SHAFAQNA – The Muslim Lawyers Association of South Africa is working to have former Israeli President Shimon Peres arrested during his upcoming visit to the country, Israeli news outlets reported.
The organization has asked the state prosecutor to issue an arrest warrant for Peres, who is supposed to visit the country later this week and meet senior officials in the local Jewish community.
The cause for the request is Peres’s support for France in its war against Algeria and his responsibility for Israel’s shelling in 1996 of the southern Lebanese village of Qana during the Israeli operation Grapes of Wrath.
It appears also that the main motive behind the campaign is Peres’s support of the apartheid regime in South Africa in the 1970s and 1980s.
The Media Review Network (MRN), a Johannesburg-based organization which is dedicated to “exposing Zionist Apartheid and the occupation of Palestine”, on Monday published a statement in which it welcomed the Muslim Lawyers Association’s move to arrest Peres, Israeli reports further noted.
“Peres was France’s principle ally in her fight against Algeria’s resistance fighters. His support for the French during the 1956 Suez Crisis was disastrous, to say the least,” the statement said, adding that Peres was “the chief architect of the illegal settlement project in the central regions of the West Bank.”
The Israeli Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in response that they are working with the authorities in South Africa in order to prevent a possible arrest of Peres.
The initiative in South Africa is yet another demonstration of the antioccupation activism which remains prevalent in the country.
President Jacob Zuma’s party has in the past compared Israel’s airstrikes on Gaza to the actions of the Nazis during World War II, evoking outrage from Israeli occupation leaders.