BBSNews 2014-09-25 — By Michael Hess. The South African National coalition for Palestine (NC4P) sent a letter of support to the Russell Tribunal today and they spoke out about the Apartheid conditions imposed by the state of Israel on the people they hold captive, under an interminable occupation.
Although the system of Apartheid in South Africa was evil and committed many crimes against humanity, we did not experience the kind of violence that Israel continually metes out to the people of Gaza. Archbishop Tutu has called Israel a bully, and we fully agree with that. What is more, this bully expects to get away with its evil deeds and through various forms of hasbara hopes that the world will continue to regard them as the primary victims. The RTOP exercise, as a citizen-based exercise in truth-seeking and truth-finding, is extremely important as it seeks to hold Israel accountable for its actions, even if some national governments and even transnational bodies refuse to or are incapable to do so – and in fact support Israel’s actions.
Back in June I wrote a piece to address an atrocious National Review article against Presbyterian Church USA where I addressed known statements by those who also fully know what Apartheid is, having lived under it in South Africa. And a common theme has emerged. It seems that everyone who lived through Apartheid in South Africa, upon visiting Palestine, they find the situation there worse.
United Nations Security Council resolutions are regularly killed by the United States “autoveto” in the U. N. for Israel’s sake no matter what international laws Israel breaks. And on Apartheid in Israel, there really is no debate. While so far there has been no direct quote unearthed accusing Israel of Apartheid by Nelson Mandela he made his feelings well known on the issue:
“When in 1977, the United Nations passed the resolution inaugurating the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people, it was asserting the recognition that injustice and gross human rights violations were being perpetrated in Palestine. In the same period, the UN took a strong stand against apartheid; and over the years, an international consensus was built, which helped to bring an end to this iniquitous system.
But we know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians; without the resolution of conflicts in East Timor, the Sudan and other parts of the world.”
Desmond Tutu, no stranger to Apartheid described Israel’s version of Apartheid in 2002:
“What is not so understandable, not justified, is what it did to another people to guarantee its existence. I’ve been very deeply distressed in my visit to the Holy Land; it reminded me so much of what happened to us black people in South Africa. I have seen the humiliation of the Palestinians at checkpoints and roadblocks, suffering like us when young white police officers prevented us from moving about.”
NC4P is comprised of thirty organizations speaking out for Palestinian self-determination and in Cape Town, there were 200,000 marching in the streets in support of the Palestinian cause. From city to city and country to country, more and more people around the world are starting to get the picture, the state of Israel is the obstacle to peace, and their military might, no matter how many massacres they engage in, will not stop Palestinians from seeking their legal rights and the end to the illegal occupations.