Civil Society Welcomes ANC's Policy Position on Palestine and Boycott of Israel
Civil society organisations including the South African Council of Churches, Congress of South African Trade Unions, Kairos Southern Africa, Open Shuhada Street, Media Review Network and BDS South Africa, welcome news of the African National Congress (ANC) Policy Conference's firmer position on Palestine and ANC delegates' proposed policy for a boycott of Israeli products.
Member of the ANC's International Relations Commission (and special adviser to President Jacob Zuma) Lindiwe Zulu, reported at a Policy Conference media briefing that: "[T]he ANC would continue to support Palestine and [has] called for an increased boycott on Israeli products".
The ANC's long-standing position on Palestine is part of its broader progressive internationalism. It is increasingly clear that the ANC is not simply offering "generalised" support to the oppressed but has chosen to support specific things that will lend concrete solidarity and contribute toward a just peace.
With Swaziland, the ANC has insisted that the Swazi government sign a memorandum of understanding on the ‘democratisation and unbanning of political parties’.
On Palestine, the ANC has taken measures that will ensure sufficient pressure is brought on Israel for a just and negotiated solution - similar to the international pressure and negotiations that facilitated a legal framework for a non-racist solution in South Africa.
The complete and full ANC Policy Conference proposals will be released in due course by ANC's Luthuli House. We look forward to the ANC strengthening its resolution on Palestine even further during its Mangaung conference in December.
In 2005 the largest, broadest and most representative grouping of Palestinian civil society and political parties issued a call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel by the international community until Israel complies with international law and human rights - these providing the necessary conditions for a just negotiation. Subsequently, several multinational corporations have withdrawn from Israel; various institutions have divested from Israel; numerous artists have cancelled their Israeli gigs; and locally, just last year, the University of Johannesburg terminated its institutional relationship with Israel.