Aqsa week runs from 24 February to 2 March Photo Twitter/ @learnpalestine
Johannesburg – ‘One group of people dominating another’ is Amnesty International’s capturing of the Israel and Palestine conflict in their 280-page report released this month. The report details the lives of Palestinians, the atrocities they are subjected to and the grounds on which Israel is identified as an Apartheid State.
Aqsa week kicked off at the University of Pretoria where the report was discussed. The panel welcomed Zane Dangor, special adviser to the Minister of International Relations and Co-operation. Dangor said “the South African government itself will be assessing these reports and see what we need to do now.” He mentioned the report will be looked at in light of South Africa’s relationship with Israel.
Saleh Hijazi, Head of Office Amnesty Jerusalem, said he hopes the report does not end up on UN shelves as other reports have and they will “ask all states to use all political and diplomatic tools at their disposal” to ensure the UN acts and Israel implements recommendations.
Former Minister of Intelligence Services of South Africa, Ronnie Kasrils, expressed full support behind the report. He recalled a story about a South African man who called Israel an Apartheid State in 1961. That man was Dr Hendrik Verwoerd, often considered the architect of Apartheid.
The panelists agreed the report compliments many past reports yet transcends those, as this report includes detailed accounts of refugees and Palestinians living in “proper Israel” and occupied Palestine.
The goal for Amnesty International is to get organisations and states to recognize Israel is an Apartheid State and then pivot that recognition into action.
The event was honoured by the presence of many African ambassadors and dignitaries, however, as Kasrils pointed out, Western dignitaries were a no show at the event.