27 July 2011

The South African Students Congress (SASCO) fully supports the call made the Palestinian students and youth for the boycott of the tour of several South African university campuses by dozens of Israeli students designed to polish Israel's image. Our support for this call is based on our belief that Israel is an apartheid state that daily tramples on the rights and dignity of Palestinians. Israel is also a United States proxy that enjoys the protection of this imperialist power in exchange for its destructive, oppressive and exploitative role in the Middle East region.

Boycotts were instrumental in the defeat of the murderous and oppressive apartheid regime in South Africa and we believe that boycotting apartheid Israel is kernel to overthrowing the oppression of Palestinians. Palestinians live in the same if not worse conditions that black South Africans were subjected to under white minority rule.

Palestinian children are denied the joys of youth. Generations and generations of Palestinians grow up in refugee camps with limited access to healthcare, education, and under constant threat from Israeli aggression.

As South Africans we resonate with the struggles of the Palestinian people for we too come from a history where the black majority was subjected to pass controls, denial of the freedom of movement, land dispossession through the Bantustan policy and second-class citizenship. We know apartheid only
too well, it was not good for South Africa and it certainly is not good for Palestine!
As a display of our disdain for the murderous and racist Zionist regime, we call on our branches to boycott this tour and organise pickets, mass demonstrations and films depicting Israel’s brutality and disdain for Palestinian livelihood and human rights.

We also appeal to Comrade Ben Turok to call off the planned launch of the book on the ANC’s History, which is co-organised by the South African Union of Jewish Students (SAUJS). SAUJS is a staunch adherent of Zionism, which is an ideological justification for Israel’s violation of Palestinian rights.  Launching this important book in a SAUJS co-organised gathering would betray the ANC’s long established values of freedom, human rights and indeed our  own history of fighting apartheid and many other forms of oppression.

Mbulelo Mandlana, President, 071 879 3408
Lazola Ndamase, Secretary General, 082 679 8718