South African Students Congress

SASCO Statement in support of Israel Apartheid Week (IAW)

6 March 2012

The South African Students Congress, the biggest student organization in South Africa, pledges its support for the Israel Apartheid Week, which is aimed at exposing Israel's apartheid and inhumane policies towards the Palestinian people.

SASCO supports the Isreal Apartheid Week activities because we firmly believe that Israel is an apartheid state that daily tramples on the rights and dignity of Palestinians. Israel is also a United States proxy that enjoys the protection of this imperialist power in exchange for its destructive, oppressive and exploitative role in the Middle East region.

Palestinians live in the same if not worse conditions that black South Africans were subjected to under white minority rule.

Palestinian children are denied the joys of youth. Generations and generations of Palestinians grow up in refugee camps with limited access to healthcare, education, and under constant threat from Israeli aggression. Palestinian women in Occupied Territories suffer sexual and other forms of abuse from Israeli soldiers on a regular basis.

As South Africans we resonate with the struggles of the Palestinian people for we too come from a history where the black majority was subjected to pass controls, denial of the freedom of movement, land dispossession through the Bantustan policy and second class citizenship. We know apartheid only too well, it was not good for South Africa and it certainly is not good for Palestine!

SASCO has endorsed the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) as a critical component of exposing and isolating the Zionist regime of Israel. History has taught us that boycotts were instrumental in the defeat of the murderous and oppressive apartheid regime in South Africa and we believe that boycotting apartheid Israel is kernel to overthrowing the oppression of Palestinians.

As a display of our disdain for the murderous and racist Zionist regime, we call on our branches to mobilize students behind the IAW activities and champion the academic and cultural boycott of Israel. Students must expose South African universities that continue to share links with Israeli universities; boycott newspapers which peddle pro-apartheid Israeli perspectives and academic activities meant to sanitize the image of the murderous state of Israel.

We also call on students not to be fooled by Israel's tactics such as offering scholarships and "opportunities" for cultural exchange to young and promising black South Africans to study in Israel. Youth and students in South Africa must reject these desperate initiatives in the same manner that we rejected the apartheid regime's tactics of cooption which included funding for further education, insincere township upgrading and the formation of youth clubs and cultural exchanges.

SASCO branches will participate in all pickets, mass demonstrations and films aimed at exposing and educating South Africans about Israel's brutality and its disregard for Palestinian life and human rights.

The student and youth movement in South Africa and across the world played a critical role in exposing the apartheid regime in this country. SASCO therefore believes that just as students around the world throughout the 1980's were banning Barclays bank from campuses for their investment in Apartheid, all students in our institutions of higher learning should stand courageously and boycott everything associated with the apartheid state of Israel.

Our humble plea to humanity is that we should remember that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Our message is clear - pledge solidarity with the people of Palestine and isolate Apartheid Israel.

For more information contact:
Ngoako Selamolela ( President) @ 071 875 2224
Themba Masondo (Secretary General) @ 079199 342