Daily Maverick (Johannesburg)

7 August 2014

South Africa: Blade - Batting for Palestine

analysis

While there's a brief reprieve in the conflict in Gaza between Israel and Palestine, the issue continues to heat up in South Africa. On Wednesday, Palestinian supporters met at the University of Johannesburg to discuss boycotting Israel.

"In many respects I felt that Israeli Apartheid is worse than South African Apartheid," said Minister of Higher Education and Training Blade Nzimande to large applause when recalling a visit to Palestine over 10 years ago. The general secretary of the South African Communist Party (SACP) said his party thinks the Israeli ambassador should be expelled from SA, the South African ambassador should be recalled, and the SACP will help mobilise the boycott of Woolworths.

Nzimande was addressing a gathering hosted by Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) South Africa, Muslim Views Newspaper, and the University of Johannesburg Palestinian Solidarity Forum. The newspaper brought Professor Ilan Pappe, an Israeli academic and activist who supports the Palestinian struggle, to SA to promote the idea of an academic boycott. The timing, which was a coincidence, meant much of the discussion reflected the current war in Gaza. The hall was full, with people standing and sitting on the stairs and others moving to an...

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