One cannot read Solly Mapaila‘s article (South Africa's "Israel Moment" is here) in Politicsweb, 6 March, without lapsing into laughter. One understands the panic felt by the South African Communist Party's aging ideologues and parliamentarians faced with the young bucks of NUMSA and the EFF who can, and regularly do, outbid them in revolutionary zeal and harebrained schemes. In the rush for the bottom, the SACP, try as it might is in the second league.
Till recently the preferred scapegoat for the manifold ills and glaring inequalities of South African society has been, at various times, different permutations and combinations of "the legacy of apartheid", "greedy or racist whites" and "neoliberals and various other forms of capitalist exploiters" as exemplified by the DA and personified by "Madam" Zille - and so on.
While all this was very convenient and had even elements of truth here and there, these "enemies" lacked a certain universality. The ANC definitely needed some way of re-establishing their own revolutionary credentials, severely dented by the undeniable spectacle of corruption, cronyism, inept delivery and the conspicuous display of wealth by the connected elite. Our new revolutionaries also needed a catchy way of connecting themselves to the universal Che Guevara image of the activist/ guerrilla fighter in the battle for the hearts and minds of the masses.
Meanwhile, in different neck of the woods another dilemma was surfacing. While as well-funded and as slick as ever the BDS Movement was running into problems. This is best envisaged through the following scenario.
BDS activist 1: Brothers we need something new. That rabid Je..., I mean Zionist warmonger, Netanyahu, has been gloating in public how the economy of Israel is booming and countries and companies are flocking to do business with it. It's sadly true, there is no integrity left in this world. Ever since Scarlett Johansson gave Oxfam the brush-off and the American Studies Association boycott backfired we have been on the back foot, boycott-wise. And then the ravenous Zionist machine is bringing thousands of Ethiopian students over here to undermine our branding efforts at IAW (Israel Apartheid Week). You know how important this week is to raise awareness amongst future leaders and how creative I have to be. It is depressing to think that some people will believe the Zionist lies.
BDS activist 2: Brother you can be depressing. Look the media still support us. Kairos is always inventive and our beloved Jewish friends, even though not many, are always ready to tell the truth about that colonial, apartheid cancer in the Middle East.
BDS activist 3: Well said brother2! Please don't afflict us with your self-doubts brother 1. You must stiffen your resolve and we will prevail over that occupier of Arab, I beg your pardon, Palestinian land.
BDS activist 1: It has always been a weakness of our glorious movement that wishful thinking and rhetoric takes precedent over hard analysis. Up to now we have had it easy. The media and much of academia have been solidly behind us. The supposedly clever Zionists were asleep and their pathetic attempts at defending themselves could be brushed aside with ease. But the media are no longer as reliable as they once were and then the news out of the Middle East and North Africa has not been very helpful. The glorious Arab Spring hit rough enough spots with Libya and Egypt in particular, but Syria has been an absolute disaster. And then the suicide bombing has been very prominent lately and our Western allies don't always understand it in context. And on top of everything there was that unfortunate beheading in London. Even the clumsy Zionists have woken up in their fashion and have started to challenge us on the apartheid branding. Our case is weak here brothers - it must be faced. Maybe we must consider the ZioNazi angle more favourably?
BDS activist 2: OK, OK you have made some good points but let's get real. South Africa for some strange reason is not very receptive to the ZioNazi angle. We came up with the apartheid brand in this country for a good reason. We must never forget their history. So let us find new allies. We must marry our revolutionary movement with the African struggle. They must see that the triumph of the indigeneous Palestinian-Arabs over the Jewish settlers is the same as their struggle against the White settlers in Africa. The ANC is vulnerable and needs new symbols to restore its image in the community. The contenders like the EFF and NUMSA are desperate to establish their universal revolutionary credentials. Taking on the Palestinian cause can only help consolidate their credibility amongst the masses - I hope. Even the SACP is open to new ideas and Cosatu has always assumed the mantle of the oppressed. And what are the Palestinians if not oppressed, if only by their glorious leaders. (That's just a joke brothers - please I beg you, don't get excited.) Anyway, not to get diverted, my strong recommendation is to pursue the apartheid route.
BDS activist 1: Look you have made some good points but the apartheid angle is really tricky. You know Arabs are not only in the Knesset, but they are Judges and doctors, lawyers and so forth. The Christians are earning as much as the Jews and one third of all pharmacists are Arab. Some of the Arab people are serving in the IDF and rising to high ranks. Their health figures are almost as good as the Jews and better than the Americans. The less said about the neighbouring Arab states the better; it's too depressing. And I am unhappy to tell you that the Arab educational accomplishments are improving greatly. It seems as if the disgusting Zionist entity is making great efforts to remedy the educational gap. I could go on but it is very distressing. I don't see how you can fit the facts into the apartheid narrative.
BDS activist 2 and 3: Stop! Stop already. Stop with the facts. What is this obsession with the facts? You're beginning to sound like a Zionist. Please we know how our Arab brothers feel in Isr..., I mean that Zionist entity. You are confusing me. Take my word for it. Apartheid can mean many things. As that famous Humpty Dumpty once said "When I use a word it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less". It is like that with apartheid.
With this fascinating interlude behind us, dear readers, you will be in better able to interpret the origins and motivations of Solly Mapaila‘s immortal words contained in the article noted above for your convenience. You will also be able to appreciate similar hogwash appearing under the auspices of the ANC, NUMSA, COSATU and never forgetting the EFF (what a rich collection of acronyms) plus the vast tribe of anti-Semites, nutters, activists in search of a cause, angry Jews, sincere but confused idealists, hardcore propagandists and the occasional genocidal fanatics who hover around that rich pile of BDS droppings.
BDS Activist 1: You see brothers, that arch-Zionist, Mike Berger, is poking fun at us.
BDS activists 2 and 3 together: Don't worry brother. We'll set Beezy Bailey on him. Hahahahah....
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