Ricochet News

Marchers in Port Elizabeth want boycott of Israeli products

By Afikile Lugunya - May 16, 2018
Marchers in Port Elizabeth want boycott of Israeli products

The African National Congress (ANC) in the Nelson Mandela Bay on Tuesday added its voice to those condemning the killing of over 50 Palestinians in the Gaza strip and the injuring of many more on Monday.

This is after Palestinians embarked on mass protests following the United States’ decision to formally move its Israeli embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, despite objections from the Palestinians and some world leaders.

Violence then broke out on the border with Israel, where Israeli forces opened fire on the Palestinian marchers.

The event to open the US embassy proceeded despite the violence.

South Africa has since recalled its Ambassador to Israel over the shooting.

In Port Elizabeth, a group of local Arabs and Muslims marched to the City Hall to show solidarity with the people of Palestine with the message; “Free Israel and Palestine Free”.

The ANC in the Bay also joined the march with several marchers likening what is happening in the Gaza strip to what happened in South Africa when Jan van Riebeeck arrived at the Cape and subsequently began the dispossession of Africans of their land by force.

They said that process culminated in the apartheid system, which is similar to what is happening in the Gaza strip.

Organisers said that the aim of the march to the City Hall was to create awareness of what is going on in Israel and to call on leaders to ensure that the loss of life is ended.

They said that what they were doing was not a protest rather a message to the government of South Africa to stop all economic dealings with Israel until Palestinians are free.

Speaking for the ANC NMB region, Themba Xathula, said; “Nearly 58 people were mauled down by the Israel government and we say down with Israel’s apartheid down.

“We are continuing to say that the struggle of the Palestinians is our struggle because we cannot be free when the Palestine people are not free.”

Xathula said that South Africa is responsible for ensuring Israel does not continue to kill Palestinians.

“We want to organise a strong march against the Israel people and we do understand that those who are in power at the Nelson Mandela Metro won’t accept or form part of us simply because they are beneficiaries of the Israel Palestinian war,” he added.

“As the ANC we will continue supporting the people of Palestine and all those who are doing solidarity work.”

One of the protesters, Ismail Abdul, said that he had just returned from Palestine, a week ago and there is no service delivery in the area.

“People in Palestine have no room, bathroom, and water tanks are taken off when they talk to foreigners,” he said.

Abdul added that there is no proper education for children and people get more punishment for defending themselves, but soldiers kill innocent people every day.

He said that he had gone there to see for himself the living conditions.

“Lives are taken by soldiers, but the very same Bible that was preached to us is clear and says that though shall not take a life,” Abdul said.

“We cannot stand by and keep silent while people of Israel are suffering and I hope that you will continue to stand with us and support these protests.”

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