Israeli-Apartheid week and the ANC

As part of the 10th International Israeli Apartheid Week, the University of the Witwatersrand’s Palestine Solidarity Committee hosted a rally for student solidarity in the name of “Celebrating Palestine, Celebrating Internationalism”. The crowd was addressed by Deputy National Secretary of the YCL, Alex Mashilo, President of South African Students Congress, Ntuthuko Makhomboti, Keynote Speaker Deputy Secretary General of the ANC, Jessie Duarte, and Qassam Barghouti, son of Palestinian political prisoner Marwan Barghouti (dubbed the ‘Palestinian Nelson Mandela’).

Concerns have been raised over whether this was an ANC event and an instance of propaganda. AAISHA DADI PATEL was there to cover the reactions of some of the crowd and ask them if this rally changed their perceptions of the ANC and whether it would influence their vote.


Alex FreemanAlex Freeman, 21

“This is not propaganda because it relates to an apartheid struggle and the ANC identifies with that. I think that it will influence my vote a little because I am pro-Palestine.”






Mzwandile Hleli and Isaac RamaphalaMzwandile Hleli and Isaac Ramaphala, 21

“This is not propaganda because it’s not about votes. The ANC has always been a part of fighting this struggle and supporting this cause. It doesn’t influence my vote because, as much as it shows sympathy with oppressed people, it has nothing to do with daily life in South Africa.”





Mitchell Hunter

Mitchell Hunter, 21

“This is clearly propagandist. It doesn’t influence my vote though because I don’t view it as something exclusive about the ANC and what they’re doing in the ANC. What my perception about the ANC is, is a complicated question because I have conflicted views about them.”





Zanobia BadatZanobia Badat, 19

“I think that I am very hard-headed so I wouldn’t say that it influences my vote because I will continue thinking about them the way I always have. My perception has changed a bit though. I thought they were ignorant about issues like Palestine before but after this I’ve gained respect for them and appreciation for what they did then [in terms of fighting a struggle] and what they do now. It’s not propaganda because every congress must be able to express what they believe – isn’t that democracy?”



Ariela CarnoAriela Carno, 23

“This is clearly propaganda because they’re preying on a niche market and I really don’t think that this is an accurate representation of the ANC’s stance on Israel. I don’t like negative propaganda. I disagree that Israel is an apartheid state and I believe a term like that promotes a forgone conclusion. I disagree with the concept of saying ‘you’re wrong so I boycott you.’ I believe in peace. It’s not a productive endeavour and is entirely popularist. I don’t have much respect for the ANC. They swing policies to whoever it’s in favour of. Last week I went to a talk where Fikile Mbalula was promoting Israel and saying the ANC supports them. The ANC switch and change when they went something, in terms of donor support and things like that. It influences both my perception of them and my vote because I want a ruling party that is consistent with its policies.”


Muhammed Ismail BulbuliaMuhammed Ismail Bulbulia, 19

“This is not propaganda because they’re not taking a stance as a façade, but rather appealing to the people about a real issue that people can relate to because they went through it. I’m more open-minded towards the ANC now because they support a cause I support, unlike the DA who doesn’t openly state all of its stances. In terms of whether it would influence my vote – I’m more open to supporting a party that believes in supporting a cause that I support.”

  1. Dani Kedar says

    I was listening to a Palestinian provide his own personal experiences, regarding the suffering that Palestinians must experience in Israel. The Palestinian gentlemen continued to explain how the Palestinians suffer going through a security checkpoint every day. I do sympathize with him, as I too. would be highly annoyed and frustrated to be in traffic, every day, on my way to work, of which the cause being extensive security measures.
    However; is this apartheid? The answer is no. The truth is that these are extensive security measures necessary to protect our citizens. Apartheid really is a legislative and politically enforced ‘moral’ statue demanding racial segregation. If this was the case, then in Israel, by law, Israelis would not be permitted to legally marry Palestinians. Such a law doesn’t exist. Palestinians, whom are living in Israeli territories, would not be permitted to vote, and have their own representatives in Parliament. Not only can Israeli Arabs vote, but they even have their own political parties represented in the Knesset. When we remove emotional sentiment, and use a consistent logical process of analysing the facts, we would see that Israel is not an apartheid state, as the facts don’t add up. An apartheid system is consistent, brutal and uncompromising in its insistence to insure that its society remains racially ‘pure’. An apartheid regime doesn’t show liberal policies in one regard, and racist policies in another regard. I would accept a debate, from BDS and Palestinians, regarding the need for extensive security measures. I would be able to indulge debates on how to end the conflict. However; BDS are very much aware, of the fact, that Israel has legitimate security concerns, and that Palestinian militant factions have not only failed to destroy Israel, but now, are suffering heavily for years of intifada against Israel. Thus, the BDS campaign adopted a new tactic- to discredit Israel’s right to exist. I thought to myself, if BDS and the Palestinians truly felt that Israel was an apartheid state, would they not of considered launching aggressive campaigns to demonize Israel as an apartheid regime, from 1994. The world witnessed the end of Apartheid South Africa, and the birth of a rainbow nation. Using this momentum, would have been highly affective. However, BDS launched its anti-Israel campaign in 2004. Why 2004? I personally remember the PLO’s damaging intifada from 2000. Hundreds of Israelis were killed as a result of suicide bombings, and more were wounded. I remember in 2001, when I was in Israel, listening to the radio, when the Ben Yehudah bombings occurred. I remember the chaos and trauma this caused Israeli society. We as human beings, like to think, that democracy and gestures of good will, will win us allies and progress towards coexistence. However; organizations such as the PLO, Hamas and Fatah see these as necessary strategic tools, to abuse, and use against Israeli society. Israel, thereafter, began constructing the security fence, which dramatically reduced terror attacks to a handful a year. Israeli casualties reduced by more than 80%. The security fence was a success. And it still is.
    Prior to BDS, most debates revolving around the conflict, focused on areas of who was responsible, and specifically, arguments focusing on disproportionate fire. Since the establishment of the security fence, the debate evolved towards the apartheid analogy. The apartheid narrative is a more powerful narrative as opposed to debates regarding ‘occupation’ and excessive force. BDS knows, that the world are prepared to indulge the Jewish peoples connection to the land of Israel, thus using the occupation narrative, would not be effective in persuading the world to delegitimise Israel’s existence. Further, there are conflicts all over the world, of which geopolitical reasoning vary. People are mostly fascinated by the reasons behind conflict, as opposed to demonising a specific demographic. But more so, people are not really interested as to why other countries go to war. One such example is Syria. The news has barely reported the cataclysm happening in Syria. But apartheid is a different story. Apartheid is something very close to home, especially to South Africans. Most countries have minority groups that will sympathise with an apartheid analogy, and be outraged by such a violation of human rights. However; the apartheid analogy is especially effective, since, regardless of the Jewish people’s strong connection to the land of Israel, as well as their legitimate security concerns, if Israel is practicing apartheid, then the conflict can be manipulated as a struggle for freedom and democracy. This also, vilifies the Zionist narrative, as being something that is evil and corrupt, and thus never mind the Jewish people not being entitled to their own homeland and state, but they don’t even deserve it, if this is how the Jews realise their national goal of self-determination. I must admit, BDS thoroughly researched this plan and narrative. It should not be a surprise, as the founder of the Boycott movement against Israel, is Oumar Barghoti, a student at Hebrew University, currently completing his doctorate in philosophy. Carefully thought out propaganda campaigns to vilify Jews, as a means of dehumanising them, and thus justify their extermination is nothing new, in Jewish history. In Nazi Germany, the Jews being an inferior race, was made into a scientific and academic study in schools and universities. The BDS movement is no different; they have created a lie, and have repeated it enough times, that it has become a truth. However, it is my hope, that the critical thinkers out there, will follow the thread of logic, and see through BDS lies, propaganda and bullying. It also my hope, that other Jews, will stand up, and share our story with the world, and not allow the Palestinian fiction, to become history.

  2. Mathew says

    As a Christian, I am strongly opposed to the BDS movement and the constant demonizing of Israel by organizations whose only agenda is to destroy the one and only Jewish state. While criticism of Israel does not inherently constitute antisemitism, the consistent singling out of the Jewish state for vilification while ignoring real atrocities committed around the globe does in fact amount to antisemitism. Why aren’t we boycotting the Arab states who deny their people the most basic of human rights? Why is there no outcry in response to the ongoing persecution of Christian minorities in Islamic countries? Over the past ten years, close to a million Middle Eastern Christians have been expelled from Arab states. Clearly, the BDS initiative is part of a much larger plan to drive all non-Muslims out of the Middle East. The irony is that Israel is now the only country in the Middle East where Christians can practice their faith in peace. Long live Israel!

  3. AK says

    The BDS movement is unstoppable.


    Will not stop.

    BDS wants political freedom.
    BDS wants economic freedom.
    BDS wants peace.
    BDS wants change.

  4. Hussain says

    I don’t think its propaganda, the ANC in its Mangaung conference had reaffirmed its support for Palestine, and has denounced all Apartheid policies in Israel, whether on the law books or in practicality. It is ANC policy, support for Palestine is not just now because of Israeli Apartheid Week. The ANC is inherently an Anti-Apartheid and liberation movement, and that is why the ANC will be at the forefront on the issues of Apartheid. You are not going to find the dental association protesting Apartheid in Israel. My vote is not a secret, I am ANC.

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