Palestinian BNC Mourns Loss of Anti-Apartheid Icon Ahmed Kathrada

March 28, 2017, Occupied Palestine —The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) has heard with great sadness the news of Comrade Ahmed Kathrada’s passing. Mr. Kathrada, born to an Indian Muslim family, was the most prominent Asian South African in the movement to end apartheid, the system of racial discrimination, segregation and white dominance that existed in South Africa until it was defeated in 1994.

Comrade Kathrada was also an active and consistent supporter of the Palestinian struggle for freedom. He visited Palestine, and saw the apartheid system we endure for himself. He said when in Palestine: "In our short stay here we have seen and heard enough to conclude that Apartheid has been reborn here. In its reborn form it is however worse than its predecessor. Even during the worst days of Apartheid we did not have walls to divide and control people, we also did not have separate roads for separate races, and we did not have the system of checkpoints that exist here."

The Foundation which bears his name engages in activities in support of Israeli Apartheid Week, which aims to raise awareness of Israel's apartheid policies towards Palestinians. It also supports the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian rights, believing that this is the way to bring an end to Israel's apartheid policies and violations of international law. 

Kathrada’s own long imprisonment — 26 years and 3 months — alongside the anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela and his lifelong struggle against apartheid and injustice are an example to all Palestinians that integrity and perseverance will lead to justice and freedom.

The BDS movement is working to increase international civil society and government support for the Palestinian struggle for justice. We were honored to count Comrade Kathrada as a supporter of our struggle and remain inspired by his life.

We send out our condolences to his family, friends, comrades and all South Africans during these difficult days.

The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) is the largest coalition in Palestinian civil society. It leads and supports the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. 

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What to boycott

Targeted consumer boycotts are convincing retailers across the world to stop selling products from companies profiting from Israel’s crimes. Many Israeli exporters complain that it is getting harder for them to export their products.

The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) calls for a boycott of all Israeli products but we also target our boycotts to focus on a small number of companies and products for maximum impact. We focus on companies that play a clear and direct role in Israel’s crimes and where we think we can have an impact.

Check with BDS organisations in your country for the brands being targeted in your community.

Not targeted consumer boycott
A targeted consumer boycott focuses on a small number of companies

The BNC is currently encouraging consumer boycotts of the following products and brands:

Israeli Fruit and Vegetables

Fruit and vegetables are one of Israel’s biggest exports and all Israeli agricultural exporters are complicit in Israel’s violations of international law as they operate on stolen Palestinian land.

Caterpillar

Caterpillar bulldozers are regularly used in the demolition of Palestinian homes and farms and in Israel’s massacres in Gaza.

SodaStream

SodaStream home drinks machines are one of Israel’s best known exports.

Ahava

Ahava cosmetics are another of Israel’s best known export companies.

HP

Hewlett Packard helps run the ID system that Israel uses to restrict Palestinian movement.

Sabra

Sabra hummus is a joint venture between PepsiCo and the Strauss Group, an Israeli food company that provides financial support to the Israel Defense Forces.