Demonstrators march through the streets of Cape Town against the Israeli-Palestinian conflict August 9, 2014.
(photo credit: REUTERS/MIKE HUTCHINGS)
The South African government has been mocked and criticized on Twitter since Thursday after it posted a tweet calling on the IDF "to withdraw from the Gaza Strip and bring to an end the violent and destructive incursions into Palestinian territories," despite the fact that Israel pulled out of the Strip in 2005.
Several well-known Israel advocacy figures including Hen Mazzig and human rights lawyer Arsen Ostrovsky took the government to task on Twitter in response to its ridiculous claims.
"You guys either aren’t very bright or just willfully ignorant & misleading," Ostrovsky wrote. "Israel withdrew completely from #Gaza in 2005. But then again, I would expect nothing less from South Africa @GovernmentZA, today one of Hamas best friends!"
Mazzig wrote mockingly: "The IDF should also withdraw from the Sinai, Jordan, Iraq, Alaska and the kingdom of Narnia. Thank you @GovernmentZA for this strong statement, that has no connection to reality."
Hundreds of others tweeted the government's Twitter account in disgust with some calling the government "morons" and "irresponsible," as well as criticizing it for ignoring the facts "just [so it] can bash Israel."
"You guys are SO 2005. That's when Israel unilaterally withdrew from the Gaza Strip," said Moshe Kwiat, while South African commentator and columnist Howard Feldman responded that the South African government "have got to stop BDS from writing your statements. They are making fools of you. You seriously have no idea how stupid you look. Gosh. So. Embarrassing."
Yaron Ramati appealed to the country's government "to have the basic decency of at least reading the relevant Wikipedia page before they comment on anything" and tweeted a link to a Wikipedia article on the disengagement from Gaza in 2005.
Several Twitter users also joked that Israel will withdraw when Nelson Mandela is freed from prison, alluding to the fact that such a statement is completely backward, behind the times and misinformed.
New Zealand's Zionist Federation also tweeted that "statements like this just show how ill informed you are about the history of and situation in Israel."
South Africans also added that the government should be focused on the country's own issues such as the water crisis, sky-high crime and unemployment rates, as well as service delivery problems, instead of worrying about Israel.
Deisi International, a South African Christian Israel advocacy group, said that "this is evidence of antisemitism in our government."
"You guys have so much resources in your grasp to have correct information about the position of Israel concerning Gaza. Israel withdrew more than a decade [ago] now. And you’re feeding people false and hate," it added.
One of the more humorous tweets that went out was an animated GIF of Bart Simpson taking a cake, which reads "At least you tried," and throwing it in the dustbin. Other GIFs posted in response included Judge Judy shaking her head and Leonardo Di Caprio laughing hysterically.