2021 is the 40th anniversary of the 1981 Springbok Tour protests and I’m doing a national tour covering each centre where the Springboks played (and where the games were cancelled – Hamilton and Timaru)
The tour is a celebration of New Zealand standing up in solidarity with oppressed black South Africans against apartheid in South Africa in 1981 and helping build the campaign standing up with Palestinians against apartheid in Israel in 2021.
Palestinians have always known Israeli policies as apartheid since Israel was established in 1948 but it has taken most of the rest of the world a long time to catch up.
Nobel Peace prize winner and South African Archbishop, Desmond Tutu, says international solidarity such as BDS is critical to ending injustices like apartheid.
“I have witnessed the racially segregated roads and housing in the Holy Land that reminded me so much of the conditions we experienced in South Africa under apartheid,” says Tutu.
“We could not have achieved our democracy without the help of people around the world, who through… non-violent means, such as boycotts and disinvestment, encouraged their governments and other corporate actors to reverse decades-long support for the apartheid regime.”
Tutu says of Israel we should “name it apartheid – and boycott”. I agree. It’s time New Zealand got on with it.
More recently the naming of Israel as an apartheid state has become routine in mainstream human rights organisations and the media.
In December 2019 – The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination outlined how Israel is an APARTHEID state here.
In January this year B’Tselem, Israel’s largest and most respected human rights organisation, released a report entitled “A regime of Jewish supremacy from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea – This is apartheid” It’s a short 8-page read and well worth the time.
And in April 2021, the US- based, Nobel Peace Prize-winning organisation, Human Rights Watch, released a detailed 213-page report accusing Israel of the crimes of apartheid and persecution.
I hope to meet up with a lot of Daily blog readers around the country during this tour.