USC Students for Justice in Palestine

history, analysis, news, and event updates on the struggle for justice in palestine

BDS South Africa: “Israel’s War on the Youth of Palestine”

Posted by uscsjp on June 18, 2014

As we commemorate Youth Day and Youth Month in South Africa, we recall the countless young people who fought (and died) in our struggle for liberation. The young people who took to our streets, slung stones, sometimes even took up arms and protested against Apartheid South African. Our freedom was, indeed, not free. We are also painfully reminded of the hundreds of thousands of other children in Swaziland, Western Sahara and elsewhere who are deprived of a childhood. In particular we are reminded of the Palestinian youth and young children who are systematically and routinely targeted, detained and abused by the Israeli army and regime (including the over 200 Palestinian children, several under the age of 16, currently imprisoned by the State of Israel).
Click here to watch a recent ABC Television Networks (Australia) documentary by reporter John Lyons produced for Australia’s current affairs TV program, Four Corners. The documentary was produced following a joint investigation by Four Corners and an Australian newspaper into how the Israeli army routinely and systematically targets Palestinian boys and youth for arrest and detention. Click here for a short 5 minute version or click here for the longer and complete 45 minute version.
WHAT IS BDS, THE BDS MOVEMENT AND BDS SOUTH AFRICA?
THE LARGER ISSUE AND CONTEXT
In 1948 (the same year that apartheid became official policy in South Africa) the Modern State of Israel (different but sometimes –deliberately– confused with the Biblical Land of Israel) was established in Palestine at the expense of the indigenous Palestinians. Since 1948, the Modern State of Israel has increased its occupation of Palestine by colonizing more and more Palestinian land – isolating the indigenous Palestinian population (Christians, Muslims and others) into small cantons or bantustans (click here for images of relevant maps).
Under Apartheid in South Africa some tried to justify Apartheid South Africa as a promise from God. However, the South African liberation struggle insisted that God cannot be reduced to a real estate agent and that God, in all situations, takes the side of the oppressed. Similarly today, some Israelis claim that the Modern State of Israel is a promise from God. Similar to some white South Africans at the time of apartheid, some Israelis today claim that they have a covenant with God who has decided to give them the land of Palestine regardless of its indigenous Palestinian inhabitants. Perhaps one of the only viable solutions for Palestine-Israel is for the indigenous Palestinians and the Israelis to share a common future. Similar to the shared common future that we South Africans (indigenous Africans, Whites and all others) now share in South Africa – a democratic country for all inhabitants.
THE 2005 BIRTH OF THE BDS MOVEMENT
In 2005, with Israel‘s occupation, colonization, discrimination, human rights abuses, violations of International Law and illegal Israelisettlement activity increasing, Palestinians (inspired by the successful boycott and isolation of Apartheid South Africa) called on the international community to support a non-violent campaign ofboycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel until Israelcomplies with international law and respects human rights.
The BDS campaign is not a malicious, blunt or punitive campaign to punish Israelis but rather, it is a practical, non-violent, goal-orientated and strategic campaign to hold the Modern State of Israelaccountable to international law. The BDS campaign is also increasingly supported by (progressive) Israelis. The international isolation of Israel it is hoped will lead to the necessary conditions for a just peace to be negotiated – similar to what occurred in South Africa and brought about a democratic country for all our people.
ISRAEL TO SET ASIDE OVER R310 MILLION ($28 MILLION) TO COUNTER BDS
Israel and its supporters have invested millions of rands and dollars into countering the growing BDS campaign. Earlier this year, for example, Israel‘s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened a meeting with several Israeli cabinet ministers to discuss the growing boycott and isolation of Israel. The meeting, Israel’s Haaretz newspaper reports, discussed (amongst other items) dedicating a budget of 100 million shekels (over 310 million rands or 28 million dollars) for the implementation (by Israel‘s Ministry of Strategic Affairs) of a large scale anti-BDS plan, which would include an aggressive legal and media campaign against the BDS movement. In their own acknowledgements, however, the Israeli government and lobby have several times admitted to being outplayed by the Palestinian solidarity and BDS movement (click here for a relevant anecdotal article).
WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT –
PLEASE CONSIDER DONATING
We need your support. BDS South Africa (a registered South African NPO and PBO) is the local South African office (together with other Palestine solidarity groups, trade unions, political formations and human rights organizations) advancing the international BDS campaign against Israel. BDS South Africa relies solely on donations from the general public and it is only through the continued support of many individuals, like yourself, that we are able to carry out our work for equality and freedom in Palestine-IsraelPlease consider making a contribution to the organization, and thus enable us to continue our work and campaigns. BDS South Africa is a registered Public Benefit Organisation (PBO) with Section 18A tax-deductible status.This means that any donations made to us can be used to apply for tax exemptions.
BANK: First National Bank
ACCOUNT NAME: BDS Working Group
ACCOUNT NUMBER: 62273997943
BRANCH NAME: Rosebank
BRANCH CODE: 253305
SWIFT CODE: FIRNZAJJ
BOYCOTT, DIVESTMENT AND SANCTIONS AGAINST ISRAEL in SOUTH AFRICA (BDS SOUTH AFRICA)
11th Floor | Braamfontein Centre | 23 Jorissen Street | Braamfontein |Johannesburg
PO Box 2318 | Houghton | 2041 | Johannesburg
T: +27 (0) 11 403 2097 | F: +27 (0) 86 650 4836
W: www.bdssouthafrica.com | E: administrator@bdssouthafrica.com
www.facebook.com/bdssouthafrica | www.twitter.com/bdssouthafrica

BDS South Africa is a registered Non-Profit Organization. NPO NUMBER: 084 306 NPO
BDS South Africa is a registered Public Benefit Organisation with Section 18A status. PBO NUMBER: 930 037 446
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