Former Palestinian Health Minister Dr. Bassem Naim commemorated the UN International Day of Solidarity with the People of Palestine at St. George’s Cathedral in Cape Town, South Africa, yesterday.
The Cathedral, which is the oldest in Southern Africa, holds great significance for South Africans as a symbol of democracy. This is due to the countless campaigns and protests led by Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu against the former apartheid government, which he often conducted from the sacred steps of this church.
During his address, Naim informed the interfaith audience about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaza. He emphasised that this situation is a result of 75 years of illegal occupation, oppression and aggression, which has led the Palestinian resistance to seek international solidarity.
“In particular here in South Africa, because we have always educated our children about the famous saying of Nelson Mandela, ‘our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.’
“And therefore, we feel we have a special relationship with South Africa because we feel that this is a successful model of how people fought and sacrificed for years and years to defeat oppression.”