Salvador- Brazil (PANA) – The former speaker of th-e South African Parliament, Frene Ginwala, Friday urged participants at the second Conference of Intellectuals from Africa and the Diaspora (CIAD) to react to the situation in the Middle East characterised in the past few days by violent Israeli offensive against Lebanon.
In a speech during the third CIAD plenary session, which opened Wednesday in Salvador de Bahia in northeastern Brazil, Ginwala, bitterly condemned the "disproportionate" nature of the Israeli attacks on Hezbollah faction based in Leban.
The Israeli army has almost imposed a blockade on Lebanon after it intensified its offensive against this country on Friday, bombing on the second consecutive day Beirut airport and buildings in the southern suburb of the city, stronghold of Hezbollah, cutting the main road towards neighbouring Syria and destroying fuel tanks.
Israel justifies its intervention by its will to find two of its soldiers kidnapped by Hezbollah elements and the bombing of an area in northern Israel attributed to the Lebanese movement.
While on a visit to Germany Thursday, US President George Bush supported Israel's rights to defend itself.
But Ginwala, who has been co-chairing the meeting, insisted that the African and Diaspora intellectuals must make themselves heard and take a clear stand because what is happening in this part of the world may be considered as a denial of justice.
She recalled that in the fight against apartheid in South Africa, freedom fighters had long been considered by some people as terrorists just as Palestinians who are now fighting for liberation from Israel are labelled by some quarters.
Ginwala made her statement during the last plenary session of the second CIAD held Friday morning on the theme: "Need for a political pact between Africa and the Diaspora for peace, democracy and development.