In light of the Israel-Hamas war and the horror that Palestinian people experience, over 1,400 educators, students and cultural workers signed a letter of support in solidarity with Palestine.
These 1,400 individuals are affiliated with a broad range of both formal and non-formal education institutions, as well as independent practitioners from across the globe.
In a statement released on Friday, the South African BDS Coalition (SA BDS) on behalf of the education workers, said they wrote a letter in defence of educators who have taken principled positions against Israel’s “apartheid project in Palestine and its current genocide of Palestinian people in Gaza”.
“We recognise that Israel’s colonisation of Palestine is implemented through ethnic cleansing, illegal imprisonment, and forced displacement of Palestinian people from their land. In addition, we are witnesses to land theft, water grabs, and now a total blockade of water, food, medicines, and fuel for the locked-in population of Gaza.”
It added that Israel uses "education" tactics to cover up atrocities by painting itself as “democratic, benevolent, charitable, and even politically progressive”, despite evidence of decades-long occupation of Palestine.
“This misuse of education for propaganda is a crime in itself,” the statement continued.
“We call on education institutions and leadership everywhere to do all that they can to continue such admirable legacies of liberation and justice. We further call on our educational and cultural institutions to create spaces within their institutions where oppression and dehumanisation of all kinds can be challenged and confronted. Silence in the face of genocide means we are in support of genocide,” it said.
As hundreds sign a letter for the sake of education, it also puts a spotlight on children. On Friday, anti-apartheid activist, Dr Allan Boesak delivered a keynote address at the Gatesville Mosque/Masjidul-Quds in Cape Town and called on South Africans to “open their hearts and refuge” to Palestinian children.