Hagen Engler
3 minute read
30 May 2021
6:55 am

Israel and Palestine: The myth of unfathomable complexity

Hagen Engler

What really echoes the brutal racial oppression in South Africa, is the myth that the situation in Palestine is too complex to even speak about.

A visitor to the embassy of the state of Palestine in South Africa writes a message to the people of Palestine during a Day of Action in Solidarity with the Palestinian people and general strike across Palestine, 18 May 2021, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles

The squeamishness about discussing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict takes me back to my youth growing up during apartheid. This is not just because of the attacks on hopelessly outgunned people by occupying forces. Nor the actions of defence and self-determination being branded terrorism, nor the fascism, nor the faux independence, nor the hate rationalised as policy. All of that is familiar, sure. But what really echoes the savage brutal racial oppression in South Africa circa 1988, is the myth that the situation in Palestine is so complex it doesn’t even bear speaking about. This was exactly the party line spouted by...