A full page advert is being compiled by the Minara Chamber of Commerce to be placed in the Sunday Times next weekend to explain, in simple terms, the chronology of events in Palestinian history. Minara president Solly Sulaiman said the idea was to create awareness and educate the South African public about the historical background of the conflict between Israel and Palestine dating from the Balfour Declaration to the present conflict in Gaza. Local advocacy group Media Review Network has been tasked with the development of this advert.
Speaking to VOC Drivetime, Sulaiman said the advert is not aimed at attacking any group, but is purely aimed at making the public understand the context of the events which lead to the current situation within Palestine. Sulaiman believes that this advert is a good investment for information.
“Many are under the misconception that Muslims in the Middle East are terrorists and Hamas is a terrorist organisation and therefore Palestinians must be at fault. Even amongst our community, we need to inform people the chronology of events right from 1917 to the current status. How it started, who initiated it, who are the oppressors and who is the oppressed? It becomes a document with all the details without having to read an entire book.”
Sulaiman said this is an advert like any other and they did not expect any opposition to it.
“We are just mentioning facts and allowing people to make up their own mind,” he added.
This is the first time such an advertisement will be featured in such a prominent mainstream newspaper. Sulaiman said this issue is of great concern and it was “high time for such a step”.
The idea was sparked from listening to the verbal attacks from some individuals from the community on radio and social media against the Palestinians. Sulaiman said there was a clear indication that this stemmed from a lack of knowledge on the issue.
“We want to inform people and have them, based on the information which has been brought forward, make up their own opinions on the conflict. We want them to understand that Palestinians have been thrown out of their own land,” Sulaiman stated.
“This is a way in which a message can be relayed in a peaceful and calm way to make South Africans understand, perhaps even some individuals within the Zionist federation in South Africa.” VOC (Ra’eesah Isaacs)