Dear Community member
The current visit of a Hamas Central Committee delegation has understandably created much anger and concern in the Jewish community.
The Hamas delegation is here at the invitation of the ANC, and has also met with President Jacob Zuma. The ANC has signed a letter of intent, with the intention on building a long-term relationship. In the coming days the delegation will have a range of meetings with the ANC, SACP and Cosatu. During these meetings, they are likely to continue to portray themselves as a liberation struggle, similar to that of the ANC, while at the same time portraying Israel as a tyrannical nation that purposefully targets innocent women and children.
The manipulation of facts is particularly distressing in light of the current wave of terrorism plaguing Israel. During these past few weeks of deadly violence in Israel, Hamas has enthusiastically endorsed the cold-blooded murder of Jewish civilians and instigated dozens of lethal attacks against them. Hamas has also congratulated those who have carried out barbarous attacks on Israeli citizens.
The core ideology of Hamas is underpinned by a rabid hatred of the Jewish people. According to its twisted world view, Jews are depicted as a treacherous, under-handed, manipulative and destructive element in society, and of being guilty of the worst calamities to have befallen humankind. It stands to reason that Hamas does not support the creation of an independent Palestinian state co-existing in peace alongside Israel. It seeks the destruction of the Jewish state.
The SAJBD and SAZF will be engaging closely with President Zuma and the ANC to bring these facts to their attention. We will seek to explain the blatant racism and antisemitism of Hamas, expose the distortion and lies of Hamas and its warped portrayal of Israel, as well as the difference between terrorism (as represented by Hamas) versus the right to self-defence (as practiced by Israel). While we recognise the ANC’s willingness to meet all parties in this conflict with the aim of bringing about peace, we will explain how Hamas' core principles are in direct opposition to the ANC's values as expressed in the Freedom Charter and the principles on which our democracy is based.
We have met with the Parliamentary Chairperson of the International Relations Portfolio Committee, and we will continue to engage on this important matter.
A statement was issued to the media yesterday condemning this visit, and is included below. It was covered extensively in the national and international media.
We will report back to the community on this issue.
Mary Kluk Ben Swartz