Monthly Archives: July 2010

Facebook debate on Israel-Palestine

 Stephen Twinoburyo 3 June 2010 wrote: Jewish groups are outraged at S Africa’s recall of it’s ambassador from Israel today to express unhappiness at the attack on aid ships. It should be noted that the majority of S Africans share a similar history to that of Palestine & was the first non-Arab country to recognise Hamas as the democratically elected leader…ship of the Palestinian people. SA calls for an independent Palestinian state. I agree.

 Daniel R Ruhweza

Noted. How i wish it were that simple …

 Stephen Twinoburyo

Sure it’s not that simple but how I wish those two were independent states living respectfully next to each other. But sincerely, innocent Palestinian children and other people have been put under severe cellective punishment that has deprived them of even the basic necessities to live the bare minimum of life. It’s clear force will never work in … See Morethat region and it would be wise for the two parties to seek alternative means of dealing with each other. A choice for peace would benefit all of them – and the rest of us. For instance people who died on that ship were not from the two group, so their situation affects so many other people.

 Martin Barungi

I disagree. Israel is in a state of war and the ships should have been inspected for possible arms smuggling.

 Godfrey Kahangi

@Martin. International law informs on such situations even in cases of war. Israel has targeted humanitarian organisations like Red Cross, in previous military engagements in Lebanon and Gaza, against international law. They have only received a slap on the wrist.

I am of the opinion that there was a case of war crimes in the last 3month Gaza … See Moreforay. What would you call a blockade that keeps basic needs like food, shelter, medicine, and employment out of reach of the basic person?

Israel has gotten away with a lot because of its Holocaust, The Religious Right, and Uncle Sam’s historical unwavering support. But even though there was a 55 year injustice where 6million Jews were murdered can’t provide justification for possible annihilation of the entire Palestinian people.

Its time to put an end to the madness. Israel rails against Iran that seeks its annihilation. Why are they inadvertently seeking the total annihilation of the Palestinians?

 Joseph Kamara

Godfrey and Steve,
I followed this incident and wanted to know If Isreal broke any international law.The Helsinki Principles on the Law of Maritime Neutrality, a basis for international law on the subject, shows that Israel was well within itsprescriptions. Here are the relevant clauses in the Helsink Principles:
5.1.1 Neutral ships in belligerent … See Moreports;
A neutral ship in a belligerent port enjoys the same protection against attacks as civilian objects in land warfare… Neutral warships in belligerent ports retain their right of self-defense.
5.1.2 Protection against attacks;
(3) Merchant ships flying the flag of a neutral State may be attacked if they are believed on reasonable grounds to be carrying contraband or breaching a blockade, and after prior warning they intentionally and clearly refuse to stop, or intentionally and clearly resist visit, search, capture or diversion.
(4) Merchant ships flying the flag of a neutral State may be attacked if they;
(a) engage in belligerent acts on behalf of the enemy;
(b) act as auxiliaries to the enemy’s armed forces;
(c) are incorporated into or assist the enemy’s intelligence system;
(d) sail under convoy of enemy warships or military aircraft; or
(e) otherwise make an effective contribution to the enemy’s military action, e.g., by carrying military materials, and it is not feasible for the attacking forces to first place passengers and crew in a place of safety. Unless circumstances do not permit, they are to be given a warning, so that they can re-route, off-load, or take other precautions.
5.2.1 Visit and search;
… [B]elligerent warships have a right to visit and search vis-à-vis neutral commercial ships in order to ascertain the character and destination of their cargo. If a ship tries to evade this control or offers resistance, measures of coercion necessary to exercise this right are permissible. This includes the right to divert a ship where visit and search at the place where the ship is encountered are not practical.

5.2.10 Blockade;
Blockade, i.e. the interdiction of all or certain maritime traffic coming from or going to a port or coast of a belligerent, is a legitimate method of naval warfare. In order to be valid, the blockade must be declared, notified to belligerent and neutral States, effective and applied impartially to ships of all States. A blockade may not bar access to neutral ports or coasts. Neutral vessels believed on reasonable and probable grounds to be breaching a blockade may be stopped and captured. If they, after prior warning, clearly resist capture, they may be attacked

 Ruhindayo M Rumanda

@Kamara: Thanx a bunch for the legal context.. this makes some sense now

 Godfrey Kahangi

@Kamara. Thanks for that legal context. Whatever justification Israel comes up with, the reason for the attempt made to provide assistance to the people of Gaza is purely humanitarian. That is the reason why all the people on the flotilla were released, after sensible nations raised dust. Did anyone notice that Israel has not released the actual … See Morehumanitarian assistance to the dying and impoverished peoples of Gaza? If Israel is that concerned about bombs and shells landing on their territory, how can they refuse the delivery of medicines and food? Whatever the legal context, this doesn’t justify genocide (this is tantamount to genocide). You need to look at the results of the blockade and see that it has the same environment that the very same Jews went through during the Holocaust.

There needs to be a time when people do the ‘foolish’ thing to bring attention to the dire plight of the Palestinians. And the presence of Hamas only gives an outlet for their ruthlessness and injustice (theory has it that even without the presence of Hamas, there is no way that the Israelites would promote a peaceful co-existence with Palestine). They are against the two state solution, due to existence in the BCE.

Consider the fact that the Israelites did not inhabit the Holy Land for 1900 years, since they were ejected in a series of wars between 72AD and 90AD. If they were absent for all that time, there needs to be a correct settlement, not genocide to handle the ills of their ejection and re-settlement. This is justice. But the death of millions of Palestinians and the subsequent exile of myriads more in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria is not the solution. So, pray tell, what should the Palestinians do ? Drop down and just die?

Whatever legal precedent is provided is never going to be a replacement for natural justice and a sense of brotherhood as human beings.

 Godfrey Kahangi

@Stephen. It seems there is a case to make in the correlation between apartheid and what is happening today in Israel. I am sorry to say but the same doctrinal basis of exclusion is the same that the Boers had and the same that Hitler had.

Anyone who assumes that there is a superior race, whether their assertion is based on the bible (as in the … See MoreLutheran Doctrine that led to Apartheid or the assertion that the rest of the world are UNCLEAN) or whether it is based on some Aryan doctrine (case of the white supremacists and Hitler) IS totally wrong.

All who have had that assertion, from the greek and roman civilizations, to the church era, to the industrial era have all been proved wrong. I hope reason reigns and we don’t see an upsurge of this kind of horror as people go around showing that they are superior.

 Stephen Twinoburyo

You must be wondering where I have been the whole day. I saw the comments earlier but I hadn’t yet got time to give my response.

Thank you Kamara for the legal enlightment.

Thank you very much Godfrey for speaking my mind. I am fully on the same page as you…. See More

This recent attack on the aid ships is one of the many atrocities Israel has committed in that region. For long Israel has been allowed to get away with too much and little consideration has been given to the people at it’s receiving end. If we were able to consider ourselves as somebody raising up a family in Palestine, I think our view of the situation would change. Many people would jump at the opportunity to spend a holiday or even work in Israel. Yet many would turn down an offer to spend a week in Gaza. Why? They would be afraid of Israel’s bombs.

Many people tend to either misuse the information in the Bible or rely on sentiment when discussing Israel but the truth of the matter is that Israel has in most instances been the aggressor. Few countries would have been allowed to get away with what Israel is doing. I mentioned somewhere else that through time, Israel has been used to violence as a means of settling matters. It’s time they realise that the world is moving more towards peace. The world is fed up of this unnecessary violence.

Israel holds the cards for peace in the area. As it stands, the Palestinians are against the wall and have little choice in this. Even if they declared peace, Israel would most likely continue pursuing a conflict by engaging in provocative activities like blockages and unitary expansions.

I fully support S Africa’s position. They’ve told Israel that they don’t agree with their activities and no post apatheid president has paid an official visit to Israel. I also don’t remember an Israel leader visiting. At each national gathering, the ANC calls for two independent states. One time the Hamas leader was visiting. Israel & the US complained but SA went ahead to host him. These two countries wanted elections in Palestine but when Hamas won overwhelmingly, they rejected the result. That’s terrible double-standards.

The point is, we all benefit from peace in the middle east and Israel is in a far better position to foster this peace.

 Stephen Twinoburyo

Godfrey, I agree with you on the apartheid connection. What is happening in Palestine is exactly apartheid. It’s exactly what happened here. In fact in some case Israel goes far especially when they carry our indescriminate bombing of communities. Israel had a close relationship with the apartheid govt and is reported to have assisted them in developing nuclear weapons. The two had a lot in common.

 Daniel R Ruhweza

Steven and Godfrey, I have read your criticism about Israel- what then is your criticism on Palestine – or is there none?

 Stephen Twinoburyo

Hi Daniel. There have been wrongs committed by the Palestinian side against Israel and these need to stop. But just like when the SA apartheid govt decided to go the extra mile and ended apartheid, Israel can also go the extra mile and stop the conflict.

With this latest act, I think Israel may have gone a step too far and the world is beginning … See Moreto say that this is enough. In fact Israel needs sanctions against it. I have just heard in the news that the Norway militar has cancelled a planned military seminar because it included an Israel officer.

 Godfrey Kahangi

@Daniel: The Palestinian people have committed loads of atrocities, starting from the 30’s when both sides were exerting themselves in the present day Israel. With the ‘independence’ of Israel, expulsion of the palestinians from their homeland, the PLO was formed with the eventual leader Arafat, who conducted a bombing and assassination campaign … See Moreaccross the world.

Just like Mandela, who had no excuses for his atrocities in the 60’s that led to his imprisonment, today we can justify some actions as desperation led acts.

We can’t ignore the fact that the people who had lived in that tract of land were violently and unfairly ejected after 1900 years. That is the bottom line and the historical injustices on both sides have to be discussed and resolved, otherwise israel will have to continue in this self destructive line and the Palestinians will continue in this similarly self destructive line

 Patrick Oyulu

…in short, the action against the flotilla has created a breaking point, the world has reached a similar point…like in apartheid era when they said enuff is enuff.

I believe those communities can exist and borrow examples from SA….

 Godfrey Kahangi

@Patrick. I agree with you. This situation in Gaza was unsustainable, to borrow the phrase from Barack Obama

 Barugahare Desire George

That’s really Intresting especially as Jews are the wealth people in SA

 Patrick Oyulu

…and wealthy and power brokers all over the world. The Israeli lobby in the USA determines policy…

But it gets to a point you implore that they get this “we are hunted syndrome” off their backs…and learn to co-exist peacefully.

Yes they can.

 Barugahare Desire George

Is it a Syndrome or are the actually being hunted

 Patrick Oyulu

…I don’t think so, most of what is happening is reactive…with one side more pro-active.

Israel has a right to exist, and peacefully at that…the issue of settlements is also a negative factor…

 Martin Barungi

Sorry but I dont see any parallels with apartheid in SA. Indeed the Pals need a state of their own but time and again force has yielded nothing.

 Mussito Patrick

Israel has aright to defend it self from Terrorist.

 Daniel R Ruhweza

 Thank yo all, like i said before we are dealing with a complex issue. We have two brothers who are trying to share their father’s estate. We can encourage them to keep on talking but we should desist from name calling. The way we approach the situation should be by lobbying not Ugandans tried to interfere once (read Amin) and we know what happened…. See MoreThe modus operandi by the people in the fortilla achieved one result- a re-engagement of the discussion of peace between the two brothers. Unfortunately,as long as neither brother is is willing to concede on some issues,there isnt much we can do especially when big brother-read USA- is watching. A member of the PLO presented a paper recently at my Univeristy, upon asking him whether they are willing to let Israel co-exist, he vehemently refused-inspite of my reminding him of a common ancestry the two brothers have. Interestingly, he said that Israel is a european problem and the should return to whether they came from- he vehemently refused to have a 50-50 solution…with such attitude, i recall the words of Martin Luther King Jr…”black supremacy is the same as white supremacy”…– see the post Gaza rhetoric…

 Daniel R Ruhweza

Stephen Twinoburyo

Daniel, that’s a very powerful message from archbishop Tutu. I wish people in Israel – and US administration – could listen.

By the way to some of you, we are not saying Israel should not defend itself from terrorists. Any country ought to defend itself. The issue is the extent Israel goes to in the name of defending itself and the inhumanity it … See Morevisits on innocent people. We sit in our home and complain that we are denied freedom of press, association etc and forget that there are a people denied a living.

Daniel, referring to that Palestinian you talked to at your university, in all societies, there will be people that resist change towards peace – people who always see things in one respective. They will however get onto the bandwagon when the leaders choose peace. There were people on both sides of the divide that vehemently resisted efforts to resolve matters in S Africa peacefully, but they eventually had to come along. Eventually it’s leaders who look hardline that actually make the first moves towards peace. It’s hardline president PW Botha that initiated the first secret discussions with Mandela & the ANC. Netanyahu can surprise us.

 Godfrey Kahangi

@Daniel: Ok, lets examine the land arguments on both sides. We are going to assume that the biblical narrative is correct and that the Arabs are descended from Ishmael and the Israelites from Jacob (though this is as irrelevant as stating that I am a brother to Kim Jong Il, just because 3000 years ago we had the same father).

The Israelites were … See Moreejected from their homeland and others moved in. The Israelites went all over the world garnering a considerable level of global hatred due to their exclusionary policies (read, all non jews are gentiles). At the end of the day, the homeland got inhabited by millions of people who stayed there till their entire life was disrupted in 1945. This is from around 72AD, but other historians show other upheavals and exiles from around 800BC. Simplistically, the Israelites were ‘vacant landlords’, though even that term is used loosely due to the fact that the land ownership routines were not the same as today.

Some Palestinians have had more than 40 generations they can trace as being resident there. Entire heritages, entire cultures, and even entire civilizations were resident there, post 72AD. And lets not forget, the Israelites took over that land through wars (if the biblical narrative is to be believed). So, there were the Amalekites, the Hittites and all the others who could similarly have a claim.

Why this issue is so emotive even for non jews (gentiles) is because we have adopted the biblical narrative as the word of God and that puts a spin on what we think is right and wrong.

So, who is the rightful owner of the land? Is it the Israelites, who acquired the initial portions through conquest, not purchase? Was it the Amalekites, Hittites, etc who were evicted out of it? Was it the Palestinians who moved into the blank space to establish their lifestyles? How about the Assyrians, Romans and Turk Moslems who got to acquire it by conquest? Are they the owners? Is it everyman for himself? And, what should be our stand, as gentiles? Or as the bible says, are we now jews since we have been grafted onto the branch, by our association with Christ? And should this association translate directly into our inequivocal support for everything that the Jews do, including undying support for them on the land issue?

These are questions that are global, not just confined to the Christian/Moslem/Judaism divides. If we go with the Adam Eve creation narrative, Palestinians are as much brothers as Osama Bin Laden is George W Bush’s brother.

 Joseph Kamara

It is clear, the Palestinians have a right to exists just like the Isrealis but the problem is that both sides refuse to recognise each other’s right to co exist. According to the Palestinians, ther is no such a country called Isreal, like wise the Isreali’s say as long as there is risk of inhalation, they will fight. Back to the flotila, why did … See Morethe activists fight armed soldiers? Shouldn’t they have surrendered when soldiers came on board? I just found out teh organisation that organised the flotila is linked to Aleida! A French Judge indicted it a few years a go.Both the French and Turkish police had raided its offices because of its ties to Alqeida. Could this be the reason Isreal reacted that way? One thing is clear, the Palestinians in Gaza need a fair go they have suffered to much.

 Joseph Kamara

Steve, even the Americans and British supported the apartheid regime in RSA

 Godfrey Kahangi

@Joseph: Yes, I agree with you. In desperation you choose friends who may support you, even if you don’t necessarily agree with their ideologies. Mandela adopted some marxist associations, including the association with the Communist Party, since they had some linkages and common ideologies on some fundamentals like the end of apartheid. The … See More Palestinians are desperate and are facing annihilation and so their activities are the work of desperate people.

There is also too much propaganda being sent out. Its my take that the Alqaeda connection is a plant to discredit the entire operation. On this ship, there is a Nobel Laureate and an assistant UN Sec Gen. I don’t know whether they are also associates of Alqaeda. I think we should go past the rhetoric and focus on people, the dying people, the enslaved people, much the same way the wold at some point focused on the dying blacks despite the economic advantages of slavery both pre 1900 and in the apartheid times.

 Martin Barungi

The Pals have themselves to blame. Instead of engaging with Israel in a meaningful way, they listen to people like Ahmadinejad who denies the holocaust and says Israel should be wiped off the world map. They voted Hamas into power, an outfit that also denies the rightful existence of Israel as a state. This belligerent stance has failed to work … See Moreand is only piling more misery upon the so called innocents. Let them do what Egypt and Jordan did after they realized that force is useless. The relative peace between these countries and Israel was because they engaged each other in a meaningful, mutually respectful way. Shalom!

 Stephen Twinoburyo

Thank you Godfrey for your quantitative as well as qualitative argument on this issue. It emboldens my stand to be with those that call for an independent and free Palestinian state.

If you look at this issue, the only claim the Israelites have on that land is Biblical. However reality firmly puts the Palestinians in that place. Now that the … See MoreBritish and Americans put the Jews back in that place and now that they’ve established their livelihood there, the only way is to work out a co-existance with the Palestinians. As archbishop Tutu says, everything has an end and this kind of aggression cannot go on for ever. Sometimes one may be tempted to ask God that what did the people of Palestine do to deserve this? I must agree with you Godfrey that Israel has only lived through conquests. One really wonders why the people that rightfully occupied these regions had to be killed in thousands and thousands, as the Bible tells us, whenever they resisted occupation. It is very difficult not to see injustice in the whole Israel affair. The fact that it has been cleverly tied to the Bible makes it very difficult for many people to see it objectively. I don’t think Jesus would have approved the Israel way if He still lived on earth. He was after all put to death by those people that had that old thinking. The same people that could not tolerate the message of peace and love from Paul.

Yes Kamara, the US and Britain supported apatheid – for their economic gain and only went against it (like slavery) when they realised that it was no longer sustainable. Israel supported it for ideology. S Africa chose to end apartheid. Israel is now the only country officially living with it. By the way, the work apartheid comes from ‘apart ness’.

 Godfrey Kahangi

@Steve and Martin.

We both know that if the incidents in the conquest srecorded in the bible in the book of Joshua occurred today, we would be screaming genocide. The world is different right now and we should not look at biblical precedents to provide some sort of justification. If what happened to the Flotilla happened in the biblical yesteryear… See More, we would not butt an eye lid.

In 1945, there was an exodus from what is today Israel that was previously called Palestine, akin to what happened in 1955 in Rwanda. The Palestinians were thrown out to Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, much to the chagrin of those neighbors who had coexisted with those communities, much like Uganda coexists with Kenya today. They refused to give them citizenship, so today, there are more than 7 million Palestinians living in the immediate Diaspora without citizenship. They have no country and no country with accept to provide them citizenship for the following reasons:
1. Granting them citizenship would absolve Israel of the opportunity to handle the issue, since they are no longer their problem.
2. Granting them citizenship would remove any claim to their motherland, that they legitimately hold
3. Granting them citizenship would remove the burden from the International Community to provide care, and place it squarely on the shoulders of their new communities. There would be a strain on the infrastructure and social services and welfare systems .

This is at the heart of the Palestinian Question. THEY HAVE NO HOME.Its as simple as that Martin, at the end of the day, everyone must have a home. The home signifies their culture, their possessions and their heritage. The Palestinians were rudely thrust out by some unilateral League of Nations action that was primarily influenced by the powerful Israel Lobby in the US.

Lets get to more current affairs to put this in context. The Rwandese were expunged from their homeland in 1955 or there abouts due to the Monarchical changes. They went into exile to present DRC, German East Africa (Tanzania) and British East Africa (Uganda). They integrated with those societies mainly because the migrations occurred before independence of those countries. But at the end of the day, they still wanted to go back to their homeland, so they bade their time and at the opportune moment launched back home. In the wake of their launch, 1,000,000 died and today there are more than 500,000 in DRC who are looking at a way of returning home. When someone has no home, they are slaves and no one chooses that lifestyle voluntarily.

Martin, the Palestinians are in a state of slavery, much like how the Blacks in SA were. In fact the parallels are so similar, since like the blacks in SA, the Palestinians are slaves in their own countries, without access to water, food, electricity and chances of a livelihood. I bet, if one went further, you would find that the education systems are separate, etc. This is NOT right, even if you claim superiority from a biblical perspective. Martin, I can’t over emphasise the difference in our positions. This situation is not the Palestinians making. If you even go through History, the British, who owned that area as part of their colony strongly disagreed with the US in granting the Israels that land. They even suggested that they relocate them and their heritage to Uganda, because they did not see how tenable it would be to expel more than 4million Palestinians. The lesser evil, in their view, was to impose the Jews on the Ugandans since we were black. There was no unanimity in the decision to grant Israel their homeland. The catalyst was the Holocaust, which is why Iran and others try to do some revisionism as that was the one and only reason why the homeland was granted to the Israelites. The issue was politics, not equity or fairness.

I can agree that the way forward is to talk, but the main thing is that the international community for once must strongly side with the Palestinians. This is not about religion. Its about fairness, democracy, and human rights. The Palestinians have a right to food, water, shelter, especially if there is someone willing to offer it. They also have a right to employment in their own land. The Israelites are not willing to give it up, since Bethlehem and other ‘holy’ israelite sites are in the West Bank and Gaza. Gosh, when shall this end? If we are waiting for Jesus to return before it ends, imagine the death we are permitting.

At this rate, we should ask Ocampo to go and investigate war crimes. Its a dream since the powers that be will not permit it.

 Stephen Twinoburyo

Well put Godfrey.

 Godfrey Kahangi

@Joseph: I just got this excerpt that disputes that the first flotilla was Alqaeda linked. You can read the full article at

Here goes:

This latest attempt to breach the blockade differs significantly from the flotilla the Israeli troops intercepted on Monday, killing eight Turks and an American after being set upon by a group of activists…. See More
Nearly 700 activists had joined that operation, most of them aboard the lead boat from Turkey that was the scene of the violence. That boat, the Mavi Marmara, was sponsored by an Islamic aid group from Turkey, the Foundation for Human Rights and Freedom and Humanitarian Relief. Israel outlawed the group, known by its Turkish acronym IHH, in 2008 because of alleged ties to Hamas. The group is not on the U.S. State Department list of terror organizations, however.

 Martin Barungi

@Godfrey – based on Biblical history, which is the only TRUTH you will ever find, the State of Israel was God’s idea and he gave their ancestor, Abram (later Abraham) that piece of real estate as an inheritance. In fact, it came to be known as the Promised Land. I know that you are aware of this but choose to ignore it. At that time, this land had … See Moreinhabitants (Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, Jebusites, etc.) and Abraham was a stranger there. His family grew and later shifted to Egypt due to famine. Joseph, Abraham’s great grand son, was a leader in Egypt then. Before dying he requested that his remains be carried back to the promised land and it was done 400 years later when the children of Israel returned home, now as a nation.

Before entering the Promised Land, God’s express orders were to displace, annihilate, get rid of everything including livestock. So, ultimately, it was God’s idea long before America, Britain, you or even me. That settles it. The rest is human argumentation, disputation or debate.

 Godfrey Kahangi

@Martin: I am not ignoring biblical history. I am looking at the issue of natural justice. Is there a case for genocide? I doubt that we can use the bible for that case. A few years ago, Israel walked out of a top level UN meeting in SA because there was going to be a declaration to the effect that what is happening in their instance is tantamount to racism. Despite biblical history, which no one is disputing, one can’t make a case for the injustices there.

 Martin Barungi

Ok, so if that’s settled then we can move to the issue of Palestinian livelihood. There are many Israelis, including leaders like the late Rabin, who wish for a peaceful co-existence with the Pals and I think its possible if peace is given a chance. But how do you talk peace with belligerents like Hamas bent on ostracizing the Jews completely. That… See More approach will never work. Otherwise one would be transferring the so called injustices from one group to another. Meaningful engagement is the only way forward.. .up til now, force has yielded nothing.

 Joseph Kamara

Godfrey, thank you for that article, it gives another perspective. One thing is clear, the flotilla incident has left Israel’s credibility in tatters. It will take them ages to rebuild their credibility. This siege on Gaza is certainly not hurting Hamas but the common man and woman in Gaza

 Godfrey Kahangi

Joseph, you are welcome. I think the biggest distortion is to view the incidents involving Israel out of historical biblical lenses. That is the greatest harm and may lead to another genocide of Palestinians that the world will have to recover from.

 Joseph Kamara

May be but I think, the world has misunderstood the will of God in this matter. I’m no expert but I strongly believe, God’s heart is with the poor and the opressed regardlless of race, creed, Jew or Gentile. Unfortunately, we Christians are becaming too radical just like our Jewish brothers which is pushing the rest of the World away which makes me wonder if we are still following in the Lords footsteps.

 Godfrey Kahangi

I know what you mean. We are soon going to justify murder, hate, plunder, and oppression in the name of God. The Jews, albeit being privileged in the biblical sense dont have the right to make slaves of the entire world or enact injustice on the Palestinians. It is wrong and its time that the Christian world spoke out against injustice.

It reminds… See More me of the stance adopted by the Christians during the apartheid situation in SA. The only churches, as a whole, that spoke out against the injustice was the Black African and Latin American congregations which adopted LIBERATION THEOLOGY to counter the enslavement theology (blacks are to be slaves, by order of God). The rest of the church groups, generally didn’t adopt a stance that condemned the SA regime.

Its time for Christians to follow Christ, rather than follow the Jews as a people

 Bobby Kibridge

man when i read the good bk the bible i dont think it is ever gonna happen, the Israelis and the evil palestinian living in peace

 Stephen Twinoburyo

Guys, I have been out in meetings since midday and haven’t read the recent comments yet but I will definately respond in the morning. However, most people I have directed to this discussion come out agreeing with you Godfrey. They agree that it’s time to look at the Palestinian suffering rather than supporting Israel blindly, either out of religion… See More or ignorance. They agree that the world has let down Palestinians. The same crime for which Israel is being protected is what it has visited on the Palestinians under our watch. Israel seems to be reinacting the holocaust on the Palestinians.

 Martin Barungi

I doubt that this conflict is about popularity. Its more about survival of the Israelis first and foremost otherwise the Rachel Corrie would not have been diverted to Ashdod despite backlash from around the world.

 Martin Barungi

Alex- am a Bible-believing Christian and no apologies there. The history of this conflict begins in the book of Genesis. Why cant you take time to read it. Having said that, its true that the Pals deserve better but the proven way forward is meaningful engagement. Its obvious that force has failed. Discard the emotions and read between the lines.

 Godfrey Kahangi

@Martin, am a bible believing Christian as well. In addition to the book of Genesis, we need to look at 1 and 2 Kings, 1 and 2 Chronicles for a study of the recorded political history of Israel as a nation. It is recorded that there were both evil kings (directly descended from Abraham, in Jesus’ lineage) as well as evil practices that didn’t … See Moreplease God. In actual fact, all the major prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel) and the minor ones who forewarned the different exiles covered the two issues of leadership and social injustice.

Any criticism of Israel’s actions today should not be construed as a critique of the bible. And should not necessarily lead to bible bashing. No, rather we can constructively dissect, according to biblical precedent, natural justice and international law. On all fronts, Israel is found wanting, just like in the biblical days when they were found wanting. The levels of social injustice today are comparable to those recorded in the bible.

Its my humble opinion that we objectively examine all evidence and use Israel’s experience to inform our approach to others in life. Just like in the biblical day, Israel is still under the impression that they have special status. This notion led to the very same God taking them through rough discipline to correct their attitudes.

 Stephen Twinoburyo

I think the best question to ask as Christians should be “what would Jesus have said or done is such a situation?”. If we can answer this question objectively, then we can look at the situation in that region objectively.

Many of you guys who support Israel actions, I don’t hear you say what should happen to Palestinians. Should they be kept under… See More slavery and torture? Should they be obliterated? What should happen to them? For us, we have accepted that even though the decision to place the Jews in that region was wrong, the Israelis have nowhere to go and their state has to exist. Equally the Palestinians, who rightfully live in that region and were wrongfully displaced, need a state of their own where they can care for their citizens. Palestinian children need to grow up in normal families and go to normal schools.

Godfrey Kahangi

@Stephen: One of the reasons why Jesus remains generally unpopular by the Jews is that he went beyond the hype about the nation of Israel and tried to breakdown the stereotypes that exist up to today. In the story of the Samaritan woman, he broke the artificial barriers of race as in the parable of the traveller on the road to Jericho, where the … See More conclusion was that the real neighbour is not the one of the Jewish race, but the one who extends a helping hand. This was contrary to the gentile dogma that exists to today.

He also addressed religious misunderstanding constantly, whether it was in the case of the donkey that falls in the ditch on the Sabbath or when he whipped the traders in the temple. IN all cases he highlights a higher law and that is LOVE.

Whatever the political ramifications of peace between Israel and Palestine, we as human beings should not willfully depart from Jesus’ teachings of Love and side blindly with a person or group of people who are tormenting and leading to the untimely death of millions, causing the displacement of millions. If we are bible believing, there must be higher law we engage with, and that is LOVE!!!

 Godfrey Kahangi

@Alex: Thank you for that document link. It puts all matters in perspective. I agree with you that the literal application of the bible without context is what leads to problems today, not only in Christendom but also in politics.

We, as Christians today, in face of such injustices have become like the Priest and Pharisees in the parable of the traveller on the road to Jericho, who had a religious obligation and couldn’t stand being ‘tainted’ through helping the wounded. We need to rise above racial stereotypes, whether based on the bible or on history, and take up the Jesus mandate to love. If we do that, the Palestinians will be released from their slavery.

 Stephen Twinoburyo

Do you realise how tough-talking the US and Britain are about the alleged sinking of a S Korean ship by N Korea and how cosy-cosy they are on the Israel murder of innocent civilians that were delivering aid and medicine to a dying population?

I’m off to church to pray for Palestinians. Will catch up with the debate later.

 Dennis Mourinho Bazanye

Thanx all 4 the illurstrative History of the conflict. I BEG 2 examine the SPARK of the current conflict::: 1 out of 6 ships choose to engage the Jews, & got it rough. WHY??? they shud have know better what Israel does in such circumstances>>>>Tough on the PALS!!!! This is just another SARAJEVO = to 1st world war 1914, ONLY this time we R having… See More a World War of WORDS.
NB: the seventh ship (owned by my Irish frnds ..& they R making the most noise in their Parliament) is docked to the Israeli port of Ashdod to be checked – & from there the aid could proceeded to Gaza. Israel says its policies will not change while Hamas remains in power.>>> TOUGH.

 Godfrey Kahangi

@Martin, Alex and Stephen, I would like to introduce a perspective from the Palestinians. Naim Ateek is director of the Jerusalem-based Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center.

The Rev. Dr. Naim Stifan Ateek is a Palestinian Christian who is the founder and head of the Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center in Jerusalem. He went to school to the Nazareth Baptist school where he also taught after graduation. He was the first to articulate a Palestinian theology of liberation in his book, Justice, and only Justice, a Palestinian Theology of Liberation, published by Orbis in 1989.

Unmasking False Religion
Following Jesus in occupied territory.
by Naim Ateek

The Pharisees asked Jesus, “When will the kingdom of God come?” He said to them, “The kingdom of God is among you (and within you)” (Luke 17:21). When he said this, the land and people were not experiencing paradise on earth. Most were under occupation. Violence and terrorism were everywhere. Yet Jesus could announce the fact that God’s kingdom is breaking in.

In the midst of domination structures, we must follow the example of Jesus when he was living in our country. He had a radical obedience to God’s reign. We must continuously declare the ultimate sovereignty of God over every sphere of life.

I am aware that this is exactly what the Jewish religious settlers are saying. They are in those settlements because they believe they are obeying God. In fact, they are ready to disobey their own government if need be in order to remain faithful to God.

The litmus test that we must use in such cases is based on what it means to love our neighbour. The Hebrew scripture, our Old Testament, mentions the dictum “love your neighbour as yourself.” To live under the reign of God is to have full loyalty and obedience to God, tested, judged, and defined by our love and concern for the well-being of the neighbours, even if they are our enemies.

Such loyalty to God alone forces us to unmask the powers that oppress us. One is the evil of racism. Arab-Palestinian Israeli citizens have been suffering as a result of this since the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948. Closely connected with race is the mask of nationalism. There is a place for a healthy patriotism so long as it does not undermine or infringe on the rights and feelings of others. But extreme forms of nationalism threaten Palestinians as well as Israelis.

Another form of the powers that oppress us is security. We all cherish and need security. But in Israel it has become an idol. In the name of the god of security, the Palestinians are today humiliated, dehumanized, and oppressed.

We also need to unmask the ideology of religion. Religion must set God free. This is, unfortunately, one of the worst masks that we have in the Middle East. We are all guilty of it. Jewish religion sees non-Jews as the strangers in the land, without rights. Islam’s term for non-Muslims is Ahl-Adhimma. Similarly, Christians have narrowed and limited God’s activity outside their own tradition. I cannot adequately express to you how important it is to unmask the ideology of false religion and religiosity everywhere, beginning with Christianity here in Palestine. We must unmask it and move from religion to genuine faith.

The most radical political action we can take is when we speak and testify to the truth. The full armour of God that the writer of Ephesians talks about begins with truth, then includes justice, faith, salvation, the word of God, and prayer. These are our non-violent means of resisting and struggling against the domination system of the state of Israel and the powers behind it. Jesus Christ, living in our country as a Palestinian under occupation, offers us a different model of power.

Naim Ateek Personal Note.
Naim Ateek had just turned eleven when his town of Beisan (Beth Shean) twenty miles south of the Sea of Galilee was occupied by Israeli soldiers on May 12, 1948 during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. The Ateek family, with Naim, were Christians in a predominantly Muslim community. For two weeks they lived under occupation when finally the military commander informed his father that unless the family left straight away, they would be killed. All the Christians were relocated to Nazareth and the Muslims were deported to Jordan. This traumatic and sudden dislocation was the Ateek family’s personal version of the event the Arabs call, the “Nakba” (the catastrophe). When the Ateeks were finally permitted to travel to Beisan a decade later, they discovered their former home was now occupied by a Jewish family. Shortly after, Ateek’s father suffered a paralyzing stroke

 Godfrey Kahangi

@Alex: Thanks for bibliography. I shall go through them and post anything that can contribute to our discussion on this subject. The one by Naim was so good since its getting a perspecgive from an ordained Anglican Priest with personal hands on experience.

By the way, his organization was initially called Palestinian Liberation Theology Organization. This is reminiscent of the Liberation Theology Organizations in South Africa in the times of Apartheid. Interestingly, there had to be a reevaluation of the normal biblical interpretations since the bible was being used to justify apartheid, just as it is used to justify occupation in Gaza and the West Bank.

 Godfrey Kahangi

@Dennis Mourinho Bazanye: The legal environment of the saga has been dealt by Joseph Kamara in previous postings. The question of legality is one that an international court can clear since public opinion is divided on the legality of the action.

@Martin, Stephen, Alex: The historical roots of liberation theology are to be found in the prophetic … See Moretradition of evangelists and missionaries from the earliest colonial days in Latin America — churchmen who questioned the type of presence adopted by the church and the way indigenous peoples, blacks, mestizos, and the poor rural and urban masses were treated. A more concise history can be found in this article by Leonardo and Clodovis Boff, “A Concise History of Liberation Theology”. For this, please consult

There is no doubt that the entire Christianity is brought to a point of conflict when it is used as a (misguided) basis for oppression. In the SA arena, the Dutch Reformed Lutherans used it extensively as the basis for oppressive legislation. In my walks through life, I have been notified that blacks as the descendants of Nimrod are ‘cursed’. As you can imagine, this is incongruous with any attempts to increase my spiritual and self confidence.

It is such as these that are the basis for Liberation Theology as a way of appreciating a format of non-slavery based Christianity. For more information on the theological connection between apartheid, slavaery and the Palestinian Question, please review the discussion on in the heading:The Bible v slavery and apartheid”. Liberation Theology was the basis for black emancipation and that is why such societies that have gone through this emancipation frown on any oppression of minorities. This affects SA position on LGBTI as well.

 Martin Barungi

Gentlemen, this discourse has gotten so convoluted that its getting nowhere and emotions seem to be clouding reason. .. I need to log out before someone starts wailing! In closing, the history of this conflict starts in Genesis 12 and is ended in Revelation. Uganda is nowhere in between so, ofcourse the Jews were never going to be settled here. I am a believer in a 2-state solution and non-violent protest. Otherwise, gam zeh yavoor (this too shall pass)!!

 Stephen Twinoburyo

Guys, I’m extremely humbled to have been part of this discussion. When I made the wall post, I had no clue that I would be this richer in knowledge two days later. Many of you have argued from points of good information with clear facts and references. I applaud you all. I am going to copy this discussion & save it so that I can always refer to it for knowledge.

 Godfrey Kahangi

Hey Steve, I have also learned alot. I thank everyone for the contribution. We have had access to articles and opinion that have enhanced my understanding of the Palestinian Question. We all do well to approach such complex issues with an open mind. This is one of the most complex issues in modern times. I hope to continue in this engagement as it unravels and presents again

 Stephen Twinoburyo

I agree Godfrey. You are one of the people that have been a great information resource in this debate. Thank you very much.

 Charles Makayi

Blind, literal interpretations of the “good book” without introspection, and ignoring empirical evidence has and will continue to perpetuate social injustice, cynicism and distrust giving rise to, depending on one’s opinion, outlandish but debate-provoking statements as Ahmedinejad’s denial of the holocaust.

On a slightly personal note, a few … See Moreyears back, my spouse a “non-gentile”, gave me a present in the title; Palestine: Peace not Apartheid, by none other than one-term U.S president and 2002 nobel prize winner Jimmy Carter; this simple gesture allowed me to dwelve into the Arab-Israeli conflict in ways that I mistakenly believed prior, would have landed the delicious, hot Matzo ball soup in my lap! Carter’s tenure in the white house so often frustrated his political advisors and some of his decisions even so more incensing just to do what he thought was right and in doing so, discovered a liberating truth; a large proportion of the “jewish lobby” secretly agreed with him on this underlying social tragedy that exists and has locked these two people in a “scorpion-like” embrace!

Alex and Godfrey, I’m sure you wouldn’t be surprised at the unlikely source of your cheerleaders…Rabbi Marvin Hier of the Simon Wiesenthal centre wouldn’t be one of them but I’m certain many of my fellow synagogue congregants in today’s evening wedding would be, Martin… the author of the aforementioned text is a “bible-believing Christian” …Shalom!

 Stephen Twinoburyo

This adds onto what we’ve been saying:

 Angel Louisa

As a white South African, living and growing up in the apartheid era – also amongst many Jews, and knowing their general schrew nature – I have been following this discussion with great interest and enjoyment……VERY WELL DEBATED!!
I don’t however think that the Jews have the most wealth in SA, as somebody said above? Yes, many of them are very … See Morewealthy, but so are some Moslems, Afrikaners, English…..and the new generation black-empowered “politicians- without- education-millionaires”…
My opinion seems miniscule compared to the insightfull and well read knowledge above……FANTASTIC!!
Spot on with the meaning of the word Apartheid – apartness, seperateness, distinctness!!
…and no, I would not be a friend of OPP if I believed in apartheid! In fact: I was one of those few white faces in the sea of black protesting as a student. If I was younger, I would do the same for Palestine – although I don’t agree with the terrorism linked to it!!
…and that’s my 2c on the

 Drew Ddembe

This debate is not about religion,and its not about the bible. Making it a discussion about the bible completely ignores the obvious -that for the Jews to get what they were promised, someone else had to pay the price. That was the case in the old testament -the ‘promised land’ was taken by force from other nations and it remains the case in 1945 … See Moretodate.

Ahmedinejad is given too much press. He is wrong in stating that the holocaust did not happen -it did and was a great travesty. He however is correct in stating that this was an European problem -because it was indeed an European problem exported to the middle east for political expedience. i have no doubt that had the Jews chosen Uganda as their new homeland, we would be as radicalised as the Palestinians.

There is some evidence that Rwandese who lived in northern Tanzania and Eastern congo in camps were more radical and dangerous when they returned to Rwanda in comparison to Ugandan Rwandese who were not really confined to camps and had access to schools, hospitals and university. the issue of exclusion is real for those who are forced to live in exile. those who have lived abroad, grown up in exile or had children in the diaspora may identify with this. there is a whole generation of Ugandan kids from the 70 and 80’s as well as 90’s who are now adults, have been born or brought up in another country, obtained their education in another but have no access to citizenship in those countries. they are still considered to be Ugandas even though they have little connection to Uganda culturally or even linguistically. Consider if those children were in the millions, shared a similar narrative (exiles of war and occupation) as well as inequity and statelessness not to mention poverty.

Israel can attempt to do damage control and in that it will have the help of many western newspapers and journalists who have always promoted their them versus us. The reality is that the attack on the flotilla was a propaganda disaster! All it did was to highlight the excesses of the IDF and Israels use of force! In war, truth is always the first casualty. this has been the story of terrorism into which all sides have been drawn.

Ariel Sharon was known as the butcher of Beirut. There are stories told of his exploits and ruthlessness as an Israeli army general. People forget that for every chicken, there is an egg. this conflict did not come out of nowhere. there are real grievances that are ongoing. Israel was created at the expense of other people who called it home. This occupation included atrocities and massacres which remain a part of the narrative of the victims and their children. Israel insists that these refugees that it created should be the responsibility of their hosts in Syria and other countries. the real question is why. when Habyarimana refused to accept the right of return of Ugandan Rwandese (Tutsi) you and i know what happened.

Refugee camps are a perfect recruiting ground for insurgents and guerrillas. That’s the way it has always been and that’s the way it will always be. the Palestinian question will never go away as long as there are generations of people living in camps with no access to basic rights. terrorism is a weapon of war. it was taught by CIA instructors to insurgents during the cold war in South America as well as to the afghans in their fight against the Russians. While the middle east and Islam gets the most publicity the best practitioners are actually Buddhists in the Indian subcontinent! Even Uganda had practitioners like the late Nkwanga in the 80’s who practiced ‘urban terrorism’! Kony’s war is a variant on terrorism with lessons from the Polpot wars in South East Asia. Only the deepest of divisions can sustain such an extreme act of war. South Africa, Mozambique as well as Zimbabwe all had their terrorism phases as did the Mau Mau in Kenya. All of these other conflicts have been accepted as bona fide liberation struggles were a powerless majority used the weapon of terror to free themselves from an oppressive government that controlled all of the weapons of war! Only when viewed as an act of war by people who perceive themselves as powerless can it be put into its right context!

Rabin Sharon and Arafat were all old men with blood on their hands who had lived long enough to realise that continued bloodshed would never get them the peae and acceptance they really wanted.

Israel has a right to self defence as well as a right to exist. but only after they see themselves for what they are -victims of circumstances beyond their control just like the Palestinians can they see enough commonality i their own goals to sit down and thrash out a peaceful solution. ongoing posturing and aggression will not help. it has been clear to the world for 60 years that Israel has the capability to fight off all aggressors but see where it got them! living in fear of the next bomb. that’s not a way to live.

Palestinians too have a right to a homeland. not one controlled by the Israeli’s. South Africa tried the Bantustans. they did not work. The white Kenyans moved all the kikuyu into settlements and camps -they are still history. At the end of the day, while the worst did happen -the ANC, the terrorists of yesterday became the government of today, the white people at least those who chose to accept Africans as human beings continue to live in south Africa -and control all of the resources!!! As ‘Africans’ their companies now have control of African markets that they would never have had access to during apartheid. In contrast they could have continued to protect the ‘fatherland’ while becoming increasingly reactive and aggressive -exactly where Israel is while their opponents would have become more and more violent and reactive too.

Some white south African will point to the crime in south Africa but always forget that what you sow is what you reap. those are the results of 200 years of oppression and destruction of the society. Generations of kids growing up in poverty, deprivation and anger results in a population of angry youth and adults resulting in social problems that will only get worse unless they use their wealth and privilege to share some of their ill gotten wealth!

Peace can only be between equals. anything else is based on coercion and only breeds resentment. what Israel aspires for is absolute power and control over its enemies. But without massacring them, that will never happen. They will contnue to look in from the outside through barbed wire and concrete walls at the land that they will be told belonged to their fathers an forefathers. And children with no adulthood to look forward to will consider death as a suicide bomber to be a glorious death unless they are shown alternatives.

Jews lived in Europe for 2000 years. through their own religious practices and their host societies, they remained and envied and hated minority. A recent study shows that Jews all over the world are all related. Blue eyed and blonde haired European jews are related to those in he middle east and north Africa. This is because unlike other religions, theirs was almost exclusively through blood.

The holocaust was the final outcome of all of that hostility. Jews no longer felt safe in Europe not that they ever were as Christians including the church had always held them responsible for the death of Christ and therefore legitimate targets for aggression.

The solution was a homeland. but European logic demanded that the Jews homeland had to be in Uganda or the middle East rather than Europe where they had lived for up to 2,000 years!

Israel was an European solution to an European ‘problem’. One that was never about equity or justice. If it were about equity or justice, then Israel should be in Europe!

Only by addressing the ‘original sin’ will Israel ever have peace with its neighbours. force and aggression will never end the war for grievances will always remain to be revisited by father and son –and

 Stephen Twinoburyo

@Angel. Having lived in S Africa (oh… wonderful Pretoria!) for more than 12 yrs, I have come across and read about many S African whites that were against the injustice of apatheid. Thank you for your position.
@Drew. Thank you for that extensive analysis.

 Raphael Buti

Israel shouldn’t treat the Palestinians like cows to be herded as they wish, its long past time to continue using the excuse of the holocast and jewish security to mishandle other people with legitimate rights

 Godfrey Kahangi

For those who need some evidence of the exact living conditions in Gaza as a result of the blocakade, please download Eyewitness Report ECESG Delegation January 2010 – The Tragedy that is Gaza Today and the Role of the EU at

I hope the state of the humanitarian situation will bean eye opener regarding any desperate efforts to provide for the Palestinians

 Godfrey Kahangi

@Angel: Thanks for your post. I really would appreciate your insights as a white who didn’t subscribe to the apartheid form of government, especially since you were an activist student going against the grain. As most of the justification for the blatant occupation and Gaza blocakade comes from the error in biblical application, there are parallels… See More with the Apartheid situation in SA.

Prior to 2000, I operated under an erroneous paradigm about racism and race. I thought that apartheid was about race only. Thats when I read Michael Cassidy’s ‘THE PASSING SUMMER’ where he elaborated the origins of apartheid as error in Dutch Reformed Church doctrine and economic considerations. I recall looking behind the book to his picture on numerous occassions to ascertain that it was a caucasian who was wrote the book.

I agree with Charles 100% that its error in biblical interpretation and application that is at the heart of most errors. What amazes me as a Christian is how much resistance there is to any investigation into either the authenticity, historicity, validity of the bible. I believe the right approach, especially in light of the attitude that it is TRUTH, is that we should be actively encouraging efforts to provide additional proof. The bible itself suggest that its at the mouth of two or three witnesses that a matter is established. We need to depart from paranoia about the bible and work with researchers to establish the validity of the issues. In this way, we shall avoid error.

This is important since the issues regarding Gaza got themselves hinged on biblical interpretation and application.

@Drew: Thanks for that extensive analysis. As a Ugandan and one with close Rwandese friends, I know the impact of their refugee status and how it influenced their decisions to leave their established lives to set up afresh in Rwanda, after the 1994 war. There is no way anyone who was part of that process can ignore the trauma and the possible end result.

@Drew: your report on the recent study that shows that all the Jews are related because their connection was exclusively based on blood is right on and consistent with their culture outlined in the bible. In fact, the reason why the Samaritans were considered unclean is just because they had intermarried. The Old Testament is full of examples of dangers of intermarriage with gentile cultures, starting from Genesis and the account of Judah’s marriage, to Solomon’s wives and their effect on him. In fact the bible specifically mentions in 1kings 11 that Solomon’s love for many “strange” women is what turned his heart after other gods. The pronouncement was judgment.

Obviously such literal application of this and other NT passages today are what have led to doctrines that prohibit business and interpersonal relationships between Christian/non Christian, Jew/gentile and kaffir/moslem adherents. And this exclusive connection to God is at the heart of most world conflicts, the most recent being the Gaza conflict. We should always be aware that what we believe influences how we act. If we consciously consider ourselves superior, we inadvertently will treat others as inferior. There is no middle point. The Jews, in their treatment of the Palestinians consider themselves superior. The Christians end up treating Moslems as inferior and vice versa. And the various sects do the same to each other, whether its Sunni-Shia, Catholic-Orthodox-Anglican-Pentecostal, or even the Orthodox jews in their relationship with the secular Jews. Its a vicious cycle of intolerance and is mind boggling in its scope.

Intolerance and a false superiority complex is the evil that needs to be fought. Today in Kenya, there is a battle raging on the inclusion of Khadhi Courts in the constitution. What some people have forgotten is the entire legal system is based on Judeo Christian paradigms from the colonial British system that didn’t give room to other religious legal interpretations. So, the Moslems are getting demonized since they want their issues to be tackled by their law. When shall this intolerance end?

 Godfrey Kahangi

For those who want to examine the Social and Psychological Effects of overcrowding in Palestinian Refugee Campe, please see

 Drew Ddembe

Yesterday I was reading up on the statistics of a typical western country. One that was involved in the war on terror and whose talk shows were filled with commentators expounding on the problems of them (Muslim) and us (a Christian nation).

Only one quarter of the country profess to be Christian. Of those fully over 70% go to church only on Christmas and new year! I wondered as I always did at the height of GWB rhetoric on Iraq what really made these countries ‘Christian’!

Religion can be used as a cover for a lot of evil! In many ways ‘anti Semitism’ has been elevated to a religion. Just like racism or the fear of being labelled racist can too be used to intimidate and prevent others from examining ones logic and arguments. It is interesting to watch all of the western commentators jumping aboard to be seen to be supporting Israel on contentious issues in an effort for them, their network or newspaper not to be labelled as racist or ‘anti Semitic’. The irony is that the Arabs are Semitic too. if anything many European Jews are more Caucasian than Semitic having lived in Europe for millennia!

Jesus was a rebel. one who preached against the Rabbi of his time. His was a liberation theology that transcended being Jewish and embraced non Jews. Its why the followers of Ikitabu (bible, torah) outside Jewish ness, that exclusive blood related group far outnumber the Jews themselves and include Christians all over the world as well as surprise, Muslims. Mohamed according to Muslims was the first gentile prophet -and last prophet of God following a long line of Jewish prophets the last of whom was nabbi issah otherwise called Jesus.

We love to embrace our differences rather than our similarities! We seek to emphasise our ‘superiority’ in order to maintain our privileges. It also allows us to abuse the rights of others without a thought as they and their societies are inferior to ours. We ignore our own statistics on domestic violence an point at the ‘abuse’ of Muslim women.

I watched an American redneck in army uniform who should never have been allowed in front of a camera during the attack on Baghdad expounding on his reasons for fighting in Iraq. America was there to bring Christianity to the pagans Muslims in Iraq! this was among other ignorant and deplorable statements. Of course when you have control of the ‘free press’ you can always state your views as you see them.

Demonising another person allows us to get away with abusing them. In Rwanda they had ‘inyenje’ or cockroaches. All Tutsi were cockroaches. it does not take a leap of imagination to take the next step when your house is infested with cockroaches. They proceeded to exterminate them. The Jews went through a similar history -they were the cockroaches of Europe -to be exterminated in the final solution. Lore of course has it that the Nazis were some aliens who descended on Europe and systematically went about exterminating its citizens. However they could not have done this without the help of the citizens. Like in Rwanda, neighbour turned upon neighbour. Jews were ‘marked’. All of the underlying hostility of ordinary Europeans was unmasked. At the end of the war, the collective guilt of Europe was exported to the middle East. Logic would have that Jews having lived in Europe for 2000 years should have if they needed a homeland had one carved out of Europe! that collective guilt continues to be used to date -all one has to say is anti Semite for Europeans and Americans who themselves were anti Jews to cow and back off!

Europeans justified slavery by theorising that Africans were just above the chimps and had no souls. They even got a pope to decree so thus legitimising slavery. For centuries white people continued to believe that they were superior -even those who did not/do not say so. Even after slavery was abolished, there were laws against miscegenation. Canada retained an Anglo-European migration policy till late into the last century. France annexed Algeria a country bigger than France itself as a part of France. all of Europe shared out the lands of Africa without any thought for the rights of natives. Britain raped India and the far East for over 300 years and gave out the lands of native Kenyans and Zimbabweans to its war veterans. Numerous modern conflicts were created by adhoc amalgamations and arbitrary borders of Africa’s peoples without any involvement of natives. Australia maintained a white Australia law and migration policy till -1978! And both South African and Australian white right wing conservatives maintained a theory of ‘terra nulis’ meaning the land was empty when they landed and therefore the natives had no claim to it. On all continents save Asia, all of the resources are owned by European companies or people of European origin who obtained those resources through processes that involved war or in some other way disenfranchising millions to billions of natives. these resources continue to be exploited for the benefit of Europeans and their offspring without benefit to the natives.

I found it surprising that Jews formed a significant population in South Africa and were beneficiaries of apartheid. While people concentrate on the apart ness of apartheid, the economic implications are largely ignored. Like slavery, apartheid was of economic benefit to the overlords of South Africa. The south African parliament when they passed apartheid into law were swayed by Sir Cecil Rhodes a businessman. To him the economic benefits were paramount. By the stroke of a pen, he and his friends had lands open to them that they could take over the objections of natives as well as virtual slaves to work for minimal wage in their mines and industries. not only were the Africans deprived of their land, but they had their labour and freedom stolen too! I found it interesting that the Jews having left Europe after the second world war and the holocaust would chose to live in a country like South Africa where they were ‘white men’ with all of the privileges of superiority! Like many “Rhodesians’ and white ‘South Africans’ they ‘loved’ the black people -when they were their gardeners and house slaves but they hate this new south Africa were the boys dont listen to the bosses anymore! they even aspire to sleep with white girls!

Why is all of this relevant? We take our privileges for granted. We consider them to be rights. But we ignore the rights of others to enjoy the same privileges. A western person goes to the supermarket and fills a cartload of ‘environmental damage’ onto their shopping trolley without a thought but as soon as they hear the Chinese and Indians want to buy cars and fridges for themselves, out come the environmentalists!

Jews have to have a homeland -but they take that right for granted. Given their past as victims no one has the right, to question their aspirations. They are a God fearing nation. A democratic nation as opposed to all of those undemocratic Muslim nations in the middle East were women are not respected. They are surrounded by terrorists -including women and children. They have a right to defend themselves including kill on sight anyone whose crime is to live in the same neighbourhood as a terrorist or be angry that their grandfathers land is now settled by Jews!

All of this sounds right until one asks themselves whether the Palestinians shouldn’t have the same rights as Jews. A right to basic freedoms. A country to call home. Their own land. A right to free passage that is not controlled by Israeli army. A right for their children to grow up with dreams. A right to a job.

Hamas are terrorists. But they also provide social services. Hamas is a symptom of the chaos in the middle East. The irony is that the election of Hamas is rejected by the same people who want to see the middle east democratic

This war is both unwinnable and unsustainable. until both sides including Israel realise that there will never be any peace in the middle East!

 Godfrey Kahangi

Well put Drew! I have just added cowardice and guilt to the many reasons why the Palestinian Question is not decisively dealt with by the world.

 Stephen Twinoburyo

Thank you Drew. Well put.

1 Comment

Posted by on July 24, 2010 in Stephen Twinoburyo's blogs


Ugandan troops in Somalia necessary

By Stephen Twinoburyo

I hear a number of Ugandans, especially politicians, blaming the government for involving the UPDF in Somalia. World over, all countries that have involved their troops in peace-keeping activities outside their borders have had to deal with arguments at home. The merits and demerits of such involvement always vary, but there are surely arguments for both sides.

Ugandans have always asked the international community to get more involved in Ugandan political matters by putting pressure on the Museveni regime. This by implication means they are calling on other countries to commit their energies to the betterment of life in Uganda. Isn’t it therefore ironic that we find Uganda’s involvement in Somalia unwarranted? Somalia is a country that has had no government or stable government for over a decade. Don’t the children of Somalia also need to grow up in a normal environment? The African Union called on African countries to provide troops to help stabilize Somalia. Which country in one’s opinion should have sent troops? Or should Africa rather leave the people of Somalia to suffer until forces of nature provide a balance or until the Somalis have devoured themselves into oblivion?

I think we need to be fair in our criticism. I surely think the criticism of Uganda’s involvement in Somalia is not made genuinely out of concern for Ugandans. I also don’t think Ugandans would like to see Somalia continue in turmoil. Somalia deserves better and Uganda, as an African country, has a moral duty to help. All countries, including the US, that have been involved in peace-keeping missions also have demands at home for their citizen. But they find it necessary to help. Otherwise the US House of Representatives would find little use to send a monitoring team to Uganda’s upcoming elections, as they would rather use those resources on their own citizens.

South Africa, the country where I live, has been involved in various peace-keeping missions on the continent – Burundi, DRC, Siera Leon, Dafur e.t.c. Though there is still a long way to go in these regions, the people in these regions are certainly better off. Wouldn’t it be good if Africans got more involved in helping other Africans? Of course we have had undesirable cases, like Uganda’s atrocious and I think criminal involvement in DRC, but under the auspices of international bodies, we aught to help.

More importantly, Al-Shabab should never be given a justification to exist or propagate its dangerous ideologies.


Posted by on July 18, 2010 in Stephen Twinoburyo's blogs


I disagree with you on the Kampala bombing motive Mr Kalyegira

By Stephen Twinoburyo, Pretoria.

 The Uganda Record article “Panic grips Ugandan government over Kampala bomb blasts” by Timothy Kalyegira refers ( grips Uganda government over Kampala bomb blasts).

I have previously written two articles in the Uganda Record and Timothy is somebody I sometimes communicate with. However on this one, I have to disagree with him.

I think this article mainly uses negation to arrive at conclusions that are actually of a serious nature – because this involves a government bombing its own people in the capital city, during a World Cup final telecast, in order to gain popularity. I truly find this far fetched, but it’s mainly the argument used to reach that conclusion that I find too imaginary. Examples of negation conclusions include:

  • Because the police could not give the identities or nationalities of the four arrested suspects, the government has a hand. This conclusion omitted security concerns. It is even not imperative for the Inspector-General of police to give suspects’ details to the BBC, one of the points used by Timothy to reach his conclusions.
  • That Kale Kayihura immediately pointed a finger at Al-Shabab does not point to the guilt of government. After all, why would Al-Shabab claim responsibility for an attack they were not involved in? In an earlier article, Tim claimed that the government was responsible because Al-Shabab had not claimed responsibility the whole of Monday. The eventual admission by Al-Shabab seems to mean nothing to Timothy. Also no blame can be skimmed off Okello Oryem’s speculation on the motive.
  • While Tim mentions FBI, he omits that their president has pointed a finger at and condemned Al-Shabab.
  • The fact that Museveni did not go with a whole battalion surrounding him while visiting the crime scenes does not mean that he has a hand in the attacks. Terrorist, by virtue of the methods they use, are not likely to attack the same place twice on two consecutive days. That would be naïve and they would most likely be caught. I in fact think Museveni stands a more personal security threat from his personal enemies within his system or the region than Al-Shabab. Tim makes a good observation about Museveni always wanting to look the one in charge. Museveni has always been the man to seek attention and look the only one capable. That’s an undesirable trait we have always seen in him and one that has ruined the functioning of institutions in Uganda. However, I can’t draw any conclusion from it as relates to the bombings.

These articles are too conspiratory yet reach far-reaching firm conclusions. While most other speculation is about motive, Tim’s conclusions are unequivocal in their determination of guilt, that is different from the confession from Al-Shabab.

In the absence of no other evidence, I have to believe the confession from Al-Shabab as well as the fact that most available circumstantial evidence now points towards them. I also have to stand beside the government in condemnation of this heinous act and support them in their efforts to pursue and punish the perpetrators.

I live in S Africa where the government has contributed a lot of resources and troops on peace-keeping missions in Africa – Burundi, DRC, Sudan, Sierra Leon e.t.c. If a bandit group from any of those regions came and bombed S Africa, in opposition to these peace-keeping efforts, I wouldn’t look at these bandits dismissively and instead condemn the S African government.

We may have our won differences and disagreements but we should not let them lessen our focus on the threat possed by these terorists on the country, and society as a whole.


Posted by on July 16, 2010 in Stephen Twinoburyo's blogs


Terrorists deserve no space on modern earth

By Stephen Twinoburyo

In the period following the Kampala bombings, I heard many conspiracy theories, suggesting one or the other motive, and most bizarre, some suggesting that the government had a hand in it. Finally, as expected, a terrorist group has claimed responsibility. How a group can take pride in causing misery and mayhem is difficult to fathom.

I think Ugandans have become so accustomed to pointing an accusing finger at the government whenever a disaster occurs. I agree that the Museveni  government has quite often used fear, either of the past or the future, to keep people in bondage – trash which I definitely have no room for – but in this case, with individuals acting on their selfish own, it is unfair to blame it on the government. I really don’t see what the government would gain in such an attack and these acts should be condemned strongly. I am also of the opinion that Museveni’s government has not sank so low in popularity as to bomb it’s own citizens in such a manner in order to gain popularity, especially seeing that they are preparing to host the AU summit

We all need to have a strong stand against terrorists, from wherever they may come from. Anybody can be a victim of this and there are undoubtedly many families that are grieving. The problem with such acts is that they give a pretext to edgy regimes to clamp down on liberties and freedoms, all in the name of fighting terrorism. I can bet you life in Kampala is going to get a bit harder in the coming days because of such acts. If the aim of the terrorists was to make life more difficult for Ugandans, then they have achieved it.

That said, I must hasten to add that I don’t believe in conspiracy theories as have been propagated. I believe in factual analysis. It is my undiluted desire to see a new government in Uganda. That is a determination I am not about to change because I don’t think, based on the what I have observed over the past few years, that anything helpful for Uganda will still come out of this government. I wouldn’t however create imaginary situations in order to discredit them. I would want to argue on existing facts based on delivery and record in government.

In such matters, let us all – government, opposition parties, civil society and ordinary citizens – stand firm against acts that aim to take us away from modern civil thinking, civilization and respect for other people’s liberties. Terrorists aim to gain from creating terror among the vulnerable and by all of us standing firm against them, evil will never be given an opportunity to bud where good thrives.


Posted by on July 12, 2010 in Stephen Twinoburyo's blogs