Issued by the Coalition for a Free Palestine
2 June 2010
The Coalition for a Free Palestine welcomes recent actions by the South African government in responding to the murderous attack by Israeli soldiers on unarmed civilians in an aid convoy to Gaza.
Since the Israeli attack early Monday morning, the South African Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) issued a statement condemning the illegal attack – which was unlawful under international law and which resulted in the murder of at least nine civilians. Yesterday, Deputy Minister Sue van der Merwe summoned the Israeli ambassador and issued him with a demarche for the action of his government. Further, this morning, President Jacob Zuma expressed his outrage at the Israeli murderous brutality. He also criticised those countries who have taken a soft attitude towards Israel. Zuma said that if any other country had committed the same crime as Israel, there were would have been much stronger action taken by the international community.
The CFP welcomes these strong and harsh statements by the South African government.
Further the CFP in expressing the displeasure of South Africans regarding the terrorist actions of Israel, in particular, calls on our government immediately to:
Recall our ambassador to Tel Aviv, as has been done by a number countries, such as Sweden, Spain, and Turkey;
Expel the Israeli ambassador from South Africa;
Break all diplomatic ties with Israel;
Cut all economic and trade ties with Israel, in response to the call for boycotts, divestment and sanctions from over 200 Palestinian organisations;
Shut down Mossad and Shin Bet operations and terminate the business dealings of El Al Airlines in South Africa;
Actively promote an academic boycott of Israel by ensuring that all academic links with Israel by our tertiary institutions and research organisations are severed immediately;
Prosecute all South African citizens who serves in the Israeli armed forces, as is required by the Regulation of Foreign Military Assistance Act, and;
Ensure that Israeli war criminals will be prosecuted if they enter South Africa – as is South Africa’s obligation under the Rome Statute.
We also call on trade unions locally and globally to mobilise their members to organise active campaigns to isolate Israel by refusing to handle goods to and from Israel. In this regard we call on the ITUC and the ITF to provide leadership to promote the call for an international general strike against Israel.
We demand that the Egyptian government keeps the Rafah Crossing open indefinitely to allow free access to and the Gaza strip.
Activities around the country will continue in protest against Israel and its murderous actions. The 24-hour picket outside the office of DIRCO in Pretoria, which began last night, will continue until 20:00 today. A march will take place in Cape Town tomorrow, and rally in Soweto on Saturday. These are among a number of protest activities across South Africa over the next few days.
For more information, please call:
Tahir Sema (South African Municipal Workers’ Union): 082 940 3403
Salim Vally (Palestine Solidarity Committee): 082 802 5936
Igsaan Hendricks (Muslim Judicial Council): 083 384 6973
Naazim Adam (Palestine Solidarity Alliance): 082 336 6711
Mercia Andrews (Palestine Solidarity Group): 082 368 3429