South African businessman sponsors pro-Palestinian billboards

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (JTA) — A Johannesburg businessman inspired by an American businessman has sponsored 12 billboards in South Africa using maps to show the so-called “absorption” of Palestinian land by Israel.

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The Palestine Solidarity Movement in South Africa put up five billboards “graphically explaining the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and the dispossession of the Palestinian people,” according to a statement released by BDS South Africa. Seven more will be put up in the next few weeks.

The billboards contain three aligned maps showing the so-called “absorption” of Palestinian land by Israel from 1946 to the present, together with a declaration that “4.7 million Palestinians are classified by the UN as refugees.”

The South African businessman was inspired by a similar initiative in the United States of Henry Clifford, who earlier this year spent some $25,000 to put up similar advertisements in New York metro stations.

The launch of the billboard campaign here occurs in the same month that the ruling African National Congress pays tribute to former president Oliver Tambo with hundreds of international guests expected for a conference commemorating his life.

“Tambo was crucial in building the successful international isolation of apartheid South Africa, a strategy that the Palestine solidarity movement is now applying to Israel in an attempt to bring it in line with international law via the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel campaign, which has gained significant ground in recent years,” the statement read.

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