Dear Chief Justice Dr Mogoeng Mogoeng,
My name is Associate Professor Haidar Eid and I am writing this letter from besieged Gaza in occupied Palestine. I also happen to be a SA citizen as I spent 7 seven years in SA where I obtained my PhD degree from the University of Johannesburg. I worked at this university and at Vista University in Soweto.
I am writing you this letter after watching, with horror I must say, the notorious webinar organised by the right-wing Israeli paper The Jerusalem Post on June 23 in which you expressed support for apartheid Israel, citing the Bible. To our horror here in Palestine where we are fighting for our mere survival thanks to the racist policy of Israel, you had no sympathetic words whatsoever for our oppressed women and children. You went further and suggested the opposite by blaming the victim and asked your own postapartheid government to support Israel!
This is due to the fact that, “[you are] under an obligation as a Christian to love Israel, to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, which actually means the peace of Israel. I cannot, as a Christian, do anything other than love and pray for Israel because I know hatred for Israel by me and my nation can only attract unprecedented curses upon our nation”.
And we couldn’t help wondering whether the man uttering these words is a Black brother from SA? The country from which we learnt lessons about the fight against all forms of racism and bigotry, the country of Nelson Mandela, Steve Biko and Desmond Tutu — to mention but a few anti-apartheid heroes who are household names in Palestine.
Allow me to say, with the utmost respect, that your utterances are extremely ignorant coming from a man who is supposed to know better about not only apartheid, but also justice, a word that is attached to your name, Sir. I am writing to you from the largest open-air prison on earth, from under a ‘medieval’ siege, our land, air and sea borders controlled and blockaded by the fourth most powerful military in the world — that of the state you have decided to support ... I am a Palestinian academic, who experienced first-hand Israel’s genocidal onslaughts of Gaza in 2009, 2012 and 2014 that killed over 4,000 people, including over 1,500 of our children, war crimes outlined in the United Nations Goldstone Report.