Umm Muhammed Umar
In four separate incidents, 4 Palestinians were killed by Israelis in the occupied West Bank. The killings took place in a period of just 24 hours between last Wednesday and Thursday. Those killed included a child and a journalist. Radio Islam spoke to Hafidh Ibrahim Moosa, who said that the death toll of those killed in the West Bank, in 2022 alone, was 62, 14 of whom were children.
Palestinian journalist, Gaffraan Warasleh was killed in the West Bank on the first day in her new job. Hafidh Ibrahim said that it was significant that her killing had followed hot on the heels of the shooting of Shereen Abu Akleh. Warasleh reportedly passed a military checkpoint on her way to work, and as soon as she passed the checkpoint, two bullets were shot in her direction, hitting her in the chest. Hafidh Ibrahim said, “It literally went through her chest and left a gaping wound, these exploding bullets, and, according to her brother, her heart completely vanished.” He added, “There was nothing abnormal at the time, there were no confrontations. And despite this, the Israelis have gone on to claim that she was carrying a knife at the time that she was killed.” There were also attacks at the funerals of the deceased.
Separately, the South African Jewish Report continues to defend its stance on the Press Council dismissal. The South African Jewish Report was expelled from the Press Council of South Africa with immediate effect after refusing to obey the rulings of the acting press ombud. Hafidh Ibrahim said, “And what made it more dramatic is that this is the first time that the Press Council has expelled a member of the Press Council, the chairperson saying the decision was taken after lengthy correspondence, and that the South African Jewish Report refused to obey the rulings against it, and the Press Council obviously asserting and affirming that it is present to ensure ethical fair journalism.” He said, “despite the Press Council explaining its processes in detail, and also the successive attempts it had made to reason with the South African Jewish report, and also a subsequent statement from the South African National Editors Forum saying that it was unfortunate that the South African Jewish report behaved in this particular way…… you have the South African Jewish Report doubling down on its stance – they’ve called the ruling from the Press Council a joke.” Recent editorial in the last edition of the South African Jewish Report, titled The Apology We Could Not Make explains the reasons why the Report still remains obstinate. The editorial reads: “We weren’t asked to make up for journalist journalistic errors that The Press Council found us guilty of; no, we were effectively ordered to make a political statement that goes against everything we stand for.” Hafidh Ibrahim said that the editorial went on to talk about anti-Semitic tropes in the cartoon against Clover, one of the so-called reasons why the Report would not apologize. Another reason given for non-compliance was that Hassen Lorgat, who had reported this particular complaint, was, according to them, affiliated with Palestinian Solidarity organizations. Hafidh Ibrahim said, “There is also however, an admission in the editorial that the South African Jewish Report does not necessarily believe that the Press Council is biased, but they found it a bitter pill to swallow, that they would be forced to apologize to the South African BDS Coalition for calling it anti-Semitic.” He said that they have sculpted a very broad definition for anti Semitism, making anti-Israel sentiment a form of anti Semitism.
Meanwhile, a controversial bill outlawing the flying of the flags of a so-called enemy state, or the Palestinian flag at state funded institutions, has been passed in Israel’s parliament, the Knesset. Hafidh Ibrahim said, “it still has to go through three more votes for it to become law.” The move follows criticism of the Ben Gurion University inside the Israeli state after Palestinian flags were displayed at the Israeli university during the Nakba day rally last month. Hafidh Ibrahim said, “We also had high profile incidents of the funeral of Shereen al Akleh……because of the presence of Palestinian flags.” He said there was an interesting comment by Israeli activist and journalist, Olney Loy, on the Israeli obsession with the Palestinian flag, made after having detailed so many recent incidents, where there have been frenzied reactions to the presence of Palestinian flags, as well as the numerous laws and attempts that the Israeli occupation have made to regulate Palestinian cultural life and Palestinian flags. Loy said that the Israelis have undoubtedly failed to erase the national identity of Palestinians, and because of the this, Zionism is simply unable to comprehend how it has failed. She asserted that despite Israel’s unrivalled military, legislative and administrative power, the Palestinians remain loyal to their identity, and that Israel has not been able to destroy this deep-rooted consciousness, which is embodied in a piece of cloth of four colours – precisely why the Palestinian flag drove it crazy. Further, Michael Koplow, the chief policy officer of the Israel Policy Forum, described as an intellectual leader of the Zionist Israeli lobby, had painfully admitted: If waving a flag threatens Israel’s existence, that not only is Israel in far bigger trouble than anyone understands, but Zionism itself has failed.