14 May 2007

My brother, my enemy

My brother he unquestionably is. Ronald Kasrils' surname, if my skimpy knowledge of Yiddish does not lead me astray, has a lot to do with the unforgettable Kasrlilevke by unforgettable Sholom Aleichem. (To make the reference to Kasrilevke clearer to the readers - it is a Jewish equivalent of Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha, and I love them both with a blue-steel determination of a bookworm.) Anyhow, Ronnie and I could have been friends, neighbors or just accidental users of the same local pub somewhere, have our lives taken some other geographic turns.

Ronnie K.'s biography reads as a thriller and the man deserves a lot of gratitude from the people of South Africa. It is really heartwarming to know that a Jew has done so much for the elimination of the apartheid scourge in Africa and it is no less heartwarming to know that South Africa recognizes his contribution to the true cause and that he is an important and useful member of the ruling circle in the fledgling country. After all, not everyone is made South Africa's Minister for Intelligence Services. Which is Ronnie's current position, and more power to him.

Or not...

You see, there is one problem - as much as Ronnie has done for the native South Africans, he is not satisfied by his achievements. He just has to prove to the world that he is one impartial Joo, for whom well-being of his fellow Jooz in Israel is a thorn in backside. He is doing everything in his considerable power to make Israel looking bad, no matter the ways and the means. Take, for instance, his last interview to JP.

Hamas has accepted previous agreements reached between the Palestinian Authority and Israel and has in effect renounced violence, while the Jewish state continues to take measures akin to state terrorism, South Africa's Minister for Intelligence Services Ronnie Kasrils told The Jerusalem Post over the weekend.
Says JP: "The agreements the minister was referring to were actually made between Israel and the PLO." No need to comment, is there?
Speaking on the sidelines of a UN meeting in South Africa on the situation in the PA, Kasrils said South Africa's townships had never been attacked by helicopter gunships and tanks, in contrast to IDF actions in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

"The analogy between apartheid and Israel's occupation of Palestine is often made. It is not the same thing. The occupation is absolutely worse," Kasrils told reporters.
First of all, the analogy between apartheid and Israel's occupation of Palestine is often made by people of the same ilk - Ronnie's spiritual siblings, so to say. Secondly, I do not recall the townships in South Africa lobbing rockets at white enclaves or sending waves of suicide bombers to Johannesburg or Pretoria - do you, Ronnie?
"It is important that we tell the Israeli authorities they are behaving like fascists when they do certain things, although we are not calling it a fascist state," he said.
Thanks deity for small favors. Although - some bolder friends of Ronny consider Israel being worse than Nazis, so we shall just wait a while...
Kasrils said Hamas was moderating and becoming capable of leading the Palestinians.
Indeed... How about the (almost daily) declarations of Hamas that it will never recognize the "Zionist entity"? How about the daily spray of Qassams? How about the hateful rhetoric in mosques, on TV (including the brainwashing of a tender ages)? How about the uncounted tunnels serving weapon smugglers? Does South African intelligence service have some other, peaceful interpretation of these signs?

The relentless will of Ronnie to deceive himself and the public found a brilliant expression in the following passage from the interview:
I understand that they [Hamas] have accepted previous agreements arrived at between the Palestinian Authority and the government of Israel. Contained within these agreements are the recognition of Israel and renunciation of violence.

Even if that were not the case the peacemaker should not be stubborn and obdurate, but needs to reach out across the divide and encourage the adversary.
Even if that were not the case... How far needs one's head to be stuck up one's backside to make one so blind to the obvious? And how do you take this:
Kasril's interpretation of the Mecca Agreement, which set the stage for the Hamas-Fatah coalition, stands in contrast to repeated statements from Haniyeh and Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal clearly stating that Hamas has not rejected violence.

Summing up his recent visit to the PA, Kasrils called on Israel to take a series of steps to end the conflict, including taking down the security barrier and releasing Palestinian prisoners, but had no similar demands of the Palestinians.
There is one disturbing question: a man with Ronnie's background cannot be that blind and stupid? There must be some other explanation for this bizarre behavior, methinks. And it is doubly critical to have an explanation when we are talking about a man in a position of power like Ronnie. Who knows what this unholy alliance of South African intelligence services and Hamas could bring to the world?

So, Br'er Ronnie - you are my brother by virtue of birth, but you are my enemy nonetheless, it seems. And you know what - after all your verbal shenanigans, and taking a close look at these two pictures:

I am definitely in favor of dealing with the one on the right, with all due respect. Better a cousin who tells the truth as he sees it than a brother who sticks a knife in my back.

Be well, brother - enemy. And do not count on our brotherly love no more. Brotherly love goes only so far, and you have gone over the edge long ago...

Cross-posted on Yourish.com.