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Ido Cohen
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The situation in South Africa

13 July 2014, 23:00

A response letter I wrote to Miss Jessie Duarte regarding her statement on the situation in Gaza:

Dear Miss Jessie Duarte,
I had the privilege of visiting South Africa last march as part of a StandWithUs delegation, unfortunately for the wrong reasons. In the middle of country full of culture, diversity and life I found myself in the deeming event called "Israel Apartheid week". Luckily, South Africa has proven itself once again, I met the most wonderful, open minded people. People who took the time to listen, understand and reflect. People who were smart enough to question whether the event was contributing to the rightful fight against apartheid or rather degrading South Africa's history and people by compering two different incomparable realities. 
After reading your statement last night on the situation in Gaza, Miss Jessie Duarte, I decided to write you. I read your statement and was not surprised at all; I knew that within South Africa there is a small but loud group of people trying to lean on the story of South Africa in order promote themselves instead of promoting world issues, important as fighting apartheid.
Because of my understating of the situation, I will give you more credit Miss Duarte, more credit than you give yourself. Obviously you have more knowledge than what you have showcased in your statement. After all you are a politician who has been active in fighting apartheid. You are not ignorant as you make it to be, you know the truth.
You stated the Gaza is defenseless, defenseless to whom? Israel, who has cleared Gaza strip in 2005 to find itself under rocket attack for the past 9 years? Or Hamas, a well-known terror organization linked with al Qaeda, which choses to hide behind women and children. Have you had 550 rockets shot on your house for the past 3 days? I assume not. You also mentioned the BDS movement, a movement calling for the destruction of one people on the expense of other? You blame Israel for forgetting its past; have South Africa forget its past? As a grandson of a Holocaust Auschwitz survivor, I am telling you this: you can choose to degrade our own history by compering South Africa's apartheid to Israel democracy but how dare you degrade my history?
As much as your statement is full of lies, you may not believe in South Africa but I do. I learned its kindness and its tolerance, its love and pain. You can Toyi-toyi all you want, scream and shout and criticize Israel. But as the truth stood with South Africa, it stands with Israel these days.

Ido Cohen

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