ANC demands ceasefire but neglects plight of hostages in Gaza

Where is your outrage, Dr Pandor, that 253 people were taken from Israel to the Gaza Strip?

October 7. A day as raw, brutal and gut-wrenching as 9/11 for many. It was the day that saw 1 200 civilians murdered and over 250 taken hostage. Thousands more were injured.

Jews across the world have been further injured by the allegations that women had not been raped and mutilated; children had not been shot in cold blood; that young men and women were not mowed down by armed paragliders; and that infants and grandmothers alike were not stolen away by the same terrorists that had just murdered their families in front of them.

And yet, the testimonies, the footage and what’s transpired since 7 October speaks to the horrific truth. It all happened.

The ANC government has been resolute in its support of Gaza. It has time and again demanded a ceasefire and an end to the violence – supporting the Palestinian “plight” without any acknowledgment of the aggression and terror metered out by Hamas almost daily.

Speaking after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling in an interview with eNCA, International Relations Minister Naledi Pandor claimed the case was brought before the ICJ in an attempt to “highlight the plight of the innocent in Palestine” as a result of “Israeli action”.

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The thrust of the ANC’s case against Israel was to demand an immediate ceasefire.

As a throwaway comment, Pandor acknowledged that she agrees “entirely with the judges that Hamas should release the hostages that they’re currently holding”. But what about the hostages, Madam Minister?

The ANC, and our international relations minister have, on the whole, been remarkably silent about the ICJ’s ruling calling for the “immediate and unconditional release” of all Israeli hostages.

Where is your outrage, Dr Pandor, that 253 people were taken from Israel to the Gaza Strip? Where is your outrage that 32 hostages have reportedly been killed in Hamas captivity?

Where is your outrage that 134 innocents are still being criminally held following the terrorist invasion? That the bodies of the dead are not being returned to their families for burial?

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Are you curious about the mentally ill Ethiopian-born Israeli who has been held hostage since 2014? Are you curious about the Bedouin Arab Israeli civilian who has been held hostage by Hamas in the Gaza Strip since 2015?

Do you consider it an act of terror that the bodies of two Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) soldiers have been held by Hamas since 2014 and referred to as “bargaining chips” by Hamas official Mushir al-Masri?

Where is your outrage and your fight for the “plight of the innocent” when you look at the face of nine-month-old Kfir Bibas, an infant taken with his four-year-old brother, mother Shiri, and her husband?

What is your virtuous stance when you learn that Shiri’s parents, abducted from their home, were later found murdered?

This is one of the hundreds of families, brutalised by terror. One family whose release would tangibly pave the way towards a ceasefire.

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The ANC has been vocal with its vitriol against Israel – unwill ing to acknowledge Israel’s duty to protect and defend her citizens. And, it has been silent on an outright condemnation of the Hamas attack on 7 October.

Perhaps it believes that the kidnapping of over 250 people and the murder, mutilation and rape of thousands of predominantly civilians was an act of “resistance”.

It speaks of “Israeli action”, but seems blind to the ICJ’s finding that it was Hamas that launched the war with its attack.

The ANC has made clear that it is fighting for the innocent, joining anti-Semitic chants, but refusing to join the chorus of “Bring them home now”.

Your thin veil of virtue cannot hold back the stench of your hypocrisy, Madam Minister.

We call on you to have the integrity to stand by the court’s ruling and demand the immediate and unconditional release of the hostages.

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Schewitz is a former South African living in Israel. He writes in his private capacity