Below are letters from our Media Team members in response to ant-Israel letters in the Argus. Whether our letters get printed or not we will continue to write them and send them to the editor as we speak up for truth and stand up for Israel.
Vawda’s letter riddled with lies
Hiding behind the Media Review Network does not give Ibrahim Vawda’s letter any credibility (The Zionist state guilty of human rights violations was born of anti-Semitism, March 31).
Not one of his statements is true. Although one of the network’s aims is to foster bridges of understanding in our country, Vawda gives the lie to that proposition.
Here are just two points: Edward Said, hardly an unbiased source, is a member of the virulent Palestinian National Council; Arabs in Israel are accorded the same rights as the rest of the population to the point where minorities are represented in the Knesset. Not so for Israelis in Gaza, where they have no rights at all and it is illegal for them to live or travel.
Every year in November, the world’s biggest liar competition is held at the Bridge Inn, Santon Bridge, Holmbrook, England.
According to Wikipedia, a South African, Abrie Krueger, won the title in 2003 after telling a story about how he was crowned King of the Wasdale Valley – the first time a foreigner had won.
Vawda would win the competition hands down.
Jewish state revived after 2000 years
As the Jewish holiday of Pesach (Passover) commences in 2020, Jews worldwide celebrate their exodus from Egypt and their return to their ancient homeland, then known as Canaan.
In 70 CE (Christian Era), after the Romans eventually defeated the Jews, the indigenous population of Judea and Samaria was dispersed worldwide – and since then, at every Pesach, without fail and wherever they live, the Jewish people have prayed to return once again, saying “Next year in Jerusalem!”.
Today’s Israel is a unique phenomenon in the history of mankind: no other nation has ever been evicted from its original homeland, retained its values and traditions through generation after generation, then returned, after 1,950 years, to reclaim its birthright. In an increasingly politicised world, it required the Zionist movement, founded in 1897, to facilitate the gradual rebuilding and re-population of what was by then known as Palestine (from Palestina, a name given by the Romans which became a province of Greater Syria). The re-establishment of the Jewish state in its original homeland was first ratified by the League of Nations at the San Remo Conference in 1920, then reinforced by the United Nations in 1947.
Palestine, a mandated area, never existed as a sovereign state. Following World War I Britain and France divided their jointly conquered territory into newly-created countries (Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Palestine). Britain administered Palestine but eventually divided the area further into Palestine and Trans-Jordan (subsequently renamed Jordan), respectively the western and eastern sides of the Jordan river. When the British departed in 1947 and the Jewish administration took control, the name of the entire western side of the Jordan was changed to Israel.
Prior to 1948 Palestine was populated by both Jews and Arabs, the latter of whom primarily came from neighbouring countries to work in the area – they were not indigenous inhabitants. In 1948, when Israel was attacked by its neighbours, approximately 700 000 Arabs fled Israel to the attacking countries whilst an almost equal number of Jews fled to Israel from those same countries after being evicted by them. During that war the portion of land today known as the West Bank or ‘Palestine’ was occupied and annexed by Jordan, including half of Jerusalem – until 1967 when, following another offensive war by its Arab neighbours, the territory was recaptured. Israel has never ‘occupied’what is today incorrectly referred to as ‘the West Bank’ or ‘Palestine’.
The Arab population remaining in the west bank area after Jordan was defeated then invented the false narrative of today’s so-called ‘Palestinian refugees having been evicted from their homes in 1948’.
The deliberate disinformation used in the past 72 years to rewrite the history of the re-emergence of the Jewish state, has been disseminated so effectively that fact has become fiction and vice-versa. Real history has been buried under a tsunami of intentionally misleading propaganda.
The reality is that Israel today encapsulates the return of the Jewish people to their ancient homeland where, thousands of years before Christianity and Islam, they lived between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan river, including that area of land on the west bank historically known as Judea and Samaria but currently misnamed ‘Palestine’.
A RESPONSE to Ibrahim Vawda/Media Review Network, Cape Argus, March 31 2020
From the outset, Ebrahim Vawda feigns outrage when he protests against being branded ‘anti-Semitic’. Yet his bluster is belied by his own words since even in his opening pitch, he labels the State of Israel as “the illegal Zionist entity”, a type of calumny that can be borne of nothing other than anti-Semitism. First things first, Israel is a nation state, a country alike to the 193 or so other countries of the world. It is not and should not be referred to as an “entity”, and the use of this word can only have been done to imply that Israel is somehow inferior to the other nations of the world and is somehow unworthy even to be described as a country. To be clear, it is derogatory language.
Vawda chooses to exhume an unpleasant and completely hearsay quote from the late Palestinian American academic, Edward Said (a member of the extremist Palestinian National Council and hardly an impartial source). However, he neglects to offer up factually based citations one might refer to, such as from the actual Charter of Hamas, which calls for jihad and the destruction of Israel. Only one conclusion can be drawn from such a statement, for the destruction of the State of Israel can mean nothing other than the extermination of the Jewish population that lives there. This is far from a fanciful interpretation as indeed not only has it been attempted before but recent leaders of Israel’s neighbouring countries have been calling for the same to happen again. It should be noted that whilst the Arab population in Israel is respected and afforded the same human rights as all other citizens, with the ethnic minority even having representation in the Knesset (the Israeli parliament), the same is not true of the Palestinian controlled areas, where the Palestinian Authority has made it illegal for Jewish Israelis to even travel, let alone live or have any rights. The notion that Jewish Israelis could live in Gaza and have political representation within the Palestinian Authority is so far from reality, it is inconceivable. Yet the Palestinian Authority have partitioned their society to a point where not only are those of Jewish ethnicity excluded but they actually don’t have the right to even exist. That should shock us but for Vawda, it is not even worthy of a mention. How convenient.
Secondly, Vawda describes that so-called entity as being “illegal”. Again, this is a derogatory slur and may very easily be dispelled by recourse to facts, which are rather lacking in his venomous rant. Factually, the State of Israel was declared on May 14th 1948, after the UN had voted to allow the partition of what was then Palestine on 29 November 1947. Vawda conveniently forgets to mention that prior to this event it was only the Jewish inhabitants of Palestine who identified themselves as Palestinian, through their newspaper the Palestine Post, and other civic institutions, whilst the Arab population generally chose not to identify themselves as Palestinian, but as Arabic. It is also worth pointing out that the vast majority of the land that was originally known as Palestine during the British Mandate years remained as it does today, under Arab control. The Kingdom of Jordan had been created by the British (without, I might add, any sanction to do so by the League of Nations) and to this day, represents by far the lion’s share of the land that had previously been known as Palestine.
Why is it that Vawda, in his haste to urge Israel to repatriate lands to Palestinians, does not do so or make even a single reference to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, where most of the land of Palestine was? The answer is an old one but a simple one: Anti-Semitism. The same anti-Semitism that drove King Edward to banish Jews from England in 1290. The same anti-Semitism that caused the Spanish Inquisition against Jews in 1492. The same anti-Semitism that drove Hitler to exterminate European Jewry.
And it this very same anti-Semitism, this hatred of Jewish people even living in their ancestral homelands which causes people to brand, as if with a yellow star, the State of Israel as “illegal” whilst not a word said against any supposed illegality of Jordan, which is also a country which was partitioned out of Ottoman territory.
What hypocrisy. The truth is that neither one of them is illegal as both were formed in accordance with the constitutional conventions of the day. The reason for this hypocrisy and singling out one nation over all others for venomous treatment, which I would liken as being tantamount to inciting racial hatred, has nothing whatever to do with the law – it has everything to do with ethnicity.
Sadly, there is a well-known term for a deep-seated dislike or even hatred of the Jewish ethnic group, and it is the one that Vawda tries rather too hard not to own. However, if the cap fits, wear it, and stop trying to deceive both the world and yourself that your reasoning isn’t polluted with prejudice and imbalance.
Galya Tregenza, South African Zionist Federation (Cape Council)
Ibrahim Vawda’sletter smacks of bigotry and anti-Semitism and is rife with inaccuracies
Ibrahim Vawda’s descent into rewriting history has reached a nadir of distortions and inaccuracies (Cape Argus Letters, March 31).
His wilful twisting of history and presenting the resultant farrago as fact speaks of the anti-Semitic, bigoted outlook he glosses over.
All his assertions to the contrary, Palestinian refugees came about in 1948, largely as a result of the surrounding five Arab countries insisting that all Arabs leave the emerging Israel, returning when the Jews had been “driven into the sea”.
A corresponding number of Jewish refugees, who simultaneously had been expelled from Arab countries, instead of being used as political pawns, were quickly absorbed into, and settled in Israel, which has not at any stage of their citizenship victimised them, mistreated them or harmed them.
Israel’s legality does not derive from the Balfour Declaration (a 1917 recommendation
by the foreign secretary to the British government), but from the San Remo Conference of 1920 that confirmed Israel’s legal right to the land allocated to it.
The nations forming the League of Nations after WWI adopted the proposition of a Jewish Palestine in what had been Turkish land (not Palestinian), for 400 years. This legal position was taken over in its entirety by the UN after WWII. By the same 1920 resolution, for the same reasons (dissolution of the Ottoman Empire), Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Transjordan were established. This legal right enjoyed by all five countries has never been abrogated.
Despite being the victors in defensive wars, Israel held that it would always be willing to trade land it captured for peace. This happened with Egypt and Jordan. Unfortunately, the rest of the Arab world adopted the infamous Three Nos: “No peace, No recognition, No negotiation”. Just a word about the UN: this year, UN General Assembly sessions will have adopted over two dozen country-specific resolutions on Israel – and only four on the rest of the world combined.
Israel is criticised for “the continuing, systematic violation of the human rights of the Palestinian people…”. One resolution condemned Israel for holding onto the Golan Heights, demanding Israel hand the land and its people to Syria.
It’s astonishing at a time when the Syrian regime is massacring its own people that the UN calls for more people to be subject to Assad’s rule. What is also outrageous is that these resolutions claim to care about Palestinians, yet the UN prove themselves completely oblivious of the suffering and have no interest in truly helping Palestinians, or in protecting anyone’s human rights.
The goal of these ritual, one sided condemnations and Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaigns remains the scapegoating of Israel with a view to its destruction.