Logical fallacies, ideological biases, whataboutism, purposeful ignorance. Almost every South African organisation is falling over itself to stake a “position” on a war 9,000km away — even if this doesn’t always reflect particularly well on them.

The facts are common cause. On Saturday October 7, Hamas launched a brutal attack on 20 Israeli towns, butchering, kidnapping and torturing civilians. In response, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to “crush and destroy” Hamas, saying “every Hamas member is a dead man”. It’s a goal he won’t achieve, partly because his own retaliatory attacks will radicalise thousands more. In pursuit of this goal, however, he launched a siege on Gaza, as well as a bombing campaign, which amounted to taking collective action against the population...

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