A screening of ‘Occupation 101’ and panel discussion about the Occupied Palestinian Territories hosted by Palestine Solidarity Campaign Stellenbosch contribution by Mr Bantu Holomisa, MP (UDM President) at the University of Stellenbosch
Fellow Member of Parliament, Mr Magama
Palestine Solidarity Campaign Stellenbosch
Academics and students
Ladies and Gentlemen
Thank you for the kind invitation to join you tonight, to listen and learn; and to discuss a complex issue that has been on the international agenda for many years i.e. the conflict between Palestine and Israel.
MY UNDERSTANDING OF THIS COMPLEX ISSUE
During the time of completing my matric at Jongilizwe College in 1975, we used to be given assignments by our teacher Advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza, who taught ‘current events’.
One such assignment was the conflict in the Middle East.
At that point in time, it was already clear that this particular conflict was micro-managed by the United States of America (USA) and that the rest of the world was not actively involved. Dr Henry Kissinger, the then USA Secretary of State, headed these so-called peace talks.
There is broad consensus that the actions of the nations involved in the Arab-Israeli conflict violate limitations in international law.
In studies conducted, psychologists have a number of terms for the tendency of humans to view their adversaries as springing from a lower order of being – these terms being pseudo-speciation or dehumanising.
The conflict between these two groups have been compared to apartheid, but not apartheid as practiced in South Africa, but as apartheid as an international crime.
We can compare the aforementioned conflict to apartheid, but the crucial issue is that the United Nations’ (UN) Security Council has failed to come to consensus for a resolution to this conflict as a result of the power given to certain countries.
Implementation of the resolution could not be viable as a result of the veto by the USA. The International Convention of the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination (1965) and other conventions may well give valid expressions on human rights.It does not give indications on how solutions can be implemented on a conflict that has been going on for such a long period.
One can ask oneself: how strong does international law stand against organised religion? We see how organised religion has Muslims and Jews denying their common humanity. Thus confirming that the conflict is now out of the hands of the people of the Middle East.
The conflict will not be resolved until the UN Security Council is transformed.
Human rights and all that it comes with it, is vital for any people. It is a sensitive issue.
As long as there is no united consensus on the resolution of this conflict, we would be held accountable for contributing to creating a generation that will be called “fundamentalist” and “extremist”.
This conflict now, because of America’s interest in the Middle East, has hardened attitudes of the many countries in the Middle East, where they are accusing America of arming and funding Israel against Palestine and being a threat to neighbouring countries.
The USA on the other hand has been accusing countries like Iran and Syria of helping Palestine militarily.
It is clear that the use of force is not going to help anybody; it has been tried without success.
It looks like this conflict can only be solved peacefully The question is how? Who should sponsor the peace?
Perhaps this conflict should be a package to the reported warming up of the relationship between President Obama and the President of Iran as well as the flexing of muscle by Russia on the Syrian Debacle.
This could be the start of things to come, on finding a lasting solution between Israel and Palestine.
I thank you.