[News] South African government is resuming security cooperation with Israel

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Fri Jun 3 17:41:46 EDT 2005


From: "R A I N" <abie at iafrica.com>
Subject: The RAIN Newsletter  (2-6-5)
Date: Thu, 2 Jun 2005 11:44:21 +0200

Media Release: PSC calls for resignation of ANC politicians ‘with conscience’

Issued by the Palestine Solidarity Committee (South Africa)   Date: 1 June 2005

The Palestine Solidarity Committee is shocked to hear reports that the 
South African government is resuming security cooperation with Israel. 
Israel’s Haaretz newspaper has reported that a ‘senior delegation’ from 
South Africa’s Ministry of Defence is due in Israel. The delegation will 
include representatives of South Africa’s armaments manufacturers and will 
be hosted by Israel’s Defence Ministry Director General, Amos Yaron. The 
newspaper quotes Israeli sources as saying that cooperation on military 
matters between the two states is on the cards.

At a time when our country is focussed on corruption and arms deals, it is 
ironic that we choose to deal in armaments with a morally corrupt 
government. It seems that our politicians, in their obscene haste to enrich 
a few, have lost their principles and moral bearing, squandering the legacy 
of those who gave their lives for a South Africa that values justice and 
solidarity here and around the world. We view the actions of our government 
as being akin to spitting on the graves of our martyrs and to be totally 
disrespectful of the wishes of those who were oppressed under apartheid. It 
is also a slap in the face for Palestinians who considered our government 
to be supportive of their just demands and who look to the South African 
struggle with admiration and as a moral victory for all oppressed people 
around the world.

It is unconscionable that the ANC government, which has pledged its support 
for a just resolution of the Palestinian struggle for human rights and 
sovereignty and which is very vocal in international fora on the need for 
adherence to international law, can recommence military links with Israel. 
South Africa, under apartheid, had strong military and nuclear cooperation 
with Israel. Our democratic government claimed that it ceased all military 
ties and supply of weapons components to Israel by the late1990s. There can 
be no reason to resume those links now. This decision also contradicts the 
statements of ANC leaders like Minister Ronnie Kasrils who, just a few days 
ago, endorsed an academic boycott of Israel and has previously called for 
sanctions against Israel. Must we now believe that our government says one 
thing but acts differently. Can we trust our government in other matters?

Has the South African government forgotten that Israel is in violation of 
about 80 United Nations resolutions? Surely our government could not forget 
that Israel dismissively rejected the ruling of the International Court of 
Justice that Israel should dismantle its apartheid wall? After all, South 
Africa made one of the strongest submissions to that court, arguing the 
illegality of the wall. Has South Africa forgotten that Israel continues to 
violate the Geneva Conventions and international law generally by building 
illegal settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem, in continuing to use 
torture against Palestinians, in maintaining a policy of assassinations 
against Palestinian leaders, in maintaining the military occupation of the 
West Bank and Gaza, in maintaining its illegal annexation of Jerusalem, in 
continuing to use collective punishment against Palestinians? Surely, 11 
years after our own emergence from apartheid, we could not have forgotten 
the meaning of oppression and injustice!

Spokespersons of the ANC and our government have, on numerous occasions, 
voiced their opposition to Israeli policies and expressed their support for 
the just struggle of the Palestinian people. We call on these ANC members 
to now act in terms of their consciences and resign their positions in the 
South African government and in parliament.

For more information, conact:
Salim – 082 802 5936
Na’eem – 084 574 2674

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