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Pandor calls for immediate ceasefire in Gaza and an end to Israel’s ‘collective punishment on all Palestinians’

Pandor calls for immediate ceasefire in Gaza and an end to Israel’s ‘collective punishment on all Palestinians’
International Relations Minister Naledi Pandor. (Photo: Gallo Images / Beeld / Deaan Vivier)

International Relations Minister Naledi Pandor on Tuesday called for an immediate comprehensive ceasefire in Gaza and the release of civilian hostages, describing Israel’s actions as ‘apartheid oppression’. Tensions split the House, even if all agreed that Middle East peace was necessary.

‘We join the world in expressing horror at the war crimes being committed in Palestine through targeting civilians, civilian infrastructure, UN premises and other vulnerable targets. These experiences remind us of our experiences as black South Africans living under apartheid,” International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor said when opening her statement in the House on Tuesday about the Israel-Hamas war.

Seven actions were needed immediately, Pandor said, including an immediate comprehensive ceasefire, the full opening of humanitarian corridors so aid and basic services could reach those in need, all parties to exercise restraint from fuelling “this just war”, the release of all civilian hostages, the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free Middle East zone, the resumption of a “comprehensive dialogue” between Palestine and Israel, and a United Nations rapid deployment force to monitor the ceasefire and to protect civilians.

“The collective punishment that Israel is exacting on all Palestinians is an affront that has gone on too long.”

Comparing the Israel-Palestine conflict to black South Africans living under apartheid, Pandor effectively contextualised the governing ANC’s expression of support for Palestine by, for example, wearing kufiyahs in Parliament.

It was a notion she returned to in closing the bruising, acerbic debate in which the DA, Freedom Front Plus and African Christian Democratic Party sharply criticised the ANC for hypocrisy, bias and more.

“Our role must be to seek to build a better world that the benefits we enjoy of human rights, of a fantastic Constitution and of having institutions that work for all of us — that privilege is not just for us but must work for everyone,” Pandor said.

“And in any debate, if we are true to ourselves, if we are true to our history, if we are true to what we achieved, we will stand up to say what is being done to the people of Palestine is wrong, is intolerable and we will not pretend to accept it.”

Read more in Daily Maverick: Israel-Palestine War

The minister’s line was that no matter the aspersions, the ANC would not stop speaking up for the oppressed — although her statement on the Middle East war segued into the ANC’s longstanding call for a reform of the UN and the international governance system.

She said as “the crime of genocide, unfortunately, looms large” in Palestine, the selective application of international law and governance tools for Gaza was set to repeat previous failures in Rwanda in 1994, when almost a million people were killed, and in Bosnia.

“For international law to be effective it needs to be uniformly applied,” Pandor said.

Messy fault lines

No one in the House disagreed that peace in the Middle East was crucial. But the messy politico-ideological fault lines sparked tensions between the opposition and the ANC, as well as different stances within the opposition benches.

“The ANC is on the wrong side of history,” said Freedom Front Plus Chief Whip Corné Mulder, who pointed out the ANC initially did not condemn the Hamas killing of 1,400 civilians in Israel on 7 October.

Withdrawing the South African ambassador to Israel sent the message that “you are with Russia … you are with Hamas and you are with Iran”, he said in a reference to Pandor’s recent visit to Iran.

While the ACDP took a similar sharp stance, also over South Africa withdrawing its diplomats from Israel, most other opposition parties essentially agreed with Pandor that what was unfolding in Gaza was unacceptable and that a two-state solution was the only way to ensure lasting Middle East peace.

Read more in Daily Maverick: SA recalls diplomats in Tel Aviv over ‘untenable’ situation with Israeli ambassador

Describing Israel as a “murderous apartheid regime engaged in systematic eradication of Palestinians”, EFF MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi called for South Africa to cut diplomatic ties with Israel.

“Why are we friends with people who are violating the values of our Constitution? Let’s sever ties with Israel,” Ndlozi said.

IFP MP Mkhuleko Hlengwa said his party stood on the side of peace and negotiations — and a two-state solution would provide the peace and justice the Middle East needed.

We call on Israel to exercise restraint and commit to a ceasefire and a peace process. We call on Hamas to join the peace process and come to the negotiation table in finding an amicable solution to this conflict.

Supporting the UN call for an immediate ceasefire, Hlengwa said humanitarian aid had to reach those in need.

A minefield for the DA

For the DA, Tuesday’s debate on Pandor’s statement was walking a minefield.

DA MP Ghaleb Cachalia was recently removed as the party’s public enterprises spokesperson for his statement on social media that “Israel is committing genocide”.

The DA insisted he had transgressed a caucus decision that only its international relations spokesperson, Emma Powell, would speak on this issue. In a statement on social media, Cachalia said, “I will now proceed to perform my legislative and oversight duties from the backbenches and will ensure I serve the party and the nation in continuing what I began.”

Pandor’s statement in the House was preceded by Cachalia’s replacement on the public enterprises committee, as published in Parliament’s record of work, the Announcements, Tablings and Committee Reports.

Powell, as the duly mandated person to speak on the war, defined it as one of “radicalism which seeks the annihilation of the other side” against rationality that recognises both Israel’s and Palestine’s right to statehood and security.

Unlike many others on the opposition benches, Powell spoke of the need for safe zones for displaced Palestinians — and a humanitarian pause.

“Hamas’ actions on 7 October also betrayed the people of Gaza, unleashing a calamity that is unprecedented in living memory, upon more than two million Palestinians,” Powell said.

“What is equally true, is that the people of Palestine are not defined by Hamas. And the people of Palestine cannot, and must not, be subjected to collective punishment.”

Citing South Africa’s history as proof that peace could be possible even in dark times, the DA MP called on leaders across the political landscape to unite to call for peace on the basis of shared constitutional values.

That Powell and Pandor invoked South Africa’s transition to democracy, but in such different ways — as a “beacon of hope” for peace, and standing up for the oppressed, respectively — underscores the divisions in South Africa.

This comes at a time when South Africa is increasingly drawn into complex global geopolitical and economic dynamics — with a crucial domestic general election on the horizon. DM

Gallery

Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Benevolence ZA says:

    These people are hypocrites! Pandor was not even in South Africa during apartheid, she’s appropriating something she didn’t experience, she was living comfortably in the US or UK hence her silly accent. The EFF talks about constitution when it suits them. Russia has been doing that for more than a year and they are cheering them up to kidnap children and destroy Ukrainian infrastructure.

  • Pet Bug says:

    Powell brought the correct arguments to the house.

    What needs to be said more clearly is that Hamas, with their fanatical Iranian backers, have indeed brought Armageddon onto Gaza. The region requires the destruction of this outfit so that Palestinians and Jews and find a way out of this.

    The ANC and many more have taken the Hamas CoolAid and are encouraging their world view, which is fanatical, authoritarian, undemocratic and murderous, – this is certainly polar opposite to our constitutional values.
    Pandor and the ANC are completely wrong and derailed for some spurious ideological agenda.

    • D'Esprit Dan says:

      I agree that Powell had a more balanced response to the situation that most others, and it’s refreshing to see someone look at a situation without an inherent, immovable bias. This bit from yourself, though:

      “The region requires the destruction of this outfit so that Palestinians and Jews and find a way out of this.”

      That’s what so many white South Africans said about the ANC and PAC back in the day. It’s what many in the UK said about the IRA, and it’s what many in Spain said about ETA, all of them seemingly intractable conflicts. No conflict is intractable if you have the correct leadership on both (or all) sides, and at present, neither the Israeli government, nor Hamas has leadership worthy of the name. Hamas is not Palestine and Netanyahu is not Israel – it will take an enormous amount of courage, forgiveness and perseverance from all involved to overcome this gruesome stalemate, but it has to be done, because there is no violent solution to it. David van der Want below articulates it better than I do.

  • Denise Smit says:

    Nobody asked for how the hostages are treated and their release. It will be good if there is a nuclear cleanout , but that must include Iran. Denise Smit

    • Max Ozinsky says:

      You and Israhell will also disappear in the “nuclear cleanout”. The idea that the Palestinians can be removed by genocide is at the centre of zionism, as reflected by your crazy comment.

      • David Mitchley says:

        I have to disagree with you – the Zionists and the legitimate Israeli government have never called for the eradication of the Palestinians, whereas the terrorist Hamas and Hezbollah with the backing of Iran have repeatedly called for Israel to be wiped from the face of the earth.

        • Max Ozinsky says:

          Actually Netanyahu and Lieberman, a key ally, have campaigned for more than 30 years for the complete eradication of the Palestinians from “the river to the sea”, a slogan invented by the zionists. They have openly called for this ethnic cleansing in elections and even meetings with the US.

  • Cornay Bester says:

    5 times Israel agreed to calls from the international community for ceasefire … then the 7th happened.
    hamas promised another 7th.
    Think!

    • D'Esprit Dan says:

      But carried on dispossessing Palestinians of land – stealing it at gunpoint basically – and enforcing sub-human living conditions on Palestinians. Nothing happens in a vacuum, and there is a huge need for Israeli introspection as to how a group like Hamas ever came into being and gained popular support. This is not a justification of the 7th of October barbarity, but simply saying decades of Israeli actions cannot be dismissed simply because of the scale of the barbarity.

      • Terril Scott says:

        Respectfully, please read the history rather than the kool-aid feed from the well prepared “palestinian” propaganda sources.

        • D'Esprit Dan says:

          Respectfully, I have. And not from Palestinian sources, but from western media outlets like CNN, Haaretz, the Guardian and others that are hardly ‘kool-aid’ outlets, unless you view anyone who disagrees with you as such. The facts are that Israel has expanded further and further into the West Bank (which was part of Jordan originally) with settlements there and in East Jerusalem for decades. Even the US has asked Israel to stop taking more West Bank land!

      • Cornay Bester says:

        ….but …. but …. but … apologetic buts.
        Israel is done with buts.

  • Rose Rose says:

    Where’s her condemnation for the tragedy unfolding in Darfur? Not a word!!

    • Max Ozinsky says:

      More whataboutism.

      • D'Esprit Dan says:

        Except it’s not: the ANC doesn’t give a damn about ordinary Africans (here or in other countries), but is willing to tilt at every other windmill.

        • Max Ozinsky says:

          This is an emotional rather than factual response. SA has been actively involved in trying to bring peace to Sudan. The US has largely forced them out this role, because of the the oil interests.

          • D'Esprit Dan says:

            The ANC has sat on its hands on most of the conflicts in Africa, as well as those that aren’t actual wars, but create millions of refugees – witness Zimbabwe, where millions have left because of the dire economy and brutal repression of ZANU-PF and yet the clown Mbalula still congratulated them on clinging onto power for another five years. No major statements on Eswatini, the Sahel, CAR, Ethiopia and I could carry on. Moreover, Sudan has little oil since the secession of South Sudan, where the majority of the fields are (around 75% of the total), even if it is still pumped through to Port Sudan, with Chinese companies largely controlling the production, transport and export of that oil. Sudan (Khartoum) produces less than 0.5% of global oil and is ranked around 50th, hardly a key global producer the US would sweat over.

            Moreover, our troops left Sudan shortly after Bashir’s mob threatened them when Bashir was in SA (before his own generals couldn’t stomach him anymore) – and there has been absolute silence on the renewed war there from Pandor or anybody else, so I’m not sure what ‘active’ role we’re playing.

            Bottom line is that the ANC’s foreign policy is a subjective joke based on who backed them during the struggle. Any confluence with morality is pure coincidence. Even a stopped clock is correct twice a day.

      • Stephen Paul says:

        No. More moral hypocrisy. The accusation “whataboutism” is used as an excuse to deflect the double standards and fake righteousness at which this cANCer government excels.

  • George 007 says:

    Oh please! Does Pandor believe anyone on earth cares what she thinks?

    • Max Ozinsky says:

      Well Blinken and the Ukraine foreign minister were both in Tshwane last week, so clearly the US does.

      • D'Esprit Dan says:

        Maybe the Ukrainian was here to ask Pandor to condemn Putin for his barbaric attacks on women and children and hospitals and restaurants and shopping centres and homes and critical infrastructure? Would be perfectly logical, don’t you think?

  • David van der Want says:

    Hamas’ atrocity was expressly designed to plunge a knife into the wounds of the holocaust and the pogroms and Netanyahu has responded with an equally barbaric attack. This is what terror groups want – to rob all people involved of their humanity – and it’s working. One commentator here echoes the call of a junior Israeli politician for a nuclear “cleanout”. Words like “obliterate” and “exterminate” get used. All of these bombs sew the seeds of radicalisation in the hearts of the next generation of terrorists. It’s a tragedy.

    Where the apartheid comparison breaks down is that our oppressive system (all I have read and heard from people who have been to Gaza suggests that Israel conducts itself as an apartheid state) was opposed by massive international boycott. ZA became a pariah state, and this significantly created the context for the end of apartheid. Israel enjoys the explicit ideological and material support of many powerful western democracies.

    Hamas’ attack can in no way be condoned. They did present Israel with a choice – respond with more violence against a civilian population or take the moral high ground and rob terror of it’s capacity to turn the brutalised into brutes. Netanyahu chose the former and has made of his country into a state as terrifying as it is terrified. I fear that the children of parents who survive these massive atrocities will bear the lasting pain of this decision.

    In Netanyahu’s shoes, what would Mandela have done?

    • David van der Want says:

      former should of course read latter

    • D'Esprit Dan says:

      You’ve put it superbly!

    • Middle aged Mike says:

      “Hamas’ attack can in no way be condoned. They did present Israel with a choice – respond with more violence against a civilian population or take the moral high ground and rob terror of it’s capacity to turn the brutalised into brutes.”

      I hear this argument often but so far no-one has articulated the detail of how it would work without violence. What do you suggest they should do?

      • Bennie Morani says:

        What should they do? First, agree to a real peaceful settlement that will give security and dignity to all who live in Palestine and Israel. People in Gaza voted for Hamas because of their utter hopelessness due to the unending dispossession of their land and the brutal Israeli blockade. Real peace will undermine the support for Hamas. And even if they are defeated militarily, a more brutal group will emerge from the ashes.

        • Middle aged Mike says:

          Ja, that’s a workable and detailed plan. It amounts to sit back and absorb rocket attacks while providing them with electricity and water until the elected government of the terrorist statelet achieves their clearly stated aim of eliminating you. Just for interest what would you expect of Hamas to achieve this?

          • robby 77 says:

            Agreed. Always surprises me, the naivety of commentators. Should Israel sit back and fold it’s arms? According to Ghazi Hamad, a member of Hamas’s political bureau, they would repeat Oct 7th over and over again. Well really now, does Israel sit back and wait for that? I think the answer should be clear.

        • Ben Harper says:

          On what planet do you think that will happen? Suggest you read up on the conflict in the area, Palestine never had land, Gaza was controlled by Egypt from 1948 to 1967 and the West Bank was controlled by Jordan over the same time. The land was captured by Israel during the 6 day war when multiple Arab states attacked Israel simultaneously, the land was then used a s a buffer for the protection of Israel. There is not and has never been “Palestinian Land”

  • D'Esprit Dan says:

    “Our role must be to seek to build a better world that the benefits we enjoy of human rights, of a fantastic Constitution and of having institutions that work for all of us — that privilege is not just for us but must work for everyone,” Pandor said.

    Except, Minister Pandor, most institutions in South African are broken, and were broken by your party. But when you live in a bubble without the inconvenience of loadshedding, watershedding, safety shedding, education shedding, healthcare shedding and everything else your regime has destroyed, I don’t expect you to understand the daily struggles of ordinary South Africans. It’s why your party is so gung-ho about tilting at windmills, because losing AGOA, getting squeezed out of EU programmes and seeing increases in poverty won’t affect you or your similarly pampered elite – just the ‘dirty voters’ in the streets.

    Other than that, you’re quite correct (but hardly alone) in calling for ceasefires, humanitarian corridors and a permanent settlement.

  • D'Esprit Dan says:

    Just a couple of thoughts, from my side. When I was in the army in the 80s, sitting at my desk at DHQ, my colonel stormed in and threw a newspaper at me (he knew I was going to Sodom and Gomorrah, or Wits the following year) that had a headline about a bomb blast in Pretoria (I think, could have been the Joburg one) and said – “You see – you give them an inch and this is what they do! They need to be controlled!” I responded that if I was called a k***** every day and had to have permission to walk in parts of my own city (let alone live, work, marry or shag who I wanted), I would also plant bombs after decades of being treated like that.

    Israel has much to answer for, especially the ongoing theft of Palestinian land in the West Bank, the Settler vigilantes who routinely assault Palestinians, the daily degradation of checkpoints, living in the squalor of generations-old refugee camps and having no future outside of this. It’s untenable. Much as apartheid was, and was ultimately responsible for MK and civil disobedience and all that went with it.

    Much as the ANC’s abysmal track record in South Africa has led to the rise of bitter populists like the EFF and the rest of the lunatic-fringe left, so has the experience of Palestinians seen more radical elements coalesce into Hamas. Am I justifying Hamas or their actions of the 7th of October? No. Never. Just some context – and why the world needs a huge effort to get both sides to live in peace.

  • virginia crawford says:

    I agree with the call for a ceasefire, however, Naledi Pandor is a nonentity on the international stage, so it has no impact. Add the visits to Russia and the Lady R scandal and you can add hypocrite to the description. Sad that we are represented by someone like this: the face of a bloated, morally bankrupt ANC.

    • D'Esprit Dan says:

      I agree that Pandor is a political lightweight on the global stage, but that doesn’t mean she has no right to a voice. We’re all down here most days exhorting this or that and have even less heft than Pandor, but its our right and we use it. If enough people use that right, it eventually can make a difference. And just to plays devil’s advocate, if Pandor is such a lightweight, why all the outrage about her trips to Russia and Iran – surely they’re inconsequential?

      • Sydney Kaye says:

        The outrage is because although they have no influence on these events and serve no purpose, siding with rogue nations such as Russia and Iran , and (as a straw that could well break the camel’s back) with the murderous Hamas is prejudicial to SA interests

    • Ben Harper says:

      A Ceasefire will achieve nothing but give Hamas the time to regroup and launch another attack, they have done this every single time there has been a ceasefire in place.

  • Grenville Wilson says:

    Mmmm, I wonder who’s listening? 🤔

  • Lynda Tyrer says:

    Pandor should be giving no demands of any sort as she has shown quite clearly she supports the terrorist group hamas.

  • Middle aged Mike says:

    Pandor has the gravitas of a hot air balloon.

  • Libby De Villiers says:

    Dear minister Pandor, nobody cares what you think or call for. NOBODY.

    • Johan Buys says:

      Libby, unfortunately we will care when we get booted out of Agoa trade treaty because we choose to side with Iran, Hamas, etc.

      SA should learn to stay in its lane as “non-aligned” minor league player instead of implementing this non-alignment with very overt alignment statements and actions. China for example has FAR more clout on global stage yet is much more circumspect in what it says

  • Billy Kemp says:

    This government just supports communists and terrorists. Their ideology is so blurred and one sided.

  • Samuel Ginsberg says:

    Ceasefire? Easy. Return the hostages.

  • Confucious Says says:

    Willie Modishe said it best: Hong Hong Hong!!!! In bed with Hamas, Iran and Russia. No credibility/value in anything the anc says!!

  • Cunningham Ngcukana says:

    We are going to see once more the Apartheid dinosaurs in these pages attacking the correct call by the Minister that is both reasonable and the best option in the face of the genocide by the Israel criminal regime that has murdered thousands of children and continues to destroy civilian infrastructure, homes, hospitals and to deny aid to enter Gaza that they have blockaded for the last 17 years. Hamas is being labeled as a terrorist organisation by terrorists themselves who have terrorised the Palestinians for decades with the backing of the biggest terrorist in the world, the USA. The Minister was correct to speak to the leadership of Hamas that won the most free and fair elections in 2006. The branding of Hamas as terrorist by a terrorist state of Israel does not wash in South Africa because these are the same people with the US and the Apartheid regime that labeled us as terrorists. The notion that Israel can destroy an idea and a movement called Hamas is not going to happen. They may weaken the Al Qassam brigades but they are not going to stop the struggle for the self determination of Palestinians. The notion that the Palestinians must use what the Americans and other thugs call the right channels it is because they control those channels including the useless Palestinian Authority. The call by the Minister for the ICC to indict Netanyahu, Gallant and other senior Israel officials is very much welcome. If the ICC fails to indict them, South Africa must leave the ICC.

    • John P says:

      What happened to elections after 2006?

      Whilst I agree that the massacre in Palestine must stop it would help if our government had some consistency and castigated Russia as well for their completely unjustifiable war against Ukraine.

    • Michael Thomlinson says:

      So why are people who appose what the minister says and what you think, apartheid dinosours? If our ANC minsiters had condemned Russia for destroying civilian infrastructure and deliberatley bombing 100’s of hospitals, schools and energy networks in the dead of winters plus condemning HAMAS for the attack on inocent civilians then I think they may have a case for condemning Israel. But if you are not even handed then sit down and shutup. Besides that, SA is a small small player in all of this and has more to lose by taking sides – think job losses and more poverty but of course for “principled” people like our ministers (and perhaps you) that does not matter a jot because they have their sheltered employmnet and a fantastic pension at the end of the day thanks to us, the long suffering SA tax payer.

    • Middle aged Mike says:

      Why not just say ‘white people’ and spare us the silly dinosaur label. It’s pretty transparent. While you are about it perhaps consider taking a course in brevity or even just run your screeds through grammarly.

      • B M says:

        @Middle aged Mike: the best way to deal with Trolls and Trumpeters is to ignore them. A trumpeter is someone who connects one reasonable opinion as support for many exaggerated, contentious, or false opinions.

        I remind myself, every time, that only an idiot argues with an idiot.

    • Stephen Paul says:

      And Hamas should not be indicted by the ICC ? And Qatar which gives luxury shelter and succor to Hamas leaders should not be indicted ? The rhetoric from Pandor is the kind of biased bigoted claptrap from her and her followers which will not move the peace process on by one inch. But judging from all your posts, yours is a peace process in which the sovereign state of Israel will not be the slightest bit interested. If everyone would grow up and understand that the Jewish state of Israel from the river to the sea must protect its citizens, is not going commit suicide and disappear, and the Palestinians are not going to give up their aspirations for a state and nor should they as long as neither state threatens the other, and both need to overcome their ideological extremist positions and blame game as seen by the other side, perhaps a 2 state solution process could move by an inch or two or three beyond the current stagnant status quo. Personally I do not hold my breath and am in favor of a federal system arrangement in which both Peoples can fully claim their national identity with all that entails, as I cannot see how an omelette can be unscrambled.
      But my opinion counts for nothing and we are in these posts all venting.

  • Agf Agf says:

    If Hamas really care about “their people” (after all they are the official government of Gaza, voted in by the people of Gaza), they should simply surrender. Raise the white flag, hand over the hostages, and emerge from their tunnels. Israel could then open all the borders and allow foreign aid once more. This would be subject to Hamas being disbanded and new elections being held. The relieved citizens of Gaza would then vote in a moderate government who would truly care for the people of Gaza. Massive amounts of aid would flow in allowing the rebuilding of Gaza, turning it into a jewel of the Mediterranean, another Singapore, with pristine beaches and tourist hotels and apartment blocks. An International Airport would be built allowing thousands of tourists to flow in similar to Istanbul. Easy. Problem solved. Oh dear. I really should cut down on the intake of shrooms.

  • William Dryden says:

    What was Israel supposed to do after the massacre of 1400 people having a beach get together, just sit back? As for Ndlozi he is a communist and should keep out of the conversation as he has nothing important to say about anything, also Pandor has shown her colours (again) and they aren’t pretty.

  • Shaun Slayer says:

    Tell that to your Russian comrades, Naledi. ‘Risk that nuclear, chemical and biological weapons will be used is increasing,’ says Russian security chief. Yet you want to run Israel into the ground after your friends attacked and murdered people at a rave, just having fun. It’s a wonder people like you are allowed to make public comments @ a time like this. The reporters are all giving the world a one sided report when commenting on Israel yet Russia does excactly the same and everyone just shuts up cause they scared of ol “puddings” nuclear arsenal.

  • Johan Buys says:

    When elephants fight, the meerkat and warthog stay far away. Why do we always have to push? Nobody really cares what South Africa says until we put our foot in it by seeming to take sides. Hamas picked this fight and while one can have debates about why, there is NO defensible argument for what they did.

    tragically, Israel’s reaction was predictable and is EXACTLY what Hamas counted on.

    All fine : short statement to condemn killing of all innocents by any side and then sit down. We are not a world power, more like world yapper that just irritates nations we can’t afford to.

  • Vas K says:

    I’m glad the minister raised the collective punishment. I hope it will start a discussion on what it implies: collective guilt.

  • douglas wade says:

    The problem is that both sides have their fanatics, Hamas on the Palestinian, the far right/ultra orthodox/settler types on the Israeli, while the bulk of both seem to be reasonable people trying to make a life. Nobody, however, reacts calmly when they fear their very existence is under threat.
    What is almost wholly lacking on the Israeli side is any thought on the future of Gaza, barring Netanyahu’s remark that they will control security. I gather that well over 100 000 houses or flats have been destroyed and thousands of businesses as well as the infrastructure. Will Netanyahu’s government take any responsibility for replacing them?
    What makes me despair, is the fact that no account is being taken of the fact that the killing and injuring of over 30 000 people is ensuring that the Israelis will be distrusted if not actively hated for another three generations. Nor does Netanyahu seem to realise that you cannot shoot an idea. Sooner or later there has to be a political settlement. Repression merely force feeds extremism.

  • Lisbeth Scalabrini says:

    Israel is fed up with being attacked and this time, I’m afraid, they are going to do what Hamas, Iran and others have promised to do to them: wipe them off the map!

  • Andre Swart says:

    It could have been PREVENTED … everybody knows that!

    Every person in Gaza have been living with the Hamas terrorists for decades knowing full well what would be the consequences of provoking Israel.

    Now you have it!

    You should have prevented it!

  • David Crossley says:

    Any respect I had for the well spoken Minister Pandor is now history.
    Her utterances clearly show that the ANC is certainly not maintaining a non-aligned stance when it comes to the war between Hamas and Israel – they are unashamedly on the side of Hamas, a terrorist organisation.
    Did she ever condemn the Hamas murderers who killed raped and mutilated 1400 Israeli civilians?

  • dexter m says:

    Thought Ireland would be first EU nation to break rank after SA action. But Belgium is first their Deputy PM wants government to sanctions against Israel for their actions. Also wants EU to suspend Association Agreement . Also import ban on products from occupied Palestinians Territory and ban on violent settlers. politicians . soldiers responsible for war crimes should be banned from entering EU. Refer both Hamas and Israel to be referred to ICC. Watch the EU dominos fall.

  • Ludovici DIVES says:

    Powell should replace Pandor with immediate effect as International Relations Minister

  • jcdville stormers says:

    When the goverment of the last 30 years main contribution is looting,i wouldnt open my mouth Pandor

  • Bick Nee says:

    I don’t get the “apartheid” label being bandied about so liberally. Apartheid was nothing like the situation in Palestine at the moment and I struggle to see any similarities. The word “apartheid” is thrown into the mix and everyone nods sagely and disengages their brains.

  • Mordechai Yitzchak says:

    Imagine an alien lands on earth right now, with no clue about what’s happening. It sees Hamas supported and backed by Iran, with Russia, Iraq, Turkey and every rogue Arab state worth its salt (with the world’s most notoriously bad human, women’s and gay rights records) being cheer-led locally by our government, the ANC, the EFF, PAGAD, Carl Neihaus, Alan Boesak and every other dodgy oke worth 5c – and the alien knows EXACTLY which side to steer clear of. Even an alien who landed here after 5 seconds can figure out that this “cause” has about as much to do with “human rights” as chickens picketing in support of KFC.

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