20,000 signatures reached
To: President Ramaphosa and Minister Sisulu
Isolate Apartheid Israel!
Dear President Ramaphosa and Minister Sisulu,
The Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) and supporters are asking you to immediately cut diplomatic ties with Israel as announced by Minister Pandor in Parliament following the State of the Nation Address in February this year. We are calling on you to expel the Israeli Ambassador from Pretoria and implement sanctions, calling for a full sports, cultural, academic and trade boycott with Israel.
Why is this important?
South Africans were horrified by the targeted shooting of peaceful protesters in Gaza by the Israeli Defence Force that left around 60 people dead and many hundreds wounded on 14 May 2018. It was seen for what it is – a coldblooded massacre, reminding us when we were shot down for peacefully protesting against apartheid in Sharpeville and again in 1976 in Soweto when children were shot and killed.
This was not the first time the Israeli occupation force has carried out atrocities and it won’t be the last unless the world acts now.
It was only by internationally isolating apartheid South Africa in support of popular uprisings, strikes and armed struggle that we were able to put enough pressure on the regime.
Likewise, we need to intensify pressure on our government to immediately cut diplomatic ties with racist Israel, signalling to the world – and especially to the Palestinian people – that we have not forgotten their support for us during our Struggle. Merely recalling our Ambassador is not sufficient. We must cut all diplomatic ties, expel the Israeli Ambassador from Pretoria and heed the call of the international BDS movement and demand complete trade sanctions; sport, cultural and academic boycotts; disinvestment and an arms embargo in support of Palestine that belongs to all who live in it.
Since 1994, South Africans have called on the government to impose comprehensive sanctions against the apartheid Israeli regime:
• a ten thousand strong march in Durban during the United Nation’s World Conference Against Racism in 2001 where the “Second Anti-Apartheid Movement” was declared and a boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against Israel adopted by representatives of South African civil society led by prominent liberation movement veterans;
• an equally strong march at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002 in support of the Palestinian struggle and against the presence of an Israeli delegation including Shimon Peres;
• the refusal of dock workers in the port city of Durban to offload an Israeli ship in 2009 in the wake of Israel’s ‘Cast Lead’ assault on Gaza
• the decision in 2011 by the Senate of the University of Johannesburg to sever ties with Ben Gurion University.
• On the 9th of August 2014, between 150 000 to 200 000 South Africans marched in Cape Town against atrocities in Gaza and for full sanctions against Israel. It was the biggest march in South Africa’s history and continues solidarity activity since the first South African democratic elections in 1994.
• The Council of the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) resolved that TUT would not forge any ties with the State of Israel or any of its organisations and institutions on the 24th of November 2017.
In 2014 President Zuma sent Aziz Pahad as a ‘peace envoy’ to Israel. We still have not received the outcome of Pahad’s trip. At the same time Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, answering questions in the National Council of Provinces, called for “constructive engagement” with Israel – a phrase used by Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher to justify their relations with apartheid South Africa.
It is clear that Israel is not interested in peace as it continues to violate international law. The ANC Conference in 2017 adopted a resolution to downgrade our Embassy in Tel Aviv. President Ramaphosa has subsequently, on more than one occasion, reminded South Africans of the ANC resolution as a matter that government has to deal with. Minister Naledi Pandor, in the debate following State President Ramaphosa’s SONA address in February, went further and said that South Africa will “cut diplomatic ties” with Israel. We now demand implementation!
We call on the South African government to:
* Permanently recall our ambassador from Israel;
* Expel the Israeli ambassador from South Africa;
* Prosecute South African citizens that join the Israeli army in any capacity;
* Stop SAA code sharing with Israeli airline 'El Al';
* Prohibit South African companies from trading with Israel;
* Prohibit Israeli funding of South African political parties;
* Work to persuade African Union member countries to adopt similar policies;
* Engage with all South African organisations in the Palestinian solidarity movement.
For more information please contact [email protected]