BDS SA PRESS STATEMENT: Shona Tova, Eid Mubarak and Happy Heritage Day from the BDS SA Team
24 September 2015
[Palestinian girls taking a photo on Eid day at the "Dome of the Rock" in Jerusalem, Palestine]
During these past two days both Muslims and Jews have celebrated and sanctified two important religious holidays.
For Muslims, the celebration of Eid al-Adha is a commemoration of Ibrahim/Abraham’s (the shared patriarch of both Jews and Muslims) willingness to sacrifice his son. 
For Jews, the holy day of Yom Kippur is a day of atonement which is characterized by fasting, prayer and a sincere supplication for forgiveness from God.
The symbolism of both days is a pertinent reminder of our shared humanity and the importance of humility before our Creator. 
The holy book for muslims, the Qur’an, speaks of Ibrahim/Abraham as being “forbearing, compassionate, and given to look to Allah/God” whom God took as a friend and advises the righteous to follow the way of Abraham.
It is a time to reflect on what the figure of Ibrahim/Abraham (as a common ancestor for both Muslims and Jews) stands for. And, in the spirit of introspection that is characteristic of the holy day of Yom Kippur we should all seek atonement for our complicity, willingly or unknowingly, in systems of injustice, pain, suffering and oppression. The Jewish holy book, the Torah, tells us how Prophet Jeremiah spoke of God’s command: “Perform justice and charity, and rescue the robbed from the hand of the robber, and to a stranger, an orphan, and a widow do no wrong, do no violence, and shed no innocent blood in this place.”
We trust that all Jews had a spiritually fulfilling day of prayer over Yom Kippur and we wish them a good new year. We wish all muslims a happy Eid Mubarak. 
As we strive towards a free Palestine, for all its peoples, we also take inspiration this Heritage Day from the South African story of a democratic country for all our people - rich in diversity, stronger in our togetherness. To Palestinians and Israelis, we say from our South African history: its eaiser, with all its complications, to live together than apart.
May our different religions, its teachings and lessons sustain us in our solidarity with the Palestinian people, the Jewish Israeli peace activists opposed to Israeli Apartheid and with all the oppressed peoples of the world.
Shana Tova, Eid Mubarak and happy Heritage Day from the BDS SA Team!

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