Peoples Geography — Reclaiming space

Creating people's geographies

Response from Capetown, South Africa to IOF state terrorism

Many thanks to Abe for forwarding this from Women for Palestine


Response from Capetown, South Africa on the killing of 18 Palestinians this morning by Israel

8th November 2006

The Cape Town Anti-War Coalition is appalled by the inaction of the ANC government with regards to the current massacres taking place in the Gaza Strip, Occupied Palestine. We have offered several times since 2003 to be sent as volunteer human shields to Gaza, if the SA government could facilitate our entry into the Strip (which is closed to all foreigners) but the Department of Foreign Affairs has never replied.

Since November 1st 2006 (in just a week) 73 Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) and 300 injured. This includes three women who were killed when a tank opened fire on a group of women who were marching to a mosque.

What makes things worse is that the injured are not even allowed to travel five minutes outside Beit Hanoun village to the Al Awda hospital, let alone to better resourced hospitals in Gaza City. The Israeli Occupation Forces have sealed off the town, literally leaving people to die on the ground. Medics from the Palestinian Red Crescent Ambulance Services have had to break through the siege under heavy fire to try and treat people with horrific gunshot injuries as they lie on the ground. This is no substitute for hospital treatment and indeed, two medics were killed by the Israeli army while attempting to treat the wounded.

Yesterday, it was widely reported that the IOF had “pulled out” of the Gaza Strip but yet early this morning another massacre took place in Beit Hanoun. 18 Palestinians were killed instantly (7 of them children!) and another one has since died. 60 people are lying injured on the ground, according to Palestinian doctors that the Anti-War Coalition is in daily contact with.

The Cape Town Anti-War Coalition hereby calls on the South African ANC government to implement sanctions against Israel. We have called on the government several times to do this, or at least to do something, but they have done absolutely nothing except sit back and watch Palestinians being slaughtered.

The South African government could easily stop De Beers R5.5 billion annual diamond trade with Israel since the Israeli Trade Ministry has admitted that the diamond trade is an important factor in propping up their economy. These
blood diamonds are enabling the Israeli state to keep killing the Palestinians. Yet yesterday there was an international conference in Botswana talking about blood diamonds, and the question of Israel was not even mentioned. This is an indictment on the post-apartheid ANC government which was helped to freedom by the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) while the state of Israel broke sanctions on the apartheid regime and continued to sell weapons to the apartheid government all through the years.

For comment, call:
Shaheed Mahomed,
Cape Town Anti-War -082 2020617

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Timely Reminders

"Those who crusade, not for God in themselves, but against the devil in others, never succeed in making the world better, but leave it either as it was, or sometimes perceptibly worse than what it was, before the crusade began. By thinking primarily of evil we tend, however excellent our intentions, to create occasions for evil to manifest itself."
-- Aldous Huxley

"The only war that matters is the war against the imagination. All others are subsumed by it."
-- Diane DiPrima, "Rant", from Pieces of a Song.

"It is difficult
to get the news from poems
yet men die miserably every day
for lack
of what is found there"
-- William Carlos Williams, "Asphodel, That Greeny Flower"