PRESS STATEMENT: South Africans join international community in rejecting Trump’s US-Israel plan

28 January 2020

Imagine that during the 1980s, the then US President Ronald Reagan, appearing on TV with the then Prime Minister of Apartheid South Africa, PW Botha. During their press conference, Reagan announces that he has a plan for Apartheid. The plan, which was primarily drafted by his daughter and her husband, is that the white supremacist government of Apartheid SA will continue as is and the indigenous black population must accept the status quo.

This is how we South Africans view the current US President Donald Trump appearing on TV wit the current Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu. In their recent press briefing, on 28 January 2020, Trump announced that he has a plan for Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine. His plan, which was primarily drafted by his daughter and her husband, is that the Israeli occupation will continue as is and the indigenous Palestinian population must accept the status quo. Click here for more info on the plan.

We join our Palestinian friends from Fateh and the entire PLO, from Hamas, from the PFLP, from the DFLP, from Palestinian civil society and the entire Palestinian people (who we fondly recall, stood with us during our struggle against Apartheid) in suporting their rejectiion of the proposed Donald Trump US plan for Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine. We join progressive Jewish Israelis, progressive Jews in South Africa and progressive Jews across the world who are rejecting Trump’s plan.

The Israeli peace organisation Btselem has compared the Donald Trump US plan to Swiss cheese. In their press statement from today, they explain: “the cheese is being offered to the Israelis and the holes to the Palestinians.” (Click here)

We concur with our Israeli comrades, and we painfully recall how Apartheid South Africa tried to impose its own plan during the 1980s where white people would own South Africa and the indigenous Black South Africans needed to be happy with small enclaves called Bantustans. We rejected this then in Apartheid South Africa and we, today, join those in rejecting it in Palestine-Israel.

As South Africans we recall how we insisted on certain basic conditions to be met before any negotiation – for example, the release of Nelson Mandela and all political prisoners. Similarly we support the Palestinians who also have the right to insist on certain basic conditions like the release of Palestinian political prisoners (including the over 400 children held in Israeli jails). As South Africans, during the 1980s, we called on the world to impose boycotts, divestments and sanctions against Apartheid South Africa until it met certain basic conditions that then created the space for meaningful negotiations to take place. Similarly, Palestinians have called for boycotts, divestments and sanctions against Israel until it meets certain basic conditions.

As a South African NGO, BDS South Africa will be working closely with our allies in South Africa including the Embassy of Palestine and our governing party, the ANC, as well as other political parties and civil society groups including trade union partners to ensure that Israel is held accountable for its violations of international law. We join the South African government in demanding Israel to end its occupation of Palestine!

BDS South Africa will be meeting with the newly appointed Palestinian Ambassador to South Africa, Ms Hanan Jarrar, on Friday 31 January 2020 where we will develop a joint strategies and discuss urgent actions to be taken. A press conference will be held thereafter to announce our plans.

ISSUED BY TISETSO MAGAMA ON BEHALF OF BDS SOUTH AFRICA

For comment:

Tisetso Magama: +27 (0) 61 414 6348
Muhammed Desai: +27 (0) 84 211 9988