MPAC Honors the South African Embassy for its Courageous Stand at the International Court of Justice

March 1, 2024 Updated March 19, 2024 News & Updates

Tuesday, February 27, 2024, the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) hosted a ceremony at the Embassy of South Africa in Washington, D.C., to express our gratitude for their courageous stand at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). This act of courage exemplified their values and commitment to justice in the case against Israel for committing acts of genocide in Gaza.

MPAC president, Salam Al-Marayati, presented Ambassador Ndumiso N. Ntshinga with an award for South Africa’s unwavering support of the Palestinian people and their efforts to hold the Israeli government accountable for their egregious, and ongoing atrocities in occupied territories.

“Their goal is to annihilate– our mission is the same as it was in South Africa, end apartheid and achieve coexistence once again…As the work of Nelson Mandela illustrates, truth and justice will prevail. Palestine will be free.”
— Salam Al-Marayati, President, MPAC

Ambassador Ndumiso Ntshinga recognized the shared values of justice, peace, and human rights that bind the struggles of Palestine and South Africa. Throughout history, the South African government, particularly under the leadership of Nelson Mandela, has consistently raised its voice and taken diplomatic measures to bring attention to the Palestinian cause on international platforms. The Ambassador shared his personal story of growing up in South Africa during the apartheid era and criticized the Israeli government as he recalled their role in arming the apartheid regime in South Africa.

“I can tell you that I have never seen anything close to this (Gaza)….The [South African] apartheid never killed twenty-six thousand people in a few months. But Israel has broken that record.”
— Ndumiso N. Ntshinga, South African Ambassador to Washington, D.C.

Shelley Cohen Fudge, founder of the DC chapter’s Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), also delivered a speech at the event, praising South Africa for their courage in confronting Israel’s apartheid policies. She highlighted the ongoing genocide and emphasized how it is perpetuated through US taxpayer money. She emphasized that when Jews say, “never again”, it must include Palestine.

“We are all fully aware of how AIPAC and other US pro-Israel organizations funnel millions of dollars into swaying elected officials at the federal, state, and local levels of the US government to oppose a ceasefire in Gaza.” 

— Shelley Cohen Fudge, Jewish Voice for Peace – DC Metro

Yazan Aboushi, a Palestinian artist and environmental scientist, gifted the South African embassy a picture of a Palestinian boy standing before a thousand-year-old olive tree, planted by his forefathers. The image, as he explained, represents the deep, inextricable roots Palestinians have to their land.

“South Africa’s case against Israel in the ICJ has shown us that solidarity is more than a word. It’s more than a promise. It can be an action. Growing up, South Africa has shown us that decolonization is not some abstract metaphor. It’s not an abstract discourse meant to be kept away in the elitist universities. Decolonization is a possible reality and decolonization is a promise. When I say free Palestine, I look towards South Africa for hope.”
– Yazan Aboushi, Palestinian storyteller and environmental scientist

As we relentlessly strive for an immediate ceasefire, we thank all who attended to honor the South African government for its longstanding commitment to ending apartheid and their steadfast efforts to support the men, women, and children of Gaza.

“We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.”

― Nelson Mandela, 1997

To view the recording, visit our YouTube playlist here.

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