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

United Church Presbytery Group Launches Boycott Divestment Campaign against Israel

June 21, 2011
/ By /

The Holy Land Awareness and Action Task Group, of the Social Justice and World Affairs Committee within South West Presbytery of the United Church of Canada, has launched Occupied with Peace in Palestine, a Boycott/Divestment Campaign. “The non-violent Campaign,” says spokesperson Rev.

The Holy Land Awareness and Action Task Group, of the Social Justice and World Affairs Committee within South West Presbytery of the United Church of Canada, has launched Occupied with Peace in Palestine, a Boycott/Divestment Campaign. “The non-violent Campaign,” says spokesperson Rev. Brian McIntosh, “encourages individuals and organizations, particularly congregations of the United Church in its region, to use economic leverage to persuade six companies operating in Canada – Caterpillar, Motorola, Ahava, Veolia, Elbit Systems and Chapters/Indigo – currently involved in illegal activities in the Palestinian Occupied Territories – to stop supporting the Israeli occupation and uphold international law.”

The Campaign responds to calls from a broad cross-section of Palestinian civil society, church leaders and Israeli peace activists, and follows similar campaigns launched some time ago by the Presbyterian Church – USA and the New England Conference of the United Methodist Church, USA. The Campaign’s information kit includes an introductory brochure and cover letter, pledge forms of commitment and solidarity, and company information bulletins and sample letters, as well as prayer material, all of which can be found and downloaded on the Campaign website – www.occupiedwithpeace.org

“We have launched Occupied with Peace after almost two years of discernment and information gathering,” says Jean Lee, Task Group Chairperson. “The United Church’s General Council, at its last meeting in August of 2009, called upon us all to ‘enter into consultation, dialogue, study and prayer, and then take appropriate action toward ending the illegal occupation of Palestinian territory … (including, but not limited to economic boycott).’ We’ve taken that call seriously, and now join with many others in Canada and around the world who act in solidarity with Palestinians living under the daily burden, oppression and threat to life and livelihood that Israel’s occupation represents.”

“We hope and pray,” says McIntosh, “that this Boycott Divestment Campaign will be taken up by people in and beyond the United Church who care about human dignity, human rights and the rule of international law, and who realize that ending the illegal occupation of the territories, including East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza, is the first step toward building a just and lasting peace for both Palestinians and Israelis.”


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