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. 

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Dear Professor S. James Anaya, I want to commend you for your invaluable work on Indigenous rights. As your scholarship and service as a UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples suggest, your commitment to human rights is unequivocal. With this in mind, I want to address your upcoming talk, “The Power of Ideas: The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,” scheduled for March 28 at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel.

March 28, 2017, Beirut, Lebanon — Last week, the Doctors’ Syndicate in Beirut decided to end its relationship with G4S, one of the world’s largest multinational security companies, following a campaign by activists in Lebanon concerned with the company’s ongoing complicity with Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights.  

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.

Ramallah, occupied West Bank - Nearly six months after the FIFA Monitoring Committee Israel-Palestine was due to present its recommendations on football in the region, human rights groups have grown increasingly concerned over its failure to resolve the status of six football teams based in Israeli settlements in occupied

March 21, 2017 — Today, Israel’s Minister of Strategic Affairs, Gilad Erdan, announced that his ministry seeks to create a new database of Israeli citizens who support the grassroots Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement to secure Palestinian human rights. Mahmoud Nawajaa, the General Coordinator of the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), said: 

A new UN report offers explicit backing for the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign to end Israeli apartheid and support a just peace.

The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), the largest coalition in Palestinian society, has warmly welcomed as a “historic breakthrough” a report released today by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) that proves beyond doubt that Israel has imposed a system of apartheid on the entire Palestinian people. The ESCWA report calls for BDS measures to end Israel’s apartheid regime.

Two of the most important issues that arise in debating Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), particularly in Western countries, are (A) whether or not Palestinians should be working with Israelis rather than boycotting them, and (B) whether supporters of BDS should fully boycott Israel or boycott only companies involved in Israel’s occupation and colonial settlements. We hope the discussion below will help shed some light on both issues.

On March 1, 2017, the Student Council of the University of Turin approved by wide majority (76%) a motion (text below) supporting the academic boycott of Israel, calling for revocation of the agreements between the university and the Israel Institute of Technology – Technion in Haifa. For the first time, an Italian academic body has endorsed the BDS movement as a nonviolent method aimed at ending the continuous and systematic denial of the rights of the Palestinians by the State of Israel.

A wide coalition of Palestinian and international organisations denounced FIFA president Gianni Infantino’s failure to compel Israel’s national football league to exclude six football teams based in illegal Israeli settlements and called for the dissolution of the FIFA Monitoring Committee Israel-Palestine.