Students protest Apartheid in Israel
The independent South African human rights NGO, BDS South Africa, together with the South African Union of Students (SAUS) condemns the recent violence against human rights defenders at York University in Toronto. SAUS is the primary union representing student government bodies at institutions of higher learning across South Africa.
On 20 November 2019, Canadian human rights activists, students and others were protesting against the presence of Israeli soldiers at York University’s Toronto campus when members of the Israeli lobby attacked and assaulted them. The Israeli soldiers were brought to campus by the right-wing affiliate called Herut. In 1948, Albert Einstein, Hannah Arendt and dozens of other Jewish intellectuals denounced Herut as “a political party closely akin in its organization, methods, political philosophy and social appeal to the Nazi and Fascist parties.”
The Israeli lobby is claiming the protest was anti-Semitic, but as South Africans we find this absurd. To protest against soldiers from Apartheid South Africa in the 1980s did not make one anti-white. Similarly, to protest against Israel’s military and its violence against civilians is not anti-Semitic.
We salute the Canadian students, staff, and others who are standing, with us South Africans, shoulder to shoulder, with Palestinians and progressive Jewish Israeli allies in the struggle against Israeli Apartheid and, indeed, for a better and more just world.
The Canadian government was on the wrong side of history during the struggle against Apartheid in South Africa. We invite them to defend and join their citizens in opposing Apartheid. And yes, as Black South Africans, we attest that Israel is an Apartheid state as confirmed by some of our most senior leaders including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Winnie Mandela, former president Kgalema Mothlanthe and several others. Our current president, Cyril Ramaphosa, has said: “we know what is happening there, it’s gross apartheid taking place there and we cannot countenance a situation which is a duplicate of what we went through, and we are not going to apologise for it.”
BDS South Africa