The Second Nakbah is Unfolding in Gaza | Time to Stop a Catastrophe
AN UUCSA PRESS STATEMENT
(For Immediate Release)
The United Ulama Council of South Africa (UUCSA) acknowledges President Cyril Ramaphosa, for his unequivocal message of solidarity with the Palestinian people. During the week, President Ramaphosa has pledged solidarity towards Palestine, the land whose people are suffering under an oppressive occupation. The president has reiterated the apartheid nature of the occupying government which brings settlers to live on stolen Palestinian land, while denying the rights of, and committing atrocities against the occupied people. UUCSA wholeheartedly supports this stance the President has taken on Palestine.
Palestinian struggles are just, legitimate, and affirmed by several ignored United Nations resolutions, of both the General Assembly and the Security Council. Even if Zionists show a disdain for international laws and conventions, the legitimate right of Palestinian armed resistance must be affirmed, as set out in the UN resolution 37/43, of 1982.
Since the Nakbah, 75 years ago, Zionist occupation of Palestine has been entrenched through the brutalization of Palestinians under extreme apartheid policies. On a daily basis, and even from Israeli-based human rights agencies, well-documented accounts, expose the heinous atrocities of the apartheid State of Israel. Experts frequently cite offences perpetrated by Israel, as constituting ethnic cleansing, rising to the degree of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Notwithstanding Israeli obligations of protecting an occupied people, under international law, the cumulative humanitarian toll of Palestinians in the decade up to 2020 is revealing of the oppressive nature of the Zionist entity. Palestinians killed in this period number 3,624, with 103,207 injured. Over 100,000 had been displaced during the series of bombing campaigns in Gaza, during that period. Those displaced by demolitions in the West Bank number 9,262, according to the UN Office of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports.
OCHA reports that in 2022, nearly 1000 Palestinian homes were either destroyed or seized across the West Bank, including in occupied Jerusalem, the highest number since 2016. Every day realities of Palestinians include daily humiliation at hundreds of permanent and randomly set-up checkpoints, mass incarceration of women and children, and regular abuse at the hands of Zionist settlers.
It is therefore not only an insult to humanity’s collective memory, but also disingenuous and contemptuous, for the South Africa Jewish Board of Deputies, to conjure accusations against the Palestinian resistance, just as if the clock started on Saturday, 7th October 2023. Regardless, there is no joy in human suffering. Palestinians’ lives are human lives too.
We are apprehensive, and not without grounds, to see the dehumanizing language, loaded with scripted Zionist lies, being repeated by leaders in the West. We believe this is a prelude, setting the stage for a genocide. In fact, by some accounts, the genocide is already underway. It has often been mentioned that had it been that people knew the level of horrendousness of genocides that have taken place in history, before they occurred, they could not let it happen. We are living in the hours when we are watching steps towards a genocide in Gaza.
Six thousand bombs have been dropped on the tiny, besieged, defenceless and densely-populated Gaza, within six days, more than what the US dropped on Afghanistan, in an entire year. There is a Palestinian killed every 5 minutes. The Israeli military evacuation order of 1.1 million Palestinians in Northern Gaza is exacerbating an already dire humanitarian crisis, evoking memories of The Nakbah of 1948.
The Powers that project themselves as custodians of human rights and proponents of a rules-based international order, are not passive bystanders. Instead, they are abetting the massacres of innocent Palestinians. The USA and a coterie of Western countries are supplying munitions and unashamedly repeating false and dehumanizing Zionist narratives against Palestinian people, in order to justify genocidal war crimes and crimes against humanity, under the cover of ‘retaliation’. The colonial establishment has lost its façade of benevolence by its reaction to Palestinian resistance.
It is important to remind world leaders to show courage and act with moral responsibility that this moment of history demands: stop the genocide. Those who think otherwise, risk being on the wrong side of history and cannot feign ignorance of the facts. We appeal to Mr Ramaphosa, and through the African Union, to warn Israel against further escalation of attacks on Gaza, where there is a potential of a degeneration of the conflict in the wider region, extending onto the already troubled African continent.
Our own struggle for liberation in South Africa is mirrored in the struggles of the Palestinian people who are facing a vicious machine of subjugation, and collective punishment. This was our own experience in South Africa. President Ramaphosa’s statement: “Peace will not be possible until Palestinians are free” echoes Late Madiba’s statement, when he tied South African struggles to those of Palestinians by saying: “But we know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.”
Palestinians are united in their aspirations for nationhood. We are the friends Palestinians need, in this moment, when Zionists enjoy the support of the powers that have given them a licence to a genocidal obliteration of Gaza. That is why we salute the African National Congress, the Economic Freedom Fighters, Al Jama-ah, the National Freedom Party, the Congress of South African Trade Unions, South African Federation of Trade Unions, and many other political and civic formations, for their unwavering support for justice for Palestine, the land and its people.
Yusuf Patel (Moulana)
UUCSA Secretary General
17 Oct 2023
For Media Enquiries:
Ebrahim I Bham (Moulana): 083 786 2859 | Sulaiman Ravat (Moulana): 084 588 0186 Ebrahim Moosa (Moulana): 0826786377
Members: Jamiatul Ulama South Africa – Est. 1923 | Muslim Judicial Council of South Africa – Est. 1945
Jamiatul Ulama KZN – Est. 1955 | Sunni Jamiatul Ulama – Est. 1978 | Sunni Ulama Council – Est. 1992
Council of Ulama Eastern Cape – Est. 1999 | Darul Ihsan Humanitarian Centre – Est. 2000
Northern Cape Ulama Council – Est. 2005 | Cape Town Ulama Board – Est. 2007