Zwelivelile Mandela slams US president’s Israel-Palestine deal as ‘Hoax of the Century’ during speech at Palestine Expo
By Elphas Nkosi
Nelson Mandela’s grandson has slammed US President Donald Trump’s “deal of the century,” calling it a way to “fortify apartheid Israel” during a speech in London on Saturday.
The situation in Palestine is dreadful. The United Nations warns that the Gaza Strip will be incapable of supporting human life by 2020. Palestinians in the occupied territory have been demonstrating every week since March 2018 against the loss of basic service provision due to Israel’s land, air and sea blockade which now enters its 12th year. Over the course of these demonstrations, 190 ordinary Palestinians were killed and 28,000 were injured. The United Nations has said that Israel may have been guilty of committing war crimes by deliberately targeting unarmed civilians with live ammunition.
Zwelivelile Mandela, whose grandfather led South Africa out of apartheid, also told an audience at Europe’s largest Palestine event, Palestine Expo, that the boycott movement against the Israeli occupation “is the most painful thorn in the side of apartheid Israel”.
Israel and many of its allies have vehemently opposed the Boycott Divestment Sanctions movement (BDS), including by passing legislation against it, and the event’s support for a boycott fuelled calls by some pro-Israel groups for it to be cancelled.
Recalling the words of his grandfather Nelson Mandela during a visit to Gaza in 1995 in which he declared “that our struggle is yet incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinian people,” Mandela told Markaz Sahaba Online Radio that the struggles in South Africa and Palestine were linked, and referred to the boycott of the apartheid state that brought pressure against the government there.
“They [Israel] cannot stomach its worldwide popular appeal and success and will do all in their power and might to obstruct, hinder or stand in the way of any forum that advances the principles that BDS stands for,” said Mandela, who is an MP in the ruling African National Congress.
Mandela also stressed that South Africa should be a leading country in supporting the plight and struggle faced by Palestinians.
“Apartheid South Africa and its imperialist allies too underestimated the power of the people but today we stand before you free from centuries of colonization and free from decades of apartheid brutality and discrimination.”
Mandela derided Trump’s plan for Israel-Palestine, calling it the “Hoax of the Century” and accused the US of being a biased partner to negotiations.
“Since coming to power he [Trump] has cut development aid to Palestinian refugees and literally severed the pipeline that provides hope and much needed medical care for children, some as young as one or two year old,” he said.
“He has defied international law and disregarded the global outcry against his announcement of moving the American Embassy to Jerusalem.”
The two-day Palestine Expo involved panels on discussing life under occupation as well as Palestinian food and cultural shows.
There were also virtual reality tours of Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque and exhibits on the struggles of providing healthcare under Gaza’s blockade.