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

Call for the World Social Forum Free Palestine, Nov. 2012 in Brazil

January 19, 2012
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Occupied Palestine is part of every free heartbeat in this world and her cause continues to inspire solidarity across the globe.  The World Social Forum Free Palestine is an expression of the human instinct to unite for justice and fr

Occupied Palestine is part of every free heartbeat in this world and her cause continues to inspire solidarity across the globe.  The World Social Forum Free Palestine is an expression of the human instinct to unite for justice and freedom and an echo of the World Social Forum’s opposition to neo-liberal hegemony, colonialism, and racism through struggles for social, political and economic alternatives to promote justice, equality, and the sovereignty of peoples.

The WSF Free Palestine will be a global encounter of broad-based popular and civil society mobilizations from around the world. It aims to:

1. Show the strength of solidarity with the calls of the Palestinian people and the diversity of initiatives and actions aimed at promoting justice and peace in the region.

2. Create effective actions to ensure Palestinian self-determination, the creation of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, and the fulfillment of human rights and international law, by:

a)      Ending Israeli occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall;

b)     Ensuring the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and

c)      Implementing, protecting, and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.

3. Be a space for discussion, exchange of ideas, strategizing, and planning in order to improve the structure of solidarity.

Exactly sixty-five years after Brazil presided over the UN General Assembly session that agreed upon the partition of Palestine, Brazil will host a different type of global forum: an historic opportunity for people from all over the world to stand up where governments have failed. The world's people will come together to discuss new visions and effective actions to contribute to justice and peace in the region.

We call on all organizations, movements, networks, and unions across the globe to join the WSF Free Palestine in November 2012 in Porto Alegre. We ask you to join the International Committee for the WSF Free Palestine, we will establish as soon as possible. Participation in this forum will structurally strengthen solidarity with Palestine, promote action to implement Palestinian's legitimate rights, and hold Israel and its allies accountable to international law.

Together we can raise global solidarity with Palestine to a new level.

Palestinian Preparatory Committee for the WSF Free Palestine 2012

Secretariat members:

·         PNGO - Palestinian NGO Network

·         Stop the Wall - Palestinian grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign,

·         OPGAI – Occupied Palestinian Golan Heights Advocacy Initiative

·         Alternatives represented by:

Alternative Information Center,

Teacher Creativity Center

·         Ittijah

·         General Union of Palestinian women

Coordination office:

PNGO - Palestinian NGO Network

Tel: +970 2 2975320/1

Fax: +970 2 2950704

E mail: samahd@pngo.net

January 19, 2012
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