Tuesday, November 03, 2015

03-Nov-15: Hamas' Africa strategy might already be paying dividends

Hamas arch-terrorist Khaled Meshaal speaks to a Johannesburg press conference, October 19, 2015 [Image Source]
This past Sunday, an advertisement placed and paid for by a pro-Israel group in South Africa and attacking the terrorist organization Hamas was due to appear in that country's Sunday Times newspaper. But it failed to appear. Two days before, and after its placement had been paid for, someone took the decision not to allow it to be published.

Facebook posting by the South African Zionist Federation explains what happened:
This is what the Sunday Times did not want South Africans to know about Hamas!!!! This advert was fully paid to run as a full page advert in the Sunday Times tomorrow. On Friday afternoon at 3 PM the Sunday Times pulled the advert and cancelled publication. These are the facts that they did not want their readership to know about Hamas! — at Sunday Times ZA.
If the Sunday Times has explained its decision, we're not aware of it. It's an important and influential platform. South Africa's largest Sunday paper, it has nationwide distribution, as well as being sold in neighbouring Lesotho, Botswana and Swaziland for an overall estimated readership of about 3.5 million [source]. Times Media Group whose shares are listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, owns the paper and describes itself in these generous terms:
In a continent where economic progress and social reforms are critical goals, TMG enriches lives, by offering solutions for knowledge, information, leisure and business. That is the essence of what makes TMG the company that it is.
The TMG corporate footprint is large, covering multiple businesses in media, broadcasting and content, and retail. The owners take a serious-sounding approach to their corporate responsibilities, publishing a "Code of Conduct" as part of their 2013 annual report, assuring stakeholders that
ethical practices underpin our corporate code of conduct.  Accordingly, our people are expected to uphold fair practices by: Maintaining the highest standards of integrity in all business relationships; Carefully guarding against influences that may compromise independent judgement and action; Using their approved authority to act in TMG’s best interests at all times. The Group’s code of conduct details the behaviour expected from employees at every level when dealing with stakeholders including customers, shareholders, suppliers, colleagues and competitors.
How exactly this "highest standards of integrity" policy works in today's South Africa is not clear to us outsiders. What we do sense from here is that South Africa has taken an approach to the Islamist terrorists of Hamas that places them in a very small and select group of jihad-receptive countries.

We wrote here just two weeks ago ["20-Oct-15: Children and what a soulless society can do to them"] about the visit to the late Nelson Mandela's homeland of Khaled Mashal, Hamas' political leader (since 2004) and the fact that he was an official and honored guest at a conference of South Africa's ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC). The conference was to discuss "Palestinian identity issues, in addition to an independent, sovereign Palestinian state, free from Israeli occupation" according to a news report we quoted from Xinhua. We posted a photo of the arch-terrorist meeting with South Africa's President Jacob Zuma. We noted that they exchanged gifts, and signed "a letter of intent for the two governments to build a lasting relationship".

Does the ANC also stand with the knife-equipped children seeking innocent Israeli victims, or with the hate-driven adults who put them there? Does South Africa's president subscribe, as Hamas does, to the uplifting value of viciously murdering unarmed Jews and other Israelis as part of its efforts to “free Al-Aqsa”? We never managed to find out.

But we do understand, thanks to this Times of Israel report from yesterday, that Mashaal
told a government-endorsed rally in South Africa that the wave of Palestinian stabbing attacks against Israelis would continue. Referring to the terror attacks as “the Jerusalem intifada,” Mashaal told a crowd of several hundred supporters waving Hamas’s white-and-green flag in Cape Town that “the uprisings shall continue until freedom is achieved and the land is for Palestine and its people.” He compared the Palestinian cause to the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa. “South Africa, you have achieved your freedom, the people of Palestine are aspiring to attain their freedom,” he said. “Do not expect that they should stop with the uprising, do not expect that they should stop with the resistance.”
There's evidence that Meshaal's message was receive with ardour and enthusiasm - even before he started speaking:
Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal received a massive welcome as he walked on to the stage at a rally being held for him and his delegation in Cape Town on Tuesday. People rushed to the aisle, protected by bodyguards, to try and touch him as he bounded up the steps of the Darul Islamic Campus in Greenhaven east of Cape Town. He smiled through a salt and pepper beard and waved back at people in the the packed hall. ["Hamas leader gets huge welcome in Cape Town", News24 South Africa | October 21, 2015]
We also know, from a Palestinian source, that other voices inside the ANC ascribe considerable importance to the evolving brotherly ties:
ANC’s Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe said, “we are starting a relationship with Hamas…we are happy today we are together, we are formally formalizing our relationship. We’ll exchange delegations, we’ll share experiences and we’ll talk to each other regularly”...The ANC did host the Palestinian Authority with full state honors in Pretoria late last year where there is an accredited PA ambassador. But sentiment in South Africa has turned to the view that the idea of a two-state solution needs to be revisited. Israel’s creating of facts on the ground through occupation (deemed illegal by the UN) and constructing the apartheid wall (also deemed illegal) has made Oslo unworkable... It is felt that the two-state solution would simply entrench the old status quo of Israeli control of Palestinians, and would leave the West Bank divided into at least twenty cantons and multiple border posts. In other words, Palestinian freedom of movement and economic activity would be forever be policed by Israel in an unequal, if not militarily dominated, relationship. It is in this light that it is believed the Hamas visit to South Africa is an historic occasion, an occasion that could open the door to a whole new discourse on the Palestinian question.
The paid advert that was refused at the last moment by South Africa's Sunday Times
Clearly there is more than interpretation of what Hamas stands for, and what its message for South Africans actually is.

Which brings us back to the Sunday Times advertisement that was pulled at the last minute. Here (according to PoliticsWeb) is what it was going to say:
Unlike South Africans, who achieved peaceful resolutions to conflict through dialogue, negotiation, truth and reconciliation, the Political Head of Hamas, Khaled Mashal, emphatically insists:
“Jihad and armed resistance are the true and correct way… There will be no concession on an inch of the land”
The Hamas Charter openly and brazenly rejects peace initiatives and claims that Jihad is the only solution.
“Peace initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement… There is no solution for the Palestinian problem, except by Jihad” – Hamas Charter
And it gets worse
In direct opposition to the South African Bill of Rights, Hamas has openly declared homosexuality a crime punishable by death.
Freedom of religion is treated with equal contempt.
In Gaza, Hamas stands accused of forcing Christians to convert to Islam, digging up Christian cemeteries and warning Christians to ‘cooperate’ under threats of violence – including the threat of rape to the wives and daughters of Christian men.
Hamas forces abduct, torture, attack and summarily execute those who oppose them.
And it gets worse
Virtually every country in the world, including most Arab states, deny entry to Khaled Mashal.
Hamas is unwelcome is Amman, Cairo, and Riyadh. All have closed their doors to Hamas leadership.
The European Union, USA, Canada, Australia and many democracies keep Hamas on their terrorism blacklist.
And yet, Hamas is warmly welcomed in South Africa.
Why? It defies logic.
Given their intractable position on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and their fundamentalist interpretation of Jihad as holy war, what good can it bring?
WE urge the ANC to act as a credible mediator for peace in the Middle East and not to embrace a violent Jihadist organisation, by welcoming them into our midst.
A Hamas-style, Boko Haram, Al Shabaab ideology is the last thing South Africa needs.
Do you know who Hamas really is?
Find out more at www.realfacts.co.za
And here's what the people placing the unpublished ad say of themselves:
As a team of young South Africans, we have grown up through the very unique transition and very exciting times of the democracy of South Africa. In the eyes of many, including us, the majority of this transition has been due to the selfless work, perseverance and commitment of many important individuals with a shared vision and common goal.
Realfacts.co.za shares this same vision. Peace in the Middle East. A vision shared by five individuals wanting to make a difference.We emanate diversity at our very core and share one thing in common, a vision to spread the truth and facts about the situation in the Middle East.
All being former university students based in Johannesburg, constantly at the forefront of prejudice on both the sides of, Israel and Palestine, we wanted to create a platform where normal people that lead normal lives, can come to a website and actually educate themselves with Real Facts, with no bias or ulterior motives on the current situation
We all stand for PEACE. We all want PEACE in the Middle East. We all want to know and share the Real Facts.
Welcome to Realfacts.co.za
Hamas, proud of its blood-drenched Islamist heritage, has never been shy about advertising what it stands for and without visible apology: see The Hamas Charter. It has consequently been proscribed, banned and in various ways rendered an outlaw organization by many governments including the United States, the European Union, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and others.

Will the canceling of an anti-Hamas advertisement contribute to reverse such legal steps? Probably not. But to the extent that South Africans are getting a partial, and largely sanitized, version of what Hamas is and what it stands for, it's hard to see the Sunday Times getting bonus points for complying with its owners' code of conduct.

Everywhere, people need to be better informed of the corrosive impact of terrorism. On this challenge, and in measurable ways, South Africa appears to be taking several steps backwards.

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