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Relatives of anti-apartheid icons back Israel boycott

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The children and relatives of anti-apartheid stalwarts, veterans and icons have come out in support of the 11th Israel Apartheid Week (IAW), they said on Sunday.

“As children, grandchildren and relatives of anti-apartheid stalwarts, veterans of our country’s freedom struggle, we have a responsibility to carry forward the spirit of those who came before us,” they said in a joint-statement.

“As children who live in a free South Africa we carry a responsibility to those in the international community who contributed towards our liberation.”

The children and relatives included the grandsons of Nelson Mandela and Water and Albertina Sisulu, Ahmed Kathrada’s niece, Yusuf Dadoo’s daughter, Frank Chikane’s son, and Beyers Naude’s son. The 11th international IAW would take place in South Africa between March 2 and 8 this year.

“When we use the word apartheid to describe Israel we say it with a hard heart, sadness, anger and impatience,” the children and relatives said.

“But we don’t say it maliciously, irresponsibly or carelessly. We use the word ‘apartheid’ because several of our mothers, fathers and elders amongst us have been to Palestine-Israel and have reported that the situation is one of apartheid.”

There were many opinions and legal analyses that indicated the “sad situation” that the Palestinians were going through, something South Africans have experienced.

The call for the non-violent boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) against Israel was not being imposed on the Palestinians but was being called for by the oppressed themselves.

“We take a moment to salute those brave white compatriots who stood up and stood out from their communities to oppose South African apartheid,” they said.

“Likewise today, we salute those brave Jews and Israelis who are standing up and standing out to oppose Israeli policies of apartheid.”

There was a growing momentum where well known sports people and celebrities had come out condemning Israel, with the number that had joined the boycott of Israel growing on a daily basis, the children and relatives said.

“The boycott of apartheid proved successful in mobilising artists, sports people, musicians and ordinary people in the million across the world in successfully isolating South Africa and leading to the democracy that we now have.”

BDS was proving to do the same.

“Let’s support the non-violent BDS campaign in an attempt to create the necessary conditions for a just peace to be negotiated for Palestinians and Israelis,” they said.

“A better future for all, indigenous Palestinians and Israelis, is not only an option but inevitable.” SAPA

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