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COSATU Today | COSATU Press Statements
COSATU Statement on Israel bombings of Gaza - Do unto apartheid Israel what you did to apartheid South Africa
10 July 2014
On the night of the 8th July, 2014, Gaza woke up to the tremors of earth-shaking bombings by the Israeli Defence Force (IDF). It is said since then more than 27 Palestinians, including more than 6 children amongst them, were killed and more than 200 have been injured as a result of the airstrikes by Israel. Dozens of homes have been demolished and several families lost relatives.
The Israeli cabinet has further authorised the reactivation of 40 000 army reservists in anticipation or signalling a possible ground offensive, to top up those already deployed in and around Gaza. How do we explain 60 airstrikes in one day?
The intensification of the mass arrests against Palestinians in various parts of the occupied territories, such as in West Bank where about 500 Palestinians have been arrested in a space of 3 weeks. Mohammed Abu Khdier a Palestinian child was kidnapped, tortured and burnt alive in Jerusalem. Mohammed is amongst millions of Palestinian children who have for years been murdered by the state of Israel in the name of self-protection against “terrorists”.
We firmly support the ANC statement that, “In line with our 2012 policy resolutions, that called on "all South Africans to support the programmes and campaigns of the Palestinian civil society which seek to put pressure on Israel", branches and structures of the ANC across the country will be joining the Palestine solidarity and boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement in organizing protests and pickets calling for the immediate end of Israeli violence against the Palestinian people. We call on all South Africans, Black, White, Jewish, Muslim, Christian and all others to join us in expressing our solidarity. Solidarity will bring us together as different South Africans just as how the international anti-apartheid movement brought people together”.
It is only those who have lost their humanity who cant feel or share in the pain felt by the suffering people of Palestine from the barbaric and savage attacks by what has become the most acceptable, deliberate and legalised murder and deliberate violation of international law by a country.
Israel is only able to commit all these ruthless atrocities because of the licence from the US, EU and allies. The UN must be ashamed of itself for failing humanity and the people of Palestine, always pleading for restraint from the victim, equally. We cannot equate an aggressor to a victim or coloniser to a colonised. Nelson Mandela was also called a terrorist for fighting for freedom, hence the natural task of oppressed people to wage a liberation struggle and our natural responsibility is to support them.
We call on the international trade union movement, various civil society organisations, international religious bodies and even business to speak out against savagery and barbarism against fellow human beings. We support the call to recall South African ambassador to Israel, kick out the Israeli ambassador from South Africa and move with speed to decisively isolate Israel and all who sympathise with racism and Zionist occupation all over the world.
Now is the time for the world to stop words of pity and lamentation, but take action by doing what it did to apartheid South Africa when its policies were declared a crime against humanity. Indeed, apartheid remains a crime against humanity wherever it happens. If apartheid cant outrage us, our humanity is called into question and our morality is hollow.
Patrick Craven (National Spokesperson)
Congress of South African Trade Unions
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