[Boycott - Other News]
ANC backs anti-Israel protest
31 May 2007
ANC website calls on South Africans to take part in week of national protest in solidarity with Palestinians; South African trade union head supports boycott, sanctions on Israel
South Africa's ruling party, the African National Congress, has called on South Africans to turn out in their thousands during a week of national protest action in solidarity with the Palestinian people from Monday, June 4.
The week of action coincides with anti-Israel activities around the world commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Six Day War.
Addressing a media conference earlier this week, ANC national executive committee member Ronnie Kasrils described the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory as "criminal and intolerable".
Activities in South Africa are being coordinated by the End the Occupation Campaign, comprising almost 20 civil society organizations, social movements, solidarity organizations, political parties and faith-based organizations.
In a declaration issued this week and published on the ANC's official website, the campaign said: "We face a new crisis of war and occupation, a crisis in which Palestinians continue to suffer, even more than the suffering already imposed by decades of brutal occupation and apartheid... The conditions of Palestinians living under occupation continue to deteriorate and Palestinian refugees continue to be denied their international rights, including their right of return. Palestinians in Jerusalem and elsewhere face ethnic cleansing."
Trade union leader calls for boycott
Speaking at the briefing, Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) President Willie Madisha said protest action against Israel "must be sustained for as long as possible beyond the week we have identified. COSATU will campaign among organizations of the working class around the world to support this call."
He said COSATU supported a campaign of boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel.
South African Council of Churches general-secretary Eddie Makue said his organization, together with the World Council of Churches and the Christian Council of Sweden, had made a concerted effort over the past three years to accompany Palestinians and Israelis in non-violent actions and advocacy efforts to end the occupation.
ANC - Statement On Week Of Solidarity With The People Of Palestine, 4-9 June 2007
Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation
The African National Congress joins a broad range of other organisations in calling on all South Africans to join the international week of action in solidarity with the Palestinian people starting today (4 June 2007).
Members and leaders of the ANC throughout the country will this week add their voice to the global call for an end to the illegal occupation of Palestinian territory by Israel.
A number of protest activities will take place during the week of 4-10 June, coinciding with the 40th anniversary of the occupation by Israel of the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.
The African National Congress will participate in a number of events organised to intensify the call for an end to this illegal occupation.
Protests in South Africa are being coordinated by the End the Occupation Campaign, comprising almost 20 civil society organisations, social movements, solidarity organisations, political parties and faith-based organisations.
Today, thirteen years after the end of apartheid, South Africans need to join hands and act in solidarity with the people of Palestine as they struggle for the realisation of their basic human rights. These include the right to self-determination and the return of the people of Palestine.
The ANC in Parliament has called for a debate on Wednesday to discuss the situation in Palestine and Israel, particularly the recent detention of members of the Palestinian legislature. On Thursday, Members of Parliament will participate in a picket in the Cape Town City Centre to highlight this campaign.
The ANC will be participating in various events in centres around the country. These will culminate, on Saturday 9 June, in a mass march in Cape Town and a mass protest meeting at the Johannesburg City Hall.
We call on all South Africans to come out and lend support to the people of Palestine. We believe that a better world is possible where people can live in peace and harmony under safe conditions.
Issued by the African National Congress
For more information contact: Smuts Ngonyama on 082 994 2112
ANC-CAUCUS Parliament Statement On The Middle East
Members of the ANC in Parliament will today lead the debate on the unceasing strife in the Middle East that is an offshoot of the enduring suppression of the Palestinian people by the Israeli state.
The debate is a result of the ANCís motion that called for the discussion on the situation in Palestine and, in particular, the detention without trial of members of the Palestinian Legislative Council.
The debate today in the National Assembly happens at the backdrop of the 40th anniversary commemoration of the illegal occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, East-Jerusalem and Syrian Golan Heights by Israeli military forces.
It also takes place at the backdrop of a number of protest activities organized by the End the Occupation Campaign, as part of the international week of action in solidarity with the people of Palestine. ANC Members of Parliament will tomorrow join a picket in Cape Town as part of the international week of action.
The ANC parliamentary caucus in todayís debate will call for respect for the democratic state of Palestine and its legislative council. We call for:
- Israelís immediate, unconditional and permanent withdrawal of all its forces to the 1967 borders;
- All parties to contribute to the creation of an atmosphere of calm by suspending all forms of violent action and signing a comprehensive truce;
- The removal of all further obstacles to peaceful negotiations including lifting the restrictions of movement of the Palestinians dismantling of all Israeli settlements and the illegally constructed wall and ending of the financial blockage of the Palenian Government of National Unity; and
- The start of unconditional negotiations with the legitimate representatives of all parties concerned in order to arrive at a just and fair solution in accordance with the relevant UN Resolutions, as the only way to create peace and security for Palestans and Israelis alike.
Contact: Mpho Lekgoro,MP [Caucus Spokesperson]: 082 413 4908
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