Sleepless in Pretoria
Sleepless in Pretoria

Headline: South Africa 'Losing Sleep' over Israeli Settlements

South Africa has slammed Israel's plans to build new homes in Jerusalem as pro-Palestinian activists launched an international campaign for the release of [more]terrorist prisoners, whom it calls "political prisoners."

"That arrangement there in Palestine keeps us awake," South Africa's Foreign Minister Maite Nkaona-Mashabane...told members of Cosatu, the largest trade union, which is a political ally of the ruling ANC party.

An Open letter to South African Foreign Minister, Maite Nkaona-Mashabane

Dear Ms. Nakona-Nashabane:

I read the above news article a number of times in order to try and fully digest what you actually meant. Is it possible that the article was simply an anti-Israel commentary by a government whose basic policy ever since the end of the white-ruled regime has been a direct criticism of anything Israel does?

It did seem just a blatant, biased and anti-Israel statement in sync with South Africa’s long-standing policy.

However, Ms. Foreign Minister, if it is intended to show that your deep sensibilities are calling for true justice and therefore you are incapable of having a good night's sleep, I wish to list some facts which may justify the ‘lack of sleep’ you are experiencing. 

1. By UN calculations, over one-hundred-and-twenty-thousand Syrians have been murdered so far by Basher Assad, President of Syria. Thousands of children have been slaughtered by the Baath Government and over fourteen-hundred civilians, men, women and children were recently gassed to death by the man in Damascus who seems determined to wipe out his entire population before he goes down.

2. According to UN estimates, 2.7 million Darfuris remain in internally displaced persons camps and over 4.7 million Darfuris rely on humanitarian aid. The genocide in Darfur has claimed over 400,000 lives. More than one hundred people continue to die each day; five thousand die every month. Yet, the government of Sudan refused to cooperate with the investigations.

3. A major IRC survey found that 5,400,000 people have died from war-related causes in Congo since 1998 – the worlds’ deadliest documented conflict since WW II. The vast majority died from non-violent causes such as malaria, diarrhea, pneumonia and malnutrition—easily preventable and treatable conditions when people have access to health care and nutritious food.

Ms. Foreign Minister, are you aware of the location of the country named Congo? It is in Africa, your continent, my dear Ms. Nkaone-Mashbane.  Since you are in any case staying awake due to the construction in Israel, why not just open the shades and look out of your window. I think you can practically see the Congolese dropping by the thousands each and every day.  Perhaps South Africa can mount a massive relief operation to save those still alive. Can you be bothered with your next-door neighbor when the construction of a new building in Israel is going on?

4. Burma / Myanmar is a spot I’d recommend reading about. Any idea how many civilians have been killed in that long-simmering conflict? Any idea how many are wounded, how many are homeless and starving?

5. The conflict in Colombia has so-far claimed over 600,000 people and since 2006 alone, the Mexican Drug War has tallied over one-hundred-and-ten-thousand bodies, while in the Somali civil war upwards of half-a-million people have been killed.

Where are you, Ms. Foreign Minister? How many sleepless nights have you experienced in your deep-rooted desire to help the oppressed listed above? 

There are so many more terrible conflicts which ought to disturb your nights; conflicts such as in Kurdistan and Afghanistan and Iraq and Yemen and in Mali, Nigeria and Pakistan are just the tip of the iceberg.  

The list is long and interestingly enough, a large percentage of these conflicts are happening in Africa, your neighborhood. What is even more interesting is the fact that ninety-percent or more of the killing-murdering-gassing-torturing-slaughtering is being conducted by Moslems.

In Saudi Arabia, women are discriminated against in every aspect of their daily lives. They are flogged, beaten and stoned to death. In the 21st century.  Since you are a woman, your feminine sensibilities should cry out for real justice. . But the plight of these women is obviously not as mission-worthy as is building homes in Israel.

And - How many white farmers have been murdered in South Africa since the white regime was ousted? How many farms were confiscated? How many whites were displaced?  Just asking.

One last point before I conclude this open letter to you:

Those terrorists whom you call ‘political prisoners’ are bloody killers, murderers of innocent men, women and children. They are practically bathing in blood and they have murdered and wounded more people than the former, discriminatory white regime of South Africa ever did.

So - if you are unfortunate enough to suffer from insomnia, let the facts I have brought be the reason. Maybe you can act on them and help the world become a better place for mankind.. 

Thank you.

Isaac Kohn