A former ANC politician compares Israeli actions against Palestinians to apartheid-era South Africa and supports South Africa’s move to indict Israel for genocide.
A former African National Congress politician, who served during the era of Nelson Mandela’s presidency, has denounced Israeli atrocities against Palestinians, stating that they were worse than the experience of Black South Africans during apartheid.
Voicing ardent support for his country indicting Israel of genocide at the International Court of Justice, Andrew Feinstein said that in light of its history of apartheid, it is especially symbolic that South Africa has pressed charges against the aggressive occupying force.
“South Africa knows what apartheid is. We had apartheid in our country for 350 years,” he said.
He also said that former ANC chief, Mandela, and Cape Town’s former Archbishop Desmond Tutu were very critical of Israeli expansionism into Palestinian territory.
“They knew better than anyone I’ve ever met what an apartheid state is,” he added.
On December 29, South Africa initiated ICJ proceedings against Israel, charging the occupying force with violating the UN’s Genocide Convention in light of both its acts and omissions.
However, according to Feinstein, unlike in apartheid South Africa, where the atrocious regime depended on the Black community, Israel is not dependent on a Palestinian workforce for the success of its economy.
In the wake of Israel’s renewed campaign of aggression against the Gaza Strip in October, the ACAPS non-government organisation reported in November that Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories revoked the right to work permits of 18,500 Palestinians.
Without legal documentation, Human Rights Watch said the sudden cancellation of their work permits left many Palestinians in legal limbo in Israel and vulnerable to harassment from Israeli police.
“Israel isn’t very reliant on Palestinians for its economy,” Feinstein said.
“And that is one of the reasons why Israel has killed tens of thousands of Palestinians – innocent Palestinian civilians. They don’t want them. They don’t need them,” he added.
“And that has made Israeli apartheid far more brutal than anything we saw or experienced in South Africa.”
To date, Palestine’s Health Ministry estimates that since October 7, at least 22,835 Palestinians have been killed by Israel’s onslaught on the enclave. A further 58,416 others are thought to be injured.
Following South Africa’s initiation of ICJ proceedings against Israel in December, on January 3, the ICJ announced that public proceedings are scheduled to take place on January 11 and 12 this year.
“The conduct of Israel – through its State organs, State agents, and other persons and entities acting on its instructions or under its direction, control or influence — in relation to Palestinians in Gaza, is in violation of its obligations under the Genocide Convention,” South Africa’s petition said.