“WE have the truth, and we have each other. We need to create shifting dimensions, we need to deepen our relationships and broaden our fronts.”
These were the words with which Stefanie Fox, Executive Director of the Jewish Voice for Peace, opened her address to members of the public at an evening arranged by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign movement in Cape Town on August 21.
The event was held at the AIDC Solidarity Centre in Observatory to facilitate an open discussion forum during which Fox reiterated closer ties between American and South African pro-Palestine solidarity movements in combatting global Zionism.
Jewish Voice for Peace is a grassroots membership inter-generational movement of American Jews which mobilises across race and class into solidarity with the struggle of Palestinian rights and freedom. Jewish Voice for Peace has chapters in 70 cities across the United States, a rabbinic council, an extensive student network and thousands of members while reaching millions of people on their various social media platforms. Actions launched by Jewish Voice for Peace has at its core the ending of the US government’s complicity in the ongoing Israeli apartheid and crimes against humanity perpetrated against the Palestinian people.
It was the first visit by Fox to South Africa and she was suitably impressed with the Muslim community in both Johannesburg and Cape Town. It was, however, Cape Town that she says she found the most inspiring.
‘Cape Town is a beautiful city with beautiful people. The welcome I received here was warm and deeply appreciated. I knew some of the history of South Africa’s apartheid past but it is only when you visit a country and speak to its people that you can truly grasp the gravity and the legacy left behind by previous governments. If apartheid could be taken down in South Africa, it can be taken down everywhere else in the world.’
Fox has been the target of what she describes as ‘machines of harassment’ around the globe. Most of these are based in the Us and run by Zionist organisations spending millions of dollars in trying to discredit her and her organization. Asked by how she deals with the constant attack, Fox said this was part and parcel of her journey and made her even more determined to seek justice for those that cannot speak for themselves.
‘Zionism today has been fuelled by especially the right-wing evangelical Christian Zionists, using the Jewish trauma abuse history of the Holocaust to build a pro-Zionist base. One has to remember that America is founded on core racist values and these narratives are dominating and resonating in most governmental systems, organised around a terrible legacy. What is needed is a united front against donors funding the far-right movements and sustaining certain individuals. Attack on voting rights is just one of the weapons in their abundant arsenal.’
Fox confirmed that she will be building a long standing relationship with South African pro-Palestine organisations and hoped to return soon.
‘We should trace our connections and build human relationships. Solidarity is just the political version of love.’