LETTER: ANC alliance obsessed with Israel
Marchers concerned about Palestinians must pass by embassies of Syria and Lebanon too
Russia is invading Ukraine, targeting schools, hospitals and civilian areas, yet what does the ANC focus on while the entire world is uniting to support Ukraine? Its unbelievable obsession with Israel.
The ANC, SACP and the union federation Cosatu have joined hands in calling for a march to the Israeli embassy on March 3. The three high-profile keynote speakers, ANC chair Gwede Mantashe, SACP deputy secretary-general Solly Mapaila and Cosatu president Zingiswa Losi, are all calling for Palestinians’ rights to dignity, security and comfort.
We surely must salute this initiative, especially in the light of current world events. Palestinian dignity, security and comfort are under immense threat in Lebanon, Syria and other countries in the region. Almost 400,000 Palestinians in Lebanon are suffering the loss of dignity and security. They are forced to live in crime-infested, overcrowded and unsanitary conditions, suffering from widespread poverty and an extreme lack of rights.
They are barred from working in professions such as law, engineering and medicine, among others. Let’s not forget that “job reservation” was one of the foundations of apartheid rule in SA, where black people were prohibited from every profession and trade and in practice confined to labour-intensive jobs. That is now also the lot of Palestinians in Lebanon.
Perhaps these three keynote speakers will address SA’s withdrawal of diplomatic relations with Lebanon and redirect their march to the Lebanese embassy? At the same time, let’s hope these three erudite leaders apply the same censure to Syria and demand the severing of ties with that country.
I am sure they will recall the massacre of Palestinians in Damascus, Homs and Aleppo, where banned chemical weapons and barrel bombs were used to target not only the Palestinian population but innocent Syrian children in their schools and hospitals.
No doubt the planned march will also deviate past the Syrian embassy.
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