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In light of the horrific attacks and the slaughter of over 1,000 people in Gaza, mostly civilian men, women and children, in what can only be called (and eventually remembered as) a crime against humanity, the Right to Education Campaign would like to commend the faculty and students in South Africa for refusing to be silent in the face of such barbarity. It is particularly significant for Palestinians to hear the voice of South Africans for it is clear that the genocidal killing of Gazans is just one end of the spectrum of violence imposed by an Apartheid regime upon all Palestinian people. It’s a regime that segregates Palestinians by virtue of their identity cards, closing them up in cages through the West Bank, Gaza, Jerusalem and within the borders of what is now Israel.
As the Right to Education Campaign in Birzeit University, we are particularly concerned with the plight of students and teachers. In Israel, students are second-class citizens suffering from discrimination in access to education, health, housing and employment opportunities; in the West Bank they are denied access to education, denied their freedom of expression and even their right to life for simply daring to voice their political opinions; in Gaza they are denied their education through the outright targetting and destruction of the Gazan education system – such as the bombing of the Islamic University and several UNRWA schools, the denial of fuel, electricity, water and salaries which has effectively brought the entire education system to a halt for the forseeable future – and through a suffocating siege which denied hundreds of students the right to leave and pursue their education abroad.
It is imperative for students and teachers from all over the world to show solidarity with the Palestinians, now more than ever, it is their ethical and moral duty to do so – and for South Africans specially, your voice echoes louder as you have also struggled against Apartheid, and have experienced first hand the tyranny of racism and the long-term effects of its barbarism when too many of the world stays silent.
It is time to unite and togther say ‘Enough is enough!’ No more Apartheid, anywhere! The time to divest, impose sanctions and boycott Israel until it no longer an Apartheid regime, is NOW.
Right to Education Campaign