Shoks Mnisi Mzolo – Cii News | 16 October 2014/21 Dhul Hijjah 1435
The narrative in the Middle East is lamentably distorted. It projects the indigenous Palestinians, who have been subjugated for decades and robbed of the simplest human rights, as the aggressors. Part of the problem is that the media, as acknowledged by renowned hard-hitting journalist John Pilger alongside anti-Zionism people of Jewish ancestry, panders to the oppressive apartheid regime in charge of Tel Aviv. The media abdicate its duties in this respect.
Much as it is well- acknowledged, notably by people who advocate equality and human rights for all the inhabitants of the militaristic State of Israel, the protracted plight of indigenous Palestinians is not documented and preserved. That’s the best-case scenario. At worst, it is being erased or distorted or embellished to paint Israel as helpless. The passage of time will relegate the anti-Palestinian holocaust by Israel into the realm of myths or conspiracy theories. That the 2014 Ramadaan Massacre of 2,150 Palestinians, as part of Tel Aviv-driven genocidal and “collective punishment”, is fast fading is illustrative. The abundance of denialists and apologists says more.
It is against this background that the initiative, by Dr Anwar Nagia of the Palestine museum is a critical move likely to alter the pro-apartheid narrative and public opinion that frames the aggressors as victims and vice versa.
“Cape Town soon will see the first-ever Palestine museum. It’s incorporated in a project called the Human Rights Centre,” Nagia told Cii. The centre will span a library, lecture and movie theatres, clinic, mosque and a garden of remembrance to commemorate the lives of Palestinian freedom fighter Sheikh Ahmed Yassin and fallen heroes like Nelson Mandela, a grandee, and Patrice Lumumba – the revolutionary slain for refusing to embrace European superiority.
“The other thing (the museum) needs to do is to reshape the narrative that young men and women, coming from school, have always been taught… the position is that the Israeli occupation of Palestine is almost legitimized as if the Israelis and the Jewish people were there for centuries upon centuries. Not really so. So, the museum will teach people the right story,” Nagyar explained to Cii listeners, adding the museum supported any movement, including members of the Jewish community, who fight Israeli Nazism. Europe’s Nazist-inspired holocaust claimed 10 million lives (across a range of ethnicities and religious groups) in the 1940s.
Not only did Israel’s latest massacre claim the lives of 500 Palestinian children but the Israeli Defence Force shelling left deep psychological scars and turned Gaza – the world’s largest open-air prison and Israel’s arms laboratory – into rubble. None of this was enough to prove to right-wing apologists, who dominate the media space, that the real terrorists are Israel rather than resistance outfits like Gaza-based Hamas or Islamic Jihad. Palestinian fighters killed 65 IDF soldiers and three Israeli civilians during the two-month assault on Gaza. For context, the IDF slaughtered seven to eight Palestinian children for every one Israeli soldier killed.
Drawing parallels between the apartheid that SA endured with what the Palestinians are going through, Nagia noted the foreign element. “South Africa was literally under the yoke of international control, and of course, the local oppressor was the Nationalist Party and the agencies that propped up this illegitimate apartheid state,” this Cape Town-based human rights activist told Cii’s Global Dynamics last night.
“Similarly, we have our brothers and sisters (languishing) in Palestine where over 8 million to 9 million people have been expelled. An entire country completely usurped by a Zionist and illegitimate occupier by the barrel of the gun,” he said. “One can say that from 1917, 1948 – the Naqba, 1967 War and, of course, the first and second and third intifada have absolutely caused mayhem and devastation.”
In 1948, when the State of Israel was founded, and with European settlers imported to take over the “new” lands, a huge 800,000 Palestinians were exiled. Many more were, over time, pushed out. Today, millions remain in exile. The beginning of dispossession, authored in 1917 when British colonists gifted Palestine to right-wing Zionists who used religion as a pretext for genocide, is termed as the catastrophe or Al-Naqba. The Palestinians tried umpteen times, including in 1967 (Al-Naqsa), to resist occupation and colonialism. For their efforts to resist subjugation – in the same way that the rest of the world fought, from Cuba, whose revolution was led by Fidel Castro, the Congo where Lumumba fought, and the Mahatma’s India – Palestinians have nothing to show for it. That is if the 10% of their ancestral land, that they are allowed to inhabit, is worth noting.
Palestinians, a Semitic ethnic group, endure inhumane restrictions, such as apartheid checkpoints and the siege, within the 10% they live in. The Netanyahu administration has Egypt to thank for sustaining the siege and, for being able to deny the people of Palestine basic human rights and equal treatment, the rest of the international community. Palestinians have watched in shock as Israel destroyed their indigenous sites of historic significance and places of worship. Al-Aqsa Mosque, in the now-occupied Jerusalem, is in throes of further barbaric but dispiriting attack.
“As we speak tonight, the siege of Al Aqsa has taken its worst form ever. People, or Muslims, particularly, only have (access to) Al-Aqsa from 11 o’clock in the day. But from 7 in the morning to 11 am everyday, Al-Aqsa is not available to Muslim persons but will be available to Zionist occupiers who are, in fact, beginning to desecrate the entire complex of Al-Aqsa. And then, after that, only (Muslims) aged 45 and upwards are entitled to come there, at the behest of this illegitimate occupier,” Nagia explained to Cii listeners.
“Not only have so many churches and burial sites, mosques and places of worship – (revered) in Islamic history – have been completely obliterated and destroyed, so too the apartheid walls divide many brothers and sisters and families. This devastation is taking place in full view of the entire world and, also, resolution after resolution of the United Nations has been completely ignored by governments,” he said.
This anti-Nazism activist blasted Pretoria for succumbing to the Zionist agenda and, for instance, not “expelling the illegitimate Israeli ambassador”, Arthur Lenk, and Israel’s agencies doing business on our shores. Such inaction was motivated by Pretoria’s desire to “appease their masters”, charged Nagia – not mincing his words.
“Who are their masters? It’s America US, France and the so-called Western world,” he said.
Zionism-style colonialist, notwithstanding, Britain, France and the territory known as the United States find themselves in a tight spot. “How (it’s possible for the West) to tell the Israelis to get the hell out of Palestine because they (colonial westerners) have taken over the land of the Native Americans. So it’s a very complex situation but it’s something that you and I have been living with.”