Cape Town - Former Intelligence Minister Ronnie Kasrils has urged the government to “sever all ties with apartheid Israel” because of its “Nazi-style collective punishment on the embattled population of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank of Palestine”.
The government should set an example to the world by fully implementing the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign advocated by Palestinian civil society, he said.
Kasrils, born into a Jewish family, was an active member of the ANC’s armed wing Umkhonto we Sizwe in the liberation struggle and served as deputy defence minister under Nelson Mandela and intelligence minister under Thabo Mbeki.
He was most recently in the limelight before the May 7 general elections when he publicly urged voters to spoil their ballots or vote against the ANC because of the sort of corruption exposed by the Nkandlagate scandal.
In a letter to Independent Newspapers on Monday Kasrils said: “It is quite frankly hypocritical of the ruling ANC and its SACP allies to merely protest against Israel’s actions while… continuing to do business with the Zionist regime.”
Last week, the ANC called on South Africans to join the BDS campaign but the Department of International Relations and Co-operation has issued a more balanced statement, expressing concern about “the endless wanton killing of Palestinian civilians” and “the increasing number of rockets targeted at Israel cities”.