A protester and member of South Africa's ultra-left Economic Freedom Fighters party (EFF), holds a flag outside the Israeli embassy in Pretoria, South Africa, November 2, 2017.
(photo credit: REUTERS/SIPHIWE SIBEKO)
The Western Cape branch of South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress, will march together with the Muslim Judicial Council and the National Coalition For Palestine on May 15 in Cape Town in solidarity with the Palestinians.
“The march will be in solidarity with the Palestinian people’s Great Return March as well as in protest against the Israeli killings of the Palestinian people,” said Faiez Jacobs, the ANC’s Western Cape secretary.
“Our freedom [South Africa’s freedom], which our people fought for – and some died for – was only possible because of our friends in the international community who made our struggle their struggle, who campaigned in support of us and who advocated for boycotts, divestments and sanctions against the then apartheid regime,” he said.
Jacobs said the march calls on the national ANC government to put its previous Israel policies into action.
“We will be demanding decisive action to be taken by our government, starting with the implementation of the downgrade of the South African Embassy in Israel,” he said, referring to the party’s resolution at its conference in December to downgrade the embassy to a liaisons office.
The ANC and participating organizations called on the people of Cape Town to join the march and bring the city to a standstill.
Jacobs said the reason they had chosen May 15
was that it marks the final day of the Great March of Return.
South African Zionist Federation chairman Ben Swartz told The Jerusalem Post: “The fantasy that Jews and the land of Israel can be separated is exactly that. No matter how often that lie is repeated, it will never become a reality – and the absolute overwhelming majority of Jews will always stand by and remain connected to Israel.”
Joshua Hovsha, director of the Cape SA Jewish Board of Deputies, told South Africa’s Jewish Report that the board “supports all people’s right to protest and to freedom of speech.”
“However, we are concerned about the Western Cape ANC’s motivation behind the march, especially in the context of recent antisemitic remarks made in provincial government and past patterns of antisemitism in the ANC Western Cape,” he said.
“We welcome open dialogue with the ANC and MJC [The Muslim Judicial Council], but our invitations have been ignored to date,” Hovsha said. “We aim to make the Western Cape a place for no hate, where political parties and various faiths engage and understanding is promoted. Our focus should be working together to make our province a better place.”
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