We shouldn’t justify apartheid and genocide.
Voice of Barbados (VOB)
c/o Starcom Network Inc.
I was appalled to learn that on Sunday 5th November, VOB used its popular phone in programme, Brasstacks, to provide a platform to supporters and representatives of the apartheid Israeli government to justify the crimes this state is currently committing in Gaza that have outraged decent people in all corners of the world. These include the deliberate bombing of civilians in refugee camps, hospitals and ambulances resulting in the killing of thousands of people, including at least 4000 children. It is difficult to understand what would prompt the management of VOB to offer a platform to such people to try to justify these crimes. Do you think it would have been appropriate during the massacre of children in Soweto by the apartheid regime of South Africa to invite apologists for that apartheid regime onto radio in Barbados to “explain that the crimes they were committing were all the fault of Nelson Mandela and his terrorist ANC”?
To make matters worse, it is reported that the moderator reprimanded one of the panellists for comparing the activities of the Israeli regime and its supporters to those of Hitler and his Nazis. Again, it is difficult to understand what would have prompted the moderator to do this. At the most charitable, it would be that he had failed to do the necessary research to prepare him for discussion of the topic and so was acting out of ignorance. If he had done the research, he would have known that Zionism is a racist and anti-semitic political movement started in 19th century Europe that has nothing to do with Judaism, Christianity or the Bible.
He would have known that both Zionism and Nazism have a common source in the ideology of European settler colonialism, with its racist ideas of ‘the supremacy of the white man’ which has seen the genocide of indigenous people in the Caribbean, North and South America, Australia and New Zealand to name only a few places. He would have known that its founder Theodore Herzl openly declared that the aim of establishing a Zionist state was to form a rampart against the barbarism of Asia. He would have known that the state of Israel was a strategic ally of apartheid South Africa and is widely believed to have provided that apartheid regime with nuclear bomb technology with which to threaten Africa. If he knew all of this and yet reprimanded the panellist for likening Israel to the Nazis, then he himself is an apologist for apartheid and genocide.
VOB and its Brasstacks programme offer Bajans an opportunity to engage with matters that concern them both locally and internationally. Those who make the decisions regarding this programme should take their responsibilities seriously and not allow it to be used as a platform to justify oppression, apartheid and genocide.