Africa witness

People’s voice

Palestine worse than Apartheid

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By Hassan Isilow
Anti-Apartheid icon Ahmed Kathrada is convinced Palestinians are experiencing life far worse than what South Africans had during apartheid.
Speaking at the University of Johannesburg recently, the struggle hero called upon the ANC to find suitable solutions to address how it can concretely further support the Palestinian struggle for justice and self determination.
“Israeli’s separate roads, de facto mixed marriages act, trial by military courts, the unfair allocation of resources – particularly water – racist citizenship laws, assigning and denying people rights on the basis of ethnicity, destruction of homes, and detention without trial” amounted to nothing but apartheid, Kathrada stated.
According to the struggle icon – who had lived and suffered under apartheid, spending nearly 30 years of his adult life in apartheid jails for resisting oppression – he can humbly claim to know something about the meaning of apartheid.
“I believe that we must pay serious consideration to the call made by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and many others in the world today,” he sad, referring to the plight of the Palestinians.
While Kathrada did not call for armed resistance or violence against Israeli, he did urge peaceful reconciliation and non-violence. As such, he called upon all South Africans to support Palestinians in their quest for freedom.
The struggle stalwart well remembered how apologists for apartheid South Africa internationally tried to argue that the South African “situation” was more complex than what the ANC wanted to suggest.
“Indeed, it might have been, but the argument of complexity was also used as a weapon by the powerful to disarm the weak and those who act in solidarity with them,” he said, adding that he feared the same may now be happening with Palestine.
According to Kathrada, fellow struggle icon, former president Nelson Mandela warned about this back in 1996.
“The temptation in our situation is to speak in muffled tones about an issue such as the right of the people of Palestine to a state of their own. We can easily be enticed to read reconciliation and fairness as meaning parity between justice and injustice. Having achieved our own freedom, we can fall into the trap of washing our hands of difficulties that others face. Yet we would be less than human if we did so,” Mandela stated on 4Dec1997.
Originally published at


Written by africawitness

May 3, 2012 at 2:24 pm

Posted in Xenophobia

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