S. African civil society welcomes ANC's policy position on Palestine and boycott of Israel
03 July 2012
On Friday, South Africa's ruling-party, the African National Congress (ANC) concluded its 2012 Policy Conference (which takes place every four years). The conference reaffirmed the ANC's policy of "progressive internationalism" and delegates undertook to "increase" the ANC's support for the Palestinian people and the boycott of Israel.
Member of the ANC's International Relations Commission (and special adviser to South Africa's President, Jacob Zuma) Lindiwe Zulu, reported at a Policy Conference media briefing that: "The ANC would continue to support Palestine and [has] called for an increased boycott on Israeli products".
South African civil society organizations including the South African Council of Churches, SA's largest trade union confederation COSATU, Kairos Southern Africa, Open Shuhada Street, Media Review Network and BDS South Africa among others, welcome news of the ANC Policy Conference's firmer position on Palestine and ANC delegates' proposed policy for a boycott of Israeli products.
The ANC's long-standing position on Palestine is part of its broader progressive internationalism. It is increasingly clear that the ANC is not simply offering "generalized" support to the oppressed but has chosen to support specific things that will lend concrete solidarity and contribute toward a just peace.
With Swaziland, the ANC has insisted that the Swazi government sign an MOU on the "democratisation and unbanning of political parties". On Palestine, the ANC has taken measures that will ensure sufficient pressure is brought on Israel for a just and negotiated solution - similar to the international pressure and negotiations that facilitated a legal framework for a non-racist solution in South Africa.
The complete and full ANC Policy Conference proposals will be released in due course by ANC Headquaters, Luthuli House. The ANC's 2012 Policy Conference documents will now be ratified at the upcoming ANC Mangaung conference in December, they will then provide direction to the ANC for the next 3 years and ultimately shape South Africa's position as a government.
In 2005 Palestinian civil society and political parties issued a call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel by the international community until Israel complies with international law and human rights - these providing the necessary conditions for a just negotiation. Subsequently, several multinational corporations have withdrawn from Israel; various institutions have divested from Israel; numerous artists have cancelled their Israeli gigs; and locally in South Africa, just last year, the University of Johannesburg terminated its institutional relationship with Israel.
Muhammed Desai, BDS South Africa spokesperson: +27 (0) 84 211 9988
Patrick Craven, COSATU spokesperson: +27 (0) 11 339 4911
Dudu Masango, SA Council of Churches spokesperson: +27 (0) 78 785 1631
Bruce Baigrie, Open Shuhada Street spokesperson: +27 (0) 82 452 3783
Marthie Momberg, Karios Southern Africa spokesperson: +27 (0) 83 290 7742
Ibrahim Vawda, Media Review Network spokersperson: +27 (0) 72 295 0088
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