PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
Ena Du Plessis
 
Comments: 12
Article views: 1557
 
 
Latest Badges:

 
View all Ena Du Plessis's badges.
 

My letter to Jessie Duarte

17 July 2014, 13:21

Dear Ms Duarte,

I’ll always remember the winter of 2010 with fondness. The vuvuzelas buzzing on street corners and the bright colours of our flag displayed everywhere from car mirrors to people’s faces had me in a state of constant elation. I still remember how I swelled with pride when I watched Bafana Bafana – our Bafana Bafana – play. It did not matter that they did not make it far into the tournament. They played their hearts out and they did us proud. In fact, they did something far more important than winning the World Cup: they managed to show us as a nation how united we are, only 16 years into democracy.

This, Ms Duarte, is the South Africa I am grateful to call my home: a country where we have been able to take hands and build a better future for everyone, in spite of our differences. We are a shining example to the rest of the world.

I light of this, Ms Duarte, your statement regarding the current situation in Gaza saddens me. Because it is harsh and one-sided, it has the potential to break down and cause division rather than to edify.

Many South Africans have strong ties to either Israel or Palestine. Some ties are based on ethnicity, others on faith, and others simply on a deep conviction of what we feel is right and just. Some sympathise primarily with Israel because of the conviction that the Holocaust has proven that the Jewish people need their own homeland and because of the continuous hostility that Israel and the Jewish people face; others sympathise just as deeply with Palestine because they feel the Palestinians are being oppressed without good reason and that Gaza has been turned into a type of Bantustan.

I am sure, Ms Duarte, that you will agree with me that the matter is not simple. Analysts and columnists have written volumes debating it from various angles. So, for the Deputy Secretary General of our ruling party to issue a statement that condemns Israel’s attacks on the terrorist organisation of Hamas, in response to increasing rocket fire from Gaza, in the strongest terms and even insinuates that Israel’s actions can be compared to those of Nazi Germany, without mentioning a single word about any undesirable actions on Hamas’s part, and to call upon all South Africans to express our agreement with such a statement, is not a very constructive step. Because we have such a mixture of loyalties, sentiments, and convictions in South Africa regarding the situation in the Middle East, it is completely unrealistic to expect of all South Africans to support the Palestinian cause without any consideration whatsoever of the Israeli side. In fact, such a statement has the potential to invoke feelings of anger, frustration, and negativity in South Africans who may be supportive of or sympathetic towards Israel, and to cause division in a society that is already made up out of such a variety of viewpoints, opinions, and beliefs.

The amazing unity that we experienced in 2010 would never have happened if we had not been able to focus on what binds us together as a nation. In that case it was loyalty towards and love for a country we call our own, and support for our national soccer team. With regard to the situation in Gaza, I believe that we are bound together by the hope that the violence will end and a win-win solution will be found – and of course by the fact that our hearts are bleeding for every innocent victim.

So may I suggest, Ms Duarte, that a more appropriate statement would have focused on expressing heartfelt condolences to everyone who has lost a loved one in the violence and on expressing the hope that the conflict will be resolved soon. Such a statement could also urge both sides to take even more steps to prevent the loss of life, especially civilian life. A statement like that would have had not only the potential to motivate both Israel and Hamas to work towards a solution, but also a positive effect on our own society, in that the vast majority of South Africans would have agreed with it wholeheartedly.    

Finally, please remember that there is a fine line between anti-Israel sentiment and anti-Semitism. I believe that this has been illustrated by the anti-Semitic quote shared by Rene Smit a few days ago. Ms Duarte, let us not forget that our country’s sad history includes shutting our borders to European Jews wanting to flee Nazi persecution shortly before the Holocaust began. (The day I became aware of that fact, was the day I lost the last remaining ounce of respect I had had for the old National Party.) Let us also not forget that the Jews are a minority both in our own country and in the world, and that anti-Semitism did not begin with the Holocaust, but has been a constant threat to the Jewish people since ancient times. Ms Duarte, please show us that our democratically elected government completely distances itself from anti-Semitism.

Let us show the world that the democratic South Africa is a nation that knows how to stand together, protect all minorities, and fight against all atrocities. I am confident that we can do this.

Yours truly,

Ena du Plessis

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.
 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
12 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Monsternari@hell
SA Airlink - an expensive journey

Flying to Kimberley today from Cape Town return on Friday. Cost of ticket R 6500. Read more...

14 comments 3229 views
Submitted by
GMitch
Submitted by
Martin Malatjie
Disadvantaged students and poor f...

Every time when political demagogue are on the podium addressing students, they always promise free education, particularly tertiary education. Read more...

7 comments 333 views
Old people & Nurses

Old people… they are not a mysterious species that just one day ‘showed up’, we all know where they come from.  Read more...

5 comments 533 views
Submitted by
SharksterII
Open letter to Archibald and Jim ...

I am writing you this letter, not to ridicule or judge you, but to point you to a statement or two that you made in other articles… Read more...

13 comments 410 views
Submitted by
Christo Smith205
Married men, a humble plea

So I climbed into bed last Wednesday night, round bout 10:15. It being late and most of my so called “friends” have retired from a very exhausting day apparently.  Read more...

33 comments 3615 views

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to 60% on toys!

Don’t miss out on this hot offer, save up to 60% on toys. While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on your iPhone Get News24 headlines on your iPhone.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

Calais Website keywords automated by OpenCalais.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2014 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.