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

Dublin City Council Passes Refuses to Renew Contract with Veolia

May 22, 2010

The international Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement today scored a major victory as Dublin City Council passed a resolution calling on the City Manager not to sign or renew any contracts with French multinational Veolia[1] – the operators of the LUAS who have also tendered for the Metro North project[2].

 

The international Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement today scored a major victory as Dublin City Council passed a resolution calling on the City Manager not to sign or renew any contracts with French multinational Veolia[1] – the operators of the LUAS who have also tendered for the Metro North project[2].

 

Veolia operate Israeli rail, bus and waste services in the illegally occupied West Bank, making them complicit in Israel’s contravention of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Indeed, Veolia has a direct involvement in building the infrastructure of apartheid in Israel/Palestine.The resolution, tabled by Cllr. Joan Collins (People Before Profit), was passed by unanimously at the sitting of Dublin City Council this evening (May 10th 2010) and is an important statement of solidarity with Palestine by the elected representatives of a European capital city. This solidarity mirrors the deep empathy that exists throughout Irish society for the Palestinian people and the widespread revulsion at the behaviour of the apartheid Israeli state.

 

Commenting on the motion’s passage, Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) chairperson Dr David Landy said: “This is a monumental victory for the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. The passing of this motion represents the elected representatives of a European capital city clearly standing up and saying ‘No’ to companies that collaborate with Israeli human rights abuses against the Palestinian people. It is doubly welcome coming as it does on the same day that Israel was scandalously accepted into the OECD.”

 

Dr Landy continued: “Furthermore, this is just the latest in a string of such defeats that Veolia has suffered as a result of their active participation in Israel’s apartheid policies – victories for the BDS movement have been seen in Sweden, Holland, Australia, Iran, France and elsewhere in Ireland. The IPSC once again urges Veolia to heed the Palestinian call for BDS and divest now from its Israeli operations in the occupied Palestinian territories. However, until it does so, the IPSC will continue to campaign for Veolia not to be granted contracts in Ireland.”

 

“The IPSC will now be working with other local councils to ensure the passage of similar motions nationwide[3]. The IPSC will also now step up the pressure on the Rail Procurement Agency, which is responsible for awarding the highly lucrative Dublin Metro North contract. The city of Dublin has spoken loudly and clearly, and it says no to collusion with Israeli apartheid. The RPA should listen carefully - the Palestine solidarity movement is not going to quietly stand by while such companies are given Irish taxpayers’ money. It’s not on.”

 

Dr Landy concluded: “Finally, on behalf of the IPSC, I would like to thank all of the councillors who supported this motion, not least People Before Profit’s Cllr Joan Collins whose motion it was. I would also like to thank everyone who contacted their councillors in support of the motion, and those who came out on the many demonstrations and actions over the past three months that the IPSC held in the run up to this momentous vote.”

 

Details of Veolia’s illegal operations in occupied Palestine can be viewed on the IPSC website: http://www.ipsc.ie/veoliaNotes:

[1] The full text of the motion reads as follows:Dublin City Council recognising

1. That Veolia is a leading partner in the consortium contracted to build a light railway system linking Israel to illegal settlements in occupied East Jerusalem

2. That the Irish government and the U.N does not recognise Israel’s annexation and occupation of East Jerusalem and have repeatedly stated their views that the Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank contravene international law

3. That Veolia’s involvement in the project is in contravention of the UN’s stated demand that Israeli settlement activities and occupation should not be supported;

This Council calls on the City Manager not to sign any new or renew any existing contracts with Veolia as it would be in contravention of the wishes of this council. Galway and Sligo city/county councils have supported similar motions.

Cllr Joan Collins[2] Veolia is set to merge with Transdev, who are one of the two final tenderers for the Dublin Metro North contract.http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20100505-703713.html

[3] Dublin City Council is the third Irish council to pass such a motion, following on from Sligo and Galway.

May 22, 2010
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