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Tense: Pro-Palestine supporters clash with police in Sea Point, Cape Town, on Sunday. Picture: Ashraf Hendricks
Tense: Pro-Palestine supporters clash with police in Sea Point, Cape Town, on Sunday. Picture: Ashraf Hendricks

Beyond death and taxes, there is not much we can be certain of as the post-truth era gathers pace like a runaway train.

Actually, that’s not quite right. One thing we can be sure of is that the great upheavals of our time, from the pandemic to the Russia-Ukraine war, will unleash experts who until that  moment had been busy elsewhere, perhaps lecturing us on how Moody’s and Fitch come up with their ratings, or how the CIA brought down the World Trade Center with demolition charges on 9/11 “because aviation fuel doesn’t burn hot enough”.

Why the group that called for the prayer meeting decided to drop-kick a can of petrol onto the blaze by picking only one side instead of, say, including both sides in a prayer for peace, is unclear

But the proliferation of instant Middle East experts pontificating on history of which they have little grasp, in between firebombing anyone who disagrees with them, has broken all records. Suddenly, people who before October 7 may have struggled to find Gaza City on a map are holding forth on social media with words like “Nakba” and “Balfour Declaration”.

With emotions as inflamed as they are, it is surely no surprise that a pro-Israel prayer meeting in Cape Town would be attacked by pro-Palestine supporters before it even began, bringing one of the world’s oldest wars from Gaza City to the Sea Point promenade.

Why the group that called for the prayer meeting decided to drop-kick a can of petrol onto the blaze by picking only one side instead of, say, including both sides in a prayer for peace, is unclear.

Cue Nyalas, water cannon, stun grenades and people screaming “police brutality”, while the armchair generals wonder how to work it all into their next Facebook post.

Rallies for and against both sides in Gaza have erupted around the world, including Berlin. Locally, police dispersed violent pro-Palestinian demonstrators in Sea Point, Cape Town.
Rallies for and against both sides in Gaza have erupted around the world, including Berlin. Locally, police dispersed violent pro-Palestinian demonstrators in Sea Point, Cape Town.
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