NUMSA calls for the immediate expulsion of the Israeli ambassador in South Africa, Arthur Lenk
The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) is outraged at the Israeli Defence Force's bombing of Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip, and the ongoing administrative detentions, house raids, and murder of Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
We reject the Israeli Apartheid State's pretext that the military attacks in Gaza are acts of self-defence. We lend our unequivocal support to the Palestinian people in Gaza as they face and resist the military nuclear power of Israel with no official military of its own. The Israeli Apartheid regime fails to acknowledge the true origins of Palestinian resistance, i.e. the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land.
Having experienced Apartheid, we express our revulsion at the bloodletting of the Israeli regime. Even at the height of Apartheid in South Africa, such brutality was not experienced. We will never forget that it was the Israeli government's close military ties with the South African Apartheid Regime that prolonged Apartheid and the oppression of the masses of South Africa. Neither will we forget that it was our Palestinian comrades who supported our liberation struggle, at a time when many had deserted our liberation movements.
NUMSA calls for the immediate expulsion of the Israeli ambassador in South Africa, Arthur Lenk, and the recall of Comrade Sisa Ngombane from Tel Aviv. Israel must be politically isolated in the same way that Apartheid South Africa was. We also call on the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to follow-up and investigate the Gaza Docket, and prosecute all South Africans conscripted to the IDF, and participating in Israel's war-crimes against the Palestinians.
We support Palestinian civil society's call for an immediate, full military embargo on Israel. South African citizens and businesses must be discouraged from supporting Israeli settlements - illegal under international law. Products from Israeli settlements must not be sold in South Africa, this ban must immediately be implemented by the Department of Trade and Industry.
We call on the South African government and Non-Aligned Movement to support the implementation of a comprehensive Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel until the Israeli government:
(i) releases all Palestinian political prisoners immediately;
(ii) ends its occupation of the West Bank including East Jerusalem, and dismantles the Apartheid Wall;
(iii) Acknowledges the right of return of Palestinian refugees.
(iv) relinquishes its nuclear weapons, and accedes to the Non-Proliferation Treaty;
Silence is complicity, and we will not remain silent in the face of Israeli Apartheid aggression and occupation. An injury to one is an injury to all.
NUMSA supports and will be part of the upcoming Nelson Mandela Day Protest in Solidarity with the Palestinian people being organised by BDS South Africa at the Israeli Embassy Trade Office in Sandton.
Statement issued by Hlokoza Motau, NUMSA International Officer, July 15 2014
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