PARTY

SA Zionist Federation's hands dripping with blood - COSATU

Patrick Craven
27 June 2012

Federation appeals to Shembe Church to disassociate itself from pro-Israel protests

COSATU condemns South African Zionist Federation's abuse of blacks under religious guise to legitimise apartheid in Israel

The Congress of South African Trade Unions has today written the following letter to the Reverend Inkosi, Phakama Shembe, spiritual leader of the Shembe Church

"Blessed is he who binds the wounds of those who have been injured, for injuries do not happen to one alone under the sun but to all." - Isaiah Shembe

In the trade union movement we have a similar saying: ‘An injury to one is an injury to all'. It is in this spirit of humanity and human solidarity that I write to you.

COSATU wants to first convey greetings to fellow workers and all those who associate with or who are members of the Shembe fellowship in South Africa and beyond, particularly its leadership. We are members of the same family. We share a common history of suffering from apartheid and colonialism. We share the same values of striving for freedom for ourselves and for others all over the world. We hate and abhor all forms of racism and discrimination, worst still in the name of God, and more than anything else, we believe in our African saying that Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu (you are because we are, or your humanity finds its full and meaningful expression in the dignity of everyone else, everywhere).

COSATU has recently learnt that the Israeli lobby in South Africa is courting certain groups to join its protests against our Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies. Israel's tiny support base in this country has been consistently on the decline for a number of years and they are increasingly becoming desperate for supporters. For example, at the planned protest outside the Department of Trade and Industry, they have offered to handout free "T-shirts and refreshments" to anyone who will attend.

In the light of these developments we particularly wish to address ourselves to you, fellow country persons and honourable members of this important institution in our society, the Shembe fellowship. We must always be on the alert for wolves in sheepskins! The South African Zionist Federation and their associates want to use you to further their racist supremacist ideology of Zionism.

For years this has been the basis for the brutal killings of fellow Palestinians, the forceful eviction of Palestinians and more recently through the racist and xenophobic violence against mainly African migrants and refugees inside Israel. Their occupation and the theft of the land and natural resources of the indigenous people is nothing but a legalisation of Jewish supremacy to further dehumanise everyone outside their scope of Zionist purity.

This kind of manipulation and cooption is not new. We blacks who suffered under, and struggled against, apartheid know that the white government also used black people to further its agenda. As trade unionists we were opposed to it then, and as COSATU we are still opposed to it now. Black people or other suffering groups should not agree to be used by any group, least of all the Israeli lobby, against our Palestinian brothers and sisters.

Those who choose to are either genuinely misinformed, opportunistic or are deliberately sacrificing principle on the altar of cheap politicking, as is being consistently demonstrated by the leader of the ACDP, Reverend Meshoe, and the IFP. These ‘leaders' have now become the most vocal spokespersons in support of apartheid and the continued occupation of Palestine, most disconcertingly, in the name of God.

As black South Africans we are reminded of our own personal and collective experiences when we hear how a Palestinian father is beaten and humiliated in front of his children by young Israeli soldiers; how a mother is prevented from giving birth because of Israel's infamous permit system which is reminiscent of the ‘pass laws' of apartheid South Africa; how a family's home is demolished because they are on the wrong side of the city; and how you are thrown into prison, without evidence or trial and held indefinitely simply because you oppose an unjust regime.

Further, we are shocked at the depravity of the Israeli regime. In the 1980s we never had a massacre of 1400 people in the span of three weeks such as the Israeli massacre in Gaza. The Pretoria regime never went to the extent of using chemical weapons such as white phosphorous against our people.

As with all other aspects of South African life, the life of a worker (and the working class) in apartheid South Africa was determined by that worker's ‘race'. Workers were privileged or disadvantaged depending on the racial classification they were given by the state. Similarly, in Israel, privilege flows from one's ethnicity. Various credible international and research bodies have confirmed that Israel's behaviour fits perfectly well within the definition of apartheid under international law. Most recently a tribunal on Palestine, help in our country, at which I had the honour of testifying, confirmed that Israel is indeed an apartheid state.

We should not associate ourselves with a regime and those that support such a state.  And in this vein, the notice issued by the Minister of Trade and Industry will give us, the people of South Africa, the choice not to associate or collaborate, wittingly or unwittingly in the dirty work of enforcing the suffering of others to affirm the supremacy of some.

Products from the Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories are illegal under international law. However, Israel has tried exporting them in recent years under the false pretence of having been "Made in Israel". Mislabelling such products is also a contravention of our Consumer Protection Act. The Minister of Trade and Industry, by issuing the notice that will make it mandatory for products from Israel to be correctly labelled, is simply carrying out his duty as provided for in our own constitution and related laws. In fact we call on him to go further, to ensure that there is a ban on all products from Israel!

For supporters of Israel to undermine our democratic processes is an affront to our very sovereignty and an insult to our ability to make our own choices. We should not be pressured by a fringe lobby that places the interests of Israel before the interests of our people and international law. We should not be pressured to undermine our own South African legislation that was won through years of hard struggles to defend our dignity.

In South Africa, the term Zionist may refer to the Mount of Zion or the Church of Zion. However, in Israel, or rather the current modern State of Israel, Zionism refers to those that believe in a state exclusively for the ruling supremacists at the expense of the indigenous Palestinian people because they view themselves as ordained by God to do all it takes to defend their privileged position. This is unequivocally racist.

Neither COSATU, nor I, would ever interfere with the Church of Zion - a respectable religious grouping in our country. Religion and religious expression is the right of all as enshrined in our constitution. However, I personally, and COSATU as a trade union federation, is opposed to the political ideology of Zionism - the idea that Jews are superior to Palestinians. This is where the delicacy of political manipulation must be vigilantly understood and exposed.

The South African Zionist Federation (SAZF) falls into the latter camp. The SAZF has been increasingly isolated in South Africa for being staunch supporters of this racist ideology in Israel. South Africans, having experienced racism in our lifetime, simply cannot allow racism to flourish elsewhere, but have a duty to crush it with all the might at their disposal.

In their desperation, the SAZF has now turned to the IFP, ACDP, Shembe church and others amongst the black communities who suffered and still suffer the legacy of the ugly ideology of apartheid. It is time for these groups to take a principled stand and dissociate themselves from such groupings as the SAZF or refuse to be instruments of a group that is well resourced, but whose hands are dripping with the blood of our sisters and brothers in Palestine.

Ironically, the very state of Israel was among the last to support apartheid South Africa, even at a time when unlikely allies had already begun to implement sanctions against South Africa.

Israel will use any group when and if it needs to. Initially, Africans were allowed to emigrate to Israel. In fact, Israel used Africans to claim that it was not an exclusive, racist state. However, in the last year this has changed. There have been major xenophobic and race riots, encouraged by the state, against African migrants and refugees. Thousands of Africans from Eritrea, Sudan and elsewhere are being forcefully deported. For the crime of being African? Like Palestinians, they are not Jewish.

It is for these and related reasons that we wish to make a special appeal to you as fellow Africans and soldiers of justice for all, to feel the pain of our people in Palestine and heed their call to end all and any form of collaboration with those who oppress and persecute them.

Finally, it must be noted that the Prophet Isaiah Shembe named the Shembe church, as the Church of Nazareth. The significance of this cannot be undermined. Nazareth is the childhood home of Jesus, today a centre of Christian pilgrimage. It a town that is part of historic Palestine. Today the majority of its inhabitants are Palestinians, descendants from the very people who lived there during the time Jesus did.  Yet in its continued occupation these descendents of Jesus are being harassed by Israeli measures. There is now a Jewish settlement on the lands of this town called Nazeret Elit and it is rumoured that this settlement is now passing laws to prohibit non-Jews from living there.

Can we, as South African Christians, who suffered cruelly under apartheid, stand back and accept all of this? Surely not!

Statement issued by Patrick Craven, COSATU national spokesperson, June 27 2012

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Comments

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 responses to this article

Shut it....
You're an idiot. you talk about Israel only so you can talk about yourself. The two are miles apart

by Shaun on June 27 2012, 17:48
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Patrick Craven's anti-Israel letter is factually and biblically inaccurate
With respect to the letter above:
* Support for Israel in South Africa is grown and not waning. The majority are Christian Gentiles and not Jewish and not manipulated by the Zionist Federation.
* The inhabitants of Nazareth of Jesus time were . .more

by Philip Rosenthal on June 27 2012, 18:56
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Article is hate speech - blood libel and should be removed
This article amounts to hate speech - specifically blood libel - against Israel and the Zionist Federation - especially the caption.

It is full of factual inaccuracy aimed at inciting hatred against the Zionist Federation, Israel and the Jews. . .more

by Philip Rosenthal on June 27 2012, 19:34
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Patrick Craven; in the land of the blind the guy with one eye is the scribe
Craven has his origins in the British trade union movement which as we all know is now defunct. He has found a bunch of brainless chickens in SA who require regular doses of worker rhetoric to justify their existence so chill Mr Rosenthal. Nobody takes . .more

by Ben jam in on June 27 2012, 22:40
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Whose hands are dripping with blood in Nigeria, Mr Craven?
Mr Craven may attempt baffle brains with b-s, but in this instance there is clear EVIDENCE as to whose hands are actually dripping with the blood of the innocents. Or would Mr Craven try to convince us that there is currently a Zionist/Israeli presence . .more

by Jay on June 28 2012, 01:10
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The Palestinians are the terrorists
with real blood on their AK47s.

by Nasdaq7 on June 28 2012, 03:23
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@Craven
I am aghast at the lies and blood libels perpetrated by Craven. I do not in any way defend or approve of what the current Israeli government is doing to immigrants but just for the record:
1. Jesus was a Jew
2. He lived amongst fellow Jews in . .more

by js on June 28 2012, 10:02
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"Craving" Phakama
Please note Patrick that the Nazareth Baptist Church (NBC), popularly known as "the Shembe Church" is led by Inkosi uNyazi LweZulu. The church is heardquartered @ Ebuhleni, Durban. Its membership is estimated @ 12 million. "Inkosi" Phakama, who's craving . .more

by Space Dlamini on June 28 2012, 11:56
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@Craven and COSATU
If anyone has blood on their hands it is COSATU. Do you remember how those miners were publicly murdered by Cosatu thugs because they refused to strike.

by js on June 28 2012, 13:20
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cosatu
Cosatu should not point fingers at anyone. Their support for SADTU who are destroying our children's lives through pathetic education is the same as having blood on THEIR hands.

by pietie on June 28 2012, 13:38
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How one-sided can Craven and Cosatu be?
Mr Craven, what about Syria and South African neutrality in the face of horrendous massacres committed by the Syrians? Talk about selective criticisms. And what of Cosatu's support for the SADTU destruction? Mr Craven try to write a fair minded response . .more

by THINKER on June 28 2012, 14:23
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Patrick Craven underestimates the ability of Christians to think for themselves and blames their opi...
Cosatu’s spokesman Patrick Craven underestimates the ability of Christians to think for themselves and blames their opinions on the Jews.

In a letter dated 27 June 2012 and entitled, SA Zionist Federation's hands dripping with blood, COSATU . .more

by The Revd John Atkinson on June 28 2012, 14:27
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Cynical - takes one to know one
I can't help but chuckle at Patrick Craven saying that the Zionists are cynically and underhandedly manipulating black folks. If they are, I guess it takes one to know one: He finishes with this flourish: "Can we, as South African Christians, who suffered . .more

by Terence on June 28 2012, 15:21
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@THINKER
Oh yes, Israel's should always be buried under the crimes of others??!!!! Those types of arguments are pure apologia. The suffering of the Palestinians has gone on forc decades and MUST be constantly highlighted and condemned.
Well done COSATU to note . .more

by Mafirofiro on June 28 2012, 15:22
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Patrick, you are so sad
Patrick, you are so sad, so hopeless. Did you not read and take to heart what I have said before? I know you have good intentions, but you speak so much cant that your good ideas are knocked senseless by the rhetoric... For example "T-shirts and . .more

by Dinks on June 28 2012, 15:42
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Israel and Palestine 1
Who does the land Palestine belong to?

The United Nations called a special meeting to debate this and invited all who had a stake in the outcome of the investigation.

At the start of the proceedings the chaiman invited the . .more

by James Bell on June 28 2012, 16:05
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Removing this comment does not make it untrue
Cosatu’s spokesman Patrick Craven underestimates the ability of Christians to think for themselves and blames their opinions on the Jews.

In a letter dated 27 June 2012 and entitled, SA Zionist Federation's hands dripping with blood, COSATU . .more

by The Revd John Atkinson on June 28 2012, 16:06
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Israel and the Palestinians 2
"Thank you gentlemen" the Israeli said, "now that we have that little mater settled, I will start with my presentation".

Of course in real life who was there first is irrelevant. What really counts is who develops a healthy and vibrant society . .more

by James Bell on June 28 2012, 16:15
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Israel and Palestinians
I have often wondered why the present regime in Seffrica shows such empathy with the Palestinians.

It suddenly dawned on me: They share a common victim mentality.

by James Bell on June 28 2012, 16:18
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Anyone who supports...
Anyone who supports the Israelis in their massacres has done no independent reading or thinking whatsoever. Get the facts. Not the propaganda. You WILL see for yourself. Just because the European Jews were subjected to a hateful massacre does not give . .more

by Dinks on June 28 2012, 16:55
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Have another drink Craven
Is the Honourable (?) Mr. Craven aware that Jesus was a Jew?

Is he also aware of the fact that only about one third of the Christian population of Bethlehem still live there? For your information, Mr. Craven, the other two thirds have left . .more

by Lippy a very proud Israeli. on June 28 2012, 17:46
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Craven?
Patrick remains remarkably quiet on the murder of citizens in Syria. He never raised a word when Gadaffi oppressed all. Not a peep about the call by Iran for Israel to be wiped off the map. Mugabe's atrocities... Again, silence.
But Patrick just . .more

by Indomnia on June 28 2012, 23:37
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@dinks
Rather be thought of as a fool than speak and remove all doubt

by Insomnia on June 28 2012, 23:38
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Israel
Cosatu should worry more about the starving S






Cosatu should take morry care of the millions of people in SA. without jobs. They would also do well to critiscise Syria and mANY OTHER mUSLIM COUNTRIES who . .more

by J Cohen on June 29 2012, 13:26
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Israel
The rejection of a UN resolution to establish the states of Palestine and Israel in the Middle East in 1947 set the stage for the present day conflict as well as the end of times scenario for these two peoples that can be found in Bible . .more

by Joe on June 29 2012, 19:32
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COSATU'S PATRICK CRAVEN and his lying article
First of all: @ Dinks: please let us have the sources that you call "independent reading or thinking". I would like to read those because I am sure they would prove to be not so "independent", but I am willing to find that out for myself.
@ The Rev . .more

by Sonia Odendaal on July 02 2012, 11:22
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Israel and Palestine
What can we think of Patrick Craven and Cosatu, He and his communist lying friends like Ronnie Kastril, have helped the ANC government rape and Pillage our wonderful country, the reason only Cosatu supports the violence perpetuated by the Palestinians . .more

by Sidney Anolik on July 03 2012, 09:44
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RESPONSE TO COSATU’S STATEMENT THAT THE’ SA ZIONIST FEDERATION’S HANDS DRIPPING WITH BLOOD’
As Patrick Craven starts his tirade against Israel and Zionism with a religious quote, I do likewise by quoting from Hillel, who lived hundred years before the Christian era;
'That which is hateful unto you do not do to your neighbor. This is the . .more

by S.A. Zionist Federation (Cape Council) on July 06 2012, 11:02
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RESPONSE TO COSATU’S STATEMENT THAT THE’ SA ZIONIST FEDERATION’S HANDS DRIPPING WITH BLOOD’
RESPONSE TO COSATU’S STATEMENT THAT THE’ SA ZIONIST FEDERATION’S HANDS DRIPPING WITH BLOOD’
As Patrick Craven starts his tirade against Israel and Zionism with a religious quote, I do likewise by quoting from Hillel, who lived hundred years before the . .more

by S.A. Zionist Federation (Cape Council) on July 12 2012, 09:25
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Terms and conditions of posting comments on this site.
The conditions for posting on this site states (see top)
"Comments
If you come across comments that are injurious, defamatory, profane, off-topic or inappropriate; contain personal attacks or racist, sexist, homophobic, or other slurs, please . .more

by Wayne Aronson on August 02 2012, 13:25
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@Wayne Aronson

Wayne, can you not see that everything that the Zionists stand for is injurious, racist and inhuman?

The Israeli government is follows a scorched-earth policy, imprisoning, injuring and killing without limit, and setting up the conditions . .more

by Dinks on August 07 2012, 15:47
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@Philip Rosenthal

Philip, I suggest you and the other Jews that are blind to or ignorant of the inhuman treatment, injury and murder of Palestinians by the Israeli government go to Gaza to see the facts. So many well-meaning Jews simply blindly believe what the . .more

by Dinks on August 07 2012, 15:51
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@Sonia Odendaal

Sorry, Sonia, I just saw your request. A search on
"Amesty International Gaza Israel"
"united nations" gaza israeli atrocities
will provide a good starting . .more

by Dinks on August 07 2012, 19:19
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