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#WideAwake: Monitoring #WarCrimes.

Date: 05.26.2024

Written By

Tonya Khoury

Guess where I am? Back at Netcare in Richard’s Bay, this time my mom broke her back. I know right! We had two successful days at home and then she started to cry with pain. She didn’t fall again, although I don’t think the doctors believe me. But an ambulance drove through the night and the bush, and now mom is in a corset that the 1800s want back. So that’s my news. What’s been happening in our world you ask? Haven’t you been keeping score? Come on guys, do I have to read the news so you don’t have to? I did, don’t panic, join me as I scratch the surface of yet another crazy week in news and social media.

I must start with #Gaza and that’s going to bring out all sorts of haters, but it’s my job and it is the top story again in South Africa this week. #AhmedAbbasi, a good man, a man that headed up the unit for #GiftOfTheGivers in Gaza was murdered this week, him and many others as the bombs and ground troops rack up numbers estimated at eleven thousand dead. Over 4000 are children. We saw South Africa stand up and say #NotInMyName and others took to the streets to say #InMyName. Isn’t it awful? I tell you what’s awful is that the world has been screaming for a ceasefire but we are just pawns, no one listens to us. So why on earth would anyone listen to a government that thirty years ago thought they resolved the repugnant apartheid problem. We didn’t. #GaytonMacKenzie wrote an open letter, and we love an open letter don’t we, saying how we must ‘hush” about Israel because we haven’t taken the boulder out of our own eye. That incensed me. So, when you watch a genocide don’t say a word until your political landscape is clean? Come on man, who can say that of their country? He’s right about SA being a warzone but he’s wrong about “hushing”.

We saw propaganda across our timelines as an IDF soldier pointed out a list in a “tunnel” that he said was written admission of how Hamas would launch its attack against Israel but it turned out that the writing on the note was Arabic for Monday to Friday. Then we saw a tunnel under a “hospital” that would justify bombing Al Shifa, the largest hospital in Gaza. That “tunnel” was an elevator shaft in Sweden. You see guys, we don’t live in the forties anymore. We live in an age of social media. And social media is a relentless mob that will not stop until they have the truth. And what is the truth? Well, according to our president, Israel is guilty of war crimes. They have bombed hospitals, killed many journalists and a sickening number of babies, some even in incubators. South Africa has written to the ICC (that’s a joke – weren’t they meant to arrest Al Bashir and Putin?) and asked for Netanyahu to be tried. Yesterday we had a parliament session where all members debated the massacre on Gaza, and we learnt which politicians had ‘picked a side’. The ACPD came out saying that Israelis were the chosen people honoured by the God of Abraham (Ibrahim) and this was before Muslims or Christians existed. He forgot that all those with a Holy Book recognise the God of Ibrahim peace be upon him.

Adding to the malaise, there has been no water in Gaza. Well, this week it poured with rain and the images of children cupping their hands to drink the precious lifesaving drops from heaven is a heart-breaking picture. Here’s the thing, though, when they killed Abbasi, it was like they killed our prize citizen. When Imtiaz Sooliman says, “No More’, then indeed we all say, “No More”. There were calls to shut down the Israeli embassy in South Africa. I doubt that will make #Netanyahu stop. I don’t think anything will make #Netanyahu stop, well except the 1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas that lies 35 km’s off the coast of the Gaza strip. Dear reader, #AreYouAwake?

With almost 300k posts in South Africa alone, carrying an engagement of 415k and a negative net sentiment of almost -86%, we can deduce that over 77% of us are either angry or sad and the AI part of our tool says that babies and hospitals are the biggest contributors to our rage. #MonitoringWarCrimes #WideAwake.

For the time being, let’s get back to the most precious resource on earth, Water. South Africa has been so fast asleep that we didn’t realise that our own hospitals have run out of water. Four hundred operations could not take place as #RandWater brought hospitals to a grinding halt. Is that not a war crime?

This is depressing isn’t it, let me see if I can cheer you up. #Zol got the green light, no pun intended. Trevor Noah is trying to be an SA ambassador again; I didn’t like the advert, sorry Trev, but you’re just not funny anymore, that US sense of humour is just nauseating. #Skunkhead Gumede was in court and she cried crocodile tears. Then I read this: Paul #Mashatile is heading up #MensParliament. Guys balance me here because I’m skew. Wasn’t “men’s parliament” a made-up event for men to escape #ValentinesDay? What is a men’s parliament actually? Here’s another funny story, Arthur Fraser says he is a man of integrity. This is the guy who let Zuma leave jail with a “medical condition” sick note. And where’s our cupcake? He was in Qatar and is now having a lavish dinner with #Zelensky to stop the war in Ukraine. And then Duduzane Zuma is hanging out with Jojo and Nonkinonks. Does that make him a #RealHousewife? Someone peel me a grape, honestly! Oh, and then, you’re not going to believe this. A skelm posing as part of a hiking search and rescue team, thanked the team for keeping the mountain safe before he turned round and robbed them. Really where’s that grape?

Tragedy was all over the news. A grade ten pupil was stabbed to death. A Springbok fan (an amputee) got crushed in the parade in East London. The #Proteas broke our hearts and Supersport United’s goalie passed away. The bad news keeps coming as the election boxes are being printed. Our murder rate is higher than it’s been in two decades. Is that a war crime? I’m in Richard’s Bay and you can’t move for the trucks waiting to leave the port with our coal. Is that a war crime? Fourteen million South Africans are not registered to vote, is that a war crime? South Africa have launched a national oil company, under #UncleGwede #Mantashe! That must be a war crime.

As my words run out, I’m acutely aware I haven’t been funny this week. But I know where my lost sense of humour is. It’s at about 22m on Bikini Reef with a potato bass. I haven’t been down there in almost a month. Don’t worry it will be back, he’s a good oke that bass. So as my words run out, I’ll tell you this. Kyle Ruiters said, in court, he’s the best serial killer in the world. Standard Chartered Bank manipulated our Rand and paid a 43m rand fine. Is that a war crime? Our minister of electricity has stepped in for the minister of finance. Clearly, these jobs are interchangeable good people. Electricity today, Reserve Bank tomorrow, President the next. Are you awake South Africa? Register to vote good people or that will be a crime. Fourteen million people can make one big difference and might even stop these war crimes. Oh, and don’t panic buy eggs. Very important.

I’m Tonya Khoury and thank you for scratching the surface with me and Acumen Media.

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