A group gathered in Cape Town to protest against the flag march. [Picture: Wardah Wilkinson]
A number of people showed up at the South African Jewish Museum in Cape Town on Thursday to demonstrate solidarity with Palestinians. This comes amidst heightened tension in Jerusalem and other parts of Palestine in the wake of the Israeli flag march.
While the South Africans gathered outside the museum, raising placards and chanting anti-Zionist statements, thousands of Jews flocked to Jerusalem’s Old City. There, they waved Star of David Flags and chanted anti-Palestinians slogans.
Speaking in an interview ahead of the protest in Cape Town, Professor Usuf Chikte, a coordinator at the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), anticipated the flag march would be “colonialism in full display”.
On Monday, Palestinians commemorated the 75th anniversary of the Nakba, otherwise known as the catastrophe. It was a poignant moment that reminded them of obliterated villages and the ongoing resistance.
Chikte described the flag march as an event “celebrating and justifying the conquest, the seizure of Jerusalem from the Palestinians, the illegal occupation of Jerusalem, the annexation of Jerusalem and the subjugation of Palestinians within it as the continuing Nakba unfolds in Jerusalem itself”.
He said Palestinians and activists around the world refused to give in because Jerusalem was important to the struggle.
“It wants to erase that history in a triumphalist, colonist sense. They not only march, but want to instil terror. They want to enforce their imagery, their symbols, Israeli flags [and] their presence. The Palestinians remain unvanquished in all this and they are going to resist it. We must support them,” he said.
Meanwhile, Palestinians protesting the flag march were once again on the receiving end of Israeli brutality. While South Africans protested without hassle, Israeli forces trained live fire and tear gas on demonstrating Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
Osama Abu Qamar (50) told Al Jazeera he joined the protest against the “provocative” march in Jerusalem.
However, the use of force did little to dissuade Palestinians from protesting. “We will not surrender and we will continue to demand our rights and defend our occupied lands and our sanctities in Jerusalem,” he told the Qatari outlet.