Sisa Ngombane, the new South African ambassador to Israel, needs to get himself
an education very quickly.
The headline of his Jerusalem Post interview
published in the Friday Magazine read “For us, Hamas in a national liberation
Wrong, Mr. Ambassador! Lesson No. 1: Hamas is a religion
Try reading the Hamas Charter, the part that says
“Oh Muslim! There’s a Jew hiding behind me. Go out and kill him!” The ambassador
thinks that this Islamic terror organization has “legitimate grounds to exist,”
because he supports the armed struggle.
Mr. Ngombane thinks that “Hamas
is a work in progress.”
Yes, Mr. Ambassador. Hamas is progressing and
developing its aim of eliminating Israel. This is part of your first lesson.
Read its charter to understand what Hamas truly stands for. It is not simply a
state of their own, but a state instead of Israel, free of Jews.
No. 2 is understanding what democracy is all about. Legitimacy does not come
The Germans voted for Hitler. Palestinians voted for
Hamas. In both cases Jews were killed by “liberation systems” bent on liberating
their regimes from Jews.
Lesson No. 3 is making the same mistake as the
European Union made with Hezbollah.
You cannot divide a terrorist
organization into a “military wing” and a “political wing.” That, to us the
victims, is disingenuous. It smacks of you supporting the aims of Hamas and
Hezbollah, but wanting to hide the connotation of terror.
Your words that
“some people have managed to stay away from terrorism while conducting an armed
struggle” are deeply disturbing. It indicates to Hamas, whom you support, that
there are “legitimate targets” such as members of our IDF or security
Any ambassador based in Israel who thinks that any Palestinian
group that practices terrorism against us does not disqualify the whole group as
being terrorists needs an urgent education.
Lesson No. 4 is take a study
course at the ICT Counter-Terrorism Institute of IDC Herzlia and learn what
constitutes a terror organization. I will be happy to introduce you to Boaz
Lesson No. 5 is that any group that adopts the policy and practice
of the BDS Movement, as the ANC has done in your country, automatically becomes
part of the BDS Movement by definition. You can’t be partly pregnant when it
comes to boycotting Israel. You either are for it or against it, and the ANC
have voted against Israel.
When asked if he thinks Israel is an apartheid
state, an allegation falsely made against Israel, the ambassador said he thought
there are “strong signals that it is going down that route, that there will be
discrimination, that because you are an Arab you won’t be able to live here or
buy a property here.”
Lesson No. 6, Mr. Ambassador. Not true. In fact
Arabs constitute over 20 percent of our population and do build and buy houses
Lesson No. 7 follows rapidly. Listen to what Palestinian Authority
President Mahmoud Abbas is telling anyone who will heed him, that no Jew or
Israeli will be permitted to live (or have a home) in any future Palestinian
By your own definition, Mr. Ngombane, the Palestinian state which
you and your government support will be an apartheid state.
Why is your
government not condemning this? In fact, your government is completely silent on
this racist, anti-Semitic, and apartheid policy adopted, at top level, by the
Palestinian leadership in both Ramallah and Gaza.
And here we come to the
very important Lesson No. 8: The basic political thinking of your own government
is colored by your experience in overcoming the previous regime in your country,
the birthplace of apartheid.
You gained a hard-won victory, but not all
conflicts can be defined by your black liberation theology.
Palestinians are not the blacks, and we in Israel are not white. We are, as you
will discover as you visit our land and meet our people, a rainbow nation.
Neither are we colonial invaders, as we are described by Archbishop Desmond
The deep, decades-old rift between Israel and South Africa stems
from your country giving birth to the appalling “Zionism is racism” slogan
which, like anti-Semitism, once spawned is hard to put back in the womb of
hatred. South Africa continues to be a hub of anti-Israel thought and political
action. They remain malevolently on your campuses, and has seeped inevitably
into your government circles.
Lesson No. 9 involves you truly
understanding the agenda of the Palestinian movement which, sadly, is not to be
a nation alongside Israel, but a state in place of Israel.
words to their own people, their charters, their ceremonies. They are replete in
exhortations to remove Israel and glorify their murderers.
terrorists, Mr. Ambassador, are not freedom fighters.
Marcus of Palestinian Media Watch to give you an eye-opening
Finally, Lesson No.10 is for you to go out and study the
rich, 3,000-year-old history of the Jewish People and of the State of
Understand our heritage and birthright. You will, I am sure, come
to the conclusion that we are peaceloving people living in our sovereign
land.Barry Shaw is the special consultant on delegitimzation issues to
The Strategic Dialogue Center at Netanya Academic College. He is also the author
Israel Reclaiming The Narrative: Exposing the Big Lie and Its Perpetrators.