3 Dhul Hijjah 1439 AH • 15 August 2018

Calls for SA to expel Israeli ambassador

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“Expel the Israeli ambassador from South Africa and close the Israeli embassy.” That was the vociferous call from the crowd of 2500 at yesterday’s mass march in solidarity with Palestinians on the 70th anniversary of the Nakba. The Cape Town march was dubbed the #GreatReturnMarch in solidarity with the thousands of Palestinians that have engaged in weekly peaceful demonstrations at the Gaza Border for refugees to have the right of return to their former lands. Since the marches began in Gaza on 30th March, 109 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli occupation forces. On Monday, 61 were people were shot, in what is considered the bloodiest day in the coastal strip since the 2014 Gaza massacre.

In Cape Town a large number of activists, politicians and protesters dressed in green, black, red and white took to the streets of the CBD in a symbolic nod to the “Great Return March”. The protesters gathered in front of Zeenatul Islam Masjid in District Six situated in an area which bears the remnants of displacement and oppression during Apartheid, similar to the mass expulsion Palestinians. May 15th 1948 marks the day when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled or were driven from their homes in violence culminating in war between the illegally created Jewish state and its Arab neighbours in 1948.

South Africans Palestinian supporters from all ages took to the streets chanting the traditional Cape Palestinian struggle songs “Forward we shall March”, “Free Free Palestine” and “Bi ruh bi dam nafdika ya Aqsa” (By our souls, by our blood, all for you oh Al-Aqsa). Demonstrators expressed their disgust at the Israeli government for its continued occupation and unlawful, calculated killings of Palestinians. There was also anger at Trump administration for its relocation of the United States embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and the powder keg this could be for Middle East.

Muslim Judicial Council, Shaykh Riad Fataar said that Nakbah will only be over once the right of return has been granted to displaced Palestinians. Shaykh Fataar told the crowd that 12 million Palestinian homes were stolen when the Nakba took place 70 years ago.

“We say to the Palestinian people that the Nakba will not be finish unless the Palestinians people have the right to return,” said Fataar.

Representing the Muslim Judicial Council, Shaykh Riad Fataar says the Nakhbah will only be over once the right of return has been granted to displaced Palestinians.

Gepostet von Voice of the Cape Radio – VOC am Dienstag, 15. Mai 2018

BDS South Africa director Mohammed Desai awakened the crowd with his energetic chanting.

BDS South Africa Mohammed Desai has awakened the crowd of the Free Palestine march to the atrocities enacted against Palestinians.

Gepostet von Voice of the Cape Radio – VOC am Dienstag, 15. Mai 2018

On Monday night, the South African government made a decisive move to withdraw SA ambassador Sisa Ngombane from Israel, in response to the ruthless killings in Gaza. But ANC leaders and activists were adamant that this decision should not be in isolation of a broader strategy to sever all ties with the Zionist state.

ANC deputy secretary-general, Jessie Duarte, said the party were pleased with the SA government’s decision. She has challenged western powers to break the siege on the Gaza Strip.

“Our government is in negotiation to down grade the Israeli office in South Africa to a liaison office. We are pleased that our minster has recalled the South Africa embosser from Tel Aviv, which is a clear sign that we disapprove the violations which Israel is committing,” said Duarte.

She said there was more than just an “emotional attachment” to the Palestine issue.

“We need to go beyond just supporting a march. As long as we are silent, Israel will continue. We need to boycott and make Israel feel and see that they are doing something wrong,” she said.

South African politician and deputy secretary-general of the African National Congress, Jessie Duarte, has challenged western powers to break the siege on the Gaza Strip. Duarte was speaking at the free Palestine protest currently underway in the Cape Town CBD.

Gepostet von Voice of the Cape Radio – VOC am Dienstag, 15. Mai 2018

Palestinian ambassador to South Africa, Hashiem Dajani, has lauded the South African government’s decision to recall its ambassador to Israel.

Palestinian ambassador to South Africa, Hashiem Dajani, has lauded the South African government’s decision to recall its ambassador to Israel.

Gepostet von Voice of the Cape Radio – VOC am Dienstag, 15. Mai 2018

The memorandum was accepted from ANC MP Mandla Mandela who addressed the crowd in the traditional Islamic greeting of peace. Dressed in the symbolic keffiyah scarf, he recalled his recent visit to the Palestinian occupied territories and the brutality he had witnessed. While visiting in occupied Palestine he said he received a call from the South African Jewish Board of Deputies, requesting him to visit Israel.

“When I got there called I told them to recall my grandfather [Nelson Mandela’s] words, when he undertook to take on the suffering of the Palestinians. He said that ‘under no circumstances will I meet with the Israeli apartheid regime’. Unless they meet three conditions, release all Palestinian political prisoners, allow all those in exile the right to return, and ensure all the political parties are invited to negotiations,” said Mandela.

ANC Secretary in the Western Cape, Faiez Jacobs, has handed over the memorandum of demands to Mandla Mandela at the Free Palestine protest.

Gepostet von Voice of the Cape Radio – VOC am Dienstag, 15. Mai 2018

He empathized with the Palestinians who have lost family members who were murdered by the apartheid Israel. He said that apartheid Israel will not stop as long as the world stay silent, and allow innocent people to be killed and six million refugees denied their right of return.

“We must charge Apartheid Israel for the genocide and blood of our Palestine brothers and sisters,” he said.

The protest was attended by Islamic schools such as Al Azhar High School, Darun Na’im High School, Darul Arqam Islamic High School, whose learners had very little and some absolutely no knowledge of the Nakba day or the Great Return March. But many learners expressed their support for the Palestinian cause and felt that they had to be a voice for the youth in Palestine, some who may never see a future.  VOC

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