MEDIA RELEASE: Palestine solidarity billboards go up across South Africa
The Palestinian solidarity movement in South Africa (through two organziations, BDS South Africa and the Palestine Solidairty Alliance) have taken out over 12 billboards across South Africa to graphically explain the Israeli Occupation of Palestinian lands. More than five billboards have already gone up with more to follow in coming weeks. The Palestine solidarity billboard campaign coincides with the ANC's celebration of South Africa's most well-known internationalist, Oliver Tambo.
One version of the billboard depicts a shrinking Palestinian territory by an increasing Israeli Occupation over the years in a series of maps. Under the maps, "Palestinian Loss of Land - 1946 to 2010"
is printed in large letters. Next to the maps, a message says, "4.7 million Palestinians are classified by the UN as refugees." Find photos here: http://tinyurl.com/944rwzn
A local black businessman from Johannesburg was inspired by a campaign initiated by Henry Clifford in the USA and decided to embark on a similar initiative in South Africa.
Earlier on this year Clifford personally backed a campaign with more than $25 000 of his own money to have adverts explaining the Israeli Occupation put up in New York metro stations. The ads stirred much controversy in the USA (see this CBS New York news clip: http://tinyurl.com/97s98ae
The Palestine solidarity billboards go up at a significant time in the calendar of South Africa, in the month that the ruling African National Congress (ANC) celebrates its longest-serving president, Oliver Tambo. Hundreds of international guests are expected to arrive later this month for an international conference commemorating the life of Oliver Tambo. Tambo was crucial in building the international isolation of Apartheid South Africa, a strategy that the Palestine solidarity movement is now applying to Israel via their own Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel campaign which has gained much ground in recent years.
Some local South African boycott of Israel actions include the recent ANC policy conference's call for a boycott of Israeli goods; the SA government communicating that its policy is to "discourage" trips to Israel; South Africa's Department of Trade and Industry's directive preventing the false-labeling of Israeli settlement products (which are illegal under international law); and, most recently, the University of the Witwatersrand's Student Council announcing a full academic and cultural boycott of Israel.
ISSUED BY MBUYISENI NDLOZI ON BEHALF OF BDS SOUTH AFRICA AND THE PALESTINE SOLIDARITY ALLIANCE (PSA)
Mbuyiseni Ndlozi: +27 (0) 73 133 3012
Muhammed Desai: +27 (0) 84 211 9988
BOYCOTT, DIVESTMENT AND SANCTIONS IN SOUTH AFRICA (BDS SOUTH AFRICA)
Office 915 | 9th Floor | Khotso House | 62 Marshall Street | Johannesburg
PO Box 2318 | Houghton | 2041 | Johannesburg
T: +27 (0) 11 492 2414 | F: +27 (0) 86 650 4836
BDS South Africa is a registered Non-Profit Organization. NPO NUMBER: 084 306 NPO
BDS South Africa is a registered Public Benefit Organisation with Section 18A status. PBO NUMBER: 930 037 446