By Gift Gara
THE Zimbabwe Palestine Solidarity Council (ZPSC) is planning on lobbying government to disregard its bilateral trade agreements with Israel arguing that continued trade with the middle east country is tantamount to betraying the Palestinian people.
Palestine and Israel have been embroiled in a territorial conflict that has spanned over many decades but the Palestinian people are usually on the receiving end.
The objective of the Israeli government is maintaining Jewish Israeli control over demographics, political power, and land and pursuit for this goal has led to Israeli officials dispossessing, confining, and forcibly separating and subjugating Palestinians by virtue of their identity to varying degrees of intensity.
These deprivations are so severe that they amount to the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution.
Advocating for a trade boycott with Israel is in line with the objectives of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement; a Palestinian-led initiative promoting boycotts, divestments, and economic sanctions against Israel.
“We are calling for the establishment of the BDS Movement in Zimbabwe, it will help to cement and intensify our solidarity activities in Zimbabwe,” said ZPSC chairman of the Kwanisai Mafa.
“To continue to trade with Israel is a betrayal of the Palestinian cause. Their money is dirty as they are violating human rights. We are demanding the cultural, intellectual, and economic boycott of Israel and its products,” he said.
Mafa added that millions of money from trade with Israel and from US imperialism is used to prop up the Zionist, colonial, and apartheid state of Israel.
Zimbabwe and Israel’s bilateral trade relations totaled more than US$7 million in 2015 and Zimbabwean exports to the middle east country reached about US$13,8 million.
While the relationship appears profitable, Mafa said his council is working on naming and shaming Israeli companies in Zimbabwe that are supporting their mother country’s apartheid system as well as lobby parliament to debate the Palestinian cause through the parliamentary portfolio committee on foreign affairs and international trade.
He is therefore advocating for an immediate cultural, intellectual, and economic boycott of Israel and its products.