PRESS ALERT: ANC backs upcoming "Israeli Apartheid Week" campaign
South Africa's ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC), has officially endorsed the upcoming Israeli Apartheid Week campaign (see attached and below). The ANC now joins the more than 75 South African organizations who have backed the upcoming Palestinian human rights campaign due to take place in South Africa between the 10th and 16th of March.
IAW is an annual international series of events (including rallies, lectures, cultural performances, music shows, films and workshops) that raises awareness of Israel's apartheid policies against the indigenous Palestinians. The IAW campaign was launched 10 years ago by Palestinian activists in Canada. Today it takes place in 150 international cities, including more than 25 South African cities and towns and at over 15 South African universities. Organizers are referring to this year's Israeli Apartheid Week campaign as "the largest IAW since it was first launched in 2004".
In a statement released earlier today the ANC said: "The ANC is proud to join the over 75 South African organisations, trade unions, civil society groups, schools, universities, religious communities, NGOs and other formations in participating in this year’s 10th international Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW). The vast array of participating organisations is an indication of our vibrant democracy. The ANC’s participation is in line with our long standing international positions but also the ANC's recent 53rd National Conference resolutions...The ANC is unequivocal in its support for the Palestinian people in their struggle for self-determination, and unapologetic in its view that the Palestinians are the victims and the oppressed in the conflict with Israel." (See below or attached for the full ANC Statement).
Mthunzi Mbuli, the Deputy Convener of the IAW South Africa Team welcomed the ANC's endorsement saying: "That the oldest liberation movement on the African continent has endorsed this campaign is an indication of IAW's importance. The ANC itself, and South Africans more generally, are the beneficiaries of international solidarity and we are pleased that the ANC is actively lending its solidarity to the people of Palestine, Cuba, Western Sahara and other oppressed people."
FOR MORE INFORMATION OR COMMENT:
IAW South Africa Spokesperson, Kwara Kekana: +27 (0) 724491774
IAW South Africa National Convenor, Muhammed Desai: +27 (0) 842119988
STATEMENT IN SUPPORT OF UPCOMING PALESTINE
SOLIDARITY ISRAELI APARTHEID WEEK (IAW) CAMPAIGN
10-16 MARCH 2014
Comrade President Jacob Zuma, in his recent State of the Nation Address, reminded us that: "Democratic South Africa’s foreign policy was shaped many decades ago during the fierce international campaign to isolate the apartheid state. ANC President Oliver Tambo played a key role in that regard, assisted by among others, the late Johnny Makatini, former head of international affairs."
In delivering democracy to South Africa, the ANC did this with the help of others, particularly through the ANC-led international anti-apartheid solidarity movement and successful international isolation of Apartheid South Africa. At its height, the ANC had over 40 Chief Representatives posted to various countries during the 1980s who were engaging with students, unions, churches and governments raising awareness of Apartheid South Africa’s oppressive policies, organising solidarity campaigns and lobbying people of the world to divest, boycott and end their support for Apartheid.
The ANC recognises that the international anti-Apartheid movement and sanctions campaign was shouldered, taken on and defended by thousands of ordinary citizens from numerous countries around the world. These ordinary citizens, made our struggle, their life. We are forever indebted to them.
Today we humbly continue the internationalism of our movement in lending our solidarity to the people of Cuba, Western Sahara, Swaziland, Palestine and other struggling people.
The ANC is proud to join the over 75 South African organisations, trade unions, civil society groups, schools, universities, religious communities, NGOs and other formations in participating in this year’s 10th international Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW). The vast array of participating organisations is an indication of our vibrant democracy. The ANC’s participation is in line with our long standing international positions but also the ANC's recent 53rd National Conference resolutions, for example, resolution 35(e) "The ANC calls on all organisations in support of the people of Palestine to form a united solidarity campaign in a view of strengthening the South African solidarity forum” and resolution 35(f) "The ANC calls on all South Africans to support the programmes and campaigns of the Palestinian civil society which seek to put pressure on Israel to engage with the Palestinian people to reach a just solution.” A just solution is the only one that offers security for all people of the region.
The ANC is unequivocal in its support for the Palestinian people in their struggle for self-determination, and unapologetic in its view that the Palestinians are the victims and the oppressed in the conflict with Israel. In participating in IAW this year we recall the words of our late President, Oliver Tambo: "The ANC feels most honored…to address the international community...on the important question of Palestine - a question with which the people of South Africa fully identify”.