Israeli apartheid is no different from South Africa’s historic oppression
Large numbers of South Africans, including activists and pro-Palestinian movements, are calling on Miss SA to boycott Miss Universe, which takes place in Israel in December.
Palestinian civil rights movements in South Africa are protesting against Miss South Africa’s non-withdrawal from the pending Miss Universe pageant, claiming that Israeli apartheid is no different from our country’s historic oppression.
Palestine Solidarity Alliance Youth League and SA BDS [boycott, divestment and sanctions] The coalition is leading calls for Miss South Africa 2021 Lalela Mswane to boycott the Miss Universe pageant to be held in Israel in December.
Both movements are expected to oppose his participation in a demonstration scheduled for Friday. Protesters are expected to rally on Rivonia Road in Sandton.
It comes after the Miss South Africa organization dispelled rumors that Mswane had withdrawn from the 2021 Miss Universe pageant – a message widely circulated on social media.
We call again on Miss SA Lalela to engage and learn about the Palestinian struggle and the current atrocities and land dispossession taking place in Palestine.
“The women of South Africa have suffered oppression from the apartheid government, the effects of which still plague our society today,” said Noor Ahmed, general secretary of the youth league.
Ahmed said that a crowned Miss Universe in apartheid Israel would never be a true representation of the iconic women who traveled from all parts of the country and organized a march to flock to the Union buildings in Pretoria on the 9th. August 1956.
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“Direct parallels can be drawn between apartheid South Africa and Israel. The people of Palestine face what we have faced; ethnic cleansing, forced displacement, land displacement and little or no human rights, with threats of violence every day. We as a country cannot now send a representative to the apartheid state of Israel to participate in a competition, ”she said.
Meanwhile, SA BDS coalition coordinator Roshan Dadoo said the Israeli government calls liberation movements that exercise their freedom of expression a threat to the security of the country.
“Just a week ago, the State of Israel designated six Palestinian human rights NGOs as terrorist organizations, just as apartheid South Africa called our liberation movements terrorists and banned organizations and individuals fighting against racism and for human rights. “
Dadoo said Israel was unable to host a competition for women because it subjugated and oppressed Palestinian women. “How can the same country encourage female candidates from all over the world to visit and participate in an international glamorous competition as it inflicts violent settler colonial rule, arbitrary arrests and raids on indigenous Palestinian women?” “
Ahmed echoed Dadoo’s sentiments and said the whole world has allowed Palestinians’ human rights to be violated by Israel for too long: while some may view Miss South Africa’s involvement in the contest as apolitical , it’s the contrary.
The more the world gives Israel the platform to be included in contests and world cups, tournaments and the like, the more we will legitimize its existence and the oppression of Palestinian lives.
Dadoo also mentioned the recent visit of activist Muna el-Kurd to South Africa. She is a 23-year-old Palestinian who has drawn the world’s attention to the brutal and forced evictions of Palestinians from their homes in her Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah.
“During her visit, she spoke fondly of the daily forms of aggression, repression and violence that the Israeli occupation forces inflict on the Palestinian population, and the brutality of the Israeli state against women in particular, ”Dadoo said.
Ahmed said they are calling on women representing their country at Miss Universe to follow in Miss Indonesia and Miss Malaysia’s footsteps and boycott the contest.
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She said participating in the contest would legitimize Israel and make those representatives complicit in its oppression.
“Doing the right thing is never easy and never comes without sacrifice, but it is worth knowing that you stand against oppression and apartheid.
The apartheid boycott in South Africa helped us free ourselves from apartheid. We must do the same for the Palestinian people and refuse to “normalize” Israeli apartheid.
“We call on all South Africans to support the global boycott of Israeli apartheid and to stand in solidarity with the women of Palestine in their just struggle against apartheid. “