By Neelam Rahim
The Palestinian solidarity organisation Africa for Palestine, the ANC, the SACP and Trade Union Cosatu have put up digital billboards in Gauteng depicting the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
The organisation also plans a memorial picket the Israeli embassy tomorrow in remembrance of the Al-Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh who was shot and killed by an Israeli sniper.
Radio Islam speaks to Muhammed Desai from Africa for Palestine,
“The billboards were an initiative of a business person who approached Africa for Palestine wanting to do something immediately following the killing of the Palestinian Journalist.
Apart from mourning but to also raise the awareness about the plight of the Palestinians more generally, billboards have gone up in the last week both in the digital format as well as the traditional printed format around the entrances of Johannesburg, Sandton, Fourways and Pretoria with the hope that other cities will take the initiative to have a similar campaign running in their areas.”
“The idea behind it is that public awareness leads to public action which then becomes impetus for political pressure which eventually must lead to state intervention. This public awareness raising initiative by the billboards is directly connected to the picket and the memorial event taking place on Friday at the Israeli embassy. These initiatives are part of our larger goal of lobbing the South African Government to take more forceful action and hold Israel accountable for the killings such as that of Shireen Abu Akhle,” says Desai.
Desai also mentions the wait of anticipated complaints coming from the Israeli lobby, “however I think the Israeli lobby is becoming increasingly insignificant in South Africa, especially in its attempt to try to squash Palestinian solidarity activism. We have seen positive growth of the Palestinian solidarity movement in the last 10 to 15 years whereas before people were scared to be associated with the Palestinian struggle, today that is not the case.”
Muhammed urges the public, journalists and media houses to join the picket memorial standing in solidarity for a fallen journalist taking place tomorrow from 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM.