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. 

BNC Statement

BNC salutes Global BDS Day of Action and Israeli Apartheid Week participants

View Global BDS Day of Action 2011 in a larger map. Click here to send a polite message to Google about the way they describe Palestine in their maps.

Occupied Palestine, April 12 2011 – The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), a coalition representing a broad majority of Palestinian civil society, warmly salutes participants in the Global BDS Day of Action for Land Day on March 30 and the 7th Israeli Apartheid Week from March 7 onwards.

The 35th annual Land Day, a day of Palestinian resistance and commemoration of the 1976 protests against Israeli confiscation, during which six Palestinian citizens of Israel were killed and hundreds were arrested and injured, was marked with demonstrations throughout Gaza, the West Bank and Israel on March 30. The BNC called for a third Global BDS Day of Action to mark the day internationally.  Of the more than 60 actions that took place across 21 countries, some of the most inspiring actions included:

- The official launch of the international campaign to Stop the JNF, a key pillar of the colonisation of Palestine that enjoys  charity status in over 50 countries and serves as a global fundraiser for Israeli colonization and apartheid. Campaign actions took place and were announced in the United States, Great Britain and Italy.

- Action on campus, including the shutting down of a meeting of the Board of Governors at Carleton University following their refusal to consider a divestment motion, and the announcement of Archbishop Tutu’s support for the erection of a huge mock apartheid wall at the University of Arizona.

- Street actions, protests and campaign announcements in countries where the BDS movement is still in the relatively early stages of development such as Poland, the Czech Republic, Morocco, Brazil and Argentina.

- Creative and expertly organised flash mobs, meetings and demonstrations in support of BDS in cities across the world.

- A ‘Critical Mass’ cycle protest through Brussels, highlighting the complicity of the European Union in Israeli violations of international law.

- The release by Stop the Wall of a new report denouncing Brazil’s military relations with Israel.

- The official launch of the new website, a new portal for the global BDS movement.

Videos, photos and reports from all of the actions can be viewed on an interactive map on the Day of Action page on the new website.

From March 7 onwards, students and solidarity groups from over 95 cities across the world participated in the 7thIsraeli Apartheid Week (IAW), an annual globally coordinated series of actions and educational events in support of the Palestinian civil society call for boycotts, divestment and sanctions. This was the most successful IAW to date with more cities hosting the week across North America, Europe, Latin America and Australia than ever before. Inspiringly, IAW events took place inside Israel and the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip in a new record total of nine cities, in Beirut, and in Tripoli and Amman for the first time.

The BDS movement won significant victories during this period. In South Africa, the University of Johannesburg voted to end its relationship with Ben Gurion University in a precedent setting step that is sure to reverberate around the world. In London, UK, BDS activists learnt that, as a result of their campaigns, settlement infrastructure provider Veolia has been excluded from a $1.63bn waste contract and that settlement cosmetics manufacturer Ahava will not have the lease for its central London shop renewed.

The strength, variety, creativity and sheer size and scale of both the Global BDS Day of Action and Israeli Apartheid Week provide a genuine source of inspiration. Our truly global movement is growing – spreading into new countries and political terrains, developing new tactics and creative new advocacy tools and achieving concrete successes. This period of globally coordinated mobilisation has been a significant step towards the growing isolation of Israel and towards freedom, justice and equality for the Palestinian people. Boycott Israeli Apartheid!



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