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HDSA official statement on Israel Apartheid Week
Tue, 2014-03-11 21:25

HDSA strongly opposes the upcoming "Israel Apartheid Week". We will always forcefully oppose campaigns if they are based on emotional slogans and uninformed rhetoric when it proves an obstruction to real education and nuanced engagement with often complex issues. Furthermore, IAW makes no distinction between what happens on different sides of the Green Line, which is an dishonest portrayal of the reality on the ground. Lastly, HDSA condemns any antisemitism defended under a guise of concern for human rights, whenever it occurs. We call on those who are truly invested in a just and peaceful future to engage in honest, nuanced discussion and oppose appeals to emotive slogans and rhetoric.

HDSA is also dismayed at the recent increase in settlement construction in the West Bank, particularly in the light of the ongoing Peace Negotiations with the Palestinians. Recent figures released by the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics reveal that, in 2013, 2534 new housing units were built in the West Bank - an increase of 123% from the previous year and the highest number in more than a decade. HDSA considers settlement construction a major obstacle to the peace process, and action which casts significant doubt on the sincerity of the current Israeli government in their quest for a Two-State solution (the only sustainable and secure solution for Israel). We call on the Israeli government to freeze settlement construction, and for both Palestinian and Israeli Leadership to make the hard compromises necessary for reaching a sustainable two-state solution.

HDSA condemns the promulgation of homophobic legislation in Uganda
Wed, 2014-02-26 09:29

HDSA is appalled by the enactment of anti-gay legislation by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on 24 February 2014. Following the disturbing trend of rising homophobia across the African continent driven, in part, by fundamentalist strains of Christianity and Islam, 'first time homosexual' offenders can now be subjected to a prison sentence of 14 years in Ugandan territory. It is now also illegal to 'promote and acknowledge' homosexuality, with 'repeat offenders' of the crime at risk of being subjected life sentences.

HDSA applauds the immediate condemnation of this law from the United States, Britain and other nations. We call on the South African government to follow suit and condemn this development explicitly. Uganda's anti-gay laws are in clear violation of the basic right to freedom from discrimination. HDSA hopes that, with international solidarity, President Museveni's government will be forced to reconsider this retrogressive step.