CAPE TOWN, South Africa (JTA) — Pro-Palestinian groups have issued a joint statement supporting the African National Congress’ call to intensify a boycott of Israeli products because of its "Zionist policies," which it has compared to apartheid.
The South African Council of Churches, Open Shuhada Street, the Congress of South African Trade Unions, Kairos Southern Africa and the Media Review Network said the country’s ruling party should be congratulated for its stance, taken at its policy conference held in Cape Town last week.
"We know South Africa’s voice is particularly important given the oppression people have suffered here under apartheid," the group said, according to a report in the Cape Times.
"The world is watching South Africa and sometimes takes the lead from us," Kairos spokeswoman Marthie Momberg said. "It is disturbing how many people — due to ignorance — do not know how Israel is in violation of international law."
South African Zionist Federation (Cape Council) chairman Ben Levitas said the ANC’s position disqualified it from being "an impartial contributor to the peace process."
"If the ANC was truly committed to supporting the oppressed, why have they not taken steps to help the Syrians and other oppressed people?" he asked.