Open Secrets Condemns Israel’s War on the Palestinian people
27 October 2023
Open Secrets stands with the Palestinian people. We call for an immediate ceasefire by the Israeli occupation forces and an end to Israeli apartheid.
For 56 years, the Israeli apartheid state has led violent wars against Palestinian people to extend its illegal settlements into Palestinian territories. In recent weeks, Israel’s violence in Gaza has intensified, showing clear signs of genocidal intent against Palestinian people. Since 7 October, more than 7,000 Palestinian and 1,400 Israeli civilians have been killed. The violence has claimed the lives of almost 3,030 children.
Stop the war
The United Nations has said that Israel’s decision to cut water, electricity, fuel and food supplies to 2 million people in Gaza “constitutes collective punishment”, a war crime. Further, 1.1 million Palestinians have been ordered to evacuate northern Gaza, which amounts to a forcible transfer of civilians and is a crime against humanity.
We are seeing a humanitarian catastrophe. Despite this, the Israeli state, under Benjamin Netanyahu, has continued to use genocidal rhetoric and tactics to spur on the violence. In recent days, reports have emerged of Israeli forces increasing the scale of their attacks to include Palestinian civilians in the West Bank.
What we are witnessing in Palestine is an intensification of ethnic cleansing that began with the 1948 Nakba. As South Africans, the year 1948 holds a particular resonance for us, as it also signalled the implementation of new apartheid policies in South Africa.
No South African arms for Israel
In 1997, Nelson Mandela stated, “We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians”. We call on the South African government to adhere to domestic law and monitor and prevent any South African armaments company from supplying weapons that could be used by the Israeli government to violate human rights.
Declassify apartheid secrets!
For over 10 years, Open Secrets and the South African History Archive (SAHA) have demanded that the South African Department of Defence (DoD) release documents containing information about sanctions busting by arms companies, intelligence agencies and states that facilitated the illicit trade of arms to and from South Africa. Some of these documents relate to violations of sanctions by the Israeli state in its business transactions with the South African apartheid regime.
Despite this long battle, the DoD, in violation of a 2021 court order to release the records, still refuses to hand over the documents. The DoD said in response that it would contravene a secret agreement between Israel and South Africa, signed by PW Botha in 1975, if it released the documents.
Having experienced the brutalities of apartheid, it is unconscionable that a democratic South Africa would protect the secrets of another apartheid state. Open Secrets calls on the DoD to stop protecting apartheid secrets. The DoD must release all documents related to those who profiteered from apartheid, including Israel.
The allyship of the international anti-apartheid movement was a strong force against the South African apartheid government, therefore, our solidarity with Palestinians is increasingly important in this moment. We urge all South Africans to stand in solidarity with the oppressed.