What South Africans say about Israeli Apartheid

December 1st, 2006 | Posted in Boycott, Solidarity

Willie Madisha, President of the Congress of South African Trade Unions: “As someone who lived in apartheid South Africa and who has visited Palestine I say with confidence that Israel is an apartheid state. In fact, I believe that some of the atrocities committed by the erstwhile apartheid regime in South Africa pale in comparison to those committed against the Palestinians.”

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize winner: “I am a black South African, and if I were to change the names, a description of what is happening in Gaza and the West Bank could describe [past] events in  South Africa.” Later, in 2002, Tutu said that he was “very deeply distressed” by a visit to the Holy Land, adding that “it reminded me so much of what happened to us black people in South Africa” and that he saw “the humiliation of the Palestinians at checkpoints and roadblocks,  suffering like us when young white police officers prevented us from moving about”.

Tutu also added that “Many South Africans are beginning to recognize the parallels to what we went through”, and stated that a letter signed by “several hundred other prominent Jewish South Africans” had drawn “an explicit analogy between apartheid and current Israeli policies.”

John Dugard, a South African professor of international law and an ad hoc Judge on the International Court of Justice, serving as the Special Rapporteur for the United Nations on the situation of human rights in  the Palestinian territories described the situation in the West Bank as “an apartheid regime … worse than the one that existed in South Africa.”

Farid Esack, a South African writer, scholar and anti-apartheid activist, and currently William Henry Bloomberg Visiting Professor at Harvard Divinity School, “life for the Palestinians is infinitely worse than what we ever had experienced under Apartheid”, and “and the price they (Palestinians) have had to pay for resistance much more horrendous”.

Source: Coalition against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA).


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