Israel has prevented comrade Blade Nzimande, General Secretary of the South African Communist Party and his country’s current Minister of Higher Education and Training, from entering Israel. Comrade Nzimande was supposed to lead a delegation of scholars from his country attending the opening of the African Studies Centre at Birzeit University near Ramallah in the Palestinian Occupied Territories.
The refusal of Israeli authorities to grant an entry visa to Nzimande does not come as a surprise: just recently the occupying authorities also deported four French citizens who came to the region as part of delegations of solidarity with the Palestinian people. Some of those activists (including a young, special education teacher and a communist youth activist) were first arrested upon their arrival in Israel, and then, after a few days of detention at Ben Gurion airport, were forcibly returned to their country.
The Communist Party of Israel strongly condemns the dirty war that Israel is waging on peace and anti-occupation activists, and sees its behavior as a combination of sheer harassment and fear – fear of the truth being exposed. As comrade Nzimande justly said: “The Israeli government is trying to use all the means at its disposal to hide its atrocities against the Palestinians and to ensure that only the smallest number of people see what is really happening in the land under its control.”