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. 

In the News

California’s Largest Student Union Votes to Condemn California Assembly Resolution HR 35, Tells the UC Regents to Stop Profiting from Israeli Human Rights Abuses

BERKELEY, CA - The University of California Student Association, which represents hundreds of thousands of students at all 10 UC campuses, passed a resolution today condemning recent attempts to censure boycott and divestment efforts by Palestinian human rights activists on campus, and demanding that the UC stop profiting from Israel’s human rights violations.  The motion passed without opposition by a vote of 12 to 0 (2 abstensions).

The resolution follows a recent motion passed by the California Assembly, HR-35.

BERKELEY, CA - The University of California Student Association, which represents hundreds of thousands of students at all 10 UC campuses, passed a resolution today condemning recent attempts to censure boycott and divestment efforts by Palestinian human rights activists on campus, and demanding that the UC stop profiting from Israel’s human rights violations.  The motion passed without opposition by a vote of 12 to 0 (2 abstensions).

The resolution follows a recent motion passed by the California Assembly, HR-35. While ostensibly aimed at protecting Jewish students from experiencing anti-Semitism on campus, HR-35 conflates legitimate, principled criticism of Israeli policy with anti-Semitism, raising concerns about free speech rights and academic freedom for students and faculty.

“HR35’s supporters wish to draw a protective circle around Israel and say you are exempt from the same criticism that we apply to other abusive state actors,” said Shahryar Abbasi, a voting member of UCSA representing the UC Berkeley campus. “Today’s vote is a statement that UC students believe in free speech and universal human rights, and that we don’t want to profit from gross human rights abuses committed by any country, including Israel. We hope UC Regents will hear and respect our decision.”

The resolution expresses “the UCSA’s opposition to all racism, whether it be the racism of campus and global anti-Semitism or the racism of Israel’s human rights violations, neither of which our campuses should tolerate, support, or  profit from.” Israel is engaged in a 45-year-old military occupation and colonization of Palestinian land, which is illegal under international law.

Currently, the UC holds millions of dollars in investments in Caterpillar Inc. and Hewlett-Packard. Caterpillar bulldozers are used by the Israeli army to destroy Palestinian homes and agricultural land, to build illegal Jewish-only settlements on occupied Palestinian land, and to construct the West Bank wall, deemed illegal by the International Court of Justice. Hewlett-Packard’s products are used by the Israeli navy to enforce Israel’s blockade of Gaza, also deemed illegal by the United Nations and international humanitarian organizations like theInternational Committee of the Red Cross.

Link: http://calsjp.org/?p=1272


SHARE

Stay updated!

Get breaking news, campaign updates and action alerts!