By Iqbal Jassat
Following my Fb posting earlier this month through which I applauded Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan for his agency stance towards “normalization” with Israel, a good friend posed an fascinating question.
He requested whether or not it’s true that Israelis usually are not required to use for visas for journey to South Africa.
An essential and well timed query certainly, for this embarrassing matter has been swept beneath the carpet for too lengthy. The reply is within the affirmative: No visa required for Israelis.
Quite the opposite, whereas Israel is exempted from this bureaucratic obstacle, Palestinians usually are not.
Whether or not you’re a Christian or Muslim Palestinian, not solely are you punished by being pressured towards your will to endure Israeli apartheid in occupied ghettos, you additionally face extra humiliation by the hands of South African immigration imposing apartheid-based visa rules.
Data on the Division of Worldwide Relations web site is categorically clear because it shamelessly makes identified its hypocritical double requirements.
Along with having to use for Visas and the undue delay in getting the prolonged course of underway, Palestinians have further burdens positioned upon them which doesn’t apply to Israelis:
# Proof of medical insurance coverage;
# Proof of lodge reserving;
# Proof of adequate funds.
The listing goes on to specify classes of journey and necessities thereof – a number of restrictions relevant just for Palestine.
Not one of the above apply to Israel, but we’re led to imagine that South Africa is against Israel’s Occupation of Palestine.
Actually, by making use of restrictive journey measures on Palestine’s Occupied Inhabitants, the South African authorities has been and to today stays an lively participant in Israel’s unlawful, immoral and unjust Occupation of Palestine.
There can’t be any “ifs” or “buts” about such contemptible racist software of visa rules favoring Israel however punitive in the direction of Palestine.
This matter requires pressing redress in addition to a proof about why double requirements have been in power prejudicing a individuals topic to the severest types of army occupation.
If such conflicting insurance policies have been in place for the reason that period of apartheid, why haven’t needed adjustments been made but?
It jogs my memory of the particular allowance made at OR Tambo Airport for Israel’s EL AL airline, which regardless of being uncovered for being armed to the enamel in contravention of “Key Level” insurance policies, appears to proceed regardless.
Preferential remedy permits EL AL to have armed Shin Guess terrorists deployed there in direct violation of safety insurance policies at “Key Factors”.
Although this controversial concern was uncovered by each Media Evaluate Community and Carte Blanche on the eve of the 2010 Soccer World Cup, it doesn’t seem to have been resolved.
Solidarity activism in assist of Palestine’s freedom wrestle towards settler-colonialism will stay on a limp until drastic measures are undertaken to make sure that insurance policies favorable to Israel are urgently decimated.
The present sellout by despotic Arab regimes beneath the guise of “normalization” is to be anticipated exactly as a result of they’re tyrannical dictatorships. South Africa doesn’t match that mould and having attained freedom from the clutches of apartheid, its constitutional values underpinning human rights and dignity can’t be compromised.
Whether or not it’s turning a blind eye to the safety infringement on the nation’s premier worldwide airport ORTambo or the denial of visa-free entry by Palestinians, or pretending to be willfully blind to the transgressions, it’s insupportable.
The ANC-led authorities must do rather more than an “embassy downgrade” to display an actual dedication to the reason for justice for Palestine, which it advocates.
An instantaneous precedence will probably be to reverse visa legal guidelines by lifting visa restrictions on Palestinians and imposing them on Israel.
– Iqbal Jassat is an Govt Member of the South Africa-based Media Evaluate Community. He contributed this text to The Palestine Chronicle. Go to: www.mediareviewnet.com