MEDIA RELEASE: Palestinian official delivers moving speech at S.Africa's ruling party's ANC National Conference - calls for increase in boycott of Israel
Palestine's Fatah Party, deployed its senior Deputy Foreign Relations Commissioner, Dr Abdullah Abdullah, to the African National Congress' (ANC) 53rd National Conference. Earlier this evening, to overwhelming praise and applause, Dr Abdullah delivered an official message of support to the ANC. The ANC is South Africa's ruling party and considers Palestine's Fatah and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) as long-time fraternal partners.
Dr Abdullah thanked the South African government, the ANC and the people of South Africa for their consistent and principled support over the years, saying: “At every step in our struggle, South Africa has been there”.
Dr Abdullah also called on the ANC and the people of South Africa to support and advance the boycott of Israel: "The [international arm of the] South African struggle began with the boycott campaign of South African grapes and wine, likewise, the illegal Israeli settlements can be defeated by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) [against Israel campaign]”.
In 2005 Palestinians issued a call to the international community for a program of broad-based boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) to be applied against Israel as a way to force Israel to end its violations of international law, including its construction of illegal settlements in the Occupied Palestinian West Bank.
Dr Abdullah specifically mentioned the recent decisions taken by the United Church of Canada as well as the UK's Co-Op to boycott Israeli settlement products. In addition, Dr Abdullah pointed out that even the European Union, as a bloc, are beginning to officially consider such boycotts. Abdullah said, "the world must not support those who profit out of doing business on stolen [Palestinian] land."
Commenting on Israel, which he termed "our oppressors", Abdullah said: “We will live with each other, but not in spite of each other”.
Ms. Baleka Mbete, the ANC's re-elected National Chairperson warmly welcomed Dr Abdullah's speech, saying: “He’s my brother".
Mbuyiseni Ndlozi of BDS South Africa commented afterwards: "The fraternal relations between the ANC and Fatah, the party leading the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), have been strongly re-affirmed. Indeed, in general, the solidarity between Palestinians and South Africans has been strengthened by the presence and address of the Palestinian delegation at the 53rd National Conference of the ANC. It was truly a moving speech"
The ANC's National Conference takes place every five years and is considered one of the most important events for the party.
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