I’ve had an horrendous week in social media, not only because I was affronted with horrific media out of the Middle East, but because of the reaction of people whom I care about. I always keep my eye on the Middle East and Gulf; I have strong Arabic roots and many friends scattered all over in that region of the world. Against this backdrop I saw the #RedLine:
Every Ramadan, Israel and the Palestinians clash( but not like this). Netanyahu – already kicking against International Laws of Colonisation –decided he might as well go for gold, by displacing yet another group of Palestinian families from occupied land. It was Ramadan, I held my breath, here we go … Barricades went up at #AlAqsa mosque and on Latul al Qadr (the holiest night of the Muslim month of Ramadan), Israelis fired stun grenades and rubber bullets, blinding and injuring many INSIDE the Mosque. This Mosque is a large part of Islam and it is an honour for Muslims from all around the world to make the second pillar of Islam; it is mentioned in the Quran several times. I won’t get into the reasons for the importance of the Mosque I would like you to understand, that for Muslims, it is one of the holiest sites..
The rage I felt was enormous. The following night 90 thousand Muslims came back to pray; their faith not swayed by the horror of the night before. Steadfast to complete their task of prayer in the holiest nights of Ramadan. Their cars were stopped from traveling so they walked, thousands of them, to perform the second pillar of Islam. I didn’t even care about #SheikhJarrah at the time because I could not believe that anyone would do that to the holiest of sites in a country where religion takes second place in the fight with Palestine. The “conflict” is about land. If a similar act was perpetrated in New Zealand, it would be called terrorism.
I wanted to understand why these actions were so outrageous and why #Netanyahu had made such a significant and horrific move and yet there it was, #Sheikhjarrah and the viral video of a woman asking her neighbour why he was taking her house, and her neighbour responding (in a Brooklyn accent) that if he didn’t take it, someone else would. That woman was displaced by Israelis last night, she was arrested and forced out of her home.
As is always the case the narrative shifts back to #Hamas, yeah that old story, the terrorists, they used to just have rockets and kite bombs, but now they have drones and rockets that are fired from Gaza. #Gaza is a place you cannot leave or enter without express permission from Israel. Israel, “defending” itself strikes back with a massacre of 70 people. Like shooting fish in a barrel because it’s not like you can leave Gaza if you are scared right? There’s no dome to hide under that stops you from getting hurt!
The biggest story in the world is now generating over 11 million posts per day, and this time it is different. This time is not the time of Hamas, this is a time when the rest of the world is rising to say enough is enough. The #RedLine. I’m not talking about world leaders or the cowardice of the Arabic countries, I’m talking about the humans behind their phones. The 11.3 million voices during the attack of the Mosque that said, “No more.” My timeline was flooded with atrocity after atrocity, injustice after injustice and the images of strength in a nation fighting for their lives. It was at this moment in time that I took to social media.
I got what I deserved. If you enter a warzone, prepare to get hurt and man did I get hurt. I was told that I was ignorant and that I wasn’t allowed to use my voice because I wasn’t “Jewish”. This isn’t about Jews, this is about a super power called Israel led by a king that cannot hold onto his crown and opportunistically using his nation, forcing them to face a war. I have several journalist friends and personal friends that live in Tel Aviv. I feared for their lives. I would have raised hell myself after Al Aqsa, the Palestinians have nothing left to lose. I was asked where my humanity was by siding with Palestine? The irony of that question. I was told that I am blinkered, uneducated and a terrorist. I cried, a great deal, not because I had a rough few days on social media, but because my friends defended the indefensible There are two questions I wanted answered; firstly why attack the pillar of Islam on the holiest of holiest nights in the Muslim calendar (this was never about religion, it was always about land) and secondly, why were civilians taking people out of their homes that they had lived in for years? Scroll forward 72 hours and we are witnessing a bloodbath.
I was born into apartheid, I was complicit, I will never deny that. I knew it was wrong, I had no means to fix it, I had to watch terrorist organisations fix what was wrong by all means necessary, and why, because their land was stolen, their right to vote didn’t exist, their right to services was controlled, they had to carry passes, they had to be in their segregated sections of the country and that was based on colour, it didn’t even consider religion. #ApartheidIsrael is real, I know there are many Jewish people around me that don’t agree, I know there are Israelis in the IDF who don’t agree with me, but I also know there are Jews and Israelis that DO agree with me. Just like many that didn’t approve of what was happening in South Africa, but had their hands tied. Netanyahu will make #EFF’s coalition dance look like child’s play, but social media is the great disruptor and even if the US sides with a terrorist act it doesn’t mean that all Americans do. Just because South Africa condemns the attacks doesn’t mean all South Africans do. That’s what social media has done, it’s replaced the words of “conflict and clashes” with “terrorists and apartheid” and it has disrupted the narrative. #FreePalestine is at the centre of the social media voices. In South Africa alone there are over a 130 thousand posts this week and almost 400 thousand engagements – this is the biggest story in SA today – bar none.
Bringing this report back home is difficult when you are confronted with headline after headline in SA that makes you cringe and shake your head.
The #ANCNEC wrapped up with Ace on Zoom and then Ace in person followed by a series of #leakedRecordings that Ace reckons prove that there is a plot against him. Tell that to the people in the #FreeState #Mr10Percent. Last week I told you that #JessieDuarte had to serve papers on #Ace Magashule. Today he has less than 24 hours to apologise to the President and the country for the farce of a letter suspending our #President. (And if he doesn’t does he go to jail? Nah, don’t be daft) #Duarte stood up and told us about how she’d received death threats and she took the very same opportunity to make it very clear that every move she makes is under direction of the party and she is merely a puppet. (She quickly had absolved herself of her role in #StateCapture and her role in the #GameofAces).
The outcome of the #NEC, no one knows. I can tell you this though, they are off on a retreat where they will discuss the factional fighting properly. Nice work if you can get it. They also resolved that the suspensions would hold as directed but “with pay” and could “take up to six months” (read, at the very least six months) to resolve. Again, nice work if you can get it.
The “#ThirdWave is here” the headlines hit followed by headlines that read the “#Thirdwave is coming”. Is it here or isn’t it? We are told that a handful of people returned from India and brought along with them, the #Thirdwave. Deep breath… question: What happened to quarantine?
#BathabileDlamini paid back the money, R650k, nowhere near the devastation she wrecked and the lives that were lost by her devastating reign at #SASSA. And #UncleGwede’s wife has been fingered out in a solar deal fraught with corruption.
There was a great deal of celebrity trends this week: #AKA and his late girlfriend, several viral videos show the other side of fame and it was not pretty. #AKA insists he had nothing to do with her death and that he never abused her and then he withdrew from #JoburgDay. I don’t know, I don’t want to believe that #AKA a hero of the South African people hurt a woman and for now the story is still being unravelled. I was reading these stories, when I found that #Enhle and #BlackCoffee are having a social media fight( that to be fair ) I didn’t have the energy to get into. I was too busy watching #Undertakers protest with coffins in the streets, because they are victims of a failed system. And the bodies pile up.
#Buthelezi tore into the #ANC as they tried to hijack the #RoyalHousehold. He told them in no uncertain terms that they had been nothing but a nuisance during past, and that he doesn’t need their help at all. A word on #PrinceButhelezi, he’s a trooper (given his age). The man speaks so much sense and always holds himself with dignity. I like him. I like him a lot.
In other news #DDMabuza has a voice, it’s as slow as the roll out of the vaccine. The nation shouts louder that we have the resources at home, so why aren’t we manufacturing like a boss on our own soil? #VaccineApartheid entered the narrative as the President himself lamented that other “rich” nations get first priority. Ah the irony.
In State Capture ego maniac, #LuckyMontana told us again he is a wonderful fella and #Zwane travelled to India and didn’t know that the #Guptas paid for his trip. Did he just get a delivery with a ticket? Come on!
And then, #Polyandry, SA has ruled that a woman may have more than one husband. Oh! How I laughed, who on earth would want more than one? 😊 Look one thing is for sure #SA is at the forefront of allowing relationships to just be relationships. There is that!
How do I end this week on a positive note? It’s #Eid today for South Africa, the celebration after a month of fast, prayer and sacrifice. I wish you all a peaceful three days where you can take care of those nearest to you with the reassurance that they sleep safely in their beds wherever they are. #EidMubarak