Anger in South Africa over Israel's ‘illegal' strike on Syria

Anger in South Africa over Israel’s ‘illegal’ strike on Syria

While the Israeli army’s deadly strike in Syria on Sunday has pleased its allies-for-life the US and the UK, it has fuelled anger and outrage in other parts of the world, with South Africa expressing grave concern and saying the attacks were ‘illegal’ and ‘reckless’.

“The violence and oppression practiced by the apartheid state of Israel has for a long time created tension in the Middle East,” Tahir Sema, spokesperson for the South African Municipal Workers’ Union  (SAMWU) said yesterday. “Israel’s latest acts of aggression through indiscriminate bombings on residential and civilian targets must be condemned in the strongest possible manner,” Sema added.

The deadly attack on Sunday on a military complex near the Syrian capital Damascus killed at least 42 Syrian soldiers, according to Associated Press. Israel claims it was a defensive measure to prevent advanced Iranian weapons from reaching Lebanon-based Hezbollah militia, an ally of Syria’s ally and Israel’s sworn-enemy.

But SAMWU said yesterday Israel’s actions are not the actions of a strong and confident regime, but they are the desperate measures of a regime that is now daily exposed as a state founded on discrimination, and the exclusion of the Palestinian people.

Sema said Israel is a state without legitimacy that only relies on American weaponry to assert itself in the region. He added: “Indeed the Israeli regime, mimicking the illegal bombing and invasion of Iraq by the US, has stated that pinpoint air attacks were directed towards specific sites where weapons were being stored.

“In fact, the Israelis have recklessly attacked residential areas, and like the US invasion of Iraq, have failed to produce a single shred of evidence to support their claims.”

The union also slammed the US and British administrations for immediately supporting Israeli attacks, despite the fact that they were completely illegal under international law, and will undoubtedly worsen an already difficult and tragic situation.

SAMWU is affiliated to the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), an alliance partner of the African National Congress (ANC), South Africa’s ruling party. The ANC-led government has had an uneasy and shaky relationship with the state of Israel since coming to power in 1994.

The state of Israel, which was close to the apartheid government, has often been described as an ‘apartheid state’ by some ANC members and alliance partners. Many radical members within the tripartite alliance, ANC-COSATU-SACP, have even suggested that the South African government cuts all diplomatic ties with the state of Israel due to its increasingly discriminatory policies towards the Palestinian people.

*Photo by . Israel jet figthers Falcon F-15 C lie in wait, itching for some war action.

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