla_raid

      WHERE IS THE BALANCE BEN? WHERE IS THE BALANCE ???

      March 19, 2013 at 3:01 pm
    5. Gary Koekemoer #

      @ Ben, there is in my mind a clear difference between peaceful and violent protest. Such violent protests on South African campuses should be condemned and the perpetrators brought to book. However it is entirely the right of any south african citizen to protest their cause peacefully. The targets of peaceful protest have to ask themselves why such protests are gaining ground. You blame Vavi, you blame BDS and you compare this to Nazi practices. If BDS or Vavi support violent protest, I agree they should be roundly condemned, but to peacefully protest what they believe to be happening in Palestine, is the right of any South African, irrespective of religion.
      There is a secondary question to be asked and that is was this provoked, was this an organized attempt to counter the IAW campaign?

      March 19, 2013 at 3:55 pm
    6. bernpm #

      Ja, Ben….Israel has stepped up the ladder of visibility for all the wrong reasons. Maintaining active hostility against a neighboring nation. This calls for response, certainly in countries where the suppressed nation is richly represented.

      SA during apartheid – worldwide condemned – the SA rugby team was received with flour bombs in New Zealand. Americans have suffered similar treatments during their unpopular wars in the past. Many taken out on innocent artists.

      Many of us sympathize with the protesters at heart but would probably not disturb a concert. Please live with it.
      Next time he might not get an entry visa, problem solved!

      March 19, 2013 at 4:11 pm
    7. The Creator #

      Kantor is not actually a professor of sociology but of accounting.

      If he had said that he regretted Israeli policy, he would certainly have taken the wind out of the sails of the boycotters. He did not, and therefore he identified with Israeli policy. Therefore, he actually invited the boycott. It is interesting that nobody remained in the hall.

      This is pretty much like the South African academic boycott. People who actually deplored the policy of apartheid were usually allowed through without trouble. People who supported apartheid or the repressive policies of the government, like Conor Cruise O’Brien, ran into trouble.

      What’s the problem with a voluntary boycott clearly directed against human rights violations? Only, surely, that Levitas himself supports the human rights violations.

      March 19, 2013 at 4:20 pm
    8. Honkie Tonk #

      @Gary

      Protesters pushed and kicked and blew vuvuzela’s and attacked a paino.

      Such violent protest against Israel cannot be tolerated. No, no, no. ;-)

      Gary why don’t you call for Israels civilian and military leaders to be tried for crimes against humanity? Get a life fellow.

      If the protesters had launched an air-raid against the painist and audience, used illegal white phosphorus, occupied their houses and land etc. etc. that is the violent regime we are up against.

      So while in principle I am against violent protest, the Wits protest is non-violent by Israeli Zionist standards.

      March 19, 2013 at 7:25 pm
    9. george orwell #

      Over 27,000 Palestinian homes have been demolished by Israel since 1967, while 0 (zero) homes have been demolished by Palestinians.

      This is a very stark figure. I watched a documentary on Bedouin villagers having their village demolished by Israelis for the 47th time. This village is apparently being entered into the Guiness book of records for most demolished ever.

      The sight of bulldozers mowing down houses and sad people brings back memories of South Africa’s forced removals.

      Once this problem is sorted out, Israeli pianists will be welcomed with open arms and celebrated, as the wonderful humanist Daniel Barenboim is.

      March 19, 2013 at 8:29 pm
    10. Saeed #

      It is not whether a person is a Jew or a person born in Israel that is the issue. The issue is the persons failure to condemn Zionism and the atrocities committed against Palestinians. If Ronnie Kasrils were the pianist he would have had a standing ovation as a welcome. Clearly Ben, you have an agenda.

      March 19, 2013 at 9:46 pm
    11. It’s o.k. Things happen to the best of us. And racism, anti antisemitism etc bring within themselves the seed of misery of the people that promote them. However because I m following your column, I can see that you eventually end up to promote yourself just one part of the truth. We would really like you to speak as you were from the other side some times. Can this happen? The…fairytale of the nation that suffered the most and still suffers…more than any other nation, is an old, outdated one and I m afraid only boredom can bring. History at the end of the day, showed who is what…
      Food for thought: What is the worst thing that happened the last days? That a pianist has been disrupted or that a Palestinian 5 years old died in it’s mother hands because of a senseless war? At the end…if from the one side we have racism, it is clear to me that from the other we have to do with an endless hypocrisy! You are so…but sooooo boring my man!

      March 20, 2013 at 12:51 am
    12. Richard #

      Where are the protests outside the Zimbabwean High Commission? Surely that should be more on everybody’s minds?

      March 20, 2013 at 1:53 am
    13. Piet Boerie #

      Hi Ben,

      Please defend South Africa as you defend Israel, right or wrong.
      In fact your posts have just become Israeli right wing propaganda for an Apartheid state. For me I laugh as us Jews who on one hand talk about bad Apartheid Nazis yet when Israel follows the same, yes the same path it is ok. Yep because we know them and you don’t.

      It was as funny watching Apartheid policemen providing foreign powers on advice on Africa as it is watching Israelis been experts on Muslims. Yep funny.

      Secondly you are out of touch with the majority of the world, yep just like Apartheid, Israel is wrong and should be shamed and boycotted.

      You have become a spokesman for an Apartheid state but with a victim take on it. Fail!

      March 20, 2013 at 9:09 am
    14. Derek #

      And yet again being anit-Israeli is equated with being anti-Jewish.

      Red herring.

      March 20, 2013 at 9:46 am
    15. george orwell #

      By the way, the source for my information on how many Palestinian homes have been demolished comes from journalist Alison Weir’s site If Americans Knew, which has a good track record for accuracy: http://www.ifamericansknew.org/

      South African journalist Paula Slier reported the Bedouin village removal a few days ago… http://rt.com/news/israel-arabs-settlements-demolition/

      But here’s another one “Good Guiness, Bedouin Arab village destroyed for 38th time”
      http://rt.com/news/bedouin-village-destroyed-israel-898/

      Once we can get beyond these sad stories, it would be magnificent to see more from the beautiful land and people of Israel.

      March 20, 2013 at 10:31 am
    16. Enough Said #

      @george orwell

      “Over 27,000 Palestinian homes have been demolished by Israel since 1967, while 0 (zero) homes have been demolished by Palestinians.”

      In addition, in the 1947/48 war, approximately 450 Palestinian villages were destroyed and 750 000 Palestinian refugees created to create Israel.

      March 20, 2013 at 11:51 am
    17. Rich Brauer #

      What’s fascinating to me is that with little for than “Search and Replace”, we could have read this thirty years ago in defense of Zuid-Afrika and against the boycotts.

      What’s disturbing to me is that a writer whose bio mentions taking a stand against apartheid seems utterly incapable of seeing that.

      March 20, 2013 at 12:37 pm
    18. Alan #

      @george orwell

      Some more facts and resources:

      Israeli and Palestinian Children Killed Since September 29, 2000
      • 129 Israeli children have been killed by Palestinians and
      • 1518 Palestinian children have been killed by Israelis
      Source: http://www.rememberthesechildren.org/remember2010.html

      Israelis and Palestinians Killed Since September 29, 2000
      • 482 Israelis Killed between September 29, 2000 and Operation Cast lead December 2008
      • 4,833 Palestinians (at least) Killed between September 29, 2000 and Operation Cast lead December 2008
      Source: http://www.btselem.org/index.asp
      Israelis and Palestinians Injured Since September 29, 2000
      • 6,845 Israelis Injured Since September 29, 2000 (Source: http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA )
      • 32,213 Palestinians Injured Since September 29, 2000 (Source: http://www.palestinercs.org/)
      UN Resolutions Targeting Israel and the Palestinians
      • Israel has been targeted by at least 65 UN resolutions
      • Palestinians have been targeted by none.
      Source: Paul Findley’s “Deliberate Deceptions” (1998, pages 192-4). This number only reflects resolutions that have been passed in the years 1955 to 1992. This number does not include 29 separate cases between 1972 and 1991 where the United States vetoed resolutions critical of Israel.
      Political Prisoners and Detainees
      Since the beginning of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories in 1967, over 650,000 Palestinians have been detained by Israel. This forms approximately 20% of…

      March 20, 2013 at 4:21 pm
    19. Steve #

      This has nothing to do with them being Jewish, but everything to do with them being Zionists.

      March 20, 2013 at 5:06 pm
    20. Dominique #

      The saddest thing about all this is that you all believe everything you read in the news and see on television. It is a media war and this has many times been proven when false information and incorrectly labelled images have been used to win opinion. You are so easily influenced to hatred because you have a need to see only one side. You need to ask yourselves what need in you this is fulfilling because it is not bringing about peace or harmony for anyone. Find out the truth and then work towards bringing peace into the world instead of creating more hatred. Just look at a map to start with and then start finding out the facts.

      March 21, 2013 at 6:52 am
    21. Comrade Koos #

      @Dominique

      I have done as you said and looked at the map. Here is a link to four maps showing the Palestinian loss of land from 1946 to 2000.

      Click on this link and scroll down:
      http://www.war-times.org/?page=7

      >

      March 22, 2013 at 11:14 am
    22. Comrade Koos #

      Here is a more direct link to those four maps showing Palestinian loss of land, click and scroll down:
      http://www.war-times.org/node/319

      March 22, 2013 at 11:18 am
    23. Littlebobpete #

      @Tofolux……..that is disgusting

      Firstly, I may not agree with his politics, but he wasn’t there as a politicion, he was there as a pianist……
      Secondly, why should all those others who went to watch be subject to scum radical extremist actions. I may well agree with their view, but not their method and timing!!!

      Poor comment buddy, poor comment!!

      March 22, 2013 at 12:28 pm
    24. Sharon #

      Wow – the ignorance of history shown on this page is astounding. Is it a fervent desire to shed ghosts of atrocities committed against indigenous South Africans? To appease the hate fueled by the religious extremism that drives the Palestinian cause? Or are you simply victims of propaganda because of your unwillingness to read unbiased accounts of history? Unaware of the fact that most “Palestinans” are not indigenous to Israel, that they poured in to take advantage of Jewish economic opportunities. Unaware of the Islamic extremism that dictates them to destroy all non-Muslims. Unaware of Egypt’s directive in 1948 for all Arabs to evacuate Israel so they could perform systematic ethnic cleansing of Jews without harming their brethren. Unaware that donations to the Palestinian cause go to weaponry instead of citizens’ welfare, to wage endless wars that will NOT stop with Israel. Unaware that Israel uses donations to create and donate lifesaving medicine and technologies worldwide. Unaware that many of the pro-Palestinian “news” stories and photos are fabricated. Unaware of the horrors that the Palestinian government inflicts on its own people – especially non-Muslims. In any event, please do boycott anything and everything Israeli, because it means that the great majority of you will no longer have computers, internet, cellular telephones, or medicine. You are all suckers, and supporting the end of the free world.

      March 22, 2013 at 3:32 pm
    25. Joe Pass #

      Proof that ignorance is bliss. You cannot even hear the music for your inner hatred. Sure play a mean pin ball. Sick, sick, sick!

      March 22, 2013 at 5:57 pm
    26. Joe Pass #

      This article should be compulsory set work for Wits students. And for Tutu and Kasrils and Fransman. Their silence on Syria, Darfur, Boko Harram to name but a few is ASTONISHING! Let them tell us all the religions and all the numbers of their followers who commit which atrocities. As for the Wits Board and CEO Habib … you lost it all. How you sleep at night is your own shallow bedtime story. You disgust me beyond words. Your memory is destroyed by your bloodlust.

      March 22, 2013 at 7:31 pm
    27. Enough Said #

      Ha, ha, Sharon. My computer, internet, and cell phones are made in Europe and Japan, and my medicine comes from mother nature. Sorry for you. Boycott apartheid Israel is what I say. The Palestinians need our support.

      March 22, 2013 at 8:13 pm
    28. The Naked Worker #

      @Joe Pass

      The people spreading hatered are Israeli Zionists, the US Israeli lobby, plus hardcore Zionists in South Africa and elsewhere in the world.

      March 23, 2013 at 7:50 pm
    29. Charlotte #

      As a South African,I am ashamed. As a human being, I am horrified.

      Some lines taken from an account( latest SA Jewish Report) by Israeli-born pianist Yossi Reshef when student thugs at Wits stopped his recital after 15 mins. are being read worldwide.
      “Never before as an artist did I feel I needed to fight evil and ignorance but here I was forced to confront a moment … where I had to face ugliness and chaos. The music stopped, chaos prevailed. … I was warned that there might be protests, but at no point was an “Israel Apartheid Week” (a ridiculous idea, as Israel is one of the world’s finest democracies) mentioned…
      … I am a musician, not a politician.. The fact that ..I live in Germany …seems to have no relevance. . .It is also obvious that the perpetrators are fully unaware of my activities which support dialogue and the peace process in the Middle East …However, this clearly made no difference to those bent on disrupting my performances simply because I originate from Israel. . I spend most of my waking hours trying to decipher the meaning and content of the great masterpieces ..
      The violence and hatred seen in the perpetrators’ eyes is something I will never forget “

      In Stellenbosch, 3 days later, heavy security was outside the hall. The demonstrators were already confronted by some of the concert-goers and the concert took place without interruption.
      Is protest and violence now synonymous in S.Africa?

      March 24, 2013 at 12:31 pm
    30. Joe Pass #

      To Naked Worker … what ARE you talking about? You are not naive. You are brainwashed. Hence when thugs break up a semi-private music recital because the pianist was borm in Israel you blame it on the victims. By your logic, you should blame women for being rape victims. Except we are not all women and not all victims. Time will tell who’s who.

      March 24, 2013 at 9:15 pm
    31. Gary Koekemoer #

      @ Sharon, Charlotte and Dominique, I am interested to know where you source your information and facts? If B’Tselem, which is a Jewish human rights organisation isn’t a credible source, who is? Are you saying for instance, that no Palestinian homes have been demolished, that more Israeli’s have died than Palestinians, that Jews have always been the majority residents in the geographic area now known as Israel?
      To me a relationship is always a two way street, wrong happens on both sides, the protest against a german based Jewish pianist, in which a piano is trashed and audience members harassed and man-handled, is wrong. It is wrong in a country which has come through a similar transition as is Palestine and has as it’s groundings a healthy appreciation of non-violent protest. However, proportionality is relevant, and the weight of the evidence is in favor of Palestinians. When Israel bombs its neighbors, boards ships in international waters or bulldozes over an American student, these events are acts of aggression. I wonder if Israel put the same amount of energy into peace efforts as it did into war efforts if the region would be any different?
      @ Honkey Tonk, you blow your horn too early…

      March 25, 2013 at 11:47 am
    32. Gary Koekemoer #

      @ Joe Pass, Tutu quiet on Syria, I don’t think so? http://theelders.org/article/we-are-all-shamed-syrias-suffering, he’s not quiet on South Sudan/ Sudan either, http://theelders.org/article/end-suffering-sudans, he’s not quiet on injustice where he sees it, as the ANC have found out, and typically he has a view on Israel/ Palestine, http://theelders.org/article/response-open-letter-robert-rozett. Now you may disagree with what he says, but he has a view and has the courage to call it.
      When a group like the Elders has serious concerns about Palestine, then it is time to listen, these are not people who easily buy into propaganda, nor have images to maintain, or voters to please, so what would be their agenda other than peace?

      March 25, 2013 at 5:01 pm
    33. Joe Pass #

      @ Gary Koekemoer On peace in this world, I don’t disagree with you and that applies to the Middle East. I’m on record saying it from long time back. But the article didn’t support Israeli policies, the concert was NOT an Israeli engagement and it WAS broken up by political thugs who showed racism, abuse and violence in response to classical music. That SHOULD make you worry right here in South Africa, where you are. And it was another nail in the coffin of free speech that Wits is party to, should it choose not to act appropriately. As for Tutu, he IS silent.

      March 27, 2013 at 10:32 am
    34. Gary Koekemoer #

      @ Joe c’mon you cannot expect Tutu to speak out on everything? You were wrong on Darfur and Syria, he has addressed those issues. Read what he says about Palestine and Israel, both sides come under his scrutiny. I think it significant that he did not say anything about IAW/ Israel/ Apartheid during that week, he was quiet (it appears, I could be wrong he may have said something, but I haven’t seen it) when (if he is the biased observer you believe him to be) you would have expected him to say something? And it’s not a nail in the coffin of free speech, it’s a young nation coming to terms with what free speech means! I agree with you that what the demonstration became is unacceptable. Those demonstrators need to be brought to book and taught the discipline of peaceful protest by whomever was responsible for organizing. I am not worried that South Africans have taken up the Palestinian cause, the parallels with apartheid seem fairly clear. What worries me is that you miss the point, when a group like the Elders express their concern about the situation in Palestine, they must be referring to something? YES the demo against the pianist was WRONG, it was amateurish, uncontrolled, and just plain dumb, but WHY ARE THESE PERSONS DEMONSTRATING? What motivates non-Palestinians to demonstrate in favor of the Palestinian cause?

      March 27, 2013 at 11:29 pm
    35. Chopper4 #

      @Gary, You are muddling your facts. During war time, if an army thinks that a house is possibly a hide out for terrorists or is just a security threat. It is deemed legal to demolish it. Currently no house is demolished unless it goes through due process. That means it gets the go ahead from the Israeli Supreme Court. If the Supreme Court says the Army cant demolish the house they do not. As for Rachel Corrie, have you ever seen the sticker on the back of trucks? Which says ” If you can not see my mirror, I can not see you!” Have you ever seen a D-9? She was in a warzone and thought that if she jumped in front of a D-9 she can stop it…that was her first mistake. On top of it the Israeli Supreme Court dismissed her parents’ case, as they said she was responsible for her actions. She was in a warzone and laws governing a warzone are different to civil law.

      We live in a society of blame! Israel or the Jews are to blame for all the problems of the world…just go check stormfront the white supremist forum or google “Jews to blame…”.

      Another misleading statement is that of the numbers game. Answer this question “What do the Palestinians do to make their civilian more safe?” Israel builds bunkers, warning systems, air raid sirens and security barriers. Do you know that over night the Security barrier stopped sniper fire and suicide bombs. Do not for one second think that because of the barrier the terrorist attacks have stopped…on no that could not be further…

      March 28, 2013 at 11:57 am
    36. Chopper4 #

      documents from the Nuremberg Trials, where Haj Amin was referred to as the brainchild of the final solution…and how he wanted to build an Auschwitz in Nablus to take care of the remaining Jews in Palestine.

      BTW if you go and check B’Tselem you will see that over the past 12 years only 1400 people have died in the West Bank. Does that sound like ethnic cleansing? Does that sound like genocide? Does that sound like anything that many of the commentators here are saying the situation is? The reality is totally different to what the brain washers would like you to know.

      As for your sources from “The Elders” That condemnation of Syria is the first from Tutu and did not even make it to a SA media outlet let alone international media. to get to the original article you needed to get to page 3 on google search for the exact title. Just goes to show. On top of it there are wounded Syrians that were treated in Israel..yet he managed to mention all Syria’s neighbours except Israel. hmmm very interesting.

      I still do not see any relevance to the actions of Israel and its defence forces being in violation of any international laws. On top of it Israel does a lot less than what other countries do when faced with the same threats.

      BTW did you know that a few weeks back Hamas demolished whole neighbourhoods and gave the inhabitants $1000 in compensation… Why did they demolish the houses? To build malls and luxury apartments. Not one condemnation! goes to show!

      March 28, 2013 at 12:27 pm
    37. Chopper4 #

      So many people say that Arabs in Israel are not treated the same…can anyone give examples?

      The Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza are governed by the Government of Palestine in Ramallah and Hamas in Gaza City. Israeli Military as per the Oslo accords only has governance over 2% of the Palestinian population and they are mainly Bedouins. If the Palestinians are being oppressed why is no one looking at the Government of Palestine? Why is blame immediately put squarely on Israel?

      Instead of using catch words and phrases, maybe you can give examples from verified sources. Investigate what occurred 5 minutes before. Then see if that conflicts with what you have been told.

      The bottomline is, if the Palestinians were not harbouring terrorists in their houses, were not sewing suicide belts, were not using their cars to transport the terrorists, did not go to the police to inform that a terrorist attack is imminent. Then unfortunately you can not brand those people as civilians, they are accessories to the crime. Simple logic.

      A child that throws a stone, rock or any dangerous object is a criminal. Just 2 weeks ago the SA Parliament passed the “Dangerous Weapons Bill” Which gives the Police ultimate power to arrest, disarm anyone of any age that is holding a dangerous weapon, be it a rock, stick, fire bomb, assegai, knob kierie, traditional weapons or anything deemed dangerous while in a suspicious manner.

      The SA government deem a rock or fire bomb dangerous…

      March 28, 2013 at 12:49 pm
    38. Chopper4 #

      “YES the demo against the pianist was WRONG, it was amateurish, uncontrolled, and just plain dumb, but WHY ARE THESE PERSONS DEMONSTRATING? What motivates non-Palestinians to demonstrate in favor of the Palestinian cause?”

      In the case of blacks in South Africa. It is simple, they are lied to and told it is Apartheid. The lay SAn’s are easily influenced by this emotional word.

      If you have not been to Israel, West Bank or Gaza. You will not be able to defend Israel.
      The reality is far from what people say here. The fact of the matter is that everything that people say here can be debunked!

      Yes Israel is not perfect…show me a perfect country…however to say that it is the pariah of the world is such a hypocritical thing to say.

      Especially when almost nothing is said by these same activists who say they have the Palestinians best interest at heart…yet the Palestinians in Syria are totally forgotten about…why is this? Simple it is not Jews inflicting the so called suffering.

      Look at any example of “suffering by Palestinians” at the hands of Israel and look at the response…now search on the internet for an exact same example of someone suffering at the hands of someone else…look at the response….now compare the responses. You will easily put 2 and 2 together and see hypocrisy.

      Look at the responses to house demolitions by IDF and by the Palestinians themselves(yes they do demolish Palestinian houses). What about LGBT activists…who side do…

      March 28, 2013 at 7:54 pm
    39. Chopper4 #

      you would expect them to take the side of the country that does not oppress homosexuals. However that could not be further from the truth they call it “Pinkwashing” The activists say that Israel only treats gays nicely so that they can mistreat Palestinians. That is hypocritical if not bigoted to the core as Israel is being singled out. What about another country that treats gays nicely…are they doing it at the expense of some other people? If no then this “pinkwashing” is absolute BS…which it is. Go research it.

      what other examples can I give…what about the UN…and every single one of its tributaries…here is a nice quote: “It is crystal clear to me that if the Arabs put down a draft resolution blaming Israel for the recent earthquake in Iran it would probably have majority, the US would veto it and Britain and France would abstain” – Amos Oz

      The bottomline Gary, is that if you are not well informed about what the reality on the ground is, you will get sucked into their lies very quick…they use selective cherry picking of their facts. they will not show you what happened 5 minutes before, they will show you 5 minutes after…if you do not know better you will believe it.

      Look at how quickly we pick up the photo fraud…or the fake injured people. Just search youtube for “pallywood” you will be amazed at how well choreographed they are.
      Another thing have you ever wondered why there are cameras always present at the right place 100% of the…

      March 28, 2013 at 8:20 pm
    40. Gary Koekemoer #

      @ Chopper 4 so my opinion is disqualified because I am not standing in Israel or the West Bank right now? I note that you believe Blacks in SA are easily duped by the word given its connotations? All the photo’s and videos available have been photoshopped?

      Is it at all possible that you have become so caught up in the belief that the world is against you that you cannot “see the wood for the trees”?

      I am open to the notion that a great deal of what is online about Israel/ Palestine is propaganda, but would you have me believe that there is no merit to the Palestinian cause?

      April 3, 2013 at 11:15 am
    41. Jerome #

      Whenever anti Semitism raises its venomous head people are deceived into thinking “once the Jews are gone all will be peaceful”. This odious power wants to always obliterate all light & introduce world wide tyranny. eg Hitler
      As to just conveniently overlooking Syria over 100 000 dead, Maldives – a 16 year old being given 100 lashes for getting raped (imagine the outcry if this was Israel) dragging dead Palestinians through the streets by their ankles from motor bikes on the suspicion of being in cahoots with Israel (imagine the outcry if this was Israel) etc etc.
      Also the soimilarities between Apartheid RSA & Israel are minimal. The Mid Eastern countries practice far more apartheid than Israel by miles.

      April 18, 2013 at 2:28 pm

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