Hamas March on the Union Buildings

Yesterday a pro-Palestinian March took place at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

We of course have no issue with South Africans right to protest, something enshrined in our constitution and that the SAJBD too has done in the past.

However what we do take great issue with is when these protests are used as platforms to propagate hate as we have seen regularly in the past weeks, when protests marketed as pro-Palestinian degenerate into forums to threaten and hate SA Jewry. A march in Cape Town was used to threaten a Jewish school in the city, a march in Johannesburg provided a platform for a PAGAD speaker to call to `decentralise the war’, threatening to fight SA Jewry wherever we find them, “we must boycott them, we must go to their homes, we must go to their schools…” At a Cape Town rally Jewish and Christian people were assaulted. We have seen ISIS and Hamas flags flying.

Yet yesterday’s march differs in that not only is a Hamas flag flying by the Union Buildings, but Hamas leadership themselves are leading the march. Hamas, the same organization responsible for starting the current Gaza war by parachuting into Israel to brutally murder civilians on the 7th of October and taking hostages including women, children and elderly people captive. The reports of torture of these captives have been shared as some have been released, such as a child who was forced to watch footage taken by Hamas as they cruelly executed people on 7 October.

What is further horrifying is that as we are seeing video recordings and testimony of the brutal gang rape and sexual violence perpetrated by Hamas against Israeli women, the organisation responsible for these atrocities is part of the marchers. As the world wakes up to the gender-based violence of Hamas against Israeli women, and during the 16 days of activisim against GBV, we are seeing Hamas leaders talking to our streets. What kind of message does this send?

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