Sunday, October 18, 2009

This Guy Influences My World

This is the official COSATU (Congress of South African Trade Unions -- a body representing 2 million workers) on the Goldstone report and the British TUC decision to consider boycotting Israel. You'll notice that, unsurprisingly to everyone but Judge Goldstone, it says nary a word about Goldstone's own account of Palestinian war crimes. You'll also note that it is very proud about how it stands against "arm-twisting tactics by the powerful forces of the world," and while it speaks for justice for the Palestinians (quite a noble goal), it says nothing about justice for the Israelis. I can only assume their printer ran out of ink, as the alternative is that COSATU either does not think justice for Israel and Palestine are compatible (which I refuse to believe), or does not think that justice for Israel is a relevant consideration (which I refuse to accept).

This statement was issued by one Bongani Masuku, COSATU International Relations Secretary. You may remember him for advocating the expulsion of Jews who disagree with him from South Africa, organizing a march against Jewish centers (not Israeli institutions) in the country to "convey a message to the Jews of South Africa" regarding Gaza, calling the head of the local Jewish community "that loud-mouthed Rabbi", implying that South African Jews aren't actually South African at all (referring to a South African Jew on a South African blog: "people [who] come all the way from wherever they come from to tell us where and how to march, they can do that in their own country, not here"), deriding those who "expect us to regard them [Israel-supporting Jews] as human beings," and saying Jews as a totality are "arrogant," and with the exception of a few who had "proven to be reasonable and humane," "we thought all of them are inhumane." It was a long, sustained, blatantly anti-Semitic rant -- one that specifically said that I have an obligation to prove myself a human being, with the presumption being against. And this guy sets the international policy for one of the most powerful political forces in one of the most powerful states on the African continent.

There are plenty of anti-Semites I can afford to ignore. The ones at COSATU, alas, are not among them.

No comments: