PRESS INVITE: Nelson Mandela Day Palestine protest for Gaza at Israeli Embassy Trade Office (Sandton, Friday 18 July)
The South African Palestine solidarity and human rights organisation BDS South Africa together with the Palestine Solidarity Alliance (PSA), Media Review Network (MRN) and others will be holding a Nelson Mandela Day protest for Gaza on Friday 18 July with a 67 second moment of silence for the over 200 Palestinians killed in recent Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip.
The Nelson Mandela Day protest for Gaza will take place at the Israeli Embassy's Trade Office in Sandton (Corner Fredman and West) starting from 13h30 but with speeches only at 14h30. The protest will be addressed by ANC Youth League Convenor (and Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry), Mzwandile Masina (TBC); COSATU President, Sidumo Dlamini; President of the South African Students Congress (SASCO), Ntuthuko Makhombothi and others. The main message will be calling for the termination of all trade relations with Israel until it complies with international law. Our main message will be that no normal trade can take place with the abnormal Israeli regime.
Nelson Mandela was well known for his internationalism and long standing support for the Palestinian people. Mandela visited close ally, Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat, on several occasions including once in the Gaza Strip (currently being bombed by Israel) where he said: "The histories of our two peoples, Palestinian and South African, correspond in such painful and poignant ways" (click here
). In 1990, in the USA and amidst pressure from the Israeli lobby, Mandela fiercely defended the ANC's and the larger South African liberation movement's support for the Palestinian people (click here
). Mandela is famously known for saying: "we know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians" (click here
Mandela's support for the Palestinian people often drew criticism from members of the South African Jewish community and Israeli lobby. Mandela responded to this criticism saying: "[I]f the truth alienates the Jewish community in South Africa, that’s too bad…we expect everybody who is exploring the possibility of lasting solutions to be able to face the truth squarely (click here
). Mandela did not mince his words when it came to Israel, saying: " “If one has to refer to any of the parties as a terrorist state, one might refer to the Israeli government, because they are the people who are slaughtering defenseless and innocent Arabs in the occupied [Palestinian] territories, and we don’t regard that as acceptable” (click here
NELSON MANDELA DAY PROTEST FOR GAZA
TIME: Starting from 13h30 but with speeches only at 14h30
DAY: Friday, 18 July
ADDRESS: Israeli Embassy Trade Office, Corner Fredman and West, Sandton, Johannesburg
SPEAKERS: ANC Youth League Convenor (and Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry), Mzwandile Masina (TBC); COSATU President, Sidumo Dlamini; President of the South African Students Congress (SASCO), Ntuthuko Makhombothi and others.
ISRAELI ATTACKS ON GAZA
The Palestinian Gaza Strip is the world’s largest open air prison with over 1,5 million Palestinians caged in and cut off by Israel from the rest of the world. The Palestinian Gaza Strip is the world’s most densely populated piece of land on this earth making the Israeli bombing of the Palestinian Gaza Strip all the more horrendous. The collective punishment and illegal siege by Israel of the Palestinian people of Gaza must immediately end. Archbishop Desmond Tutu has described the Israeli siege and blockade on the Gaza Strip as an: "abomination".
As of 16 July 2014 over 200 Palestinians including more than 30 children have been killed by Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip. Human rights activists are describing the Israeli attacks as a "massacre". In one of the deadliest attacks, 17 members of the same Palestinian family were killed when their home was bombed. In another deadly attack, Israel killed 8 members of the Kaware family home in Khan Younis including 6 children: Hussein (13), Bassem (10), Muhammad (13), Abdallah (12), Siraj (8) and Qassem (12).
In another deadly Israeli attack, 6 members of the Hammad family were killed including the father, daughter, two uncles, an aunt and grandmother. Two Palestinian brothers, Mohammed Aarif (13) and 12-year-old Amir Aarif were killed in an air strike on Shejaiya, east of Gaza City, while another Israeli air strike in the nearby Zeitun district killed Amina Malaka (27) and her 18-month-old son Mohammed Malaka. Further north, another missile hit Beit Hanun, killing 40-year-old Sahar al-Masri and her 14-year-old son Ibrahim al-Masri.
Over the weekend Israel also bombed a Palestinian NGO for disabled people that killed two disabled women (click here)
ISSUED BY MUHAMMED DESAI ON BEHALF OF BDS SOUTH AFRICA. FOR COMMENT OR INFO CONTACT:
KWARA KEKANA, 0724491774
MUHAMMED DESAI, 0842119988
BOYCOTT, DIVESTMENT AND SANCTIONS AGAINST ISRAEL in SOUTH AFRICA (BDS SOUTH AFRICA)
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