Picture: REUTERS/AMIR COHEN
Picture: REUTERS/AMIR COHEN

It seems “hate Israel season” is upon us again in the press and in Israel apartheid week. Then there is also the issue of the demand for an apology from the chief justice for uttering a comment that disturbed certain people.

But perhaps Prof Farid Esack and those from Africa4Palestine, aka BDS, need to think about a change of policy. Their policy to date has been to support the demise and destruction of Israel and they will come to realise that that’s something they will not achieve as stronger, more powerful forces both military and otherwise have failed dismally.

Their goal is a Palestinian state, which is something many Israelis would also like to see. A peaceful, successful state that their leadership unfortunately turned their backs on three times previously, is something that will result in a stable and prosperous region.

Instead of lobbying for destruction, why not lobby for peace and a viable state for the benefit of all Palestinians, something that in today’s environment must surely make more sense than the death and deprivation of a people who deserve better.

Israel is a prosperous, powerful and innovative country, populated by almost 10-million people, of which 20% are Palestinian. All faiths, political views and sexual orientations are respected and have equal rights, as does the entire population. These 10-million people are not going anywhere, are not going to lie down and be butchered or driven into the sea, as BDS and their supporters call for.

This is a vibrant country that has turned its deserts and swamps into fertile and productive land feeding its population and those  further afield. It has developed technology that is the envy of the most sophisticated countries and invented cheap, sustainable desalinisation technology that turns seawater into fresh water, one of the dwindling resources worldwide whose scarcity is a threat to the future of mankind.

If the good professor and his group of activists truly want to serve the interests of the Palestinians, if they are true to their claim of being human rights advocates and if they genuinely want to see Palestinians achieve a state and the dignity to live fruitful lives, surely they need to change their agenda and join hands to achieve the dream that is so easily achievable.

The Gulf States, many African states and a growing number of other previously hostile countries have come to realise that the best way forward is for dialogue, co-operation and forming solid relations with Israel. This is the best way to achieve goals that were a world away just a few years ago but are now within our grasp.

Allan Wolman
Tel Aviv

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