Global unity and action needed to stop the genocide in Gaza

 19 October 2023

The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation (AKF) shares the global anger and concern over the humanitarian crisis and conflict in Gaza over the past few days.

It does so based on a statement made in 2014 by Ahmed Kathrada in an opinion piece in which he said:

I have been prompted to write this opinion piece after viewing the nightly television images of the horrendous, ongoing atrocities committed by Israel in Gaza. Utilising highly destructive weapons, the main victims have been defenseless civilian women, children and men.

Israel’s aggression has been violent, merciless and uncivilised. Based on its actions, it will not solve its problem with the Palestinian people, and it certainly would not bring peace to its own citizens.

While writing this, my thoughts go back to August-September of 1951, when I visited the Auschwitz Concentration Camp in Poland. I find myself asking, “Has apartheid Israel so quickly forgotten the millions of Jews, Communists and Gypsies who were exterminated by the Nazis, that they now commit the same crimes. The indiscriminate bombings and destruction of infrastructure has resulted in the disruption of electricity and water supplies in Gaza. The human casualties increase at a rate that can only be described as genocide.”

Furthermore, the AKF aligns itself with the statement issued recently by our Department of International Relations and Co-operation (DIRCO), which condemns the bombing of the Ahli Arab Hospital. The DIRCO statement states, “South Africa condemns in the strongest possible terms the killing of civilians in Palestine and Israel. The targeting of civilians in armed conflicts is in violation of International Humanitarian Law and the Geneva Conventions.

Just as the attack by Hamas on civilians in Israel was abhorrent, there are no words to fully express South Africa’s condemnation of Israel’s bombing of the Ahli Aran Baptist hospital on October 17, killing well over 500 people and injuring over 1000. The targeting of a hospital considered a safe haven under International Humanitarian Law is a war crime.”

We support the growing calls nationally and internationally for Israel to cease its genocidal campaign against the Palestinians and to open the water and electricity supply lines and allow fuel for ambulances and hospitals to be transported into Gaza.

The calls made for decisive action by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to act against the violators of international humanitarian law is supported by the AKF.

This however might not be enough to stop what Raz Segal, an Israeli expert on modern genocide, says is a textbook case of Israel’s “intent to commit genocide” and the rationalisation of its violence a “shameful use” of the lessons of the Holocaust.

The campaign to displace Gazans and potentially expel them altogether into Egypt and Jordan is yet another chapter in the Nakba. This time however it seems that the objective would be to use the global support Israel received after the Hamas attack to completely displace Palestinians from Gaza. Once achieved, it is likely that the focus will shift to the West Bank.

The system of settlement enclaves in the West Bank, walled off areas and control of water and other basic supplies will make this objective of total control of Palestine possible. The orders of the Israeli Defence Minister on the 9th of October were very explicit – destroy the Palestinians of Gaza. Our government and civil society groups must use every international forum and body to ensure that Israel’s plans do not succeed.

The AKF welcomes the recent announcement of plans to establish a global Palestinian solidarity movement along the lines of the Anti-Apartheid Movement. The need for coordinated global solidarity has never been more urgent.

Read Ahmed Kathrada’s full article HERE.

For more information about the Global Anti-Apartheid Conference on Palestine, read HERE.


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Zusipe Batyi

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Ahmed Kathrada Foundation

071 345 8405



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