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ANC MPL urges South Africans to support the call for peace and negotiations in Israel and Palestine

ANC MPL urges South Africans to support the call for peace and negotiations in Israel and Palestine

15 March 2002

ANC MPL Max Ozinsky today called in the Western Cape Provincial Legislature for all South Africans to support the call for a settlement in the Middle East. Ozinsky said: "The State of Israel was created as a refuge after the Holocaust killed 6 million Jews. Yet, today the least safe place in the world for Jews to live in, is Israel. Over 200 Jewish Israelis have been killed since the start of the second intifada in 2000.

"In the same time over 1300 Palestinians have died at the hands of the Israeli Defence Forces. The Palestinian people have been made to pay over and over again for the crimes of the Nazi`s against the Jews. Their land was taken from them and about 750 000 Palestinians were made refugees in 1948, when Israel was created. Since 1967, for 35 years, the West Bank and Gaza have been under military occupation. They continue to suffer daily attacks on their homes, their orchards, their hospitals and ambulances. This is state terrorism against a largely defenceless people.

"It is not a religious conflict. The Palestinians are Muslim, Christian and Jewish and their leading organisations, in the PLO, are secular. Zionism is a secular nationalism. The root cause of the violence is the occupation of Palestinian land by the Israeli`s. As a result of this, and out of desperation, some have resorted to terrorism, to military attacks on innocent civilians. I condemn these attacks and call on South Africans supporters of the Palestinian people, not to allow their anger and frustration to cloud the moral basis of this support.

"Peace is possible. A settlement was almost achieved in 1999-2000. In Israel there is increasing resistance to the War policy of the Sharon government. Over 300 military reservists have said that they will refuse to serve in the IDF, outside of the borders of Israel. Reserve Generals have called for a withdrawal from the occupied territories and there is growing consensus that the illegal settlements in the West Bank and Gaza should be abandoned. Amongst the Palestinians there is a preparedness to negotiate.

"I call on all South Africans to support the call for peace and negotiations and the establishment of an independent sovereign Palestinian state alongside Israel."

Max Ozinsky MPL, ANC Spokesperson on the Environment can be contacted for additional commment on 082 414-7147 or 487-1737.

Issued by:
African National Congress - Western Cape

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