Organisations such as Jewish Voices for a Just Peace are an important start to the conscientizing of South African Jewry on the suffering of the Palestinian people, according to local cleric Imam Rashid Omar. The alim on Thursday assisted in unveiling a plaque dedicated to the lives lost in the recent violent onslaught suffered by people in the Gaza Strip. JVJP organized the unveiling which Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu presided over. Omar said it is easy for Jews who raise their voices to become ostracized by Zionists.
“[I] want to commend those Jews who are courageously standing up for justice, at great risk to themselves. The Zionist lobby in our country will not take this lying down, and may try to demonise these groups. It is never easy to stand for justice, especially if it is against your own community,” Omar said on Friday.
He said Islam’s holy text, the Qur’an, says all people should speak out against injustices and protect others who are being oppressed.
Omar also expressed his excitement at the broadening of the Pro-Palestinian movement across the globe, Thursday’s unveiling being an example of such broad-based solidarity.
“During the bombings in Gaza there was a great effort to broaden out the Palestinian solidarity movement such that it [now] does not only include Muslims but also Christians and Jews. This [was] a part of that broader movement that is happening in South Africa, I’m confident that it will continue and grow stronger.” VOC