SA must sustain its voice for justice for Palestinians – Brett Herron

Genocide being waged against them result of Israel's policies and postures that amount to apartheid

South Africa must sustain its voice for justice for Palestinians

29 November 2023

With the State of Israel making no bones about its intention to resume its devastation of Palestinian people and infrastructure, and the world too divided to agree to stop it, South Africa is an important voice for justice.

Our voice is important because of our experience of living through forced removals, the dehumanisation of groups of people, waging war against one another and occupying the podium as the world’s smelliest skunk… but nonetheless managing to negotiate a peaceful path to a constitutional democracy. 

We know from bitter experience how repugnant apartheid is, and how it breaks down relationships to the point that talking and listening become almost impossible…

Whether the solution to the crisis in Israel and Palestine lies in the creation of two sovereign states, based on the 1967 delineation of the land, or the formation of a single entity peopled by Jews and Muslims living in equality and mutual dignity, what we know, as South Africans, is that the people of Palestine and Israel must find alternatives to violence.

Palestinian and Israeli civil society must step up because political leaders are so bogged down in ideological and geo-political considerations that they have plunged the United Nations into a state of paralysis… 

The genocide being waged against Palestinians, now on a brief pause, is a consequence of the policies and postures of the State of Israel that amount to apartheid.

Civil society must step up because apartheid is not in the interests of the people of Palestine or Israel. Hatred is not sustainable. In South Africa, civil society played a fundamental role in nudging the Bothas and De Klerks towards the exit door.

Thirty years after apartheid, South Africa continues to struggle for social and economic justice, for equality, for tranquility. But we are 30 years further down the road than Israel and Palestine.

The GOOD Party commends the tens of thousands of South Africans, including members of the Jewish faith, who have taken to the streets over the past seven weeks to call for peace and for justice for Palestinians.

Their advocacy, mirrored around the world, demonstrates the growing moral disjuncture between civil society and global political leadership.

Civil society must continue to shout until the people of Israel hear us, and join us, in demanding that the State of Israel develops alternatives to unsustainable and immoral violence and injustice.

On this International Day of Solidarity with the People Of Palestine, we once again call for an unconditional ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, the presence of peacekeepers on the ground in Gaza, and negotiations to sustain peace while developing a roadmap to an enduring settlement.

Issued by Brett Herron, GOOD Secretary-General & Member of Parliament, 29 November 2023