Dear Friends and Comrades,
BDS South Africa together with the South Africa's Coalition for a Free Palestine and others have called for a national week of action (19-25 November) in protest of Israel's recent attacks on the Gaza Strip. As part of this, on Wednesday the 21st of November there will be a 24 hour vigil outside South Africa's Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO):
24-HOUR NIGHT VIGIL
06h00 Wednesday, 21 November
06h00 Thursday, 22 November
SA Department of International Relations and Cooperation
(460 Soutpansberg Road, Pretoria/Tshwane)
For more info on this event and other actions:
Last week, on Wednesday the 14th of November, in clear violation of a truce that had just been agreed to, Israel carried out an extra-jurisdictional assassination of Palestinian political activist and member of Hamas, Ahmed Jabari. Only hours before his death, Jabari intended and was in the process of finalizing a long-term ceasefire peace agreement with Israel. Lat year, Jabari gained wide popularity due to the central role he played in the Palestinian-Israeli prisoner exchange where he oversaw the release of the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, in fact, Jabari personally escorted Shalit during the exchange.
Since Wednesday and the illegal assassination of Jabari, Israel has subsequently embarked on a full-scale military offensive on the Gaza Strip killing over 72 people, including 16 children and a pregnant woman with her unborn twins.
In addition, more than 520 civilians have been wounded. Yesterday (Sunday the 18th of October), marking the deadliest single Israeli attack, 10 members of one family were killed in an Israeli air-strike on the Palestinian home of the Al-Dula family. The dead include 4 children (who were 2 to 5 years ), their mother, an aunt, a cousin, an 81 year old grandmother as well as two neighbors.
(Find a Los Angeles Times news report here: http://tinyurl.com/d4p7j45
Even at the height of Apartheid in South Africa we didn't have F16 fighter-jets, military tanks or ground incursions on the scale that the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are currently experiencing. These sort of Israeli attacks tragically confirm the position of the African National Congress (ANC) chairperson, Baleka Mbete, who said at the October ANC International Solidarity Conference that the situation of the Palestinians is "far worse"
than the conditions were under apartheid. The recent ANC National Policy Conference in June was also very clear that the "ANC is unequivocal in its support for the Palestinian people in their struggle for self-determination, and unapologetic in its view that the Palestinians are the victims and the oppressed in the conflict with Israel."
In line with this ANC position (South Africa's ruling party) and in protest of Israel's attack on the Gaza Strip, we are calling on the South African government to: A) Immediately recall the South African ambassador from Tel Aviv; B) Expel the Israeli ambassador from Pretoria; and, C) Impose broad-based boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) on Israel until it ends its violence against the Palestinian people, abides to international law and respects human rights.
HOW YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE:
1. Organize a protest, picket or rally:
Organize outside your local, provincial or national government (or SA Embassy) in protest against the Israeli attacks on Gaza and in support of the three demands that BDS South Africa has made to the SA government. Be in touch with us if you would like to have a BDS South Africa or other Palestine solidarity activist speak at your protest, picket or rally.
2. Arrange an event:
Arrange a movie screening, poetry reading, discussion or other event in your community. Be in touch with us for other ideas or if you would like a relevant DVD film that can be screened to be mailed to you.
3. Raise awareness:
With other members of your family or community distribute fliers, stick-up posters, paint graffiti or hang-up banners. Wits University students in Johannesburg recently hung large banners over bridges that were located on peak-traffic roads and highways!
4. Take to social media:
Join us on FaceBook (www.facebook.com/bdssouthafrica
) or Twitter (www.twitter.com/bdssouthafrica
) and remember to use the hashtags #GazaUnderAttack, #BoycottIsrael and #ExpelIsraeliAmbassador.
5. Sign this Avaaz petition:
The international website campaign, AVAAZ.org, with over 16 million members in 194 countries has launched this emergency petition calling the UN Security Council, the European Union, the Arab League and the USA to immediately take action against the recent Israeli "rampage": http://tinyurl.com/b2okr6j
6. Write to DIRCO:
Join us in calling on the SA government, in protest of the Israeli attacks on Gaza, to: a) Immediately recall the South African ambassador from Tel Aviv; b) Expel the Israeli ambassador from Pretoria; and c) Impose broad-based boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) on Israel until it ends its violence against the Palestinian people, abides to international law and respects human rights. Find relevant contact details here: www.dirco.gov.za/contact.htm and remember to send us a copy of your letter/email, which we will also have delivered for you.
Finally, please consider making a contribution towards the work of BDS South Africa and the organizing of this national week of action in protest against Israel's attacks on the Gaza Strip. You can donate here: www.bdssouthafrica.com/2012/02/donate.html
BOYCOTT, DIVESTMENT AND SANCTIONS in SOUTH AFRICA (BDS SOUTH AFRICA)
Office 915 |
9th Floor |
Khotso House |
62 Marshall Street |
PO Box 2318 |
+27 (0) 11 492 2414 | F:
+27 (0) 86 650 4836
W: www.bdssouthafrica.com | E:
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BDS South Africa is a registered Non-Profit Organization. NPO NUMBER: 084 306 NPO
BDS South Africa is a registered Public Benefit Organisation with Section 18A status. PBO NUMBER: 930 037 446