Ex-minister and judge support boycott of Israel

WESTERN Cape high court judge Siraj Desai and former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils have come out in support of a Holocaust survivors' South African campaign for a boycott of Israel.

Speaking at a dinner in Cape Town on Sunday night, Hajo Meyer, an 86-year-old Jewish scientist and a survivor of Nazi Germany's Auschwitz concentration camp, called for a concentrated cultural and academic boycott against Israel.

Desai said that the Israeli occupation of Palestine was "one of the longest continuing breaches of human rights in the world".

The judge last year joined a brigade of human rights activists who flew to Egypt and planned to march on Egypt's border with the Gaza Strip, but were stopped by Egyptian security forces.

Desai said meeting Meyer and Jewish Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein, who also supported the Palestinians, was a "life- changing experience".

Kasrils said the uprisings in the Middle East, which had spread to Libya and now included black Africans, were "an African revolution as well".

Meyer was forced to flee Germany for the Netherlands alone at the age of 14 after the Nazis refused to admit Jews at schools.

But even living under Nazi occupation in the Netherlands in 1943, Meyer had more freedom than the Palestinians have living under Israeli occupation today, he said.

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