We support Israeli Apartheid Week - ANC

Jessie Duarte says party discourages travel to Israel for ANC leaders, members and representatives for business and leisure purposes

ANC's participation in Israeli Apartheid Week (7 - 13 March 2016)

It is without any hesitation that the ANC will be participating in the 12th annual international Israeli Apartheid Week, as we have done in previous years. We do so as we know full well the invaluable contribution that the international anti-apartheid solidarity movement played in our struggle for freedom.

Our armed struggle, our civil society campaigns, our mass demonstrations and our negotiations were greatly enhanced and legitimised by the successful international isolation of and solidarity campaigns against Apartheid South Africa during the 1980s.

In our recent January 8th statement, the National Executive Committee on the occasion of the 104th Anniversary of the African National Congress delivered by President Jacob Zuma, we stated "We reiterate our solidarity with the people of Palestine and support the isolation of businesses in the UN List that operate in the occupied territories in Palestine.

We reiterate that we discourage travel to Israel for ANC leaders, members and representatives for business and leisure purposes. The ANC encourages our government to continue its programme of talking to all parties in the Palestinian territory and calls on the people of Palestine to work together to bring about self-determination."

The ANC appreciates the collective contribution made by millions of people all across world who took to the streets protesting for the isolation of and solidarity campaigns against Apartheid South Africa. These activists from all walks of life decided to take time from their busy programs, from their local campaigns and activities to contribute towards our freedom. Although this historic debt to the peoples of the world can never be repaid, we actively provide our solidarity today to the people of Cuba, Western Sahara, Palestine and other struggling peoples.

This IAW the ANC is proud to join the over 100 South African organisations, trade unions, civil society groups, schools, universities, religious communities, NGOs and other formations in participating in this year`s 12th international Israeli Apartheid Week. The vast array of participating organisations is an indication of our vibrant democracy and an opportunity for our people to break religious as well as racial lines and unite behind the ideal of a free Palestine. We as the ANC particularly welcome the involvement of members from the South African Jewish community who will be participating in this year’s #IsraeliApartheidWeek.

The ANC`s participation is in line with our long standing international positions but also the ANC`s recent NGC in 2015 resolved: “we must continually review South Africa’s relations with the State of Israel…[and] encourage disengagement on programmes and activities that may impact on our solidarity with the people of Palestine. Travel to Israel will be discouraged, and we shall make a concerted effort to conscientise our young people, leaders and public representatives"

The ANC is unequivocal in its support for the Palestinian people in their struggle for self-determination, and unapologetic in its view that the Palestinians are the victims and the oppressed in the conflict with Israel.

In participating in IAW we recall the words of our late President, Oliver Tambo: "The ANC feels most honored…to address the international community...on the important question of Palestine - a question with which the people of South Africa fully identify".

ANC National Executive Committee members will be speaking at various Israeli Apartheid Week events across the country including sharing platforms with ambassadors, academics, activists and a visiting Palestine Liberation Organisation leader, Dr Uri Davis who will be in South Africa on an IAW speaking tour made possible by the Embassy of the State of Palestine.

Statement issued by Jessie Duarte, Deputy Secretary General, African National Congress, 5 March 2016