South African Zionist Federation Statement on Calls for Solidarity Hunger Strike

The South African Zionist Federation takes note of the BDS movement’s call for a solidarity hunger strike, in support of Palestinian prisoners. To this effect the SAZF strongly emphasises that the Israeli Prison Services uphold International Law with:

• Regular visits from the International Red Cross
• Family visitations
• Medical treatment
• Religious rights
• Access to education
• Meetings with attorneys and legal representation.

It is critical to note, that there is a fundamental difference between the hunger strikes that took place in
the South African Apartheid era to that of this hunger strike initiated by Marwan Barghouti. In South
Africa and under the oppressive Apartheid regime, hunger strikes were legitimate Freedom Fighters who
had been imprisoned due to their political statements, beliefs and convictions. In clear contrast, Marwan
Barghouti (being just one of many of the Palestinian hunger strikers who are guilty of the murder of
women and children) was convicted for the murder of 5 civilians. Once again, efforts by the BDS and its
cohorts to draw parallels between South African and Palestinian hunger strikers is entirely inappropriate
and deceitful, and intentionally diminishes the stature of the South African struggle against
Apartheid, its struggle heroes and indeed our history as South Africans.

We encourage constructive debate and engagement on these issues in the hope of developing beneficial
solutions for the painful conflict that affects both Israelis and Palestinians. Sadly, the calls for a solidarity
hunger strike are not with the intention of positive engagement, but one intended to drive those party to
the conflict further apart.

For more information please contact:
Ben Swartz National Chairman of the SAZF
011 645 2500

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