SUNDAY'S Walk for Freedom picnic organised by the Palestine Solidarity Alliance ("Beachfront Walk for Freedom in support of Gaza people", September 28) really makes one wonder whether the world has turned upside down.
"[Gaza is still] under siege by Israel," says PSA member Tsaneem Mart, apparently unaware of a statement last week by Hamas official Mahmoud Zahhar to the Ma'an News Agency that "Gaza is [now] free of occupation".
Why let the facts spoil a good picnic?
In any case, if the marchers care a jot about human rights they should be marching against the Hamas government in Gaza, not in support of it. Hamas preaches genocide against Jews as stated in its charter.
Surely this can have no precedent in history. Just imagine – if you can – the Zimbabwean or the Swazi government launching a citizen's charter calling on Zimbabweans to kill South Africans on sight.
If that isn't enough, Palestinians in Gaza have other rather ugly blemishes on their human rights record.
Let's put aside the early burial promised to gays and take women's rights.
Since Hamas seized control of Gaza in 2007, basic rights, such as strolling along the beach alone, smoking in public or going to a male hairdresser are prohibited to women. Women are so intimidated and terrorised that many are forced to stay at home and do nothing.
A woman seen in public with a man will be stopped and questioned about the nature of their relationship. Many face arbitrary charges of immodesty, female lawyers are forced to wear the hijab and school girls the veil.
Each week a woman in the Palestinian territories is killed "under the pretext of honour killing" and "under the protection of the law", some for merely demanding their legal share of an inheritance.
If the PSA is really concerned about Gaza and human rights, why is it not drawing attention to this appalling situation? Why the silence?
Pointing a finger at Israel is one way of directing attention away from where it is really needed. Oh, and by the way, did anyone mention Syria?
Chuck Volpe, Port Elizabeth