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HDSA Commemorates Marikana
Sat, 2014-08-16 19:42

HDSA Commemorates Marikana

On this day, Habonim Dror Southern Africa joins the nation in commemorating Post Apartheid South Africa's biggest tragedy, the Marikana Massacre of 16 August 2012. Two years ago, 34 miners were shot dead by police, many of them at point blank range. Not since the Sharpeville Massacre of 1960 have this many protestors been killed in a violent confrontation with South African security forces.

We stand against the deeply-entrenched inequality of the mining labour regime. We support the rights of our nation's workers to decent wages and living conditions, and call on business and government to take steps towards that goal.

We stand against violence. We deplore the increasingly evident trend of police brutality in response to protests in South Africa. Nevertheless, we do not support violent or intimidatory tactics as a means of protest, and call for disputes to be resolved through peaceful negotiation wherever possible.

As of today, no one in the South African security forces has been charged in the wake of the Marikana Massacre. Two years is too long for the families of the deceased to wait for justice. We call for those responsible for this tragedy to feel the full force of the law.

We pray that our nation will never again be forced to endure a tragedy of this magnitude.

Aleh Ve'Hagshem

HDSA Official Statement on Violence in Gaza Region
Wed, 2014-07-16 18:29

17 July 2014, 18:29

Members of Habonim Dror Southern Africa (HDSA) are deeply saddened and distressed by the current situation in Israel and Gaza. We condemn, in the strongest terms, the deliberate targeting of innocent Israeli civilians by Hamas, one of whom was killed near the Gaza border yesterday. We further express our dismay at reports of Hamas officials deliberately encouraging civilians to stay near bombing targets, when they have been warned not to. News today that Hamas has rejected a proposed ceasefire warrants equally strong condemnation from all those opposed to the deplorable cycle of violence in the region.

Whilst we commend the decision of the Israeli government and military to agree to a ceasefire, we condemn the high levels of casualties since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge. Since the beginning of the operation, some 178 Palestinians have died in bomb attacks, most of them civilians. Such a huge loss of innocent life is tragic and unacceptable, despite Hamas' cynical tactics in this conflict.

We stand in solidarity with the innocent people who are living in constant fear and whose lives are currently under threat. This latest flare-up in Gaza should serve as yet another reminder that real peace is the only thing which will protect Israel from fear and harm in the long run.

We desperately need a viable two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict - a solution that guarantees peace and security for both Israelis and Palestinians. Security experts in Israel have repeatedly emphasised that a functional, independent Palestinian state taking responsibility over its own internal security is much more likely to guarantee the security of all Israelis. We implore the Israeli government and Hamas to embrace this vision, and call on both sides to return to the negotiating table immediately. The events of the last three weeks serve as strong reminder of the urgency of a peace deal to Israel's long-term security and legitimacy.