Hawa Mayere | 08 March 2016
Universities, schools, businesses and other organisations across South Africa will this week be participating in what has been declared as Israel Apartheid Week or for the more internet savvy, #IAW or #IsraeliApartheidWeek.
There will be workshops, documentaries, marches and awareness about the oppression levied upon the Palestinian people by the Israeli state.
There is a hope that these actions will bring the Palestinian plight as a result of the Israeli occupation to the attention of a mass audience. I ask, is one week enough?
Based on a simple calculation of the amount of oppression taking place against Palestinians of all backgrounds, Muslim or Christian, one would imagine that more than one week is required to begin to put real pressure on Israel.
The similarities are glaring and stark between the apartheid state here in South Africa and the apartheid state of Israel.
It doesn’t need deep analytical research to understand the system of separating people according to their ethnicity. You don’t need to be a genius to comprehend that Palestinians are seen as inferior to Israelis.
The South African apartheid system saw whites from anywhere as superior and more important than non-whites.
Just like the system of apartheid enforced in South Africa whereby a smaller almost non-existent budget was given to the non-whites, that’s exactly what is happening to Palestinian people now living in Israel and the Occupied Territories.
Palestinians simply want their land, the land of their forefathers, back. They want equal rights and opportunities as they enjoyed before 1948.
For a moment, just place yourself in the skin of a Palestinian. Imagine a young child looking out for themselves because their parents were killed while protecting them?
How would you feel knowing that a bomb could be thrown at you anytime?Just think what’s going through the minds of the voiceless youth who feel defeated by greed. Imagine you were part of that family who lost everything?
Clearly one week isn’t enough to show all their grievances and suffering. People should remember that this is an ongoing struggle and it does not just happen when there is #IAW on the trend. Children are being orphaned, parents left childless; the youth are being left voiceless and their leadership powerless.
We don’t need to see pictures of people hurt, killed or suffering to notice that there is a problem. We need more than one week to take action against this oppression.
I leave you with this great quote from the former president and great Tata Nelson Mandela “We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians”