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4 Mar, 2015

South Africa holds Israeli Apartheid Week

JOHANNESBURG, March 3, 2015 (WAFA) – South Africa Monday began a weeklong international campaign to shed light on the policies used by Israel against Palestinians and its Apartheid nature.

Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) is an annual international series of events (including rallies, protests, lectures, cultural performances, concerts, films and workshops) held in over 250 cities, communities and campuses across the globe.

It is endorsed in South Africa by more than 75 organizations, trade unions, political parties and other groups and aims to raise awareness of Israel’s apartheid policies towards the indigenous Palestinians and serves to garner support for the non-violent Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel campaign, which seeks to bring an end to Israel’s apartheid policies and violations of international law.

The campaign’s website said that as the world had previously rallied and supported South Africans in its struggle against Apartheid, “We have the opportunity to ‘give-back’ by joining the international movement in solidarity with the indigenous Palestinian people (and their progressive Israeli allies) who are struggling against Israeli Apartheid – participating in Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) is one such form of solidarity.”

One of the endorsers of the campaign, the National Coalition 4 Palestine (NC4P) issued a statement in Support of ‪the Israeli Apartheid Week saying; they “express outrage at the ongoing Israeli occupation and siege of Palestinian territories in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.”

The statement reflected on Israeli policies of “land theft, home demolitions, the establishment of Bantustans, and pass laws limiting Palestinian freedom of movement,” saying they stand as a reminder of South Africans’ past.

“We can no longer ignore the brutality of the Israeli regime – most recently illustrated in July and August last year when over 2000 Palestinians were murdered during Operation Protective Edge in Gaza,” NC4P said.

The coalition called on all South Africans to support and participate in the Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW), which will take place across South Africa from 2 to 8 March 2015.

According to NC4P the only way to force Israel into putting an end to its Apartheid is by joining the international community’s efforts. Therefore, NC4P supports Palestinian civil society’s call for a comprehensive set of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) measures to be implemented against the Apartheid regime in Tel Aviv.

The campaign includes ending the sale of Israeli goods in South Africa and encouraging South Africans to support the sustained and targeted campaign against Woolworths in this regard.

Boycott Woolworths actions will form a key component of Israeli Apartheid Week, said the coalition.

It also called on the South African government to end all ties with Israel by expelling the Israeli ambassador to South Africa, and recalling South Africa’s ambassador from Tel Aviv.

“The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) must prosecute those South Africans illegally serving in the Israeli Defense Forces, and those who have participated in previous Israeli attacks on Gaza and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.”

The statement concluded affirming that “Apartheid was wrong for South Africans, and is wrong for Palestinians, and we will continue to mobilize all freedom-loving South Africans to fight against Israeli Apartheid.”