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South Africa Condemns Israeli Massacre of Gaza Land Day March

April 5, 2018
tags:
april-2018-gaza

Some of the 30,000 Palestinians marching on Earth Day in Gaza, calling for an end to the blockade and Gaza’s status as the largest open air prison in the world.

1.

Peaceful Palestinian demonstrations, it appears, are even more threatening to Israel politically than armed confrontations. This March 30 march in Gaza is not the first time that Israel has mercilessly crushed one of them. It wasn’t a “conflict” or a “confrontation” – more Israeli sniper turkey shoot of Palestinians, in a word a massacre.

Spoke with a former colleague a few days ago who express nothing short of horror at Israeli massacre in Gaza of 18 Palestinians with some 1500 (the numbers vary, but whatever, it is a very large number) wounded. 30,000 Gaza Palestinians took part in an annual event, called “Land Day” – calling for an end to the Israeli blockade of sanctions and an end to the Occupation. It was a peaceful demonstration met by a hail of bullets from snipers on the other side of the fence imprisoning Gaza residents in what has repeatedly been described as the world’s largest open air prison. Vicious bastards, this Netanyahu government.

As Human Rights Watch put it:

Israeli leaders who ordered troops to open fire on Palestinians taking part in the Great March of Return rallies in Gaza last Friday, even though marchers posed no threat, bear personal responsibility for the deaths and injuries, Human Rights Watch said Tuesday.

They are responsible for “calculated” killings of unarmed civilians in violation of international law, the human rights group states, warning that Israeli leaders could face prosecution abroad.

In a detailed report on Israel’s violence against the marches that coincided with the Palestinian commemoration of Land Day, Human Rights Watch dismantles Israeli claims that the use of military snipers against civilian demonstrators was justified by a “terrorist” threat.

My friend initiated the topic. Upset by Israel’s brutal response to a peaceful demonstration, she was startled by the responses from some of her Jewish friends in Seattle who essentially blamed this unprovoked violence, in what has become a well-worn tradition of blaming the victims, on the Palestinians themselves. Her friends argued that was the Palestinians who provoked the mass shooting because some kids threw rocks!  etc. etc. My friend went on to comment how these same people were “liberal on other issues.” I replied, yes, “liberal on everything save Israel,”an old story repeated, ad nauseam, although it’s starting to fray at the edges some.

In any case, outside the bubble of the Trump Administration, AIPAC and the Christians United For Israel (Hagee and company) there has been global condemnation of this recent Israeli-engineered blood bath of Palestinians. Why now? The (most recent) Gaza massacre comes after a meeting in Washington not long ago with reps of Israel, Saudis and the Emirates and is more than likely the first salvo of a regional escalation that could easily lead to war, in which Iran is the main target. More on that soon. For the moment, here’s a statement from the South African government:

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04 April 2018
 
South Africa calls for independent inquiry into the deaths of Palestinians
 
The South African government strongly condemns the latest act of violent aggression carried out by Israeli armed forces in Gaza, which has led to the deaths of about 17 Palestinian citizens, with scores of others reported injured.

South Africa reiterates its view that the Israeli Defence Force must withdraw from the Gaza Strip and bring to an end the violent and destructive incursions into Palestinian territories.

South Africa maintains further that the violence in the Gaza Strip will stand in the way of rebuilding Palestinian institutions and infrastructure.

Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said: “The actions of the Israeli armed forces present yet another obstacle to a permanent resolution to the conflict, which must come in the form of two states, Palestine and Israel, existing side-by-side and in peace.

“South Africa aligns itself with those members of the United Nations calling for an independent inquiry into the killings, with a view to holding to account those who are responsible.”

Enquiries: Mr Ndivhuwo Mabaya, 083 645 7838

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

OR Tambo Building
460 Soutpansberg Road
Rietondale
Pretoria
0084

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And this statement from the African National Congress, calling on S. African government to downgrade its Israeli embassy to a liaison office.

ANC reiterates call for Cultural Boycott of Israel

03 April 2018

At its 54th National Conference, the African National Congress reaffirmed its unwavering commitment to the struggle of the Palestinian people and expressed its disappointment at the State of Israel’s lack of commitment towards a peaceful resolution. To this end, the conference resolved to immediately and unconditionally downgrade the South African Embassy in Israeli to a liaison office. The position of the ANC has always been that of supporting the cause for the total emancipation of the Palestinian people, in the context of a Two-State solution. We have been witnessing unacceptable violations of children’s rights, human rights and international law by the Israeli government. Further, we have been witnessing increased Israeli racism against Africans.

The cultural aspect of the boycott is critical in advancing the cause to ensure that we isolate what is clearly an apartheid government of Israel. It is therefore with deep concern that the African National Congress has learnt of the recent visit to Israel of Mr Nkosinathi Maphumulo, popularly known as Black Coffee, and we wish to open engagements on this issue broadly with the creative sector, with view of ensuring that South Africa continues to play a critical role in helping to resolve the crisis of the Palestinian occupation. In solidarity with the people of Palestine, we will continue highlighting shortcomings wherever they rear their head with regard to the role of South Africans in undermining the cause of the emancipation of the people of Palestine. We await an opportunity to engage Black Coffee and the creative sector at large, with a view to finding each other on this and other matters, as a way of creating common cause between all South Africans in rallying behind Palestine.

We call on all artists to have an appreciation of the role played by the international anti-apartheid solidarity movement in the successful international isolation of apartheid South Africa. The people of Palestine are in a just cause for self determination and we urge our artists not to form part of the the normalization of Israeli’s suppression of the Palestinian people in their quest for self determination and statehood that mirrors our very own struggle. The South African artistic community, having themselves experienced discrimination and oppression, must therefore continue to pledge solidarity with others who are oppressed.

Issued by Cde Lindiwe Zulu
Chairperson of the International Relations Committee
on behalf of the African National Congress

Enquiries
Pule Mabe
National Spokesperson
0716234975

 

One Comment leave one →
  1. John Kane permalink
    April 6, 2018 9:47 am

    Rob, thanks as always for your “deja vu” comments on Israeli murders and US silence, but especially for the South Africa news I’d have missed otherwise. John

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