“It’s not fair to call what Hamas is doing as waging a war on Jews.”

Earlier this week, a blizzard of support for the South African surfer Ricky Basnett after he claimed Israel’s response to a medieval slaughter of its civilians by the Iranian-backed forces of its neighbour was genocide.

Ricky Basnett, a seven-time South African champion surfer and Championship Tour surfer in 2007 and 2008, followed a well-worn path of progressive surfers towing the line that every damn Israeli citizen got what they deserved.

Shortly after Hamas gunmen put bullets into hundreds of unarmed civilians in the Israeli towns bordering Gaza, including kids and their pets, and raped the hell out of the cute festival gals before executing ‘em, our own surf feminist and trans-in-sports-activist Lucy Small posted a series of stories about the conflict.

These included a reel  from Al Jazeera showing Hamas terrorists landing in Israel in their paragliders and about to murder hundreds with the caption, “Palestinians in Gaza made history as they escaped the world’s largest prison”. 


Hamas terrorists use paragliders to enter Israel, and Lucy Small.

Small explained the apparent contradiction of a feminist and trans-activist supporting a religious fascist group notorious for killing gays and subjugating women with, “The end of occupation may allow for healing. It is common in communities affected by armed violence, rates of domestic violence and violence against women are higher – it’s a tragic part of war.”

In another salvo, Small described Israel as being “at the nexus of colonisation, white supremacy, capitalism and (the) military industrial complex…”

Anyway, here’s Ricky Basnett!

“I want to make you all fucking very aware of something. I will never fucking stand for oppression, hatred, discrimination,” said Ricky Basnett, the cords on his forehead protruding threateningly. “I will never fucking back down from my beliefs. I don’t give a fuck who you are, I will never stand for hate…I want you to know that this is about eradicating hate…I do not stand for genocide.”

Ricky Basnett also posted the old From the River to the Sea slogan on Instagram, the inference that the indigenous people of the region, the Jews, must hand their brave little state over to the colonist Arab.

In response, his employer Shaun Tomson, a Jew and the most famous South African surfer of all time, wrote Ricky Basnett a letter.


You can support Hamas and the kidnapping murder rape and dismemberment of babies all you want. You are parroting the same old anti semitic tropes I have heard all may life. The same old Jew hatred that has been around before you and will be around after.

Support Hamas and be proud of your choice. Initially I thought you were simply ignorant but now I know that is not the case. I will not be aligned and support an anti semite, someone who calls for the destruction of Israel. Certain things in life like values and human decency are more important than business.

Genocide – do you even know what the word means. 6 million Jews died in the 1940s. That was genocide.

Your anti semitism is disgusting to me.

Don’t surprise me.

But I like Ricky. Feisty lil man.

So I asked a few questions. He wanted to do it via DM. I promised I’d run ’em full, no matter how much I disagreed with ’em. Free speech etc.

Tell me, what is the breadth of your knowledge of the region. Have you studied the history and so on?

Ricky Basnett: I’m definitely no expert or analyst but having lived in South Africa for the end of apartheid and the last few decades of post apartheid, especially in KZN* which has a massive Muslim population, it’s impossible not to have heard about Palestine.

(*KwaZulu-Natal is a South African province that borders Mozambique, Eswatini and Lesotho and includes surf city Durban. It has a small but prominent Muslim population.)

In the last six weeks, I’ve been deepening my education on the area through watching and reading political and geopolitical discourse from the last century, and then of course, much like everyone at the moment, the accounts from the ground in Palestine over the last six weeks; journalists and independent human rights watch committees.

Do you believe Hamas hit a legitimate target in their war against the Jews on October 7?

I don’t think it’s fair to call what Hamas is doing as waging a war on Jews, but rather it is resistance to the brutal occupation regime of the Israeli government.

When you say Free Palestine, what do you regard as Palestine?

Palestine geographically is: From the River Jordan to the med sea, the historic borders that existed before Israeli occupation.

And what does a Free Palestine look like?

Self determination: Right to travel, right to vote, right to self-govern, open borders, no occupation, to live with freedom equality and dignity

What should happen to Israel, y’think?

The government must face prosecution for the countless war crimes committed thus far. Beyond that, the state of occupation has to end.

Do you really believe Israel is committing genocide against the people of Gaza?

It’s not a matter of personal belief, it’s evidenced every day. Add to that, the video footage of both Israeli military and Israeli politicians stating clearly that genocide is their plan. Phrases like: wipe them off the planet, all gazaan children are terrorists, burn Gaza to the ground, using a nuke on Gaza is an option etc. All these are blatant intents of genocide and this is long past up for debate.

What is your definition of genocide?

I mean there is a global definition of genocide but for me, I’d say: The systematic process of dehumanization of a group and stripping of culture and rights, followed by the wide spread extermination and displacement of a people, based on their ethnicity. The goal of said genocide is to eradicate said ethnic group.

(The Palestinian population has grown from half a mill in 1922 to five-and-a-half mill in 2023.)

What is taking them so long?

This question makes me sick to be honest. How quickly do you think a population of 2.2 million people can be eradicated? Each genocide in our recent history has unique components. The genocide lasted 100 days in ruwanda, and one million people were killed. In Bosnias genocide, which lasted over 3 years, 8000 people died and 30 000 were displaced. The genocide in Darfur, in two years 200 000 people were killed.

In five weeks, Israel has killed over 12 000 people and displaced over 1.5 million people. This has been building for 75 years and I would say the international backlash to this genocide is the only reason right now the place and entire population hasn’t been wiped off the planet.

I fired off two more questions in response for clarification.

What would happen in your opinion if Israel opened the borders, tore down the checkpoints?


Does Israel have a right to exist?

Answers forthcoming, I think.

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