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

Frameline Film Festival Pinkwashing Israeli Apartheid

May 31, 2011
/ By /

For the second year in a row, and after a short break, the San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival, the largest queer cultural event in the world, shamefully continues taking funding from the Israeli Consulate, violating the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) guidelines[1].

For the second year in a row, and after a short break, the San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival, the largest queer cultural event in the world, shamefully continues taking funding from the Israeli Consulate, violating the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) guidelines[1]. Frameline, the presenter of the festival, has ignored the calls issued by Queers Undermining Israeli Terrorism (QUIT) in 2007, which has been joined by many other queer groups and well-known filmmakers.

By continuing to accept money from the Israeli consulate, Frameline is participating in the re-brand Israel campaign, and is helping it pinkwash its negative image, its grave violations of international law, human rights, and crimes against the Palestinian people. By accepting the Consulate’s money, Frameline is actively helping to create a false positive image of Israel as a queer-friendly “democracy,” turning people’s attention from occupation and apartheid.

Thus WE URGE all filmmakers, producers, artists, activists, and the audience to take action, WE URGE all queers to BOYCOTT the San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival until they stop  accepting funding from Israel and pinkwashing it’s crime until the time comes when Israel is in compliance with its obligations under international law and fully respects Palestinian rights.

Why Boycott?

In 2004, inspired by the triumphant cultural boycott of apartheid South Africa, and supported by key Palestinian unions and cultural groups, PACBI issued a call for the academic and cultural boycott of institutions involved or complicit in Israel’s occupation and apartheid, along with those who whitewash its crimes [2] Following this, in 2005, an overwhelming majority in Palestinian civil society called for an all-encompassing BDS campaign based on the principles of human rights, justice, freedom and equality [3].  The BDS movement adopts a nonviolent, morally consistent strategy to hold Israel accountable to the same human rights standards as other nations. It is asking artists, festivals, and activists around the world to heed the boycott call until “Israel withdraws from all the lands occupied in 1967, including East Jerusalem; removes all its colonies in those lands; agrees to United Nations resolutions relevant to the restitution of Palestinian refugees rights; and dismantles its system of apartheid.” [4]

Following these calls on June 27th 2010, a group of Palestinian Queer activists issued a call, calling upon all LGBTQI groups, organizations and individuals around the world to Boycott the Apartheid State of Israel. [5]

Taking part in a festival that accepts Israeli funding, thus pinkwashing its apartheid, would constitute a rejection of the appeal from over 170 civil society organizations, including Palestinian queer groups and organizations, that comprise the Palestinian BDS movement.

What can I do?

QUIT! has issued an action alert asking people to call Frameline any time on Wed June 1st and demand that they return the consulate’s money and renounce their sponsorship.  If you are or have been a member, please let them know that and say that you will not renew your membership and might consider boycotting the festival if they continue to partner with the Israeli government.  If you get a voicemail, leave a message.  If you get a busy signal or no answer, send a fax (preferably) or email and (cc

You can also FAX messages to them in addition to calling.

The Frameline phone number is:  415 703-8650

The FAX number is:  415 861 -1404

Thank you,

Palestinian Queers for BDS









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