A solution for the Middle East


A solution for the Middle East

If only Israelis and Palestinians could learn from South Africa's history, writes RIKU LÄTTI.


Breek dit af, breek die mure om jou af (Break it down, break the walls around you down) — from Tronk by Johannes Kerkorrel

I READ a quote yesterday that I'm probably going to get wrong now, but it's something like: “Heroes die young, the rest of us grow old to become villains." I said, wow, cool, that's deep, then I saw it came from the Batman movie The Dark Knight and somehow I wasn't surprised.

We need our stories to make sense of today's realities. The reality is simply too big, too much, too bloodthirsty, too heartless to understand. So, we create a story in which we can move closer to it without getting hurt, because it is just a story.

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But the wonderful world of stories opens a new Pandora's box. Stories are fiction, but because there are so many people to devour them it is also possible for a story to become so popular that people begin to confuse it with the truth. A story gains legitimacy with the number of times it is retold or published.

In this way, the story of Moses in the Bible is “truth" because there are simply too many people who believe it, despite the numerous contradictions that make it impossible to interpret as true history.

In contrast, Batman remains fictional and becomes a Trojan horse that smuggles in many truths. Like yesterday's heroes turning into villains if they manage to stay alive long enough.

This brings me to Israel, which has undergone a transformation of nature and has learnt from history to look more like the Nazis who previously oppressed the Jews.

Which brings me to Roger Waters' Perfect Sense where he sings:

And the Germans kill the Jews
And the Jews kill the Arabs
And the Arabs kill the hostages

It just makes sense, especially when you look at what happened on October 7. A hideous attack on Israel by Hamas in which women, children and men were slaughtered. This horrific act of violence can be condemned as nothing less than an act of mass terrorism. It is estimated that more than 250 Jewish and international hostages were taken by force. A blood-curdling thought, with Waters' words grinding in the back of your mind.

But if humanity learns from history, where did Hamas learn to be so depraved? In 1947-1948 this is exactly what a group of Zionist Jews did to the Palestinians.

A memorandum, “Jewish Atrocities in the Holy Land", submitted to the UN in 1948 clearly explains how Jews “indiscriminately massacred civilians, old men, women and children of all ages. Jews bayoneted pregnant women. Jews cut children to pieces before their mothers' eyes, then killed the mothers … Jews shot and killed nurses. Jews in Haifa killed, mutilated and crucified Arab prisoners and wounded."

Bloodthirsty actions carried out by Jews on Palestine are carried out in a similar way by Palestine on Jews 70 years later. To complete the circle, Israel responds in a manner similar to the way the Nazis treated Jews.

Gaza is fenced off by Israel. No Palestinian is allowed to cross the border, not even into Egypt. Israel cuts off the water, food and electricity supply and begins bombing. Only in the north. Spread the news that citizens should flee to the south, then start bombing the south.

Gaza today is a concentration camp in which people of a specific ethnicity are trapped like animals in a wildfire. With the bombs that Israel rains down on the area, this concentration camp becomes an open-air gas chamber full of panicked, stricken Palestinians who no longer know which way to turn to die.

This is how humanity continues to learn from history. Murderous lessons of violence to apply again and again to those who are seen as inferior and less human. Which brings me back home.

During apartheid, as we all know, politically motivated violence broke out all the time in South Africa. All understandable given the unjust oppression of racial groups. But look where we are now. Today, South Africa is relatively peaceful, especially compared to the crisis in the Middle East.

There are certainly people who will question this with statements that a war against white people is being waged in SA. I'm sure we've all seen the question “but what about farm murders?" somewhere online, where we find ourselves more and more. Just to give perspective to the situation, it is necessary to mention that in Palestine, in less than two months, more children have died brutally than the number of white farmers who have been murdered in South Africa in the past 10 years.

Having said that, it always remains necessary to mention that farm murders are a shockingly sad tragedy that should be strongly condemned like all murders, regardless of the colour of the victims. The murder rate in South Africa is alarming but the situation is in no way a state of war comparable to countries such as Ukraine and Israel/Palestine, Burkina Faso, Afghanistan, Sudan, Yemen and others.

South Africa is also much more peaceful than it could have been if we had not walked the path of reconciliation. Imagine for a moment: our white children and brothers drafted into an army that attacks our black and brown brothers. Children in our own country slaughtered to keep a white minority government in power. How long would that list of dead soldiers, sons of grieving mothers, have been? The SABC news of old would once again pretend that the broken bodies of brown and black children and their mothers' pain meant nothing.

If only Israelis and Palestinians could learn from South Africa's history instead of the Nazis and the Zionist Jewish terrorists respectively, then apartheid between Jews and Palestinians could be lifted. Nation building could take place in the area. Of course, not without obstacles, but one nation with different groups.

The “two-state" dream will never be able to end the inequality between Israelis and Palestinians. Not while one group manages all the resources for their benefit and makes all the rules.

The only path to future peace in the area is a single state where different groups are at least considered equal before the law. Jew, Palestinian, Christian and all other groups living in the area must be able to participate in the same elections. Be defended by the same military force. Resources must be used for the benefit of everyone in the community, not as a weapon.

In short, Israel and Palestine must merge and become one new country. With a new identity. As long as this does not happen, there will never be peace on that piece of ground.

As long as the world allows Israel to be “apartheid", for God knows what reason, that blue star of David will look like nothing but a blue swastika to another part of the world's population. How much peace can a people expect from the future if your emblem is a global target?

♦ VWB ♦

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