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.