South African cleric: Show solidarity with Palestinians

CAPE TOWN (JTA) — An anti-apartheid activist cleric has called on Jewish, Muslim and Christian South Africans to show solidarity with the Palestinians.

Allan Boesak, speaking at a pro-Palestinian rally organized by the Palestine Solidarity Group and the Muslim Judicial Council, called Israel’s attack on Gaza "an act of savage barbarity," according to a report in the Cape Times.

"There is something wrong in the heads of South Africans," he said. "Why is it that we waited for people to suffer for 60 years before we say enough is enough? We know what it is to be locked up and what it means for our dignity to be taken away."

Boesak told the crowd that South Africans could not enjoy their hard-won freedom as long as Palestinians were dying.

Parliamentary Deputy Speaker Nosiviwe Madlala-Routledge, who was part of a human rights delegation that visited Israel and the West Bank last year, said that "the facts on the ground make a two-state solution less and less possible" and called for an examination of South Africa’s weapons trade with Israel.

Also speaking at the rally was former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils, who is Jewish. Kasrils, according to a report in the Cape Argus, said that Israel’s leaders and soldiers should be brought before the International Criminal Court.

Activist Mercia Andrews said that Israel should be barred from participating in the 2010 World Cup soccer tournament to take place in South Africa.
 

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