By Maurice Makalu
Shaik Saleem Banda is misleading Zambians when he says the cross-continent convoy from Cape town to Gaza is a humanitarian convoy. I say so because the people of Gaza, who he says are human beings too, willingly voted Hamas, a government which seeks to annihilate another nation, Israel, from the face of the earth. To support such a people is to endorse hatred among human beings.
It is ‘humanitarian’ to let murderers free from prison or to give them a good life of normal comfort behind bars. We do not do that because criminals choose to murder others and they must be held accountable and responsible for their chooses. This is just basic and it has got nothing to do with being Palestinian, Muslim and what not.
I feel for the people of Gaza and I do not support the Israeli blockade. But I am not prepared to let them play victim and cry SOS when their predicament is a direct consequence of choosing a medieval way of fighting for freedom.
South Sudan is the newest nation on earth. Their struggle for ‘independence’ has been armed too; but they never had an agenda of annihilating Nothern Sudan from the face of the earth. How do Gazans expect Israel to unblockade them when they assure it that they will destroy it once they are free? Even if that helps galvanize the struggle, it only serves to hurt the struggle.
Muslims, if they are truly humanitarian, must be organising anti – Hamas convoys. Israel does not occupy Gaza. It pulled out a long time ago and destroyed all its settlements there. What are Gazans doing launching their rockets across the border into Israel?
Zambia must not allow this anti-Israel convoy on our soil. The blocade of Gaza, though inhuman, is a political feud between Hamas and Israel because Hamas does not recognise Israel’s right to exist and wants to wipe it out of the face of the earth. The West Bank where Fatah rules is not blockaded because Fatah recognises Israel’s right to exist.
This persistent behaviour by a select few extremist Muslims and their organisations to get involved in politics of hate, retribution and vengeance is the reason the Pope expressed concern over the emergency of what he termed “Political Islam.” And he was being mild. Zambia must add its voice to the Holy Father’s by NOT allowing that convoy on our soil.
Africa has known what it means to be occupied and ‘blockaded.’ We recognised it as a political predicament and fought it as such. If Arab Muslims want to support their Arab brothers, let them do so politically, not religiously. If they do it religiously, they should advance peace and unity not hatred and vengeance.
It is even an insult for these people to want to start this convoy in South Africa, in the bid to liken Israel’s blockade of Gaza and just the whole Palestinian issue to Apartheid. The story of apartheid is not complete without the story of the ANC’s struggle; a struggle which was violent only when ANC was provoked. Overall, the ANC’s struggle against apartheid was non-violent; and this non-violence was epitomised in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in which the occupied reconciled with the occupier in pursuance of peace and unity.
Hamas’ founding charter is violence to exteminate Jews; they do not respond to violence, they provoke it. Unapologetically! ANC never saught to exterminate Boers. South Africa must not allow anybody, individual or organisation, who sympathises with such a cause to even set foot on its soil. Such people will dent the legacy of the ANC’s struggle and its values. Nelson Mandela is not a world icon for nothing.
Say NO to political Islam in all its skins.
Maurice Makalu is an Author, Spiritual Teacher and Coach