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. 

Analysis

Palestinian sports community appeal to UEFA – Red Card Israeli Apartheid

Occupied Palestine - June 22 2011

Mr. Platini,

We, Palestinian footballers, athletes and sporting organizations and officials, are dismayed that Israel has been rewarded for its continued impunity and violent oppression of our people with the honour of hosting the UEFA Under-21 tournament in 2013. This decision is a drastic reversal of your brave stand just last year against Israeli attacks on Palestinian sport and its persistent violations of universal principles of human rights.

Occupied Palestine - June 22 2011

Mr. Platini,

We, Palestinian footballers, athletes and sporting organizations and officials, are dismayed that Israel has been rewarded for its continued impunity and violent oppression of our people with the honour of hosting the UEFA Under-21 tournament in 2013. This decision is a drastic reversal of your brave stand just last year against Israeli attacks on Palestinian sport and its persistent violations of universal principles of human rights. You said: "We accepted them in Europe and furnished them the conditions for membership and they must respect the letter of the laws and international regulations otherwise there is no justification for them to remain in Europe. Israel must choose between allowing Palestinian sport to continue and prosper or be forced to face the consequences for their behaviour". We write today to remind you of the facts that no doubt informed this brave stance and to urge you to take steps to ensure that the 2013 tournament does not take place in Israel.

If this tournament goes ahead as planned, football fans from all over Europe and beyond will be given the impression that Israel is a country like any other, rather than one that practices a unique combination of occupation, colonization and apartheid against the indigenous Palestinian population. Games may be played at the Ramat Gan Stadium, which was built on land seized under the Absentee Property Owners Law of 1950, from the Palestinian villages of Jarisha and al-Jammasin al-Sharqi. Football should not preclude the refugees from these villages from returning to their lands, as is their UN-sanctioned right.

Israel’s violations of international law are numerous and continue unabated and impact Palestinian football and the people of Palestine more generally. The infamous Israeli permit system, which has been used to deny so many Palestinians the right to travel, is reminiscent of the “pass laws” of Apartheid South Africa, and is used to deny footballers the right to travel to international tournaments, or even participate in local practices, in violation of Article 33 of the Geneva Conventions barring collective punishment.[1]

The use of overwhelming force in Operation Cast Lead in winter 2008-09 was responsible for leveling large swathes of Gaza including the Rafah National Stadium[2], and killing football players Ayman Alkurd, Shadi Sbakhe and Wajeh Moshate, as well as over 1,400 other Gazans.[3]

Israel’s Apartheid Wall, ruled illegal by the International Court of Justice in 2004, runs its eight- meter-high solid concrete course less than 100 meters away from the Faisal Al Husseini Stadium in Al-Ram, the current national stadium of Palestine.[4] The arbitrary arrest of thousands of Palestinians, including Gazan Palestinian National Team member Mahmoud Kamel As-Sarsak, held without trial or indeed public explanation for their arrest, is a routine tool of Israeli occupation.[5]

Israel’s system of occupation, colonization and apartheid impacts Palestinian football and all Palestinians.

In the face of South African Apartheid, Ruud Gullit dedicated his 1987 European Footballer of the Year Award to Nelson Mandela. We call upon you to make a similar stand against Apartheid, by ensuring that Israel is not allowed to host the 2013 tournament, rather than allow the organization that you lead to reward Israel for its violent repression of Palestinian rights.

We look forward to your reply,

 

 

SIGNED BY:

42 CLUBS

Alwehda (unity) Club-Rafah

Alasteqlal (independence) Club-Rafa

Jamaa'i Rafah Club

Alnuseirat Services Club

Deir Elbalah Services Club

Deir Elbalah Union Club

Alsalah Charity Club

Alwehda Club- Jabalia

Jabalia Youths Club

Beit Hanoun Civil Club

Beit Lahyia Club

Albureij Services Club

Alaqsa Club-Alnuseirat

Almaghazi Services Club

Alnuseirat Sefrvices Club

Alzawaida Youth Club

Jabalia Union Club

Ansaar Jabalia Club

Alkarama Club

Gaza Sporting Club

RafahYouths Club

ALtarabot Club- Deir Albalah

Albureij Civil Club

Alredwan Club

Hetteen Club

Alta3awn (Cooperation) Club

Alwefaq Club

Aljazeera Club

Alyarmouk Club

Alrayaan Club

Albureij Youths Club

Alrebaat Club

Alzawaida Union Club

Almaghazi Youths Club

Alqarara Club

Alataa' Althahabi Club

Alshaf3' Club

Alshareqa Club

Canada Club

Alqadessia Club

Tel Alsoultaan Club

Sports College—Al-Aqsa University

 

 

18 Club Managers and Players

Ibrahim Abu Salim (Vice President-Football Union)

Captain Hasaan Salah (vice president of soccer players veterans)

Captain Zoheir Edwan (President—Al-Wehda Club)

Captain Joma' Alakhras (Presdeint-Al Estiqlal Club)

Captain Fathy Abu Ella (Rafah Services Club)

Captain Kamal Alashqar (Nusairat Services Club)

Captain Jamal Albuheissy (Deir El Balah Services Club)

Captain Jaber  Ayaash (El Salah Club)

Captain Eissa Zaher (President-Jabalia Youth Club)

Captain Amer Alemawi (President-Beit Hanoun National Club)

Captain Sameer Albarawi(President-Beit Lahia National Club)

Captain Mohammed Abo Shoqwa (President- Bureij Services Club)

Captain Mohammed Zureid (President-Al-Aqsa Club)

Captain Iyaad Alhozoqi (President-Nusairat National Club)

Captain Jalal Abu Zayed (President-Al Zawaida Club)

Captain Mousa Abu Zeer (President-Gaza Sporting Club)

Captain Islam Qeshtaa

Ali Rabei (President-Rafah Jamaai Club)

 

Plus 19 other Palestinian sporting figures

Naser Dababesh, club head, Al Ahli Palestinian Club

Nather Gaber, coach, Al Repat Palestinian Club

Salah Gber, vice-president, Deir El-Balah Youth  Union

Abdallah al Saqa, soccer player, Al Sadaqa Club

Mohammed abu Aita, soccer player, Al Sadaqa Club

Islam Salama, soccer player, Al Beach Club

Iyad al Jiesh, soccer player, Disabled Union

Mazen Sarhan, board member, Disabled Union

Abed Rabo al Tahrawi, board member, Al Redwan Club
Wesam Jadallah, volleyball player, Al Sadaqa Sports Club

Yasser Dawood, volleyball player, Al Sadaqa Sports Club
Asa’d al Majdalawi, volleyball player, Al Sadaqa Sports Club
Khaled Shameia, club head, Al Naser Arab Club
Ali Abu Hasheesh, club head, Al Beach Club

Saeb Jondeya, soccer player, Al Sheja’ia Club
Naim Sweerki, coach, Al Sheja’ia Club
Amer Abu Ramadan, club head, Al Helal Club
Tayseer Abed al Jawad, union head, Handball Union
Ramzi Jaber, sports teacher, Al Aqsa University

 

 

 

[1]http://www.fifa.com/aboutfifa/federation/insidefifa/news/newsid=1305932.html

[2]http://www.mezan.org/en/details.php?id=8960&ddname=detention&id_dept=9&p=center

[3]http://en.rian.ru/world/20090114/119490704.html

[4]http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/29/world/middleeast/29westbank.html?_r=1&hp

[5]http://www.mezan.org/en/details.php?id=8960&ddname=detention&id_dept=9&p=center

 


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