Israel actions “surpass barbarism of apartheid South Africa,” group says after Na’eem Jeenah deportation

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign of South Africa (PSC) has confirmed that prominent scholar Na’eem Jeenah is expected back in Johannesburg Thursday morning after he was detained by Israeli authorities, interrogated and held incommunicado on arrival at Ben-Gurion Airport on 17 May, before being deported to Istanbul without his passport or belongings.

The statement, sent to The Electronic Intifada by PSC member Salim Vally says:

We have been overwhelmed by numerous organisations in SA and globally who at short notice began mobilising the instant ¬†they received word of Na’eem’s detention by the Israeli authorities.

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign of SA believes we must build on these efforts to free the over 10 000 Palestinians who continue to languish in Israeli dungeons. We are also aware that despite our happiness at Na’eem’s imminent arrive to his homeland, we are saddened that over 6 million Palestinians cannot return to their country. Yet, as the recent Nakba day events demonstrate this yearning remains as strong as ever. This determination will ensure victory, despite Israel’s ethnic cleansing, bullets and attempts to deceive some and fragment Palestine into Bantustans.

Those of us who lived through and struggled against apartheid South Africa consider the actions of the Israeli state to surpass even the barbarism of apartheid South Africa. Isreal is already considered a pariah state in the eyes of most of humanity. It should be treated as such. We therefore support the BDS campaign wholeheartedly. From our own struggle we know that repression breeds resistance. We are confident that Israel’s actions, the cause of untold misery and hardship for Palestinians today will also be the downfall of the racist Israeli state tomorrow.

The news of Jeenah’s expected return home comes after earlier reports that South African officials had intervened in the situation.