Statement by Nadel condemning the attacks on Palestinians in Gaza and the inaction of the United Nations

The National Association of Democratic Lawyers vehemently rejects the actions of Israeli troops when they killed 61 Palestinians and left thousands injured. The day has been declared to be the worst day of killings since the end of the 2014 Gaza conflict. The majority of Palestinians killed were unarmed protestors. We condemn the killing of innocent victims on both sides.

Tuesday 15 May 2018 is the 70th anniversary of the Nakba Catastrophe where thousands of people fled or were ejected upon the creation of the state of Israel. The already emotional situation was further exacerbated by the American government choosing to officially open its embassy in Jerusalem on 14 May 2018.

NADEL confirms the resolutions taken at its 31st Annual General Meeting in East London this year where the organisation confirmed its support for the liberation of the people of Palestine. NADEL condemned in the strongest terms the decision by the United States of America to recognise Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel. This decision has in fact escalated the already fragile relations between the Israelis and Palestinians. It undermines the efforts for the creation of an independent Palestinian State.

We therefore welcome and commend the decision of the South African government to immediately withdraw (with immediate effect) our Ambassador in Israel. We further call the expulsion of the Israeli embassy from South Africa. The international community must act swiftly and condemn these terrorist attacks by Israel on the people of Palestine. The international community has a duty to place sanctions and arms embargo on Israel.

In keeping with our resolutions we re-affirm our call for the United Nations to implement Security Council Resolution 242(November 22, 1967). The preamble of Resolution 242 refers to the “inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war and the need to work for a just and lasting peace in the Middle East in which every state in the area can live in security.”

The resolution was accepted by Israel in May 1968 and by the Palestinians in September 1993 agreeing that Resolution 242 and 338 then should be the basis of peace between the two nations. Resolution 242 states “… (ii) Termination of all claims of states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every state in the area and their right to live in peace within secured recognised boundaries.”

We further express our grave concern for the inaction of the United Nations. Such inaction has resulted in the continued loss of thousands of human lives and the agonising suffering of innocent people. The failure of the United Nations to intervene and resolve conflict situations where there are such serious human rights violations is a cause of great concern. We urge the United Nations and the Security Council to intervene to prevent the further loss of human life. We hope that the emergency Security Council meeting that has been called will not end up being another talk shop and that serious action will be taken in response to this bloodshed.

We recognise and support the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination and recall the words of David Ben-Gurion the primary national founder of the State of Israel: “The Arab Palestinian has the right to self-determination. This right is not limited and cannot be qualified by our own interests…It is possible that the realisation of the aspiration (of the Palestinian Arabs) will create serious difficulties for us but this is not a reason to deny their rights.” (Berlin 1931).


By the Office of NADEL National Secretariat, National Executive Committee,
Ugeshnee Naicker (Deputy Secretary)