Israeli Apartheid Week in SA: Focus on Israel’s racist crackdown on Africans

By Al Qalam Reporter

With this year’s 14th international #IsraeliApartheidWeek campaign scheduled for March 12-18 across South Africa, one of the issues that will take centre stage is the recent acts of racism against Africans by the Israeli regime.

The #IsraeliApartheidWeek campaign is an international series of self-organized rallies, protests, lectures, cultural performances, concerts, sports events, films and workshops held annually in over 250 cities, communities and campuses across the globe.

With “Afro-Palestinian solidarity” as this year’s theme, #IsraeliApartheidWeek in SA will focus on both Israel’s apartheid policies against the Palestinians as well as the regime’s discriminatory policies against Africans.

According to the IAW statement, Israel is expelling thousands of Africans, giving them an ultimatum: leave by 1 April or risk indefinite imprisonment. Israel has offered R100 000 in bonuses to civilians who aide in forcibly deporting African asylum seekers.

Israel has portrayed non-Jewish Africans as a threat to Israel’s Jewish character calling them “infiltrators” with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu repeatedly calling for their expulsion saying that Africans “threaten the social fabric of society.”

Israel’s Minister of Interior, Eli Yishai, has said that African immigrants “think the country doesn’t belong to us, the white man.” And the Israeli Minister of Culture and Sport, Miri Regev, has compared Africans to “a cancer”. In 2013 Israel was revealed to be forcibly sterilising African women without their consent.

Under the theme “Afro-Palestinian solidarity” this year’s #IsraeliApartheidWeek will highlight the African community in Palestine and will host events that celebrate the historic support and solidarity that African liberation struggles and countries received from the PLO and the Palestinian people during the 1970s and 1980s.

“While Israel supplied the Apartheid regime with weapons used to kill our people, the Palestinians provided the ANC with arms, military training, financial resources and various other forms of support in the fight against Apartheid,” the statement said.

IsraeliApartheidWeek is endorsed, in South Africa alone, by more than 110 organisations, trade unions, embassies, youth movements and other groups including South Africa’s governing party, the country’s largest student formation and SA’s largest trade union federation.
United in the country’s diversity, South Africans from various racial and religious groups participate in #IsraeliApartheidWeek including members of the Jewish, Hindu, Christian, Tamil, Muslim and other communities.

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