Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Breaking News

5 Nobel Laureates Join South African Campaign To Free Palestinians Held by Israel

An international campaign launched in Cape Town to free Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails has been condemned by the South African Zionist Federation.

Launched late last month by the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation on Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated for 18 of his 27 years’ imprisonment by the apartheid government, the Free Marwan Barghouti campaign’s support committee includes five Nobel Peace laureates, among them Anglican Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu.

The South African Zionist Federation, or SAZF, said in a statement that Barghouti had been jailed for terrorism and the murder of Israeli civilians and it was an insult to struggle leaders such as Mandela to compare him with them, the daily Cape Times reported. “Barghouti is not a political prisoner, but a terrorist guilty of multiple crimes against humanity. As a leader of the al-Aksa Martyrs Brigades, he was responsible for dozens of terrorist acts over a number of years.”

Barghouti’s wife, Fadwa, and Kathrada, who was incarcerated with Mandela on the Island, visited Mandela’s cell to mark the launch. Kathrada expressed the wish that the campaign would “surpass the Release Mandela campaign.”

“Just as apartheid South Africa was isolated, we want Israel to be isolated from the civil world. That is what we aim to do,” he said. Kathrada, who spent a week in the Palestinian territories earlier this year, said that “in some ways (the situation) was worse than apartheid.”

Local Boycott, Disinvestment and Sanctions campaign spokesman, Muhammed Desai, said the SAZF was not qualified to talk about the anti-apartheid movement as it had officially supported the apartheid regime.

“The federation was on the wrong side of history when it supported apartheid South Africa. It’s a pity it is now, again, on the wrong side of history by supporting apartheid Israel,” Desai said.

Engage

  • SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK

  • UPCOMING EVENT

    SKY & SCULPTURE

    Hybrid: Online and at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan

    Oct 2, 2022

    6:30 pm ET · 

    A Sukkah, IMKHA, created by artist Tobi Kahn, for the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan is an installation consisting of 13 interrelated sculpted painted wooden panels, constituting a single work of art. Join for a panel discussion with Rabbi Joanna Samuels, Chief Executive Director of the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan, Talya Zax, Innovation Editor of the Forward, and Tobi Kahn, Artist. Moderated by Mattie Kahn.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.