PRESS STATEMENT – 04 APRIL 2018
CMRM Condemns Israeli Brutality
The Claremont Main Road Mosque (CMRM) is horrified at the latest act of brutality and premeditated murder by the Israeli state against the Palestinian people. We have no words strong enough to condemn what has now become known as the “Passover Massacre”.
On Friday March 30th, on the Christian holy day of Good Friday and the Jewish holy day of Passover, Israeli military snipers opened fire on peaceful unarmed Palestinians who were participating in a protest action in Gaza called “The Great March of Return” to their lands from which they were illegally expelled. The ‘Great March of Return’ was planned as a peaceful demonstration to coincide with the commemoration of the Nakba (Catastrophe) of 1948, and bring world attention to the ongoing siege of Gaza.
Gaza has been under siege by the Israeli state for over a decade now since 2007, and has become known as the world’s largest prison. The United Nations, Human Rights Watch and international human rights agencies have described the situation in Gaza as a humanitarian disaster.
In response, the Israeli military, from across a security fence separating Israel and Gaza, opened fire with live ammunition on the peaceful Palestinian demonstrators, killing 17 people and wounding up to a thousand five hundred people. The demonstrators included women and children Palestinian refugees. This latest calculated act of brutality is beyond the pale of tolerable behavior for any so called sovereign state, and the international community must hold the Israeli state accountable for these acts of war crimes.
In a detailed report on the “Passover Massacre”, Human Rights Watch held the Israeli state fully responsible for what it describes as “calculated” killings of unarmed civilians in violation of international law.
In February this year, it was alleged that agents of the Russian state poisoned a British double-agent spy in Britain. There is no absolute proof of this. Nevertheless, based on these unproven allegations and other circumstantial evidence pinning the blame on Russia, Britain, the European Union states and the United States were quick to respond by expelling Russian diplomats and closing some consular offices.
Against this backdrop, and in the face of open and undisputed brutality by the Israeli state against civilians, these same Western countries are mute and are taking no actions against Israel for this horrific, premeditated crime!
This duplicity once again confirms the view that that there can no longer be any seriousness in the talk of human rights, democracy and justice on the part of Western countries. Their double talk and hypocrisy facilitates the impunity of the illegal state actions of the Zionist State of Israel.
The return to occupied Palestinian lands is the legitimate and inalienable right of every individual Palestinian refugee. They have the right to protest and bring world attention to their plight and we have a moral obligation to respond. It is now more important than ever, for ordinary people across the world to take up the cause of the oppressed and dispossessed Palestinian people, to demand the boycott and isolation of the apartheid state of Israel by supporting the global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, to bring an end to the decades of state terror inflicted on the Palestinians.
CMRM calls on our ANC led government to employ the same peaceful means of boycotting and isolating the Apartheid State of Israel that was so successful against the Apartheid South African regime, by severing all diplomatic, cultural and trade links with Israel. We call on the international community to enact its own resolutions in pursuit of justice for Palestinians by ending the impunity with which the Zionist State of Israel continues to perpetrate gross violations of human rights against the Palestinians. CMRM will offer special prayers for those Palestinians who were so brutally killed and maimed on Easter Friday and for peace with justice for all Palestinians during its congregational (jumu`ah) service this Friday 6 April 2018.
Imam Dr. Rashied Omar & Raashied Galant
OBO CMRM Board