Palestinians appeal for South African support against Israeli annexation of their land
Johannesburg - As Israelis headed to the polls on Tuesday, Palestinian politicians and activists appealed to South Africa to help them stave off the annexation of their land.
Mustafa Barghouti, Secretary-General of the Palestinian National Initiative political party and author, Ramzy Baroud, are both in South Africa to meet trade unions, civil society and government to lobby against Israel’s military of occupation of Palestine, the Afro-Palestine Newswire Service reported.
With the election of a right-wing government imminent in Israel, Barghouti warned that the worst system of what he described as apartheid would become more entrenched.
“We need South Africa’s solidarity more than any time before,” he said speaking in Lenasia, south of Johannesburg on Tuesday night.
Barghouti also called on the South African government to fully implement the ANC’s resolution to downgrade its embassy in Tel Aviv.
Hosted by the Afro-Middle East Centre (AMEC), author and journalist, Ramzy Baroud, echoed Barghouti’s call and emphasised the need for South Africans to help Palestinians resist the erasure of their identity, according to Afro-Palestine Newswire.
Baroud’s latest book The Last Earth tells the stories of dispossession, exile and loss of ordinary Palestinians, but it is also about hope and resistance in modern Palestine.
“Ordinary Palestinians have rarely narrated their own history, and this is an attempt to reclaim our narrative. The stories of the occupation are told by the occupier, the stories of colonialism are told by the colonisers,” said Baroud at the launch of his book in Johannesburg on Tuesday.
“Ramzy has always had an interesting and refreshing take on the occupation of Palestine and potential futures for Palestinians and it is important for South Africans to hear these kinds of voices,” said AMEC director, Na’eem Jeenah.
“South Africa’s own history and struggle against colonialism puts us in a unique position to understand the liberation and anti-colonial struggle of the Palestinian people. We hope that Ramzy will provide a clearer understanding of the occupation of Palestine for South African audiences,” added Jeenah.
Both Baroud and Barghouti also slammed Israeli offers of assistance to African governments in the form of water and agricultural technology, investment, trade, and security, Afro-Palestine Newswire reported.
“Israel’s ‘philanthropy’ in Africa is an attempt to buy support for its apartheid policies against the Palestinians. This ‘aid’ and investment is not free. The repayment that Israel demands is African silence about Israeli crimes against Palestinians,” warned Barghouti.
“The Israeli government is exploiting Africa’s socio-economic challenges to whitewash its oppression of the Palestinians,” said Baroud.