Faizel Patel, Radio Islam News-2013-05-14
While the Democratic Alliance (DA) points a finger at other political parties and organizations for mischief making in South African politics, the party has itself now come under fire for receiving money from Israeli lobby.
Cosatu alleges the DA does not speak out against the Israeli government because it was receiving money from that country’s lobby which the party has vehemently denied. “The DA has never declared anywhere that it received any money (from the lobby),” said DA spokesman Mmusi Maimane.
Tony Ehrenreich, Cosatu Western Cape’s secretary said, “If the DA was not opposed to racism and apartheid and discriminatory practices in principle, why are they not speaking out against apartheid practices of Israel against Palestine?”
“The reality is the DA gets a lot of money from the Israeli lobby, and accordingly will not speak out against the practices in Palestine,” added Ehrenreich.
Maimane said Cosatu’s claims were “unfortunate and in bad taste” and that the trade union federation was trying to score political points. “We think there should be a two-state solution (between Palestine and Israel), and a peaceful transition as it was here in South Africa when it gained democracy,” added Maimane.
The DA’s stance on the Palestinian issue is highly questionable. On the 11th March 2012 during Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) Radio Islam asked whether the “DA was fence sitting on the Palestinian issue”. This was after a mural painted by well-known graffiti artist, Iain “Ewok” Robinson, at the Durban North Beach Skate Board Park irked a Democratic Alliance councillor Avrille Marcia Coen to argue that the usage of the term ‘apartheid’ in relation to Israel constitutes 'hate speech' (Read the full article here)
A few days later on the 15th March 2013, on the Global Debate on Radio Islam with Moulana Sulaimaan Ravat, speaking on behalf of the DA, shadow minister for economic development Hanif Hoosein said that as the DA they have come from a past of bloodshed. South Africa was only able to attain democracy through decent dialogue and responsible leadership. He said that as the DA they don’t believe that taking a stance on the Palestinian issue is going to contribute to a peaceful settlement.
“What we would like to see is the Palestinian leaders as well as Israeli leaders reach a peaceful negotiated settlement for long lasting peace in that region. And taking sides on the matter, we don’t believe is going to solve the problem at this moment. This is a conflict thousands of kilometers away from the borders of South Africa,” said Hoosein. (Read the full article here)
Ehrenreich said the DA and its leader Helen Zille had to declare that it would “stop supporting the racism of the Israel government and will support the people of Palestine."