Zwelinzima Vavi’s statement on behalf of COSATU in support of the week of Boycotts against Israel, plumbs new lows of ignorance, xenophobia and blind partisanship. It is an insult to all the followers of COSATU that truly suffered under ‘Apartheid’ South Africa, to compare their history to the situation of the Palestinians. It is unconscionable that Vavi encourages his members to “raise funds for BDS for the bare necessities, of food and medicine”, when the average Palestinian is far better off than the average South African. In South Africa many people are hungry and many people live in dwellings unsuitable for human‘s, and suffer from the world’s worst levels of inequality, and Vavi wants these people to help the Palestinians.! The Palestinians have already received more aid than any other refugees and their political echelon’s are deeply invested in an economy that depends on goodwill and handouts.
If Vavi were to go to Israel or even the West Bank, he would not see people living as they do here in the squatter camps spread all around our beautiful country. He would see Palestinians that are judges, parliamentarians, accountants, professors and doctors. Indeed he would witness the best-educated Arabs in the whole region. He would witness the only truly free Palestinians and Arabs. He would witness undreamed of wealth and beautiful buildings in a thriving West Bank capital of Ramallah. He would witness the only Christians in the whole region that are free to practice their religion. He would find women, lesbians and gays living their lives openly and proudly. He would find Palestinians preferring to live under an Israeli government than a corrupt Palestinian government. Nowhere else in the whole Middle East or even the Moslem world will he find these freedoms.
The corrupt Palestinian leadership has squandered Billions of Rands of aid, on paying loyal cadres to foment violence against Israelis and Jews and on rewarding the widows of suicide bombers.
The Palestinian authority is illegitimate, as the last elections were held a decade ago. The Palestinian leadership offers its people no hope. Israel is the only state in the whole region, that ‘subscribes to the ideals of human dignity’, which Vavi sets out as his criterion. Israel is the only island of hope in a region devastated by Islamic fanaticism, religious intolerance, and extreme levels of barbarity. There is none of the ‘dehumanizing segregation’ that Vavi refers to, nor are there the areas of ‘extreme underdevelopment’ that he remembers from his time in Apartheid South Africa. That a person, who aspires to lead other people can be so ignorant, and blind to the truth is a sad travesty of his position and a violation of the trust that his followers bestow on him.
Vavi’s policies have split the labour movement in South Africa and have enormously weakened it. What he has done to weaken the South African economy, he now intends doing to the Palestinian economy. Because by supporting boycotts of Israel, he will make thousands of Palestinians loose their jobs. This happened when Soda stream, moved its factory away from the West Bank and into Israel-2,000 Palestinians lost their jobs and with it their ability to feed their families on the $1500 a month they had been previously earning. Where is BDS now to help these people? Where will Vavi be when the Palestinians loose their jobs? Where will the thousands of Palestinian students studying at Israeli Universities go, if Vavi had his way? Would he invite them to come to study in South Africa? Obviously not! This man Vavi, because he doesn’t understand economics nor the consequences of his moral indignation which lead him to recommend actions, that will be catastrophic, does not deserve to lead anyone.