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

Provincial Council of Valencia declares itself 'Israeli Apartheid Free'

December 31, 2016
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The Provincial Council of Valencia (Diputación de Valéncia) became the 60th city in the Spanish state declaring itself Free of Israeli Apartheid. 

On the 29th of December, the Provincial Council of Valencia (Diputación de Valéncia) passed a motion supporting the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and declared itself free of Israeli apartheid. The resolution - passed unanimously and proposed by the political parties València en Comú, Esquerra Unida del País Valencià, Compromís and Partit Socialista del País Valencià - recalls the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and condemns the ongoing violations of human rights perpetrated by the state of Israel.

The Provincial Council declared the Province of Valencia a war Crimes free zone, including the crime of Apartheid, earning the “Israeli Apartheid Free Zone” label; and declared its support for the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, a Palestinian-led campaign that seeks the achievemend of rights for the Palestinian people as recognized by international law through non-violent action. BDS is inspired by the boycott campaign that contributed to the end of the apartheid regime in South Africa.

In pratical terms, this motion allows the inclusion of ethical standards related to the enforcement of human rights and international law in the open tenders and contracts as well as in the award of grants by the Provincial Council. The motion passed adopts an effective mechanism that goes beyond the mere declaration of intentions.

BDS País Valencià welcomes the vote

The commitment for the protection of human rights cannot be limited to symbolism, it requires a sincere commitment of society and its intitutions, according to the activists involved. After months of work, BDS País Valencià welcomes the decision by Valencia Provincial Council to move from words to actions. BDS País Valencià also recognizes the courage of the political groups that took this step. With this motion, it comes to 60 the number of municipalities in the Spanish state that have declared themselves “Israeli Apartheid Free Zones” and/or adhere to the BDS movement. Among them Cabildo of Gran Canaria and Sevilla Provincial Council, as well as the municipalities of Badalona, Cádiz, Gijón-Xixón and Santiago de Compostela. Campaigners have called for more public institutions and civil society organizations to join the solidarity initiative for the fullfiment of International law and human rights.

Click here for map of Spanish towns declaring themselves free of Israeli apartheid 


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