Palestine: ANC must walk the talk

2012-11-24 11:26

Israel’s recently unprovoked bombardment of Gaza and its ­constant posturing that it has a right to self-defence in response to rockets ­being fired from the Gaza Strip belies the reality that has become evident to the entire global community for many ­decades.
The truth is that even if no rockets are fired into Israeli cities, Israel destroys and demolishes Palestinian homes, ­uproots their age-old olive groves, ­detains Palestinians without charging them, steals further Palestinian land through initiatives by the Jewish ­National Fund and encourages its ­settlers to harass Palestinians ­living in the ­occupied territories.

Almost two weeks ago, it assassinated Ahmed al-Jabari, the military head of ­Hamas, a man who was instrumental in facilitating a peace agreement framework between Hamas and Israel.

So why kill the man who would actually be responsible for securing a more ­permanent ceasefire agreement?

Any state that creates an open-air ­prison for the civilian population living next to it, and then dumps illegal white phosphorus on to them, bombards them with sophisticated missiles from the sky and steals more of their land, cannot be serious about making peace or anything remotely related to human rights.

It is clear that governments around the world have failed the Palestinian people.

This means that the leadership of the Palestinians themselves has ­become ­severely fractured and unless they are united on the basic ­demands of the ­people they lead, the dream of ­Palestinian self-determination will not be ­realised.

Sadly though, Israel murdered more than 160 Palestinians in this latest bout of military attacks. In doing so, it also made its own citizens a target, with about six ­Israelis losing their lives.

We as South Africans, in solidarity with ­Palestinians, have realised that ­asking our government to cut diplomatic ties with the apartheid state of Israel is a ­futile exercise. But this doesn’t mean that we should stop demanding this.

After all, the ANC adopted the ­Boycott, ­Divestment and Sanctions campaign at its recent International ­Solidarity policy conference.

Now is the time for the ruling party to proverbially walk the talk.

» Nadvi is an activist and academic

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