Kill the farmer, kill the Jew

Andrew Donaldson writes on Julius Malema's intervention in support of Hamas


SOME years back our family submitted DNA samples to a California-based genomics and biotechnology company who, in return, provided us with insights about our long-term health prospects based on our genetic data. 

We also received full ancestry reports, and it would seem that, several centuries ago, Mrs Donaldson’s ancestors included members of the Jewish diaspora that emerged in Europe in the Middle Ages. This was so far back in the past that, according to her DNA, my wife is less than one half per cent Jewish. 

This may seem an insignificant contribution to her entirety, if I may put it thus, but it was enough for her to declare this week that she would not be visiting Dagestan anytime in the foreseeable. 

“They might smell the Ashkenazi in me,” she explained.

A grim joke perhaps, but then this is a bad time for the Ashkenazi. According to Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas, for example, they’re not even proper Jews. 

Addressing the Fatah party’s Revolutionary Council in September this year, Abbas rambled on about how the Ashkenazi were not Semites as they had descended not from the Israelites but from an ancient Turkish tribe known as the Khazars. He further claimed that Adolf Hitler had slaughtered the Jews during the Second World War because of their “social role” as moneylenders and not out a hatred towards Judaism. So there.

This is not the first time Abbas has peddled this sort of “history lesson” to rubbish the Jewish claim to territory in the Holy Land and misrepresent the nature of the Holocaust. His reprehensible utterances have been widely condemned, including by Palestinian academics, activists, writers and artists. It’s doubtful, though, that he pays much attention to such people.

But back to Dagestan. I was quite unaware of the existence of this mostly Moslem region in southern Russia until news broke of events there on Sunday, when a mob stormed the airport at Makhachkala after a flight from Tel Aviv had landed. 

According to reports, they rampaged through the terminal buildings, demanding to know where “the Jews” were. Passengers were forced to hide for fear of being attacked. Videos posted on social media showed hundreds of men, some with antisemitic placards and Palestinian flags, running on to the tarmac and clambering on to idling aircraft, attempting to smash their windows. This behaviour was, in the words of one commentator, “absolutely medieval”.

These scenes were however not confined to Makhachkala. Earlier on Sunday, a planned Jewish centre was torched in Nalchik, a city in the neighbouring region of Kabardino-Balkaria. This followed an incident in which a hotel in the Dagestani city of Khasavyurt was besieged by a mob who searched its rooms for “Jewish refugees”.

The Guardian reports that there are concerns that an estimated 800 Jewish families in Dagestan may need to be evacuated. The newspaper quoted a Jewish government representative as saying, “People from the community are afraid; they call, and I do not know what to advise. Is it worth leaving? Because Russia is not our salvation. There were pogroms in Russia too. It is unclear where to run.”

This ramped-up baying for Jewish blood is widely regarded as a direct result of Moscow’s support from Hamas and its refusal to condemn the militants for sparking what could escalate into a wider, catastrophic war in the Middle East. According to Financial Times columnist Gideon Rachman, Western governments fear that the Israel-Hamas conflict could soon involve the United States, Iran and Saudi Arabia

Said Western governments, who all declared that Israel had an inalienable right to defend itself against Hama, meanwhile appear to be stunned by the ferocity of Israel’s response to the events of October 7, and there is talk of a world perilously poised on the brink of a “1914 moment”.

Unsurprisingly, the rising civilian death toll in Gaza has resulted in numerous pro-Palestinian demonstrations and rallies in cities across the globe. 

One such protest took place in Pretoria last week, when Julius Malema told supporters outside the Israeli embassy, “The EFF, when it takes over next year, is going to arm Hamas and make sure Hamas has got the necessary equipment to fight for their freedom.” 

Hamas, he said, should “shoot to kill”; Nelson Mandela, after all, “did the same thing”.

Malema added that his party could not afford to be neutral in the conflict, and the redshirts would accordingly be pressurising the outgoing government to shut down the Israeli embassy until Palestine gains its freedom. 

“We can’t stay in the same murderous area, breathe the same air with people who kill innocent people,” the Daily Telegraph quoted him as saying. “[The Israelis are] terrorists…they have no respect for humanity and life. We must never find ourselves in cooperation with them.”

On and on it went, the aimless bellowing of a buffoon wearing a tea towel underneath his baseball cap. 

He called on universities and research institutions to cut ties with Israel. He tore into the McDonald’s burger franchise, asking why it fed members of the Israeli Defence Force. 

He demanded that Woolworths, a familiar EFF target, to remove all Israeli products from its stores. Failure by the retail chain to do so could result in violence: “Comrades … start identifying where Woolworths is found. From now onwards we are collecting intelligence on where all products of Israel are being sold and we have to go to visit them and tell them that you have until the end of this month to remove everything from Israel or else we will remove it for you.”

None of this, the commander-in-chief explained, should be construed as anti-Semitic. The EFF had no problems in this regard. As he put it, “We are not saying we do not want Jews...”

They’re probably not too arsed about Malema in Jerusalem, I’d imagine, what with all they have on their plate at the moment. But the suggestion that Hamas is presently in need of more weaponry does seem to be at odds with reality; they had weapons enough on the Saturday morning they launched their pogrom. But that is perhaps stating the obvious.

It seems inevitable that, as the conflict continues and the bodies pile up in Gaza, the barbarity of the Hamas invasion should recede from our consciousness to make way for accounts of more recent events.

It would, in other words, be unrealistic to expect any condemnation of Hamas at these pro-Palestinian marches and rallies. Indeed, and given reports that posters of slaughtered babies have been torn down at pro-Israeli rallies, it would appear that there is instead considerable approval of the their murderous actions.

Many ordinary Palestinians, those who work in hospitals and refugee shelters in Gaza City, who suffer the privations of the Israeli blockade and who live under the rockets, as it were, have appeared on our news programmes to share their experiences of the horrors they endure in the rubble of their flattened neighbourhoods. Their stories are gut-wrenching. But very, very few, if any, of them have denounced Hamas and the attacks on Israel which led directly to their present suffering.

It is perhaps simplistic to point this out, churlish even, but it is these Palestinians who in January 2006 voted Hamas into power in a closely fought legislative contest with Fatah, the party led by the aforementioned Abbas. At the time, there was some consensus that Hamas was the less corrupt of the two. 

It was also the more overtly anti-semitic. Which may seem difficult to fathom, given what we know of Abbas’s thought processes. But consider this from a 1998 Hamas document, one that borrows heavily from Nazi propaganda:

“For a long time, the enemies have been planning, skillfully and with precision, for the achievement of what they have attained. They took into consideration the causes affecting the current of events. They strived to amass great and substantive material wealth which they devoted to the realisation of their dream. With their money, they took control of the world media, news agencies, the press, publishing houses, broadcasting stations, and others. With their money they stirred revolutions in various parts of the world with the purpose of achieving their interests and reaping the fruit therein. They were behind the French Revolution, the Communist revolution and most of the revolutions we heard and hear about, here and there. With their money they formed secret societies, such as Freemasons, Rotary Clubs, the Lions and others in different parts of the world for the purpose of sabotaging societies and achieving Zionist interests. With their money they were able to control imperialistic countries and instigate them to colonise many countries in order to enable them to exploit their resources and spread corruption there.

“You may speak as much as you want about regional and world wars. They were behind World War I, when they were able to destroy the Islamic Caliphate, making financial gains and controlling resources. They obtained the Balfour Declaration, formed the League of Nations through which they could rule the world. They were behind World War II, through which they made huge financial gains by trading in armaments, and paved the way for the establishment of their state. It was they who instigated the replacement of the League of Nations with the United Nations and the Security Council to enable them to rule the world through them. There is no war going on anywhere, without having their finger in it.”

There’s more of this bilge in the Covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement. Lots more. Were Palestinians not aware of this, you may ask, when they went to the polls back in 2006? But, as the Spectator columnist Rod Liddle cynically suggests, “Perhaps we might excuse these voters because they didn’t look at the small print.”

It is not surprising then that Jews are a little fearful at the moment. And not just in Dagestan.