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

Roger Waters of Pink Floyd supports World Social Forum Free Palestine

March 29, 2012
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Roger Waters on tour with his "The Wall Live" show in Brazil today issued his support for the World Social Forum Free Palestine:

"Since visiting Israel and the occupied territories in 2006, I have been part of an international movement to support the Palestinian people in their struggle for freedom, justice and equal

Roger Waters on tour with his "The Wall Live" show in Brazil today issued his support for the World Social Forum Free Palestine:

"Since visiting Israel and the occupied territories in 2006, I have been part of an international movement to support the Palestinian people in their struggle for freedom, justice and equality.

I am honored to have been asked by the Palestinian BDS National Committee, to announce an initiative, to hold the World Social Forum Free Palestine in Porto Alegre, Brazil in November of this year, in cooperation with the Brazilian social movement and international civil society networks.

The object will be to create an international gathering there, that will encourage the basic human instinct in all men and women of good faith to unite in support of the Palestinian people in their struggle for self determination.

All over the world, our movement is growing.

Encouraged by events like the one coming here to Brazil, our voice will grow.

We will continue our call for an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land, for the tearing down of The Walls of colonization and apartheid, for the creation of a Palestinian state with its capital in Jerusalem, for the granting of full and equal rights to the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel and for promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes as required by the Geneva convention, as stipulated in UN resolution 194, in 1949 and as restated by the International Court of Justice on the 9th  of July 2004.

I find myself greatly encouraged by the growth of this movement in Israel, particularly among young Jewish Israelis, not least ‘Boycott From Within,’ With whom I am in contact.

We stand with you.

Events in Israel and the occupied territories are not widely or accurately reported in the west. The coming World Social Forum Free Palestine in Porto Alegre will help to break down The Walls of misinformation and complicity.

I urge people of conscience to support this forum and help make it a turning point in the international solidarity with the Palestinian people.

The truth will set us free

In Solidarity,

Roger Waters" 

March 29, 2012
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