“All oppression will end, we must keep fighting": A Year of the Global South Response

A series of online events marks one year since the launch of the Global South Response initiative.

In the last year, recognition of Israel as an apartheid state has grown in an unprecedented way. This international recognition is the first step to #DismantleApartheid, and countries of the global south have a special role to play. Their historical struggle against colonialism -- and apartheid, in the case of South Africa and Namibia -- puts them at the forefront of states that are expected to activate the necessary mechanisms at the UN for ending business, cultural, and diplomatic ties with apartheid Israel, and imposing lawful, targeted sanctions on it -- demands that have been called for by Palestinian civil society. 

Since 4 July 2020, 10 ex-Presidents and over 700 MPs, eminent personalities and civil society leaders from the Global South, across Asia, Africa and Latin America, have responded to the Palestinian civil society call against Israel’s apartheid and annexation plan with a statement that endorses the above demands. The initiative stems from a deep connection between Palestinian liberation and real, meaningful decolonization of the South.

Over the course of this year, more diplomats and MPs have urged the UN to establish a UN committee to investigate Israeli apartheid, as was done to apartheid South Africa. South Africa, Namibia and Pakistan have recognized Israeli policies as “reminiscent of apartheid” at the March meeting of UNHRC. Movements, unions and civil society groups are declaring themselves Apartheid Free Zones, endorsing the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and mobilizing to challenge Israel’s ethnic cleansing, apartheid, occupation and settler colonialism. 

To mark the first anniversary of this effort, the Global South Response Initiative organized a series of discussions to reflect on its work and chart a way forward, for mobilizing more support and linking it to local struggles. If you missed any of the events you can catch up below.

‘5 Ways to Challenge Apartheid’- Asia Against Apartheid: Walden Bello, Maha Abdallah, Sucheta De, Chan Chee Khoon and Nazari Ismail discussed strategies to build solidarity for the Palestinian anti-apartheid struggle from grassroots, to universities, to parliaments as well as the UN.

Watch the recording here.

‘United for Palestine: Africa Against Apartheid’: This energizing rally brought together activists from South Africa, Mozambique, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana and Senegal to build towards African solidarity with the Indigenous Palestinian people in a collective quest for liberation from colonialism, old and new.

Watch the rally here.

In April this year, Human Rights Watch released its report which concluded that Israeli authorities are committing the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution against the Palestinian people. In a webinar on July 4th, Omar Shakir, Israel and Palestine Director of Human Rights Watch, and legal scholar Nadia Silhi focused on free speech, human rights and international law as related to the HRW report.

Watch it here.

These discussions and actions reflect the clear paradigmatic shift in solidarity with Palestinian rights, as groups from Asia, Africa and Latin America resolve to continue the struggle outlined by the Global South Response until its demands are met.



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