Shalom Life | July 01, 2014

South African Party Compares Israeli Operation to Nazi Crimes

The African National Congress (ANC) issued some extreme, harsh statements about Operation Protective Edge

By: Shaleni McBain

Published: July 10th, 2014 in News » World

South Africa’s ruling party, The African National Congress (ANC), issued some rather harsh statements about Israel’s Operation Protective Edge on Thursday, comparing Israel’s actions to those of Nazi Germany.

“The African National Congress (ANC) condemns in the strongest terms the barbaric attacks on the defenseless Palestinian people of Gaza,” the party’s Deputy Secretary-General, Jessie Duarte, wrote in a statement. “As we move towards the month of August and are reminded of [t]he atrocities of Nazi Germany, surely we must ask the people of Israel has the term ‘lest we forget’ lost its meaning.”

As you will no doubt notice, the statement contained several inaccurate facts, not to mention spelling mistakes and grammatical errors, and seemed very biased towards a Palestinian perspective.

“The State of Israel,” Duarte wrote, “has turned the occupied territories of Palestine into permanent death camps.”

“Of course the killing of any child irrespective of race color or creed must be condemned and the death of two Israeli young people is surely as senseless as any other death,” she continued, most likely referring to the deaths of Eyal Yifrach, Gil-ad Sha’ar and Naftali Fraenkel last month. “But for the State of Israel, the notion of an eye for an eye has become perpetual massacre with merciless revenge which has lasted for more than 60 years. It is time to stop the killing now.”

As reports the Times of Israel, Duarte warned that Israel’s “horrendous” attack on Gaza will even further isolate Israel in the international community. “Apartheid South Africa’s wanton killing of our people during the 1980’s lead to its isolation, it would seem that Israel is taking a similar path of isolation by embarking on these attacks.”

Just hours after the ANC’s statement was released, the South African Board of Deputies and the country’s Zionist Federation put out a joint press release condemning Duarte’s harsh words.

“Such naked invective is something one expects to find only on the more extreme wing of the anti-Israel lobby; coming from our country’s ruling party, it is nothing short of disgraceful,” the statement read. The groups said they were “particularly appalled over the shameful comparisons” between Israel’s actions and the Nazi genocide against the Jewish people.

“Comparisons between Israel and the Nazi regime are obscene, not only because they are so grossly defamatory towards the Jewish State but because they belittle the unspeakable crimes of Nazism itself. It is self-evident that casualties resulting from a necessary and unavoidable military operation – casualties that Israel goes to considerable lengths to minimize – cannot be remotely equated with the systematic mass murder of millions solely on account of their being Jewish.”

Duarte should be well informed of this but chose to make such a bold comparison anyway, “for the purpose of causing the maximum hurt and offense,” the statement charged. In doing so, she was “grossly insulting world Jewry and the memory of all the victims of Nazi tyranny.”

The joint statement also called Duarte on failing to mention the hundreds of rockets fired at Israel in recent weeks.

“It is unacceptable in any decent, democratic society for a responsible political organization to propagate such venom and bigotry, let alone a party that has been entrusted with the reins of government,” the statement continued.

The two most pronounced Jewish organizations in South Africa called on the ANC to push themselves away from Duarte’s “repugnant comments” and also to apologize to the country’s Jewish community.

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