03 October 2022

In February, this year the Principal Complainant Safoudien Bester a Cape Town paramedic and also amongst the complainants the Palestine Solidarity Campaign – Cape Town and Media Review Network lodged a substantive criminal complaint with South African investigative and prosecutorial authorities.

This criminal complaint laid the basis of criminal charges levelled against South African nationals and citizens including Zionist institutions for violation of the Regulation of Foreign Military Assistance Act, the Protection of Constitutional Democracy against Terrorist and Related Activities Act and the Prevention of Organised Crime Act.

The extensive charges in the South African Zionist Terrorism Corridor probe is currently under investigation. This case has been given a major boost by the lawfare advocacy efforts undertaken in Canada whereby a private prosecution process is now underway to hold SAR-EL Canada accountable for unlawful recruitment activities in violation of Canadas Foreign Enlistment Act – FEA.

The FEA  bars the armed forces of any nation state from recruiting soldiers within the borders of Canada.

After the federal government and Toronto Police failed to investigate evidence detailing Sar-El Canada’s violation of the Foreign Enlistment Act, a private prosecution was instigated by Rehab Nazzal and Rabbi David Mivasair. Recently a justice of the peace considered the evidence and determined the case deserved to be heard, compelling Sar-El to defend themselves in court.

Section 11 of the Foreign Enlistment Act states that, “Any person who, within Canada, recruits or otherwise induces any person or body of persons to enlist or to accept any commission or engagement [combatant or non-combatant] in the armed forces of any foreign state or other armed forces operating in that state is guilty of an offence.”

The court accepted a private prosecution launched against Sar-El Canada for its role in recruiting and/or inducing Canadians to assist the Israeli military. “The value of Sar-El to the IDF,” is its volunteers take on “routine logistical support tasks normally assigned to active-duty soldiers and reservists.”

Working under the direction of Israeli soldiers, Sar-El volunteers usually spend three weeks assisting in maintaining bases, painting helmets and packing food rations. They also service firearms and stock tanks with ammunition and other supplies.

Sar-El Canada is the Canadian branch of Tel Aviv based Sar-El (National Project for Volunteers for Israel). The Israeli Defence Ministry promotes the group as a way of “volunteering for the IDF without becoming an Israeli citizen” and one program participant describes the work as happening “alongside or under the direction of Israeli soldiers.”

No one should be recruiting or inducing Canadians to assist a military that continues to oversee a system of racial apartheid that inflicts horrors against the Palestinian people.

Israel and its unlawful activities under international law and international humanitarian law are under scrutiny. Amnesty International have concurred with legal scholars and activists who have been advocating for a long time that: Israel imposes a system of oppression and domination against Palestinians across all areas under its control: in Israel and the OPT, and against Palestinian refugees, in order to benefit Jewish Israelis. This amounts to apartheid as prohibited in international law. Laws, policies and practices which are intended to maintain a cruel system of control over Palestinians, have left them fragmented geographically and politically, frequently impoverished, and in a constant state of fear and insecurity.

Furthermore, in a report by the Center for Constitutional Rights: Genocide is defined, not by a particular form of violence, but by general and pervasive violence. Settler colonial regimes are structurally prone to genocide and may indulge in “genocidal moments” when they become frustrated by the resistance of a colonized or occupied people. Human rights advocates and scholars conclude the killings of Palestinians and their forceful expulsion from mandate palestine in 1948, the Israeli occupation of the west bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza, and violence and discrimination directed at Palestinians by the Israeli government have violated a number of human rights protections contained in international human rights, with genocide being among them.

Apartheid Israel is sustained by the institutions and its networks which aid and abet the infliction of terrorism and war crimes on the Palestinian people in contravention of South Africa’s ratification of the Rome Statute.

Regional peace and political stability in the middle east will only be restored when the IDF is curtailed in its unlawful perpetration of war crimes and crimes against humanity. The IDF’s recruitment process must be bridled through efforts of ensuring that institutions and citizens or nationals of other countries are held accountable through universal jurisdiction and the valiant efforts of lawfare advocacy underway in Canada and South Africa.

The Palestinian solidarity movement in South Africa salute the efforts of private prosecution by David Mivasair and Rehab Nazzal. We commend our counterparts in Canada in bringing apartheid Israel and its complicit institutions one step closer to accountability and justice for Palestinian victims.

For further information:

  1. Attorney Ziyaad Ebrahim Patel – + 27 83 309 5238

  1. Martin Jansen (PSC-Cape Town) – + 27 82 870 2025

  1. Iqbal Jassat (MRN) – + 27 83 594 3749