A statement of Solidarity from South Africa: We fought apartheid; we see no reason to celebrate it in Israel now!
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A statement of Solidarity from South Africa: We fought apartheid; we see no reason to celebrate it in Israel now!

The following is a statement from South Africa, supported by a wide range of voices and institutions, condemning the celebration of Occupation apartheid:

We fought apartheid; we see no reason to celebrate it in Israel now!

We, South Africans who faced the might of an unjust and brutal apartheid machinery in South Africa and fought against it with all our strength, with the objective to live in a just, democratic society, refuse today to celebrate the existence of an Apartheid state in the Middle East. While Israel and its apologists around the world will, with pomp and ceremony, celebrate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the state of Israel this year, we who have lived with and struggled against oppression and colonialism will, instead, remember six decades of catastrophe for the Palestinian people. Some 60 years ago, 750,000 Palestinians were brutally expelled from their homeland, suffering persecution, massacres, and torture. They and their descendants remain refugees. This is no reason to celebrate.

When we think of the Sharpeville massacre of 1960,
we also remember the Deir Yassin massacre of 1948.

When we think of South Africa’s Bantustan policy,
we remember the bantustanisation of Palestine by the Israelis.

When we think of our heroes who languished on Robben Island and elsewhere,
we remember the 11,000 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails.

When we think of the massive land theft perpetrated against the people of South Africa,
we remember that the theft of Palestinian land continues with the building of illegal Israeli settlements and the Apartheid Wall.

When we think of the Group Areas Act and other such Apartheid legislation,
we remember that 93% of the land in Israel is reserved for Jewish use only.

When we think of Black people being systematically dispossessed in South Africa,
we remember that Israel uses ethnic and racial dispossession to strike at the heart of Palestinian life.

When we think of how the SADF troops persecuted our people in the townships,
we remember that attacks from tanks, fighter jets and helicopter gunships are the daily experience of Palestinians in the Occupied Territory.

When we think of the SADF attacks against our neighbouring states,
we remember that Israel deliberately destabilises the Middle East region and threatens international peace and security, with its powerful army and hundreds of nuclear warheads.

We who have fought against Apartheid and vowed not to allow it to happen again cannot allow Israel to continue perpetrating apartheid, colonialism and occupation against the indigenous people of Palestine.

We dare not allow Israel to continue violating international law with impunity.

We will not stand by while Israel continues to starve and bomb the people of Gaza.

We who fought all our lives for South Africa to be a state for all its people demand that millions of Palestinian refugees must be accorded the right to return to the homes from where they were expelled.

Apartheid was a gross violation of human rights. It was so in South Africa and it is so with regard to Israel’s persecution of the Palestinians!

Adam Habib, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Johannesburg
Ahmed Kathrada, former Robben Island prisoner
Alan Lipman, academic
Alec Erwin, Minister of Public Enterprises
Allan Horwitz, Jewish Voices
Andile Mngxitama, land rights activist
Andre Zaaiman, academic
Arnold Tsunga, Chair, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition
Asha Moodley, Board member, Agenda feminist journal
Asif Essop, Anti-Racism Education Forum
Barry Levinrad, civil servant
Basil Manning, Minister, United Congregational Church of Southern Africa
Beata Lipman, film maker
Ben Turok, ANC Member of Parliament
Blade Nzimande, General Secretary, South African Communist Party
Bobby Peek, groundwork, Friends of the Earth
Bongani Gxilishe, public servant
Brian Ashley, Amandla Publications
Buti Manamela, National Secretary, Young Communist League
Caroline O’Reilly, researcher
Cassiem Khan, Director, Islamic Relief
Chris Matlhako, Secretary General, Friends of Cuba Society / SACP Politburo Member
Claire Cerruti, Keep Left
Costa Gazi, Pan Africanist Congress of Azania
Dale McKinley, Anti-Privatisation Forum
Dennis Goldberg, former political prisoner
Derek Hanekom, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology
Don Mattera, poet and author
Duduzile Masango, EAPPI Ecumenical Accompanier Programme in Palestine/Israel
Eddie Makue, General Secretary, South African Council of Churches
Elinor Sisulu, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition
Enver Motala, educationist
Enver Surty, Deputy Minister of Education
Essop Pahad, Minister in the Presidency
Farid Esack, Professor of Contemporary Islam, Harvard University
Farid Sayed, Editor, Muslim Views
Firoz Osman, Media Review Network
Frene Ginwala, former Speaker, Parliament of the Republic of South Africa
Guy Preston, Working for Water
Ighsaan Hendricks, President, Muslim Judicial Council
Imraan Buccas, Editor, Al-Qalam
Iqbal Jassat, Media Review Network
Jackie Dugard, legal and human rights activist
Jane Lipman, film maker
Janine Hicks, Commissioner, Commission on Gender Equality
Jeremy Cronin, Deputy General Secretary, South African Communist Party
Joan Brickhill, Human rights activist
Judy Favish, Higher education planner
Laurence Dworkin, film maker
Laurie Nathan, Research Fellow, University of Cape Town
Lechesa Tsenoli, ANC Member of Parliament / SACP Central Committee member
Lindelwa Dunjwa, Secretary for Trade Union Liaison, South African Communist Party
Loretta Jacobus, Deputy Minister of Correctional Services
Lubna Nadvi, University of Kwazulu Natal
Lybon Mabasa, President, Socialist Party of Azania
Makhenkesi Stofile, Minister of Sport and Recreation
Makoma Lekalakala, Social Movements Indaba
Malusi Gigaba, Deputy Minister of Home Affairs
Max Ozinsky, Not in my Name / ANC Chief Whip, Western Cape Legislature
Mcebisi Skwatsha, Provincial Secretary, ANC Western Cape
Mercia Andrews, Palestine Solidarity Group
Michael Sachs, economist
Mondli Hlatshwayo, Social Movements Indaba
Mosibudi Mangena, President, Azanian Peoples Organisation / Minister of Science and Technology
Mosiuoa Terror Lekota, Minister of Defence
Mphutlane wa Bofelo, General Secretary, Muslim Youth Movement
Naaziem Adam, Palestine Solidarity Alliance
Na’eem Jeenah, International Coordinating Network on Palestine
Nazir Osman, Palestine Solidarity Alliance
Nick Feinberg, Presenter / Promotions coordinator, Heart 104.9fm
Noor Nieftagodien, University of the Witwatersrand
Oupa Lehulere, Khanya College
Owen Manda, Centre for Sociological Research, University of Johannesburg
Pallo Jordan, Minister of Arts and Culture
Patrick Bond, Centre for Civil Society, University of Kwazulu- Natal
Patrick Mkhize, Steel Mining and Commercial Workers Union
Pregs Govender, feminist activist and author
Rassool Snyman, Palestine Support Committee
Rob Davies, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry
Ronnie Kasrils, Minister of Intelligence / End Occupation Campaign
Roy Padayache, Deputy Minister of Communications
Sadullah Khan, Director of Religious Affairs, Islamic Center of Irvine
Salim Vally, Education Policy Unit, Wits University
Sally Gross, Not In My Name
Sam Ramsamy, International Olympic Committee
Sheila Barsel, Not In My Name
Shereen Mills, human rights lawyer, Centre for Applied Legal Studies
Solly Mapaila, Secretary for Organising, Campaigns & Cadreship Development, South African Communist Party
Stephanie Kemp, ANC veteran
Steven Friedman, academic
Stiaan van der Merwe, Palestine Solidarity Committee
Sue Rabkin, defence specialist
Suraya Bibi Khan, Palestine Solidarity Alliance
Sydney Mufamadi, Minister of Provincial and Local Government
The Admiral, Entertainer
Toni Strasburg, director of photography
Virginia Setshedi, Coalition Against Water Privatisation
Vivien Cohen, Not In My Name
Yasmin Sooka, Executive Director, Foundation for Human Rights
Zaithoon Maziya, African Muslim Network
Zapiro, cartoonist
Zeib Jeeva, Treasurer, International Development and Relief Foundation
Zola Skweyiya, Minister for Social Development
Zwelinzima Vavi, General Secretary, Congress of South African Trade Unions

NB: Organisational affiliations above are for identification purposes only and do not necessarily reflect organisational endorsement

Organisational endorsements:

Al Quds Foundation
Anti-Privatisation Forum (APF) and its 28 affiliates
Anti-Racism Education Forum
Azanian Peoples Organisation (Azapo)
Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu)
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition
End Occupation Campaign
groundWork, Friends of the Earth
Khanya College
Media Review Network (MRN)
Muslim Judicial Council (MJC)
Muslim Youth Movement of South Africa (MYM)
Nord Sud XXI
Not In My Name
Palestine Solidarity Alliance
Palestine Solidarity Committee
Palestine Solidarity Group
Palestine Support Committee
Social Movements Indaba (SMI)
Socialist Party of Azania (SOPA)
South African Communist Party (SACP)
South African Council of Churches (SACC)
Workers Organisation for Socialist Action (WOSA)