SAfrica Losing 'Sleep' over Growing Israeli Settlements


South Africa has slammed Israel's plans to build new settler homes in east Jerusalem as pro-Palestinian activists launched an international campaign for the release of political prisoners.

"That arrangement there in Palestine keeps us awake," South Africa's Foreign Minister Maite Nkaona-Mashabane on Friday told members of Cosatu, the largest trade union which is a political ally of the ruling ANC party.

"The last time I looked at the map of Palestine, I could not go to sleep. Its dots, smaller that those of the homelands," she said referring to the former homelands in South Africa which were also known as bantustans created under apartheid to give blacks a sense of autonomy.

South Africa was chosen by pro-Palestinian activists for the launch of an international lobby seeking the release of 5,000 Palestinian political prisoners, including veteran leader Marwan Barghouti currently in Israeli detention.

The campaign was kicked off on October 25 at Robben Island, the former prison where anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela served 18 of his 27 years in jail.

"The Palestinian quest for self determination remains unfulfilled," said South Africa's top diplomat.

Since the fall of the whites-only apartheid regime in 1994, South Africa has been an outspoken critic of Israel, although it maintains diplomatic ties with the Jewish state.

Comments 6
Missing phillipo 02 November 2013, 14:21

Why is she not losing sleep over 125,000 dead and 2 million+ refugees in the Syrian Civil War.
Why did she not lose sleep for all the dead and wounded in all the demonstrations during the Arab Spring, and the Egyptian Revolution after that.
Let's not ask her, just give her some sleeping tablets.

Default-user-icon Davids90 (Guest) 02 November 2013, 14:34

Nice to see you deflect like the Israeli political class always does, if only we focused on the real issues when dealing with Free Palestine. But no, we want to spread to stereotype, and it's due to people like you.

Missing phillipo 02 November 2013, 19:17

Here you go again. As soon as someone disagrees with you or writes a sensible response you brand him an Israeli.
Here I am in Manchester not knowing whether to laugh or cry at your blatant stupidity.
"the terrible things Israel is doing to the Palestinians."
I suppose that you are now going to tell us all that Israel has killed more than 125,000 Palestinians.
I know that a lot of you there in Lebanon are going to give me thumbs down, but it is about time that you woke up and realised the true situation in your region.

Default-user-icon Lloyd (Guest) 02 November 2013, 20:24

I am not particularly knowledgeable regarding Israeli history so please remind me again what sovereign country was displaced, who was it's president/king, and what city was its capital?

Missing jossef 04 November 2013, 00:27

Two months ago I visited SA and liked the country and its people. Unfortunately, it is still ruled by the militant ANC whose entire world view is that of a struggle between darked-skinned and the white-skinned people who opressed them. When this world view is projected to the land of Israel and leads to accusing Israel of Apartheid by Ms.Maite Nkaona-Mashabane, Desmond Tutu and other SA leaders, it shows not only ignorance, but anti-Semetic tendencies. The South African government which refuses to criticize the atrocities against black Africans by Mugabe in Zimbabwe and Bashar in Sudan, is preoccupied with Israel and the Palestinians in a different continent. The current corrupt ANC leadership would be well served to visit the Jewish Museum in Cape Town and see what their icon Mandela had to say about the contribution of South African Jews to the struggle against Apartheid.

Default-user-icon Eric L (Guest) 04 November 2013, 01:48

Too bad you don't care about the many more millions of Palestinians stuffed in refugee camps throughout the Muslim world, who suffer far greater than Israeli Arab citizens or Palestinians under occupation. In the West, Palestinians are treated as equal humans. In the Muslim World, Palestinians are treated as sub-human (much as they treat Israel). The Palestinians have been used as pawns in Jordan, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon. Consider the Palestinians denied the same rights given their Arab brethren throughout the Arab world. Israeli Settlements are built by Palestinians who want to work-and you want to deny them that work. The truth is you don't care about Palestinians, but only your hatred of Israel and racist antisemitic heart.