As South Africa won the Rugby World Cup last Saturday for the third time in the country’s history there was one overriding headline I kept hearing again and again from the worlds media and that was how “this story transcends sports and has helped unify the country”. It’s no secret South Africa has had there own issues of recent past, the days of Nelson Mandela helping the country out of apartheid are some 25 years ago now but the country is still limping from its racial segregation roots, the iconic image of Mandela wearing a Springboks’ jersey and handing the World Cup to Francois Pienaar 1995 is still one that touches people today, however facing stories of corruption and bad leadership South Africa, in the words of Pienaar himself, “needs to be rebuilt“. Not long after the ceremony on Saturday did I hear several news outlets bringing up South Africa’s apartheid past and how these current groups of players were hoping that this win could help rebuild the country like it did in 1995. This got me thinking South Africa is not the only country that has had issues with apartheid, in Palestine the issue goes way beyond different schools and public areas for whites and blacks, the native Palestinians have literally been driven off their land by extremist Zionist Jews who wish to set up a nation of Israel for themselves while the Palestinian live under their unjust control and their military regime, and while this has been going on for over a hundred years now no one in the mainstream media is willing to call this what it really is, which is a human rights issue.
The Balfour agreement
When Nelson Mandela was finally granted his freedom in 1990 he vowed to unite South Africa by getting rid of the apartheid regime, this was welcomed by the majority of the world leaders and became a historic moment in history. Mandela took it upon himself to try and unite blacks and whites within his country and to a certain extent he managed to do this by creating the rainbow nation. The Rugby World Cup win in 1995 was used as a great catalyst in healing divisions, that’s all very well for a country like South Africa who has the sports resources in order to triumph at a major sporting event. However, for a country like Palestine who doesn’t have the same resources and even if they did would be bombed to the ground by the Israeli regime, it feels like there is no way out for the apartheid they are suffering with. Up until 1914 Palestine was one nation, a country that had major significance for all three of the worlds big religions, on the whole it was a peaceful country where people were allowed to practice their faith freely. However, like with most conflicts in the world, this all changed with the interference of Great Britain and a letter between the then foreign secretary Arthur Belfort and Lionel Walter Rothschild who was a figurehead in the Jewish British community at the time. The letter included Britain’s mandate for creating a Jewish nation for Zionists, a group of right-wing Jews who believe that Judaism isn’t just a religion but a nation and therefore they should have their own country called Israel. Later on that year key members from the British, French and American government met up in Switzerland in what was the Balfour hotel where the Balfour agreement was signed, during this meeting the Jewish state of Israel was discussed with three possible locations identified, Palestine, Uganda and Australia were all potential targets for the Zionist regime. It was decided that Palestine was the most obvious and realistic place due to the countries links with Judaism and as a result of this in 1947 the state of Israel was created with Palestine being cut up and the natives being forced to leave their homes.
The ethnic cleansing of 1947
Despite Britain, France and America drawing up a two-state solution as part of the Balfour agreement the Zionist were not happy with the land that they had, they wanted more. In 1947 the Zionist movement began a year-long campaign of ethnic cleansing where they marched into Palestine taking the land off native Palestine’s and killing whoever got in their way, the international community just sat back and watched as thousands upon thousands of Palestinians were unjustifiably slaughtered by the Israelis. Backed by the American government Israel was determined to expand their land and in 1948 hundreds and hundreds of Palestinian refugees were denied asylum and left hanging by the United Nations who back Israel.
The problem is getting worse
Nowadays Palestine is a shadow of its former self as the Israeli government have taken up more and more of occupied land, Palestine is now divided up into two parts, the West Bank which is basically under martial law from Israel and whereby a Palestinian literally cannot fart without the Israeli government knowing about it, and Gaza, which has been described as the largest open-air prison in the world. 27 miles long and occupying 1.8 million native Palestinians, Gaza is regularly bombarded by aerial strikes and ground attacks by the Israeli army. Guarded by Israeli snipers who are ready to take out any Palestinian at-will, 80% of the people who are killed in Gaza are innocent civilians and half of that 80% are women, children and the elderly. Schools and hospitals are regularly bombed to the ground as Israel shows no mercy in its terrorism of Palestine. Robert Martin is a humanitarian who champions the cause for Palestine, just a normal Australian Robert wasn’t happy with what was being reported by the mainstream media about the conflict so he decided to do his own research. In 2014 he went out to Palestine and in an interview he gave after coming back described how it completely changed. Within 10 minutes of being there Robert had an altercation with two Israeli soldiers whilst he was given a tour of the land by his host. The soldiers approached them in a fully armoured vehicle because they were apparently to close to the wall that divides Israel from Gaza even though in Roberts words they were “nowhere near the wall”. The two of them were ordered to move and when Robert refused the soldier pointed a gun at him and told him if he didn’t he would be shot, Robert believes this was because Israel doesn’t want the world knowing what they are doing to the Palestinian people. In 2017 Robert went back to Palestine and described how he witnessed kids being pulled from their beds in the middle of the night by Israeli soldiers and taken off never to be seen or heard off again, he also described how Israel is deliberately trying to control the Palestinians by means of terror, they can’t even attend one of their own funerals without Israeli soldiers terrorising them he said in a video he made to highlight what was going on out there.
The terrorist nature of Israel against the Palestinians had a lot of people believing they are the actually the biggest terrorists in the world and there have been multiple examples of this in recent years. Take the story of Razan al-Najjab, a volunteer medical worker who in 2018 was shot dead by an Israeli sniper while she was tending to Palestine protestor that had been injured. She was administrating medical aid to the protester when she was shot dead and despite this going against international law none of the news outlets in this country picked up on the story. There is also the story of Mohammed Khalil, a Palestinian footballer with a promising career ahead of him. In 2018 whilst on a peaceful protest against the Israeli government Mohammed was deliberately shot in the knee by an Israeli sniper, the injury has ended his career and left him heartbroken. An international footballer that had his career ended because he was shot by a soldier yet no media outlet in the country decided to pick up on the story, this shows how much of a bias there is against the Palestinian cause.
Media bias against Palestine
The media bias was perfectly demonstrated earlier this year after the Champions League Final when George Galloway sent a tweet out congratulating Liverpool and the people of the city for their achievement. He ended the tweet by saying “no Israel flag on the cup”, referring to the fact that there were several Tottenham supporters both in and around the ground that were waving the Israeli flag, as Tottenham colours are blue and white which is the same colours as the Israeli flag and the club is owned by Jewish pro-Zionist supporters, Galloway wanted to make stand for Palestine and end the illegal Israeli regime. That Monday morning Galloway was sacked by Talkradio because of his tweet and then had to appear on Good Morning Britain in order to defend his case, despite Piers Morgan trying his best to undermine Galloway he was able to hold his own and articulate his point of view perfectly but yet again this is the perfect example of how anyone that speaks out against Israel is demonised in the media. It’s the same with the Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, a pro-Palestine supporter he is getting the backlash for standing up against Israel in this election campaign by being called anti Semitic and being compared to the Russian leader Stalin, yet his opposite number Boris Johnson is allowed to make racist remarks against Muslim women and nobody bats an eyelid, funny isn’t it?
Sports has the power to make real change
After South Africa’s win last Saturday all I’ve heard from the media is how sports has the power to make real change on a global level, if that is the case why are we not calling for a ban for Israel from all sporting events, Russia was banned from the Olympics last year for alleged doping but also for their anti-gay rights movement, if we can ban a country for doing that why can’t we ban Israel for killing millions and millions of Palestinians and for breaking international law again and again. Surely this would send a message to the Israeli authorities that the world community is not prepared to allow the systematic genocide of innocent Palestinians who just want their freedom back.
I don’t want to diminish the achievements of the South African Rugby team, what they have done has been incredible and they should be very proud of the way they have helped change the political landscape in the country both back in 1995 and hopefully now. However, I do think it’s a little bit hypocritical of media outlets to highlight apartheid in one country and to completely ignore in another. I feel very passionately about the Palestinian cause and I think we all have a responsibility to end this media bias and make sure the world knows how Israel is oppressing and systematically killing hundreds and thousands of Palestinians on a regular basis. In the word of Lowkey, “This is for Palestine, Ramallah, West Bank, Gaza, this is for the child that is searching for an answer, wish I could take away the tears and replace them with laughter, long live Palestine, long live Gaza.