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As in Vietnam and South Africa, Gazan masses are willing to pay high price for freedom — Kasrils

Israel/Palestine
on 23 Comments
Kasrils, addressing Israeli apartheid week event, 2009

Kasrils, addressing Israeli apartheid week event, 2009

The other day in discussing Gaza on Law and Disorder radio, Michael Ratner and Michael Smith spoke of the extent to which armed struggle has been an essential component of liberation movements. Today Ratner (a friend of this site) sent along this note from Ronnie Kasrils. A member of the African National Congress, Kasrils is also a former minister of intelligence in the South African government. He shared this comment with friends and said that it could be published:

It is clear that the resistance in Gaza is foiling & frustrating the objectives of the invaders. Israel has so far lost 40 soldiers killed in Gaza, deaths it cannot afford. These fatalities are bound to rise further which is why Israel with USA and Egyptian backing wants a ceasefire. The resistance has well prepared for such an invasion and the intricate web of fortified tunnels within the 350 square kilometre strip gives the daring combatants of Hamas & Islamic Jihad the ability to manoeuvre, fight back, ambush the enemy and inflict casualties. The Israelis are terrified that its soldiers will fall into the hands of the resistance and this is affecting their resolution on the ground and at government level.. These are tactics that worked for Hizbulla in the Lebanon & sapped the strength of the Americans in Vietnam. Israel will have to bring up thousands more reinforcements if it is to carry on with its land invasion. Already over fifty reservists have signed a statement that they will not serve. Another failure has been Israel’s much vaunted Iron Dome defence system which palpably cannot prevent the Qassam rockets penetrating and which has succeeded in affecting international flights into Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport. At the same time the heroic people of Gaza are standing steadfast and in most cases refusing to leave their homes making it more problematic for the Israeli Defence force to level to the ground the inhabited areas. Make no mistake the stock of the resistance movement is rising among the people in Gaza, the West Bank, among the Palestinians living within Israel itself and throughout the diaspora. This resistance is inspiring international solidarity just as much as that support is motivated by anger at Israel’s Nazi-style collective punishment and barbaric killing of the hapless civilians, hundreds of children and infants among them. The people of Gaza are showing, as South Africa’s masses demonstrated under the apartheid heel, that they are willing to accept a high price for freedom rather than cower on their knees in the world’s largest concentration camp.
At this crucial time of Palestinian courage against Israeli terrorism the South African government needs to demonstrate its meaningful support for the Palestinian people by severing ties with the Zionist apartheid state and implementing the programme of Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions (BDS) called for by Palestinian civil society. The resistance & courage of Gaza & of Palestinians in the West Bank and within Israel deserves nothing less. All else is mere words.

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23 Responses

  1. mikeo
    mikeo
    July 26, 2014, 3:01 pm

    The Israelis are terrified that its soldiers will fall into the hands of the resistance and this is affecting their resolution on the ground and at government level

    Richard Silverstein alleges that the Israelis have already killed one of their own during the current operation to prevent this happening

    • kalithea
      kalithea
      July 27, 2014, 2:01 am

      I’m glad you brought up RS’s article. I too want to highlight something I read there in the hopes that he might read this comment on some off-chance.

      I’ve devoted a good deal of my life to Israel. I’ve studied, read, visited, lived, breathed it. Not in the way diehard pro-Israel fanatics do. But in a different way that matched my own intellectual and political proclivities. It’s a subject that is rich, varied, troubling, bedeviling, and exhilarating. But every once in a while I learn something I never thought possible; and I don’t mean this in a good way.[…]

      Perhaps there’s a lingering bit of the liberal Zionist I once was here, but I’d always heard that Israel never leaves a soldier behind.

      First, RS, your description of your attachment to Israel troubles me and almost makes me nauseous, and you could be right, the liberal Zionist is still lingering in spite of all the tragic proof that has emerged regarding the evil inherent nature of Zionism since I last posted there that should have converted you by now to the other side especially now in Gaza. So I wonder, what’s it going to take for you to let go completely once and for all? How many more massacres? How many more Palestinians forced to guzzle gasoline? How much more must Palestinians suffer for you to let go of the liberal Zionist fantasy that just delays justice and denies reality?

      I guess I was there at the wrong time; when you were still the confirmed liberal Zionist, that I suspect you still are though in a lesser way. I’ve returned to read you and watch your progress, and although you’ve written a few gutsy pieces that tell me you’re progressing into the light, alas, I regret to say you’re still not there. There’s still a part of you that’s hanging on.

      Speaking of liberal Zionists, is it my imagination or are they a little too silent at this time? This is definitely not a good sign. I’ll make the exception for RS and forgive his lingering attachment to Zionism which can never be liberal by the way, but as for the rest of the liberal Zionists – this hell in Gaza is authored by your extraordinary intellectual prowess in selling to the world the inexistent compassionate, liberal side of Zionism that never existed and never will exist. Behold the rotten fruits of your labor in the death camp that is Gaza today.

    • Taxi
      Taxi
      July 28, 2014, 5:16 am

      Hamas battle reports indicate that the idf has actually killed 4 of their own, 4 soldiers who were in the throes of being captured by Hamas.

      This is santayhu’s new policy: zero tolerance for captured idf boys – better to kill them than to cause an ‘agony’ for years to millions of israelis. Bibi does not want history to associate his name with missing soldiers.

  2. Tuyzentfloot
    Tuyzentfloot
    July 26, 2014, 3:29 pm

    Another failure has been Israel’s much vaunted Iron Dome defence system which palpably cannot prevent the Qassam rockets penetrating and which has succeeded in affecting international flights into Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport.

    As a PR event for Iron Dome the current operation is a success. I’ve seen two articles about it already in my newspaper and it’s already treated as a solid fact that Iron Dome is responsible all by itself for the asymetry of the number of dead people on both sides. Which is nonsense. As Phan Nguyen documented on here the number of dead on Israeli side due to rockets and mortars from Gaza is 30 over 10 years. Rockets from Gaza are very ineffective. On the one hand this is because the rockets are crude and weak. On the other hand this is because the Israeli early warning system does work well.

  3. just
    just
    July 26, 2014, 4:52 pm

    Great stuff from Kasrils.

    “At this crucial time of Palestinian courage against Israeli terrorism the South African government needs to demonstrate its meaningful support for the Palestinian people by severing ties with the Zionist apartheid state and implementing the programme of Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions (BDS) called for by Palestinian civil society. The resistance & courage of Gaza & of Palestinians in the West Bank and within Israel deserves nothing less. All else is mere words.”

    The same message needs to be brought to the US government.

    • crone
      crone
      July 26, 2014, 5:11 pm

      there’s a lot of products on the BDS website I wasn’t aware of… most I don’t use, but my family does… am making them aware. I didn’t realize Carnival Cruise Lines is on the list ~ am canceling cruise I planned months ago for November. Not much, but every bit helps.

      • just
        just
        July 26, 2014, 5:38 pm

        It’s a lot…especially when you explain why to the Cruise Line and opt for another vacation and inform them where your $$$ goes.

      • adele
        adele
        July 26, 2014, 5:47 pm

        Great suggestion, Just. Letting the companies know why we take our money elsewhere is important!

    • michelle
      michelle
      July 26, 2014, 9:00 pm

      .
      does this boycott include those who
      donate/contrubute to negative Israeli
      activities via charties / fund raisers
      the wealthy put alot of money into Israel
      .
      G-d Bless
      .

      • just
        just
        July 26, 2014, 9:26 pm

        No. We have to raise awareness as to where the money flows and why it flows so freely.

        That’s why crone’s refusal to go on this cruise and explanation are so very important.

        btw, any Synagogue, Church, Mosque, or Ashram in the US that solicits money for any political/ideological cause should have their tax-exempt status taken right away.

        To care for victims of violence/disaster is something different, imho. What is happening in Gaza is both.

  4. tokyobk
    tokyobk
    July 26, 2014, 6:19 pm

    The tunnel networks in Vietnam were presented at the time as proof of the rodent barbarity of the VC, yet now in retrospectives the willingness to live in caves for months under severe bombing by the most advanced technology is depicted as nothing less than iron and moreover super-human will.

    The tunnels are even on the tour maps of Western visitors to rebuilt Vietnam. They are proud of them because they provided the brain network of an invisible army who could coordinate the downing of a brand new million dollar plane with WWII and Korean era equipment.

    I understand why the tunnels are frightful to Israelis as a problem of an advancing army but what it says to me is that they need to come to there realization that a people willing to tunnel is basically never going to be conquered. Ever. The goal of finally and forever subduing the Palestinians is impossible.

    Therefore the only option is peace and reconciliation based on equality.

    • Castellio
      Castellio
      July 26, 2014, 9:25 pm

      It’s very hard to combat racism when it’s been sanctified over generations, in this case both by religious and state leaders.

    • kalithea
      kalithea
      July 27, 2014, 1:15 am

      The goal of finally and forever subduing the Palestinians is impossible.

      God bless them for their courage and will to survive impossible odds. I love these people! I’m in awe of their amazing strength and I know they will scratch and claw and tunnel their way to freedom inch by inch! And we must be right there with them in spirit accompanying them through the darkness they’re being subjected to until they emerge free into the light. Omg! I hope it happens in my lifetime.

    • Keith
      Keith
      July 27, 2014, 6:25 pm

      TOKYOBK- “Therefore the only option is peace and reconciliation based on equality.”

      You do realize that this implies the end of political Zionism as it now manifests itself? Also, perhaps, the end of Israel as a Jewish state? From your mouth to God’s ear, but don’t hold your breath.

    • Taxi
      Taxi
      July 28, 2014, 10:23 am

      That’s one heck of a moral statement, coming from you, Tokyobk.

      What are the chances that other zioeffs are fast arriving to your sensible and equitable conclusion? What are the chances that the concept of ‘equality’ between israelis and Palestinians would be embraced by the israeli colonialist society at large?

      In israel’s current climate of religio-nationalist extremism and the medieval baying out for a genocide of the Palestinians on the street of Jerusalem, I somehow doubt that other israelis are ready to face reality.

      I fear it’s too late for israel to change its suicidal course. Hamas’s rockets aren’t meant to kill – the Palestinian Resistance knows this – these rockets are loud, booming political messages aimed at both israel and the world and they are saying: WE ARE UNDER A MURDEROUS OCCUPATION AND WE WILL NEVER LET YOU LIVE IN PEACE TILL WE ARE EITHER OBLITERATED OR LIBERATED!

      Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death: is what these rockets are saying.

      The Palestinians, after 66 years of a brutal occupation, have reached the end of their tether. The rockets WILL NOT STOP without the Palestinian Resistance’s reasonable conditions being met. They say this every day a hundred times at least on Arab media. And if israel does not find the political will to change course, allow UN troops to police the Gaza border like they successfully police the border between the idf and hizbollah, if there is no political will to lift the siege on Gaza COMPLETELY, then all israel can do is commit itself to the holocaust of the Palestinians, a direction that will surely signal its imminent demise by suicide both politically and on the battlefield. I assure you there will be a regional war if the killing of Palestinians goes on for much longer – and can israel survive a regional war, especially if it expanded into a world war? All independent analysts think not.

      It was insane in the first place, considering the inherent racism within zionism, to expect longevity as a small racist fortress in the heart of the middle east where a chunk of the population is brown-skinned.

      No doubt israel would have stood a better chance of survival if it had focused on goodwill exchanges with its neighbors instead of showing them nothing but hateful death and misery since 1948.

      Tokyobk, I’m glad you’ve re-assessed and arrived at your conclusion that only equal rights for all can advance the cause of peace – I hope you don’t get flack for it from your family and friends.

  5. eljay
    eljay
    July 26, 2014, 6:49 pm

    >> tokyobk @ July 26, 2014 at 6:19 pm

    Good post.

  6. Pixel
    Pixel
    July 27, 2014, 3:42 am

    > really < powerful on so many levels.

  7. ivri
    ivri
    July 27, 2014, 5:19 am

    Do not ignore the key difference: in S. Africa it was the local population confronting an army that was supported by a local small minority. In Israel the Palestinian nation is confronting another nation that even outnumbers them. It means that behind the army they are fighting there are many millions of people. This makes all the difference and why this missile design or the terror before cannot succeed: you simply cannot defeat a whole nation with these means.

  8. weareone
    weareone
    July 27, 2014, 9:49 am

    OT
    Did I miss something, MW? Where is the article about the rally and march for International Day of Al-Quds that took place on Friday, 7/25/14, in Times Square, NYC? I’m not good at estimating numbers in a crowd, but I’ve read that there were thousands of us participating. I believe rallies were scheduled to take place in 19 different cities across North America alone, to show solidarity with Palestinians.

    • just
      just
      July 27, 2014, 10:52 am

      Thank you.

      • weareone
        weareone
        July 27, 2014, 11:16 am

        You’re very welcome and thank you, just, for your tireless activism.

    • annie
      annie
      July 27, 2014, 1:53 pm

      Where is the article about the rally and march for International Day of Al-Quds that took place on Friday, 7/25/14, in Times Square, NYC?

      i don’t know, where is it? because we checked the submissions list and there’s nothing from you in there. alex wrote one about the nyc demo on thursday.

      http://mondoweiss.net/2014/07/yorkers-protest-israels.html

      and while you’re at it why not lecture us about all the missing MW articles about these demos: http://mondoweiss.net/2014/07/worldwide-protest-israeli.html

      it may shock you to know we just can’t cover everything on our own weareone, so if you were there why aren’t you writing about it?

  9. weareone
    weareone
    July 27, 2014, 2:14 pm

    Yes, Annie, I understand that you are not able to cover everything and I certainly appreciate the work that you all do. I apologize for the tone-it wasn’t meant as a lecture, but this event did appear to be much larger than the one on Thursday, so since Thursday’s event was covered, I assumed (incorrectly) that Friday’s might be also. In the future, I’ll be happy to make a submission.

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