By Annisa Essack
In the Palestine Report this week, Hafiz Ebrahim Moosa spoke on whether calling Israel an Apartheid State is enough, as Naledi Pandor, SA International Relations Minister, called on the UN and the world to hold Israel responsible for its violations against the Palestinians. Pandor was addressing the Palestinian Heads of Missions Conference in Pretoria.
Pandor also said that the UN General Assembly should investigate whether the Israeli occupation can be labelled Apartheid. Ebrahim says that this may be a futile exercise as the Commission of Inquiry was set up in 2021, chaired by Navi Pillay and on the Commission is Miloon Kothari, who recently said that Apartheid alone is not sufficient. Even if Apartheid is ended, it will not end the occupation crisis, and the issue of self-determination requires many other changes.
Last week, the Israeli Occupation Authority took away the licenses to operate from six Palestinian schools in Al Quds because these schools have textbooks and a curriculum they claim incite against the State of Israel and its army. However, they did add that the schools could continue to operate temporarily, and the situation would be reviewed in a year, provided that the curriculum be amended within the year.
At stake, according to Moosa, is the education of more than two thousand Palestinian students and more relevant is that education has become a part of the battleground for the identity of Al Quds. An official at the Palestinian Ministry of Education says that this is a drive by the Israelis to get Palestinian students to move to schools created by the Israeli government that teach an Israeli curriculum. The danger of this is that it attempts to introduce a falsified Palestinian history, thus eliminating the national awareness of Al Quds and creating a sense of inferiority among them.
Moosa spoke on the issue of Hamas seeking to restore ties with the Syrian regime that were severed more than a decade ago during the Arab Spring. Hamas at the time advised the Assad regime against its heavy-handed crackdown on opposition members and called for a change in the country.
Hamas now feel that time has brought change and that with Israel forming relationships with other countries in the name of normalisation, they need to reconsider their stance as this will have a bearing on Hamas.
But despite the overtures by Hamas, the Syrian regime has not been very enthusiastic because of its previous position against it. Moosa spoke on the change of attitude by other Muslim organisations and the call by some for Hamas to rethink its objectives. They have asked for them to review and re-examine its stance regarding Syria. Hamas did respond positively.
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