The Coordination Forum for Countering Antisemitism

Nelson Mandela’s grandson slams ‘Israeli apartheid’

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South African MP, Nkosi Zwelivelile Mandela, addresses the crowds at the Palestine Expo 2019 on 6 July 2019 in London, UK. Also on stage, from left to right: Gulip Surk, Professor Joseph Massad, Dr Yousef Jabareen MK, Salma Karmi Ayyoub [Middle East Monitor]

Cape Town – The grandson of anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela has delivered a damning condemnation of “Israeli apartheid”, in a high-profile expression of solidarity between South Africans and Palestinians.

Zwelivelile Mandela, an MP with the ruling African National Congress, made the comments on Saturday at the Palestine Expo, an annual event in London aimed at showcasing Palestinian history, heritage and culture. Last year, it attracted 15 000 visitors.

Addressing a large audience, Zwelivelile Mandela said that the Nation-State Law passed in 2018 declaring Israel to be the historical homeland of the Jewish people “confirmed what we have always known to be the true character and reality of Israel: Israel is an apartheid state”.

He also outlined what had constituted apartheid for black South Africans – from the creation of bantustan reservations to land expropriation and the daily assault on dignity.

“All these characteristics were present in apartheid Israel since its inception but have now been codified and given a constitutional status and expression by the Nation-State Law.

“Apartheid Israel perpetuates statutory discrimination through the very definition by the law as a Jewish state; by doing so it renders non-Jews as second-class citizens, alternately as foreigners in the land of their birth.”